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The Ultimate Guide To
Employment in Ivory Coast

Employing in Ivory Coast: What You Need to Know

Ivory Coast has recently ratified all core ILO labor Conventions, which means that the country now recognises the right to organise, collectively bargain and strike, although with severe restrictions in law and in practice. Despite the demographic explosion of graduates, the national economy is not able to cater to such a highly educated workforce. Many foreign companies are not aware that having a local presence is key to speed up administrative processes, especially because a constant and direct interaction with the government is necessary.

Key Factors to Consider When Employing in Ivory Coast

There are several key areas to be aware of within Ivory Coast employment regulatory framework, especially for companies that plan to initiate a full local office and human resources department.  These challenges can be mitigated by use of a locally sourced payroll provider who is familiar with all of the local laws and rules for both local employees as well as foreign nationals.

Employee Entitlements

Information Explanation
Employee Protection and Anti-discrimination Rights ?

The following reasons cannot be used to terminate an employment contracts:

  • sex;
  • age;
  • national extraction;
  • race;
  • religion;
  • political opinion;
  • social origin;
  • membership or non-membership in a trade union;
  • participation in trade union activities.
Time Off Work ?

An employee is entitled to have several days off from work depending on the length of his/her work tenure and in particular:

  • For 1 year of tenure: 26.4 days off/year
  • For 5 year of tenure: 27.4 days off/year
  • For 10 year of tenure: 28.4 days off/year
Medical Leave ?

Five fully paid days of sick leave are guaranteed by law.

Employment Termination

Information Explanation
Resignation / End of Service Payment ?

During the probationary period, the contract may be terminated without notice and without entitlement to compensation by either of the parties.

When the employer terminate a contract of employment, he/she must pay a severance allowance to the employee if the worker has been employed continuously for a period equivalent to one year and has not been guilty of gross negligence.

The compensation will include the length of service and corresponds to a percentage of the monthly overall wages for the 12 months of service preceding the date of dismissal.

Severance / Redundancy Pay ?

Severance pay for redundancy dismissal for a worker with 1 year of tenure is 1.3;

Severance pay for redundancy dismissal for a worker with 5 years of tenure is 6.5;

Severance pay for redundancy dismissal for a worker with 10 years of tenure is 14.1;

Severance pay for redundancy dismissal (average for workers with 1, 5 and 10 years of tenure) is 7.3.

Termination of Employment ?

Pursuant to Decree No. 96-200 of 7 March 1996, for workers in the relevant occupational categories who are paid by the hour, day, week or fortnight, the period of notice is as follows:

  • 8 days, for those with up to 6 months of service in the undertaking;
  • 15 days, for between 6 months and 1 year of service;
  • 1 month, for between 1 and 6 years of service;
  • 2 months, for between 6 and 11 years of service;
  • 3 months, for between 11 and 16 years of service; and
  • 4 months, for over 16 years of service.

For workers who have permanent partial disabilities estimated at 40 per cent or more, the period of notice is:

  • the normal notice period for those with up to six months of service in the undertaking; and
  • double the normal notice period after six months of service.

GEO Solutions or DIY Employment in Ivory Coast?

GEO Solutions or DIY Employment

Companies entering Ivory Coast must make a decision whether to use their own resources for a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach, or to use a Global Employment Organization to handle payroll and employment responsibilities.  A GEO solution makes it faster, easier and cheaper to deploy staff if they don’t have an Ivory Coast entity established that can run payroll.

A DIY approach will typically take 6-9 months to set up a local incorporation ready to run payroll and can cost up to 6 figures if registered capital is required. Shield GEO's employer of record solution can deploy foreign staff in 4-6 weeks and local staff in 48 hours. Additionally, Shield GEO is responsible for all compliance issues related to the employment.

Payroll

Payroll Ivory Coast
Management Fee for Employer of Record Services / Monthly Payroll Costs

Please contact us for a quote

Notes

Shield GEO pays the employee on a monthly basis, typically on the last working day of the month although we can adapt to your preferred schedule. Income tax and social security (where applicable) are deducted at source and paid to the local tax authorities.

Currency ? XOF (1 USD = 595.188 XOF)
 
Grossed income Tax Rate (%)
10,000 - 2,200,000 2%
2,2000,001 - 3,600,000 10%
3,600,001 - 5,200,000 15%
5,200,001 - 7,200,000 20%
9,600,001 - 12,600,000 26%
12,600,000 - 20,000,000 29%
20,000,001 - 30,000,000 32%
30,000,001 - 40,000,000 34%
40,000,001 - 50,000,000 35%
Over 50,000,000 36%
Tax Returns Supplied

Yes

Employers Social Security and statutory contributions

17.35%, calculated on gross income

Employees Social Security and statutory contributions

3.2%, calculated on gross income

Payroll and Tax in Ivory Coast

From 2011 until 2012, Ivory Coast adopted several solutions to reduce burdens when paying taxes. In particular, the country reduced the corporate income tax rate and eliminated the contribution for national reconstruction. However, in 2014 Ivory Coast increased the employers ‘contribution rate for social security related to retirement.

