How to Start a Business in Pakistan?
Starting a business in Pakistan can be a complex process, but by following these general steps such as market research, choosing a business structure, registering your business, getting necessary clearances and approvals, and keeping accurate records, you can start your business successfully. However, it’s important to seek guidance from experts and consult with a lawyer or accountant to ensure that you comply with all legal requirements and best practices.
This complete guide will answer i want to start a business in Pakistan with lowest capital.
Here are the general steps to start a business in Pakistan:
1. Conduct market research
Before starting any business, it is essential to conduct market research to determine the viability of your idea. You should evaluate the competition, demand, and potential customers for your product or service.
Yes, conducting market research is an essential step in starting a business in Pakistan. It helps you understand the potential demand for your product or service, the size of your target market, the competition, and pricing. It allows you to make informed decisions and create a successful business plan. To conduct market research in Pakistan, you can gather data from various sources, such as online surveys, focus groups, interviews, and secondary research from industry reports or publications. By analyzing this data, you can gain insights into your target market and develop a strategy to reach and satisfy their needs.
2. Choose a business structure
You need to choose a business structure for your company, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or private limited company. The structure you choose will impact your liability, taxes, and registration requirements. Yes, choosing the right business structure is an important decision when starting a business in Pakistan, as it will have legal, financial, and tax implications.
Here are some common business structures in Pakistan:
- Sole Proprietorship: It is the simplest and most common type of business structure in Pakistan. It is owned and operated by a single individual, who has unlimited liability for the company’s debts and obligations.
- Partnership: A partnership is a business structure owned by two or more people, where each partner shares the profits, losses, and management responsibilities.
- Private Limited Company (Pvt. Ltd.): A private limited company is a separate legal entity from its owners. It has limited liability, which means that the owners are not personally liable for the company’s debts and obligations.
- Single Member Company (SMC): An SMC is a type of private limited company that has only one shareholder.
- Public Limited Company (PLC): A public limited company is a larger business structure that can raise capital by offering shares to the public.
When choosing a business structure, it’s important to consider factors such as liability, tax implications, and registration requirements. It is recommended to consult with a lawyer or an accountant to determine the best business structure for your business.
3. Register your business Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP)
Once you have chosen your business structure, you need to register your business with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) it is the part of How to Start a Business in Pakistan properly and get any necessary licenses or permits required for your industry. Yes, registering your business is a crucial step in starting a business in Pakistan.
Here’s how to register your new business in Pakistan with Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP):
- Register with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP): The SECP is the primary regulatory body for companies in Pakistan. You will need to register your company with the SECP and get a National Tax Number (NTN) and a Sales Tax Registration Number (STRN).
- Get any necessary licenses and permits: Depending on your industry, you may need to get licenses and permits from other government agencies. For example, if you are starting a food business, you may need a license from the local health department.
- Register with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR): All businesses in Pakistan must register with the FBR to pay taxes.
- Open a bank account: Once you have registered your business, you can open a business bank account to manage your finances.
- Register with the Chamber of Commerce: Registering with the local Chamber of Commerce can provide networking opportunities and access to resources for small businesses.
It is recommended to consult with a lawyer or an accountant to ensure that you are complying with all legal requirements and regulations when registering your business in Pakistan.
4. How to get a National Tax Number (NTN) Pakistan?
You need to have a National Tax Number (NTN) from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to legally operate your business and file your taxes. Yes, you are correct. Getting your National Tax Number (NTN) from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is an important requirement for starting and operating a business in Pakistan. Ig you want to complete the process of How to Start a Business in Pakistan your must register and get your NTN.
Here are the steps how to get your NTN from the FBR website:
- Visit the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) website: Go to the FBR website and select the “Registration for Unregistered Persons” option.
- Provide personal information: Enter your personal information, including your name, address, and contact details.
- Provide business information: Enter your business information, including the name of your business and its address.
- Choose the business structure: Select the business structure of your company, such as sole proprietorship, partnership, or private limited company.
- Provide additional information: Provide additional information such as the nature of your business, your expected annual turnover, and your bank account information.
- Submit the application: Once you have provided all the necessary information, submit the application.
- Get the NTN certificate: After the FBR verifies your information, you will receive your NTN certificate, which you can use to file your taxes and legally operate your business in Pakistan.
It is recommended to consult with an accountant or tax professional to ensure that you comply with all tax regulations and requirements in Pakistan.
5. How to open a business bank account in Pakistan?
You will need to have your NTN to open a business bank account in Pakistan, you can open a business bank account to manage your finances. Yes, opening a business bank account is an important step to manage your finances and receive payments from customers.
