All companies require a operating license (“Alvará”)
As a basic rule of thumb, all operations can be licensed provincially unless they involve the opening of a branch office of a foreign company; branch offices are registered at the national level. If you have followed the process for incorporation of a limitada, this will not apply to you, because a limitada is, by definition, a national company.
Small-scale operations in rural areas (such as bars and hawking, among others) can be licensed by district authorities or, in a municipality, by the municipal authorities.
In order to obtain a commercial license a company must have first completed the incorporation process. After all, if it has not been incorporated, it does not exist for most legal purposes. The company must also have premises adequate for the type of work it plans to undertake.
The request for issuance of a license is addressed to the Provincial Governor and submitted to the relevant Provincial Directorate of Industry and Commerce .The request letter must contain the following information:
- Company name
- Company headquarters (as stated in the estatutos, the city or district where the company is based)
- Identification of the company representative
- Type of commercial activity to be undertaken – this includes categorization of the company according to classification number for economic activity (or CAE; this is Mozambique’s version of standard industrial classification, or SIC codes),1 and the classification of goods or services being sold by the company, 2 and
- The address of the premises from which the company will operate.
The following must be attached to the request:
- A simple plan of the premises.
- Copy of the estatutos and/or BR and registo comercial (in its provisional or definitive form).
- Proof of right to occupy the business premises which can take the form of either a rental agreement or property title.
- Notarized copy of the identity document of the person signing the application letter.
On submission of the request for licensing the applicant pays a fee determined according to a published schedule. The fee will depend on the type of activity and its geographical location.