Information Explanation
Remote Payroll ?

A remote payroll system is where a foreign company, i.e. a non-resident company, payrolls a resident employee in Ivory Coast. Under Ivory Coast, companies registered in other countries are allowed to obtain a license to do business and have employees in the country.

Local Payroll Administration ?

In some cases, a company will register their business in Ivory Coast under one of the forms available: Sole Proprietorship, Limited Liability Companies (LLC) and Public Limited Companies (SA); but prefer to have another company administering its payroll.  This can be accomplished through a payroll provider. It is important to note that the company, as the Employer of Record, is still fully responsible for compliance with employment, immigration, tax and payroll regulations. But the payroll calculations, payments and filings can all be outsourced to the payroll provider.

Internal Payroll ?

Larger companies with a commitment to Ivory Coast may wish to run their own local payroll for all employees, foreign and local. In order to accomplish this, they will have to complete incorporation, register the business and then hire the necessary staff.  There will be a need for in country human resources personnel who have the background needed to manage an Ivory Coast payroll, and can fulfil all tax, withholding, and payroll requirements.

This approach carries significant cost and requires some knowledge of local employment and payroll regulations. The company will need a local accounting firm and potentially legal counsel to ensure full compliance with Israeli employment laws.

Fully Outsourced Payroll & Employment ?

Companies can outsource the employment and payroll of their staff in Ivory Coast to a GEO, like Shield GEO. This is possible for both foreign workers and Ivory Coast nationals. This is the easiest, fastest and safest way to payroll staff in Ivory Coast.

Shield GEO manages all aspects of payroll for workers in Ivory Coast, including taxes, withholding, social security payments and other statutory requirements. Shield GEO becomes the Employer of Record and employs the staff on behalf of the client.

Staff are paid monthly with tax and social security deducted at source and paid to local authorities. Shield GEO will invoice the client monthly in advance of the payroll date. The invoice consists of the Total Cost of Employment (Base salary + Employers Statutory Contributions + Additional statutory contributions) and a Management Fee. Shield GEO provides the employees with payslips.

Read more about outsourced payroll and employment through Shield GEO.

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Setting up payroll in Ivory Coast

Information Explanation
Tax Registration Requirements ?

When working in Ivory Coast under a permanent contract, many employers will handle taxes under the PAYE (pay-as-you-earn) system. This means that employers calculate and process taxes in Ivory Coast for employees and then send them a net wage. Income tax, public health insurance, social security and other deductions will all be covered by this payment.

Social Security Registration ?

Documents required for social security registration are:
• A pension application form;
• A record of employment registration;
• A notice of termination;
• A personal statement of salaries;
• A pension payment request form.

It is also necessary to submit at the Caisse Nationale de Prévoyance Sociale (CNPS), a file including the documents above-listed filled out and signed by the employer as well as:

• The pension application;
• The social security card;
• The pay slips of January, June and December of each year and/or photocopies of DISA of each year;
• A marriage certificate or a family civil status record;
• A birth certificate record or a family civil status record;
• A bank account details for payments to be made in France;
• Work certificates;
• A life certificate.

Documentation Required for New Employees ?

All employees must sign a contract of employment, which may be concluded for a specified or unspecified period (max length of a single fixed-term contract is 24 months).

The contract of employment may contain a probationary period, the duration of which must be stated in writing.

Payments

Information Explanation
Payment Mode ?

According to the Ivory Coast Labor Code, wages are paid directly or indirectly, in cash or in kind, by an employer to a worker.

Frequency of Salary Payment ?

When the employee works 40 hours per week, the standard payment period follows a 12 monthly pay periods.

Invoice / Payslips required ?

If the local offices are processing the payroll, head office will have complete transparency and report capability through direct access to the system. Payroll processing at the head office also allows local users to draw reports for review purposes and print payslips for distribution.

Minimum Wage ?

Minimum wage applicable to the worker is approx. USD 120 per month.

Immigration and Work Permits in Ivory Coast

Foreign workers are required to have the proper visas and work permits in Ivory Coast, as established by immigration laws. Work permits must be secured for employees, and sponsored by a locally licensed and incorporated entity. Furthermore, residency and work permit forms are only available in French.  These can be a problem for companies just entering the Ivory Coast market.  If you have yet to complete the incorporation process you can use an outsourced management company or GEO Employer of Record to sponsor the employee for the necessary permits.  