Here are some of the top business bank accounts you can open in Pakistan for your new start-up:
- Standard Chartered Bank Business Accounts
- Habib Bank Limited Business Accounts
- United Bank Limited (UBL) Business Accounts
- Meezan Bank Business Accounts
- Allied Bank Business Accounts
- Faysal Bank Business Accounts
- Bank Alfalah Business Accounts
- National Bank of Pakistan Business Accounts
- Silk Bank Business Accounts
- Dubai Islamic Bank Business Accounts
It is important to carefully compare and evaluate the features, fees, and benefits of each bank account before making a decision. Now you know How to Start a Business in Pakistan and open your first business bank account.
Here are the steps to open a business bank account in Pakistan:
- Choose a bank: Research different banks and compare their services, fees, and requirements to find the one that best suits your needs.
- Gather the required documents: You will need to provide various documents, including your National Tax Number (NTN), business registration certificate, proof of identity, and proof of address.
- Complete the application form: Fill out the bank’s application form, providing all the required information and documentation.
- Submit the application: Submit the application form along with the required documents to the bank.
- Wait for approval: The bank will review your application and documents and may require additional information or documentation. Once approved, you will receive your account details, including your account number and online banking credentials.
- Deposit funds: Once your account is activated, deposit funds into your account to start using it for business transactions.
It is recommended to shop around and compare the services and fees of different banks before choosing one to ensure that you get the best deal for your business.
How to Start a Business in Pakistan with Lowest Capital?
6. How to Register for Sales Tax with FBR in Pakistan?
If your business sells taxable goods or services, you need to register for sales tax with the FBR. Yes, if your business sells taxable goods or services, you need to register for sales tax with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in Pakistan.
Here are the steps to register for sales tax in Pakistan:
- Getting your National Tax Number (NTN): You need to get NTN from the FBR before you can register for sales tax.
- Determine your tax category: Your business’s tax category will determine the applicable tax rate and filing requirements. You can check the tax category and rate applicable to your business on the FBR website.
- Submit an application: You need to submit an application for sales tax registration to the FBR along with the required documents, such as your NTN, business registration certificate, and proof of identity.
- Wait for approval: The FBR will review your application and may require additional information or documentation. Once approved, you will receive your sales tax registration certificate.
- Start filing tax returns: Once you are registered for sales tax, you need to file tax returns with the FBR on a monthly or quarterly basis, depending on your tax category.
It is important to comply with all sales tax regulations to avoid penalties and fines.
7. Get any necessary clearances or approvals
How to Start a Business in Pakistan (Food related only)
Depending on your industry, you may need to get additional clearances or approvals from government departments or regulatory authorities. Yes, that’s correct. Depending on your business industry, you may need to have clearances or approvals from government departments or regulatory authorities. For example, if you are starting a food business, you will need to get approval from the relevant government department, such as the Punjab Food Authority, or the Sindh Food Authority, etc. Similarly, if you are starting a manufacturing or construction business, you may need to have environmental clearances and building permits. It’s essential to research and identify any additional approvals or clearances you may need to have to operate your business legally.
8. Hire employees (if necessary)
If you plan to hire employees, you need to register with the Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) and the Social Security Institution (SSI) to provide employee benefits. Yes, that’s correct. If you plan to hire employees for your business in Pakistan, you need to register with the Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) and the Social Security Institution (SSI) to provide employee benefits. The EOBI is responsible for providing pension, disability, and survivor benefits to employees, while the SSI is responsible for providing medical and maternity benefits to employees.
You will also need to comply with labor laws and regulations, such as the minimum wage requirement, working hours, and employee safety standards. It’s essential to research and understand your legal obligations as an employer in Pakistan before hiring employees for your business.
9. Keep accurate records
It is essential to keep accurate financial records, including income and expenses, to manage your business effectively and comply with tax requirements. Yes, keeping accurate records is a crucial aspect of running a successful business. Most important step of How to Start a Business in Pakistan.
Here are some steps you can take to ensure that you keep accurate financial records:
- Choose an accounting method: Choose an accounting method, such as cash basis or accrual basis, and stick to it consistently.
- Use accounting software: Consider using accounting software to keep track of your income and expenses. This will help you streamline your bookkeeping and generate financial reports.
- Set up a chart of accounts: A chart of accounts is a list of all the accounts you use to track your income and expenses. Setting up a chart of accounts will help you organize your finances and make it easier to generate financial statements.
- Keep all receipts and invoices: Keep all receipts and invoices related to your business, including those for purchases, expenses, and sales.
- Reconcile bank accounts: Reconcile your bank accounts regularly to ensure that your records match your bank statements.
- Track inventory: If your business involves selling products, it is essential to keep track of your inventory accurately.
- Prepare financial statements: Regularly prepare financial statements, such as income statements and balance sheets, to assess the financial health of your business.
- Consult with a professional: Consider consulting with a professional accountant or bookkeeper to ensure that you are keeping accurate records and complying with tax laws.
Starting a business in Pakistan can be a complex process, and the specific requirements may vary depending on your industry and location. It’s important to seek guidance from experts and consult with a lawyer or accountant to ensure that you are complying with all legal requirements and best practices.