Comoros' Business World
In the Comoros, life is lived at a slower pace- and doing business there is no exception. Comoros is an Islamic country, and as such, business dress is conservative, but tidy and casual. In business, women are not on par with men, and do not usually hold key positions within companies. If you are a businesswoman visiting the country, you may find that you are not treated with the same esteem as your male colleagues.
Most business transactions are conducted in either French or Arabic, with few done in English. Most Comoros businesses are open from 7:30 AM to 12 noon, and again from 3 PM to 5:30 PM on Monday through Thursday, and on Fridays, they are open until 11 am as Friday is an Islamic holy day. As is the case in most devout Islamic countries, very little business is done during the month of Ramadan.
For most foreigners interested in doing business in Comoros, the preferred company type is the société anonyme, or SA. The SA is a public company, similar in construction to a limited liability company, or LLC. To establish an SA in Comoros, an investor needs a minimum of 10 million Central African francs.
SA companies must go through incorporation procedures, which take about five business days. During 2006 to 2008, the last years for which data is available, there were 644 businesses registered with the Grande Comore Chamber of Commerce. The largest company in the country is Comoro Gulf Communication SA, and Comoros has no stock exchange.
The labor force in the Comoros is largely unskilled, and it is estimated that over thirteen percent of the country's work force is unemployed. If a company wants to hire foreign employees, the employer is responsible for getting their visa taken care of, and flying the employee and their family to the country for the duration of the contract. Comoros employment contracts can either be finite or indefinite; a white collar, non-executive employee working in Comoros' public sector can make between 150 and 300 euros a month.
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