Types of visas in Ivory Coast

Category Description of Visa
Short-term Visa

A short term visa (from 1 to 3 months) is guaranteed to foreign nationals upon submission of the related documents to the Embassy of Ivory Coast.

Within the SNEDAI website it is possible to obtain information related to:

– Form requested;
– Location of the closest embassy;
– Appointment scheduling;
– Documentation required.

In particular, the following documents must be submitted:

– The original receipt of payment online;
– The statement of acceptance of appointment;
– The visa application form completed and signed;
– A photo ID (size 4.5 cm x 3.5 cm) recently under 6 months;
– A passport valid for six months minimum + a photocopy of the first three pages (pages with photo and address);
– Original full copy or extract of birth certificate;
– Photocopy of the school or student card (students);
– The international certificate of vaccination against yellow fever;
– A detailed statement of reservation of air ticket or a photocopy of the ticket round trip.

The following information must be attached in the application for business trips:

– Letter of Invitation ;
– Confirmation of hotel reservation ;
– Proof of financial means to stay.

For private visits:

 Confirmation of hotel reservation or;
– Letter of Invitation. 

Fees: Approx 73 AUD

Long-Stay Visa

In order to request a long stay visa (up to 6 months and 1 year) the prior approval of the Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DST) through the receipt of let land (pre-visa) is required.

The long stay visa requires the prerequisite of a short stay visa.

The visa applicant is required to pre-enrol online and:

– Choose the length of visa requested;
– Fill out a form with all its socio-demographic information, travel and local contacts available online, attach (upload) all required documents and send the request by clicking on “Submit”

Upon approval of the application every applicant will receive, within 48 hours maximum, an email confirmation with a document or “let land” (contains a bar code) which includes all the information related to the visa applicant and provides information about how to add biometric data (location, hours, take away paper …).

Important:
– Enrolment (fingerprinting and photo) is required for each visa application, even if the applicant has already obtained several visas.
– The biometric visa requires the presence of the applicant. The fingerprinting is mandatory for all except children under 12 years, but their presence is necessary.

Required documents for this visa are:

– The original receipt of payment of visa fees;
– Approval of D.S.T. (pre-visa or leave to land);
– Hotel booking or accommodation certificate ;
– A signed and notarised parental consent if he is a minor traveling alone ;
– Passport valid for at least six months + photocopy of the first three pages; 
– The original of the birth certificate;
– Copy of any relevant the school certificate;
– Documentation that certifies a vaccination against the yellow fever; 
– Documentation of the flight details (round trip).

Fees:
– USD 77 (excluding bank charges) for the short-stay visa which may not exceed three (3) months.
– USD 143 (excluding bank charges) for the long-stay visa may not exceed one (1) year.

Work Contract Visa

In order to obtain a work contract visa in Ivory Coast, every employee must submit the following information/documents to the closest embassy:

– Four (4) copies of the employment contract form;
– Professional references (diploma, certificate of employment or work certificate);
– One (1) criminal record;
– One (1) resume;
– One (1) medical examination certificate.

In case of a work contract with limited duration, a visa will be issued for a period of maximum twenty four months, while for the open-ended contract, a long-term visa is issued.

Setting up a company in Ivory Coast

When setting up a company you may want to consider these factors:

  1. Business Factors

    Starting from 2012 until 2015, Ivory Coast made the process of starting a business much easier for foreign companies. Among the most important reforms, the country reorganised all administrative offices, hosting all corporate data and information.

    In addition, the country has created a one-stop shop procedure that allows for lower notary fees and made compulsory to provide a sworn declaration (instead of a copy of criminal records) at the time of company registration.

    Finally, a reduction in the minimum capital requirement further lowered the corresponding registration fees.

  2. Social factors

    There’s an issue of underemployment of Kenya’s highly-educated youth. The country also continues to face challenges associated with corruption, land titles and poverty.

  3. Language

    The CEPICI Government website provides foreign companies with French-written registration forms, slowing down the process of setting up a new company.

The legislation in Ivory Coast provides for rather wide range of organisational forms of business entities. The most common for of business in the country are Sole Proprietorship, Limited Liability Companies (LLC) and Public Limited Companies (SA).

Ivory Coast is a rural nation with a weak business-orientation. On top of that, there is low competition among businesses, supported by a low interest in time from consumers. However, the increasing highly educated population offers unseen opportunities, especially in the digital market, to do business.

The majority of the registration forms required to set up a new business in Ivory Coast are in French, slowing down the process of incorporation within the country. As such, it is important to rely on a local GEO provider within the country to speed up the process and ensure compliance with national regulations.

