Tax Services in Zimbabwe

Business or Shop Licences

Business or Shop Licences

A business or shop licence is given by a licensing authority as certification that a place of business meets the minimum requirements for safe, healthy and sanitary standards.

Zimbabwean law requires the “licensing of certain trades and businesses carried on in shops, stores and other fixed places of business” Shop Licences Act [Chapter 14:17] / Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15].

According to the Harare (Licensed Premises) (Amendment) By-laws, no person shall carry on any business specified in these by-laws, or use any premises for any purpose-

  1. unless he or she is the holder of a relevant licence; and
  2. except on the premises specified in such licence.

What we will do for you:

  • Inform you of the licence fee needed for your industry category (view prices here).
  • Inform you of all requirements needed for the process.
  • Write and/or fill out any applications needed by the licencing authority.
  • Submit the application on your behalf and do any follow-ups needed.
  • Collect registration documents.
  • Inform you to collect documents or deliver documents if you have ordered delivery services.

Advantages of a business or shop license

A business or shop license is needed to be able to do business in Zimbabwe. Chief advantages include:

Compliance with the law

Do business without stress

Avoid fines and penalties

Avoid imprisonment

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, it is. According to the law non-compliance is subject to penalties, fines and up to 6 months imprisonment.

A business or shop license usually takes around 7 days (the law provides up to a maximum of 21 days for this to be processed)

The license is valid for a minimum of 12 months but can be up to 5 years as the licensing authority may determine at it’s own discretion.

Some restrictions that come with a license are:

  • Renewal of the license upon expiry.
  • Ownership of the license is not transferable.
  • The license is valid only for the specific business premises for which it is issued.
  • The license is valid only for the specific business activities for which it is issued.
  • You are obligated to inform the licensing authority in the event of the person in effective control of the business changes.

Requirements for a business / shop license:

General information:

  1. Name of applicant (can be an individual or company name)
  2. Trade name
  3. Name of person in control
  4. Telephone / cell No
  5. Email address
  6. ID No
  7. Stand number (please note that stand no is different from street address)
  8. Street number/ Shop number
  9. Postal address
  10. Nature of business trade

Requirements for non-food premises

  1. Building with approved plans.
  2. Male and female sanitary fitments.
  3. Approved means of lighting and ventilation
    Approved wall and floor finish.
  4. Operating and storage space.
  5. Approved waste storage facilities.

1. The water supply of the Council or a water supply approved by the Director of Health Services to be provided within the premises.

2. Lighting and ventilation to be provided in the premises in accordance with the provisions of the model building by-laws.

3. The floors of every room in which food is to be handled to be constructed of cement concrete or other approved impervious material, brought to a smooth finish.

4. The floors to be sufficiently graded and drained to a gully connected to the drainage system.

5. The walls of every room in which food is to be handled, to be constructed of brick concrete or other approved material and the internal surface of every such wall to be finished to the satisfaction of the Director of Health Services.

6. All junctions between and floors in rooms where food is to be handled to be properly coved.

7. Every room in which food is to be handled to be provided with a ceiling or other approved means of preventing entry into the room of dust from above.

8. Adequate storage facilities to be provided by means of glazed show cases, cabinets or other approved facilities to be provided by means of glazed show cases, cabinets or other approved facilities for the protection of open food from the risk of contamination by dirty dust or flies or in any other manner.

9. Adequate storage facilities to be provided by means of refrigerators, refrigerator counters or refrigerator rooms for perishable food which shall be capable of being maintained at a temperature not exceeding seven degrees Celsius.

10. Adequate storage facilities to be provided by means of storerooms or other approved vermin and rodent proof facilities for bulk food.

11. At least one wash hand basin with a piped supply of hot and cold water connected thereto to be provided within the premises in a position conveniently accessible for all persons engaged in the handling of food.

12. At least one deep bowl sink in moulded(not jointed) stainless steel and with a piped supply of hot and cold water connected thereto to be provided within the kitchen for the washing of all equipment used in the handling of food.

13. All tables, equipment and furniture in or upon which food is to be handled to be of approved impervious material.

14. Approved sanitary accommodation to be provided for the exclusive use of persons employed on the premises, such accommodation to form an integral part of the building which accommodates the business and to be entered within the building.

15. Approved facilities to be provided for the storage of employee’s clothing.

16. A sufficient yard paved throughout to be available for the use on the premises and direct access to be provided from the premises to such yard.

17. A platform constructed of concrete or other impervious material for the placing of refuse bins to be provided in an approved positions in the yard.

18. A platform constructed of concrete or other impervious material for the placing of refuse bins to be provided in an approved position in the yard, such platform to be roofed, graded and drained to a gully connected to the drainage system and provided with a piped water supply.

19. All food handlers to be medically examined on engagement and annually thereafter.

RESTAURANTS, TAKEAWAYS AND TEAROOMS

20. At least one double sink with draining boards in moulded (not jointed) stainless steel and with a piped supply of hot and cold water connected thereto to be provided within the premises for the washing of all equipment and utensils used in the consumption of food.

21. At least one deep bowl sink in moulded (not jointed) stainless steel and with a piped supply of hot and cold water connected thereto to be provided within the premises for the cleaning and preparation of food.

22. Kitchen accommodation which may include washing up areas, to be provided with a floor area of not less than one third of the floor area of the dining room.

23. Kitchen accommodation to be provided which contains approved facilities for the cleaning, cooking and handling of food.

24. A separate area of not less than five square metres to be provided for the preparation of beverages and foodstuffs.

25. Approved sanitary accommodation to be provided for the use by the patrons of the restaurant.

26. Provide grease interceptor.

HOTELS

27. Bathrooms and wash hand basins with a piped supply of hot and cold water connected thereto to be provided for residents in the proportion of one bath and one basin for every six residents or part thereof and with a minimum of one bathroom for each sex, clearly marked as being of the use of either men or women.

28. Approved sanitary accommodation to be provided for residents in rooms separate from the bathrooms and with a minimum of one water closet for each sex, clearly marked as being for the use of either men or women.

29. Provide grease interceptor.

BUTCHERS

30. A thermostatically controlled refrigerated room to be provided within the premises with a capacity of not less than six cubic metres and fitted with hanging rails and shelving or racks of non-corrodible material.

31. Serving counters to be provided of approved impervious material supported on a solid impervious pedestal or so constructed as to afford a clear view from the front to the back of the counter.

32. Provide grease interceptor.

BAKERIES

33. Approved dough-making machines to be provided for the mixing of dough or batter.

34. Provide grease interceptor.

FOOD FACTORIES

35. Approved facilities to be provided for the washing and sterilizing of all bottles, siphons, vessels and other containers used in the handling of food and drink.

36. All work too to be carried out in conformity with Council’s Building By-Laws, details of which can be obtained from the City Architect, Shepperton House, Cameroon Street, Harare.

37. Provide grease interceptor.

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