For those intent on starting
a business one could register as a company or sole trader
which involves fairly straight forward procedures however, you
are advised to use the services of a lawyer in the case of
investments you may want to use the services of the
country's investment agency called
It maybe useful to know that there are a number of business
consultants who are able to provide market research services.
Please note that with regard to defence
armaments there is an Ecowas Moratorium on the Import, Export and Manufacture of
Light Weapons which affects Gambia.
Office Opening Hours:
Government hours 8 am to 4 pm
Business hours 9 am to 5 pm
Friday is half-day closing 12.30 pm
The Basics Within the Country:
Despite many imponderables there are a few practical tips and
cultural protocols related to doing business in The Gambia for
importer / exporter.
Pace of Activity
Commerce and trade moves a lot slower in the Gambia so you must
apply some patience in all your business dealings. Firstly, when
you meet someone to discuss business you should go through the
greeting ritual first without seeming to rush it. After this you
can get down to talking. Keep any interruptions short and down
to a minimum while another person is speaking.
In Gambia the business concept of "time is money" is approached
in a very relaxed and flexible manner. People do not rush
through business negotiations
and often do not take the time to plan everything in great
detail. Punctuality is not always observed, as businessmen do
not like to feel hurried and do not have the western sense of
urgency. A good idea is to call people on the phone just before
leaving for your meeting.
Many Gambians pray five times a day and in
some workplaces separate rooms are set aside for this. There are
however varying degrees to which Islam influences Gambian
business culture, but it is essential to remember its influence
when working with your counterparts in
relationships are based on trust and familiarity. Personal
contacts and networks are important in making business deals.
Cultivating friendships will improve your success in the
Society places a great emphasis on age and respect. You must
always show respect towards elders in society.
you do not agree with your business partner try to say it in a
way that it will come across as non-confrontational.
Other thoughts & notes A lot of business is done
outside the office.
Gambians like to establish
Since 2003 substantial infrastructural progress has been made
(such as the
construction of new roads, street lighting,
hospitals. International aid remains essential to the country.