Angola Market Entry
- Market entry
- Forms and conditions of operation on the market
- Marketing and Communications
- Issues of intellectual property protection
- Public procurement market
- Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes
- Visas, fees, specific conditions of travel to the territory
- Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic
- Fairs and events
According to cheeroutdoor.com, entry into the Angolan market varies depending on the type of product or solution offered. In general, for the entry of fast-moving goods, machines and equipment, it is necessary to have a distributor in Angola, who will have his facilities, warehouse, and service center on site. Contact with Angolan customers takes place in person and not remotely. Potential partners in Angola do not respond to the first contact via email or phone and lack confidence. In order to gain trust, you need personal interaction and help from state institutions. When contacting state institutions, it is necessary to expect a high degree of bureaucracy and the writing of an official letter with a specific request, which is followed by a personal meeting in Angola (not a meeting by email or phone). From the point of view of the delivery of turnkey technological units, it is recommended to use the services of one of the consulting companies or to have a representative on site, which would actively search for possible requests and tenders from Angolan and foreign companies or state institutions. The personal presence of the given representative or consulting company is especially important to establish contacts and ensure efficiency and help with the administration and management of the project. Angolan companies are also showing interest in creating joint ventures with foreign companies that would provide them with the necessary know-how, equipment and also financing for their project.
It is important not to neglect a thorough check of the partner , if there are no other references to him. If you are approached for the first time by an Angolan company, it is necessary to request its registration number (preferably a scan of an official document – the so-called Diario da República – where information about the registered company is given) and a license for business activities in Angola (the so-called Alvará Comercial issued by the Ministry industry and commerce of Angola). The mentioned documents can subsequently be verified through the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Pretoria, which is in charge of Angola. There are no public business registries available in Angola and often Angolan companies do not even have websites. To check the financial stability of the company or other specific parameters, services for a fee provided by various agencies are used.
Forms and conditions of operation on the market
The realization of investments, including the establishment of a branch, representative office and joint-venture with a local Angolan partner, is governed by the Investment Act No. 10/18 of June 26, 2018. In addition, the export and investment promotion agency AIPEX also serves this purpose, which according to the individual wishes of companies will provide specific guidance and support.
Types of companies:
- Sociedade por Quotas: a company composed of two or more partners whose capital is divided by quotas.
- Sociedade Anónima – the company’s share capital is divided into shares that can be traded freely without a public deed.
- Sociedade em nome colectivo – the most widespread type of company Empresa em nome individual – this is a natural person who decided to do business without other partners
- Sociedade unipessoal por quotas: the entire capital is distributed through quotas, held by a single person (natural or legal entity).
Steps to start a company:
1) Choosing a company name and verifying it – the company name must be verified at the Guiché Único da Empresa (or at the Balcão Único do Empreendedor). After the company name is created, a Certificate of Admissibility (Certificado de Admissibilidade) is issued. This document reserves the right to use the company name for a period of 180 days before the actual registration of the name takes place.
2) Payment of the registration fee – payment is made through the Guiché Único da Empresa and the price varies according to the type of company, it is around 12,000 kwanza (about 22 USD – the exchange rate keeps changing, you need to convert according to the current rate of the day). This amount also includes a fee for the publication of the company in the official document – Gazette.
3) Completion of necessary documents: – NIF: is a tax number used in Angola to uniquely identify an accounting entity in financial transactions and tax payments. The application is submitted to the Direccao Nacional dos Impostos. – Articles of association: the main document of the company, which represents the social pact between the partners of the company and regulates everything necessary. They need to be notarized.
4) The company registration itself – at this stage it is necessary to prepare all the documents that serve to register the company with the Guiché Único da Empresa. After successful registration, the company will receive a commercial certificate (Certidão Comercial).
5) Processing of a business license – Alvará Comercial – a business license is applied for at the Angolan Ministry of Industry and Trade through the so-called Guiché Único. This is a legal document that is valid in the territory of the state of Angola and authorizes to carry out business activities and provide business services. The entire process of processing a business license can take 15-45 days.
Marketing and communication
In today’s modern age, there are many ways to best prepare an advertising campaign that will not be too expensive. It is possible to use advertising through Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. In addition, the traditional form of advertising through television, radio, billboard, magazine or newspaper is also still a desirable form of promoting a product or service. The main television station is the public TPA, which has the largest viewership and therefore the largest reach. In addition to television, it is possible to advertise in the local press, which has a reach within large and smaller Angolan cities and is not so dependent on electricity, which is still insufficiently distributed in the country.
The most important fair in the country and therefore in the whole region is the international general fair FILDA in Luanda, which takes place every year in July. The event is regularly attended by more than 500 exhibitors from Angola and twenty other countries (apart from Angola’s neighbors and, of course, Portugal and Brazil, which have their own pavilions, European countries like Spain, Italy, France, Germany, but also, for example, Austria and Romania). The date for 2022 is from 12 to 16 June in the Luanda-Bengo Special Economic Zone. The fair falls under the Ministry of Economy and Planning of Angola and is implemented by Arena Eventos.
Several specialized fairs are also held in Luanda: the Expo Indústria industrial fair together with the Projekt construction fair (October), the food Expo Alimenticia (May), the environmental technology fair AMBIENTE Angola (June), fairs in individual provinces – e.g. the International General Benguela FIB Fair (May) and more.
Issues of intellectual property protection
Angola has basic legal protection of intellectual property rights. In August 2005, the National Assembly of Angola adopted the Paris Convention for the protection of industrial intellectual property. Angola’s Ministry of Industry administers intellectual property rights – trademarks, patents and utility models based on Industrial Property Law No. 3/92. The Ministry of Culture regulates copyright, literary and artistic rights on the basis of Copyright Act No. 4/90. Angola is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The authorized institution is the Angolan Industrial Property Institute (IAPI). Intellectual property law is being revised in Angola to bring it more in line with international law. Therefore, a new law on industrial property, which is being prepared by IAPI, is expected in the near future.
