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.
A contract of employment may be concluded for a specified or unspecified period and may contain a probationary period, the duration of which must be stated in writing.
A probationary period in Ivory Coast lasts:
It is possible to renew these periods once and each renewal must be stated in writing.
A contract of employment can terminate, at the initiative of the employee, in certain circumstances, namely:
When an employee, signed with an open-ended contract for a specified period and for the temporary replacement of a worker, has been working for at least 6 months in the company, he/she can terminate the contract unilaterally.
By law, a contract binding a probationary period, can be terminated without notice and entitlement to compensation by either of the parties. If the employer does not inform his/her employees of the renewal of such contract within the prescribed time limits, the probationary period will continue until the date originally agreed.
When supported by a valid reason, a contract of employment with indeterminate duration may be terminated at any time by the employer. The following reasons, however, do not apply for termination of employment contracts:
The dismissal will be considered to be of economic nature, when an employer dismisses an employee because of:
When deciding to terminate a contract, the employer must state his/her intentions in writing and must always notify the employee within the prescribed periods of notice. The only exception when a contract of employment of indeterminate duration can be terminated without notice is in the case of gross misconduct and its seriousness will be evaluated by the competent court.
By law, the maximum number of working days per week is 6 and there is a 37.5% premium for night work (of hourly pay), while no premium is due for work on weekly rest days. Finally, 23.8% is the premium for overtime work.
According to Articles 25.5 to 25.11 of the Ivorian Labor Code and 71 of the Ivorian Collective Convention, employee’s annual leave may be divided, with the employee’s agreement, for periods of at least 14 days.
The paid annual leave for a worker with 1 year of tenure is 26.4 working days, while for a worker with 5 years of tenure is 27.4, for a worker with 10 years of tenure is 28.4 and the paid annual leave (as average for workers with 1, 5 and 10 years of tenure) is 27.4 working days.
Sick Leave: By law, 5 fully paid days of sick leave a year are guaranteed to all employees.
Maternity Leave: Maternity leave must be equal or more than 98 calendar days and the wage must be fully corresponded.
|Employee Protection and Anti-discrimination Rights ?||
The following reasons cannot be used to terminate an employment contracts:
|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:
|Medical Leave ?||
Five fully paid days of sick leave are guaranteed by law.
|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:
For workers who have permanent partial disabilities estimated at 40 per cent or more, the period of notice is:
|Management Fee for Employer of Record Services / Monthly Payroll Costs||
Shield GEO does not operate in Ivory Coast.
|Currency ?||XOF (1 USD = 595.188 XOF)|
|Tax Returns Supplied||
Shield GEO does not operate in Ivory Coast.
|Employers Social Security and statutory contributions||
17.35%, calculated on gross income
|Employees Social Security and statutory contributions||
3.2%, calculated on gross income
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.
|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 ?||
Shield GEO does not operate in Ivory Coast.
|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:
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;
|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.
Taxpayers with a high number of dependents enjoy tax relief by applying the IGR shares.
|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.
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.
Ivory Coast recognizes the importance of local competences for HR recruitment purposes and encourages corporate interactions with these agencies in order to recruit in a newly created company.
As such, every job vacancy should be reported to the AGEPE (Agency for study and promotion of employment), local newspapers (for at least 1 month) and, only if the position is not filled in this period, is it possible to hire a worker from a country of choice.
Every non Ivorian worker is required to have a contract/letter of employment covered by AGEPE. When hired, he/she must apply, within 3 months, to the closest embassy in order to receive a working permit.
Documents required for a working permit:
This form should be submitted in order to request for the temporary residence permit.
For further information, contact the CEPICI HQ at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Category||Description of 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;
In particular, the following documents must be submitted:
– The original receipt of payment online;
The following information must be attached in the application for business trips:
– Letter of Invitation ;
For private visits:
Confirmation of hotel reservation or;
Fees: Approx 73 AUD
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;
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 …).
Required documents for this visa are:
– The original receipt of payment of visa fees;
|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;
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.
When setting up a company you may want to consider these 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.
There’s an issue of underemployment of Ivory Coast’s highly-educated youth. The country also continues to face challenges associated with corruption, land titles and poverty.
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.
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:
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)
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:
Processing Time: 2 weeks
Registration fee: 11 000 F CFA (Approx. USD 18)
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:
Registration fee: 10 000 FCFA (RCCM) + 5 000 F CFA (Approx. USD 25)
For further documentation, please consult the CEPICI website