Commercial Activities Licensing

The Regulations for the Licensing of Commercial Activities were enacted by way of Presidential Decree 172/23, of 23 August 2023. Below is an outline of the Regulations:

  • The Regulations are applicable to any wholesale or retail commercial activities, including mercantile and commercial representative services, and any other miscellaneous commercial operations not subject to specific legislation;
  • The Ministry of Commerce is the government department responsible for overseeing and setting the standards of commercial activities carried out in Angola;
  • Commercial activities are divided in two categories:
  1. High risk activities – those activities that pose potential harm to human health or safety, or to the environment, such as the sale of food, animals, fish, birds, medicines, automobiles, fuels, lubricants and chemical products.
  2. Low risk activities – those activities that do not pose a potential harm to human health or safety, or to the environment, such as bookshops, printing shops, beauty salons, barbers, apparel stores, shoe stores, tailors and furniture shops.
  • Low risk activities can be undertaken without any prior authorization or license by the Ministry of Commerce or any government entity. However, registration with a Ministry of Commerce electronic platform is required.
  • High risk activities are subject to prior licensing by the Ministry of Commerce. A Single Commercial License is issued to that effect.
  • Prior to issuing the Single Commercial License the Ministry of Commerce must carry out an inspection to the facilities of the applicant. In addition to a Ministry of Commerce representative, the inspection team is made of representatives from the Ministry of Health, the Civil Protection and Firefighting Service and other government departments as applicable. If the facilities are found to be in order, the Single Commercial License must be issued within 5 days of the inspection.
  • The Single Commercial License is valid for an unlimited period of time.
  • The Single Commercial License must be displayed in a visible area of the facility/shop.
  • If the facility/shop is closed down, or activities are suspended for more than 130 days, the license holder must inform the Ministry of Commerce and the Single Commercial License is cancelled.
  • Otherwise, the license can be cancelled or suspended in case its holder:
  1. Is subject to a legal proceeding that results in being banned from carrying out commercial activities in Angola;
  2. Is dissolved or subject to bankruptcy proceedings;
  3. Is in breach of applicable pricing legislation;
  4. Is in breach of its tax obligations;
  5. Engages in activities not covered by the Single Commercial License;
  6. Is subject to any precautionary measure under the commercial legislation.
  • The Single Commercial License is the only document that allows its holder to carry out the activities covered by the license, and no additional document, license or authorization may be required by any government entity for the same activities.

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