Public procurement market
Angola has an electronic system for awarding and processing public contracts, which are published on the Portal de Compras Públicas website. This system is managed by the Angolan Ministry of Finance and registration is required to gain full access. This system combines a portal for suppliers, a portal for public contracts and a portal for electronic procurement.
The public procurement access website is maintained in Portuguese as well as in English, however entrepreneurs must expect all documentation related to public procurement to be in Portuguese, including subsequent communication with the Angolan authorities.
Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes
Payment terms: For most state projects, but also B2B projects, it is necessary to provide an export customer credit for a longer period. The banking institution always prepares a financial offer according to the entities involved and also sets the duration of the financing and the amount of interest. For projects for the public sector, however, the Angolan Ministry of Finance requires the provision of financing for a minimum number of 15-20 years with favorable interest rates. It is only exceptionally possible to accept advance payment for B2B projects of lower value.
Dispute Resolution: In Angola, more than anywhere else, it is true that commercial disputes must be avoided. The judiciary still lacks sufficient capacity, is slow, ineffective, and the independence of judicial proceedings is still not fully guaranteed. Compared to other sub-Saharan African countries, Angola is below their average in terms of both time and costs. In Angola, there is no designated court for the resolution of commercial disputes, these disputes are mostly resolved by a provincial court, e.g. the provincial court of Luanda. All administration is done manually and it is not possible to send a document electronically or pay via an electronic system. Everything is done physically and manually.
Visas, fees, specific conditions for traveling to the territory
Before traveling to Angola, we strongly recommend registering in the DROZD system of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.
Visa: For citizens of the Czech Republic, the Embassy of the Republic of Angola in Berlin (www.botschaftangola.de) issues whether it is possible to use the newly established SME electronic system (https://smevisa.gov.ao) for tourist visas to apply for a visa, which is valid from 1/4/2018. However, it is recommended to consult with the representatives of the Embassy of Angola in Berlin before the trip.
Since 1 July 2010, the Czech Republic has been representing Portugal in Angola when issuing Schengen visas. Applicants from Angola can therefore apply for a Schengen visa when traveling to the Czech Republic to the Portuguese consulate in Luanda, where they need to make an appointment through the VFS system for an interview and handing over the necessary documents. More information on the VFS website.
The main dangers that lie in wait for travelers in the country are malarial mosquitoes, especially during the hot season – November-March (repellant or antimalarial is necessary already at the airport in Luanda), general crime, a poor road network, a number of landmines related to the legacy of war (in nature, outside big cities). Drinking water is not common in hotels or local guesthouses, it is necessary to buy bottled water. Domestic air transport is the main means of transporting people and goods in Angola, but the quality and maintenance of aircraft owned by some local airlines is questionable. The most widespread airlines in Angola are TAAG. TAAG cooperates, for example, with Emirates Airlines.
Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic
For the possibility of employment of Czech citizens, it is necessary to arrange a work visa, which is submitted at the Embassy of Angola in Berlin. However, obtaining a work permit for foreigners is often problematic because there are mandatory limits on the employment of Angolan workers. Employing foreigners is often linked to proving their professional and technical knowledge to be a sufficient reason for their employment. The AIPEX agency will provide assistance with specific requirements for the employment of citizens of the Czech Republic in the implementation of investments in Angola.
Fairs and events
The most important fair in the country and thus in the entire region is the international general fair FILDA, which takes place every year in July. The event is under the auspices of the Angolan Ministry of Economy and Planning, and more than 500 exhibitors from Angola and twenty other countries regularly participate (apart from Angola’s neighbors and, of course, Portugal and Brazil, which have their own pavilions, Spain, Italy, France are traditionally present from European countries, Germany, but also, for example, Austria and Romania and now also Poland and Hungary). In 2022, it is currently planned to take place on July 12-16 in the Luanda-Bengo Special Economic Zone (ZEELB). The organizer of the fair is the Angolan company Eventos Arena.
Other important fairs are:
- EXPO NAMIBE – represents the region’s potential and opportunities for business
- FIMMA – a trade fair focused on the wood industry and on furniture, which will take place in Baía de Luanda
- ALIMENTÍCIA Angola – international trade fair for the food, beverage, hotel, restaurant and franchising industries in Luanda on the Baía de Luanda. The organizer is EVENTOS ARENA.
- FEIRA INTERNACIONAL DE BENGUELA – international fair of the province of Benguela, which will take place at the Estádio de Ombaka. The organizer is EVENTOS ARENA in collaboration with the Benguela Provincial Government.
- EXPO INDÚSTRIA – an industry exhibition and at the same time PROJECTA – a construction trade fair in the Luanda-Bengo special economic zone, the organizer of EVENTOS ARENA in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Angola.
- AMBIENTE ANGOLA 2021 – Feira Internacional de Tecnologias Ambientais – an international environmental technology fair that will take place in the Baía de Luanda. It aims to promote a circular, green and blue economy and covers the sectors of water management and energy, industry, urban planning and construction, oil industry, mining industry, trade, agriculture and forestry. The fair will be held in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and the Environment of Angola. Cidade de entrepreneur – an exhibition focused on entrepreneurship that will take place in the Baía de Luanda.
The dates of the fairs for 2022 have not yet been fixed, so it is advisable to consult them on the website of the organizer Eventos Arena on the website: https://www.eventosarena.co.ao/