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Ethiopia - Apply for Investment Permit in Ethiopia

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This procedure is required for domestic investors and Diaspora investors /Foreigners. The government of Ethiopia established the Ethiopian Investment Agency (EIA) which is a government agency established in 1992 to promote private investment, primarily foreign direct investment. The overall activities of the Agency is supervised and followed up by an Investment Board, which is chaired by the Minister of Industry. The EIA is headed by a director general who is also a member of the Board and two deputy director generals.

An investment permit is issued to an investor to establish a new enterprise or to expand or upgrade one that already exists. As per the Investment Proclamation No.280/2002 (as amended), a foreign investor or a domestic investor who is eligible for and wants to get incentives, is required to obtain an investment permit to invest in Ethiopia.

An Investment permit can be obtained in one of the following ownership forms:

  • Sole proprietorship;
  • Business organization incorporated in Ethiopia or abroad;
  • Public enterprises; and
  • Cooperative societies.


All foreign investor or a domestic investor who want to establish a business in Ethiopia.

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The office of Ethiopian Investment Agency (EIA) accepts application to obtain a trade license from 8:30 in the morning till 4:30 in the afternoon.

Required Information

  • Name of the applicant
  • Intended Business Address
  • Mailing Address
  • Telephone number
  • Fax number
  • E-mail Address
  • Business Type
  • For corporations: names, nationalities, domicile of shareholders and percentage of Share Capital
  • Amount of Capital to be invested in the enterprise
  • Summary of business activities to be carried out
  • Number of individuals to be employed
  • Banker’s Name and Address in Ethiopia or overseas


  • Fill out an application to obtain a Ethiopian Investment Agency (in triplicate). Make sure that all your answers are complete and accurate.
  • Submit the completed application to the Advisory Board along with a Letter of reference from the applicant's Bank(s) in Ethiopia and overseas, Certificate of character (local and overseas) and a copy of the business plan to:
  • Secretary Investment Permit Advisory Board
  • Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Consumer Affairs
  • Pay the applicable fee.

Note: Incomplete application forms will not be processed.

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Required Documents

  • Application form signed by the investor/agent
  • Power of attorney, if application is made through an agent
  • Photocopies of Memorandum and Articles of Association, or a similar document of the parent company (where the investment is to be made by a branch of a foreign business organization in Ethiopia)
  • Photocopies of the relevant passport pages of each shareholder, if the company is to be established in Ethiopia
  • Clearance letter from the Ministry of Trade and Industry for the company name
  • 3 recent passport-size photographs if the investor is an individual person
  • In the case of a joint investment with a domestic investor, a photocopy of the identity card or certificate evidencing domestic investor status


The investment permit costs 600 Birr.


Valid for a period of 1 year

  • The investment permit must be renewed annually until operations have started. An updated status report must be submitted every 6 months to the Agency.

Documents to Use

Please attach documents that can be used by people. e.g. links

Sample Documents

Please attach sample completed documents that would help other people.

Processing Time

1/2 hour inside the building, ready within 4 hours.

Office Locations & Contacts

Ethiopian Investment Agency

Tel. +251-115- 51 00 33

Tel. +251-115- 53 72 86

Fax: +251-115- 51 43 96

P.O.Box 2313

Office: Information desk (room No. 8 in the lobby)


Office of Director General
  • Office Tel +251-115 51 00 33
  • Office Tel +251-115 53 94 74
  • Fax: +251-115- 51 43 96

Office of Deputy Director General,

W/ro. Likyelesh Abay,Deputy Director General

Corporate Services

Office Tel.+251-115 15 02 23

Fax: +251-115 51 43 96


Information and Investment Promotion Directorate

Ato Aklilu W/Mariam,Director

Office Tel.+251-115 15 71 91

Fax: +251-115 51 43 96


Licensing and Registration Directorate

Ato Ahmednur Yusuf,Director


Office Tel.+251-115 15 74 12

Fax: +251-115 51 43 96

Investment Projects Facilitation Directorate

Ato Samuel Assefa,Direcor


Office Tel.+251-115 15 75 59

Fax: +251-115 51 43 96

Customs Duty Free Executing Directorate

Ato Mulat Kibrit,Director


Office Tel.+251-115 51 00 33

Fax: +251-115 51 43 96

Regional Investment Affairs Directorate

Office Tel.+251-115 51 00 33

Fax: +251-115 51 43 96

You can visit this link for Various offices across the country

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Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites.
Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url "" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M". 

Information which might help

The work of the Ethiopian Investment Agency (EIA.

  1. Promoting the country’s investment opportunities and conditions to foreign and domestic investors;
  2. Issuing investment permits, work permits, trade registration certificates and business licenses;
  3. Registering technology transfer agreements and export-oriented non-equity-based foreign enterprise collaborations with domestic investors;
  4. Negotiating and, upon government approval, signing bilateral investment promotion and protection treaties with other countries;
  5. Advising the government on policy measures needed to create an attractive investment climate for investors; and
  6. Assisting investors in the acquisition of land, utilities, etc., and providing other pre- and post-approval services to investors.

Other uses of the Document/Certificate

Please explain what are other uses of obtaining this document/certificate.
e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.

External Links


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