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How to Register a Company in Pakistan?

Updated: Oct 22, 2023


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Five Easy Steps for Company Registration in Pakistan


Registering your company in Pakistan can seem daunting and complicated. Breaking the entire process down into five easy steps will help you get started and make the whole process seem more approachable.


To start with, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan or SECP, is the authority that is responsible for company registration in Pakistan. They have streamlined and made the process a lot smoother and more efficient for registering a company by initiating an e-services web portal that guides you through the process online.


Before we list the steps for registering your company, let’s see what types of companies can operate in Pakistan.


Types of Companies in Pakistan


There are three broad kinds of companies that you can register in Pakistan:

  • Public Limited Company – These companies require a minimum of three shareholders, and shares are available for issue to the general public.

  • Private Limited Company – This requires a minimum of two shareholders, and the shares are not open for issue to the public.

  • Single Member Company – These are private limited companies with only a single shareholder.

Foreign investors can register a company in Pakistan as well, subject to security clearance. In addition, in case of a foreign company, it can also open a Branch office or a Liaison office in Pakistan, or it can also incorporate a Pakistani company being subsidiary of the foreign company.


This is imperative information if you are a foreign investor and want to set up a business in Pakistan but want to explore options before registering a company here.


Steps to Register Company in Pakistan

Now that we know what kind of companies you can register in Pakistan let us see how we go about it. The following are five easy steps, and if you visit the SECP portal, you can find out more details.

1. Reserve your company name


This first step is exciting and the start of your journey in registering your company. But it would be best to remember a few things before you finalise your company name.


Choose a unique and different name for your company that does not have any prohibited terms in it. Certain names are restricted such that only certain types of businesses can use these words e.g. "Association", "Foundation", "Trust", "Corporation" etc. while other names are prohibited from being used such as names similar to that of companies already registered or names which may be considered offensive to any section of the public. The regulations regarding selecting a company name can be found here.


One of the best tools the SECP site offers is a name-checker to choose a unique name that has not already been registered as a company. You can access this here. Once you are completely satisfied with the name you have selected, you need to create a profile on SECP and reserve your company name by filling out some information and making the necessary payment. The name is reserved for 60 days and if within these 60 days your company has not been incorporated, another application for this company name reservation would be required. If the SECP online system is down, you can always submit your documents physically at the registrar's office as well, although the process will take longer amount of time.


2. Prepare your documents


After completing the first step, get your documents ready so you can submit them to SECP in addition to the prescribed fee. The documents required will differ according to what kind of legal entity you are registering.


For example, a single-member company will require different documents than a publicly listed company. Consulting a legal firm like Alam & Alam Legal and Financial Consultants to ascertain which documents you need when registering your company is a safe and efficient way to go about it.


Generally, in most cases, the following documents are required:

  • Memorandum of Association (MOA)

  • Articles of Association (AOA) which can be according to pre-set template set by the government or your own tailored version for your company.

  • CNIC copies of directors, CEO, and nominee (only in the case of SMCs) and, in the case of foreigners, copies of passports.

  • NOC if you plan on setting up a specialised business that requires this.

  • Registration fee slip in case of physical submission.

  • CNIC of witness in case of physical submission.

  • An authority letter in the name of a director or registered intermediary, in case of physical submission.

  • In case shareholder is a company, board resolution of the parent company along with CNIC/passport of a person authorised by the company to submit the application for incorporation.

  • In case of a foreign company being a shareholder, notarised copies of profile of the company, MOA/AOA of the foreign company and passports of its directors.

  • In the case of foreign shareholders, an undertaking is also required to be submitted, which states that in case security clearance is not received, they will transfer shares to someone else.

Further documents can also be requested at the discretion of the SECP.


3. Submit documents to register company


Once your documents are ready you can submit these to SECP through the web portal. Once submitted, the requisite fees is required to be paid, the amount of which will depend on the amount of share capital with which the company is registered. The schedule of fees can be seen from here.


Upon submission of documents, SECP can either accept the documents or alternatively notify any discrepancies in the filings, which can be resolved and submission can be made again. If the documents are accepted by the SECP, they will provide you with an incorporation certificate which is proof of registration.


For foreign shareholders, there is an additional requirement of clearance from the Ministry of Interior. For persons who are of Indian or Afghan origin, they must receive clearance from the Ministry of Interior before incorporation. For shareholders who have citizenship from other countries, security clearance can be obtained after incorporation, and in case it is not granted, the shareholder whose clearance is not received will need to be replaced.


4. Obtain National Tax Number (NTN)


The process of getting a National Tax Number (NTN) is automated for companies. Upon registration of the company SECP simultaneously sends data to FBR, which registers the company and generates an NTN number. The CEO of the company will receive an email with the login details of the tax portal.


NTN number is the companies registration number for income tax purposes. You can also register your company for sales tax purposes as well, for which application would need to be filed separately.


5. Open bank account and deposit share capital


After getting your Certificate of Incorporation, you can open a company bank account and deposit your share capital in the account. Every shareholder of the company is legally required to deposit the amount of share capital indicated in your Memorandum of Association into the bank account registered under your company's name.


Final Thoughts on Company Registration in Pakistan


The company registration process is not complicated but requires vigilance and an eye for detail. To facilitate you and lead you through this process, Alam & Alam Legal and Financial Consultants can provide valuable assistance in registering your company, including helping you decide which kind of company would be best for your needs and tax concerns.


The entire process can be completed with the help of a registered intermediary approved by the SECP. Alam & Alam Legal and Financial Consultants has helped companies in the past by leading the process as a registered intermediary.


We take a specific interest in making sure our clients are protected and financially secure when drafting documents. Once incorporated, we also provide legal and financial services which the company would need, including corporate legal advisory, audits & assurance, accounting and bookkeeping, financial reporting and payroll management.


To learn how we can help you register your company without any hassle, contact us today!


A & A has provided reliable, trustworthy, and expert legal assistance to individuals, corporations, and firms for the last twelve of years. Contact us today to receive a consult and discuss your legal or financial concerns.


Telephone: +92-51-2355777, +92-332-5233523, +92-344-5555588


Email: contact@AlamConsultants.com

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