Trading licences can be obtained at the commercial departments of district or town and city councils. Requirements include; forms and an accompanying covering letter outlining business operations in detail. Trading licences vary in fees and duration and an annual fee of 25% of the licence fee is required. Annual proof of compliance with health regulations and filing of annual returns are also required. Trading licences are described in detail in the table below.
Trading licence applications must be accompanied by the following documents/reports:
- Appropriate zoning report from physical planner.
- An occupation permit or a copy of the title deed showing the land use or change of use will suffice.
- Health inspector’s report certifying that the premises comply with public and environmental health standards.
- Regulatory inspection report from the Ministry of Health applying to trade in pharmaceutical products or for a pharmacy licence.
- Provisional clearance certificate for an agrochemicals licence application issued by the Plant Protection Division in the Ministry of Agriculture. The applicant has to provide proof of relevant background of agrochemicals (e.g. qualification certificates or testimonials).
- A clearance certificate from Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) for storage and handling of liquefied petroleum gas (refillable fuel canisters) for fuel filling station, general dealer, and hardware store licences.
- Certified copies of latest annual returns from the Registrar of Companies & Intellectual Property (RCOIP). Where annual returns are not available, such as the case of a newly registered company, forms showing directors’ allotment of shares and share certificates should be provided.
- A copy of certificate of incorporation for a company, or registration certificate for individuals or partnerships.
- Proof of availability of business premises (lease, title or deed).
- Letter indicating the official company representative including, the representative’s, certified copy of Omang (citizens) and work and residence permits (non-citizens).
- Certified copies of valid passport (non-citizens), work and resident permits for shareholders residing in Botswana or certified copies of valid Omang (citizens).
- Copy of original licence in case of transfer of a licence.
- For liquor licence applications, proof of advertisement in the Botswana Government Gazette is required: usually a stamped receipt showing both the first and second notice of the application, published at least 21 days before the licensing committee meeting.
The licensing committees meet weekly. The time required for the physical planner and health inspectors to inspect and issue reports can vary from one day to 1–3 weeks.