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How to register a sole proprietorship company in Pakistan

How to register a sole proprietorship company in Pakistan


Registering a sole proprietorship company in Pakistan is a straightforward and efficient process. A sole proprietorship is the simplest form of business ownership, where an individual runs and manages the business. This guide will provide a detailed overview of the registration procedure, definitions of key terms, real-life examples, and case studies to illustrate the process. By following these steps, aspiring entrepreneurs can establish their sole proprietorship companies in compliance with Pakistani laws and regulations.

I. Definitions

Sole Proprietorship:

A business structure owned and operated by a single individual, where the owner assumes complete control and responsibility for the business’s operations, profits, and losses.

National Tax Number (NTN):

A unique identification number issued by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to individuals and businesses for tax-related purposes.

Sales Tax Registration Number (STRN):

A registration number issued by the FBR to businesses that engage in sales and are liable to collect sales tax on behalf of the government.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI):

An organization representing businesses and industries at the local, regional, and national levels, providing various services, including issuing certificates of origin and attesting commercial documents.

II. Registration Procedure

Business Name Selection:

Choose a unique and distinctive name for your sole proprietorship company that reflects your business activities.
Avoid names that are already registered or resemble existing trademarks to prevent potential legal conflicts.

Trade License:

Obtain a trade license from the relevant local government authority, such as the Municipal Corporation or Town Municipal Administration, by submitting an application along with the necessary documents.
Required documents may include identification proof, proof of address, business name approval, and any specific documents mandated by the local authority.

National Tax Number (NTN) Registration:

Apply for an NTN by submitting an application to the tax office of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) or through the online portal.
Required documents may include photocopies of your CNIC/NICOP, proof of address, bank account details, and business name approval.

Sales Tax Registration:

If your business is liable to collect sales tax, apply for a Sales Tax Registration Number (STRN) by submitting an application to the relevant Regional Tax Office (RTO) of the FBR.
Required documents may include copies of NTN certificate, business bank account details, business premises ownership/rental agreement, and any other documents requested by the RTO.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) Membership:

Consider obtaining membership with your local Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) for networking opportunities, business support, and credibility enhancement.
Contact your local CCI for membership requirements, application forms, and fees.

III. Examples and Case Studies

Example 1: Mr. Ahmed’s Sole Proprietorship

Mr. Ahmed intends to start a computer hardware trading business in Lahore.
He chooses the name “TechZone” and checks its availability through the online portal of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).
After receiving name approval, he applies for a trade license at the Lahore Municipal Corporation by submitting the necessary documents and paying the required fee.
Mr. Ahmed then proceeds to obtain an NTN from the FBR tax office by submitting his application along with the required documents.
As his business involves sales, he also applies for sales tax registration by submitting an application to the RTO and providing the requested documents.
Finally, he decides to become a member of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry to leverage its resources for business growth.

Case Study: Ms. Khan’s Bakery

Ms. Khan dreams of opening a bakery in Karachi.
She selects the name “SweetDelights” and ensures its availability through the SECP online portal.
Ms. Khan visits the local Town Municipal Administration office to obtain a trade license by submitting the required documents and paying the applicable fee.
She then applies for an NTN at the FBR tax office and simultaneously applies for sales tax registration, as her bakery will be selling taxable goods.
To enhance her business’s credibility, Ms. Khan becomes a member of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where she gains access to valuable networking opportunities and industry-related information.


Registering a sole proprietorship company in Pakistan involves several key steps, including business name selection, obtaining a trade license, acquiring an NTN, and registering for sales tax. By following the outlined procedures and adhering to the legal requirements, aspiring entrepreneurs can establish their businesses smoothly and operate within the framework of Pakistani laws. Real-life examples and case studies highlight the practical aspects of the registration process, offering insights and inspiration for individuals venturing into sole proprietorship. Registering a sole proprietorship company in Pakistan is an achievable goal with the right knowledge and guidance.