Limited liability companies (LLCs)

By law, the Ivory Coast limited liability company (LLC) has to appoint a minimum of 1 director and 1 shareholder (of any nationality). The minimum paid-up capital required to complete the incorporation process has been fixed in US$2000.

Initial notary draft of the company’s statutes together with a proof of financial availability (paid-in capital)

As mentioned, in 2013 notary fees have been reduced to a fixed amount of approx. USD 203 for LLCs with a minimum capital of XOF 1,000,000 (Approx. USD 1,700). When a LLC registers with a higher capital, a different percentage will apply depending on the amount.

Bank account and deposit of the paid-in capital

A bank of choice is selected by the founders and will receive the whole paid-in capital.

CEPICI registration (One-stop shop) and the legal notice publication

Through the registration at the One-stop shop, the entrepreneur is expected to fulfil all requirements related to:

  • commercial registrar;
  • registration to the tax authority;
  • registration to the social security institute.

Company seal

After the registration to the CEPICI website, founders can create their company seal at the Sealmaker for approx. USD 17.

Processing Time: 2 weeks

Registration fee: 10000 FCFA (RCCM) + 5000 FCFA (Approx. USD 25)

Sole Proprietorship

The sole proprietorship is often used by small merchants. Unlimited personal liability is not important to these individuals.

Information required for registering a sole proprietorship is easy to find and can be found (in French) at the following link.

In order to constitute a Sole Proprietorship in Ivory Coast it is mandatory to provide to the one-stop shop desk the flowing information and documentation:

  • Copy of a personal ID or passport for nationals or consulate card for non nationals;
  • Copy of birth certificate of the manager;
  • 2 copies of the location contract or 2 copies of the proprietorship title of the company;
  • A recent declaration (max 3 months) of eventual pending charges from a court;
  • Residence certificate;
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable) or family certificate;
  • The authorization to do business;
  • In case a person has been designed to manage the firm, his/her (1) (4) (5);
  • Details regarding the localisation of the business activities.

Processing Time: 2 weeks

Registration fee: 11 000 F CFA (Approx. USD 18)

Public Limited Companies (SA)

This business entity requires a minimum capital of USD 20,000 which must be paid up in full prior to incorporation. In this case, a minimum of 1 shareholder and 3 directors (of any nationality) must be appointed.

 It is important to maintain the company’s books of accounts in french at its local registered office. The accounts must be maintained according to the OHADA system of accounting.

An annual financial statements must be prepared and an audit must be submitted every year. An Ivory Coast PLC must appoint an approved external auditor.

In order to constitute Public Limited Company in Ivory Coast it is mandatory to provide the flowing information and documentation:

  • Copy of a personal ID or passport of the manager, shareholders and partners plus copy of birth certificates;
  • 5 samples of the articles of incorporation;
  • Notary declaration of payments (DNSV);
  • 2 copies of the registration of the lease contract or 2 copies of the title of ownership;
  • A recent declaration (max 3 months) of eventual pending charges from a court;
  • A certified and complete list of the executives, administrators, shareholders and any other liable subject on behalf of the company;
  • A power of attorney to act as an agent;
  • Details regarding the localization of the business activities.

Registration fee: 10 000 FCFA (RCCM) + 5 000 F CFA (Approx. USD 25)

For further documentation, please consult the CEPICI website

Outsourcing Employment Through a GEO Employer of Record Service

Whether to incorporate in Ivory Coast, and what sort of entity to setup are just two of the many choices companies must make when expanding into a new market.

If the company intends to have staff in Ivory Coast they must also decide whether they will administer that employment internally or use a Global Employment Organization to handle payroll and Employer of Record responsibilities.  A GEO Employer of Record solution is an attractive alternative where

– the company is looking to setup an office quickly

– the company wants to work within a defined budget

– the company wants to limit its initial commitment in Ivory Coast

– the company needs help with tax, employment, immigration and payroll compliance in Ivory Coast

The complexity of employment regulations in Ivory Coast makes the use of a GEO advisable coupled with local legal counsel to ensure full compliance with employment laws, for example the drafting of local contracts for workers.

Shield GEO provides a comprehensive service in Ivory Coast allowing companies to deploy their staff quickly with reasonable, clearly stated costs and timeframes. The company contracts directly with Shield to employ and payroll their staff on their behalf in Ivory Coast.

Shield GEO then becomes the Employer of Record. Shield GEO assumes the legal responsibility for these employees, sponsoring them on work permits, complying with local employment law and running their monthly payroll. Using Shield GEO is the fastest and most cost effective way to deploy local and foreign workers into Ivory Coast. Read more about outsourced employment through Shield GEO.

  • Ivory Coast Employer of Record Overview

Ivory Coast Employer of Record Overview

  • Ivory Coast Employer of Record Overview

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