Navigating Local Taxes And Business Regulations In Papua New Guinea - Answers & Video

Navigating Local Taxes And Business Regulations In Papua New Guinea

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Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a country located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It is known for its diverse culture, stunning landscapes, and rich natural resources. If you are planning to start a business in PNG, it is essential to have a good understanding of the local tax system and business regulations. This article will guide you through the intricacies of navigating local taxes and business regulations in Papua New Guinea.

Business Registration

To operate a business legally in Papua New Guinea, you need to register your company with the Investment Promotion Authority (IPA). The IPA is responsible for the administration of business registrations and certifications in the country. You can visit their website at to access the necessary forms and information required for registration.

  • Complete the Application Form: Fill out the application form provided by the IPA. It requires information about your business structure, shareholders, directors, and other relevant details.
  • Submit Supporting Documents: Along with the application form, you will need to submit supporting documents such as a copy of the company’s constitution, identification documents of directors and shareholders, and proof of address for the registered office.
  • Pay Registration Fees: There are registration fees associated with the business registration process. The fees vary depending on the type and size of your business. Ensure that you pay the required fees as stipulated by the IPA.
  • Receive Certificate of Incorporation: Once your application is approved, you will receive a Certificate of Incorporation from the IPA. This certificate confirms that your business is registered and legally recognized in Papua New Guinea.

Tax Obligations

As a business owner in Papua New Guinea, you are required to fulfill certain tax obligations to the Internal Revenue Commission (IRC). The IRC is responsible for collecting and administering taxes in the country. Here are the key taxes you need to be aware of:

  • Goods and Services Tax (GST): GST is a value-added tax levied on the supply of goods and services in Papua New Guinea. The current GST rate is 10%. It is important to keep accurate records of your business transactions and ensure timely filing and payment of GST to the IRC.
  • Income Tax: Income tax is levied on the taxable income of individuals and companies. The tax rates vary depending on the income brackets. It is crucial to maintain proper accounting records and comply with the income tax regulations to avoid penalties or legal issues.
  • Payroll Tax: If you have employees, you are required to pay payroll tax to the IRC. The tax is calculated based on the wages and salaries paid to your employees. Ensure that you accurately calculate and remit the payroll tax within the specified deadlines.
  • Customs Duties: If your business involves importing or exporting goods, you need to be aware of the customs duties imposed by the PNG Customs Service. Customs duties vary depending on the nature and value of the imported or exported goods. Familiarize yourself with the customs regulations to avoid any delays or extra costs.

Employment Regulations

When hiring employees in Papua New Guinea, it is essential to comply with the local employment regulations. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Employment Contracts: It is advisable to have written employment contracts in place for all your employees. The contracts should outline the terms and conditions of employment, including working hours, wages, leave entitlements, and termination procedures.
  • Minimum Wage: Papua New Guinea has a minimum wage requirement set by the National Minimum Wages Board. Ensure that you pay your employees at least the minimum wage applicable to their job category.
  • Work Permits: If you plan to employ foreign nationals, they will require work permits. Work permits are issued by the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Make sure to follow the necessary procedures and obtain the required permits before employing foreign workers.
  • Health and Safety: As an employer, you are responsible for providing a safe and healthy work environment for your employees. Comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and implement appropriate safety measures to prevent workplace accidents and injuries.

Intellectual Property Rights

Protecting your intellectual property (IP) is crucial when doing business in Papua New Guinea. The Intellectual Property Office of Papua New Guinea (IPOPNG) is responsible for the registration and protection of IP rights. Here are some key considerations:

  • Trademark Registration: If you have a unique brand name, logo, or slogan, consider registering it as a trademark with IPOPNG. Trademark registration provides legal protection against unauthorized use of your brand and allows you to take legal action in case of infringement.
  • Patent Protection: If you have invented a new product or process, you may be eligible for patent protection. Patents grant exclusive rights to the inventor and prevent others from using, making, or selling the invention without permission.
  • Copyright: Copyright protection automatically applies to original literary, artistic, and musical works. However, registering your copyright with IPOPNG provides additional evidence of ownership and makes it easier to enforce your rights.

Environmental Regulations

Papua New Guinea is renowned for its pristine natural beauty and biodiversity. As a business owner, it is important to adhere to the environmental regulations to minimize negative impacts on the environment. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA): Certain business activities, particularly those with potential environmental impacts, may require an EIA. The Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) is responsible for overseeing the EIA process. Consult with CEPA to determine whether your business requires an EIA.
  • Waste Management: Proper waste management is essential to protect the environment. Ensure that your business has appropriate waste disposal systems in place and complies with waste management regulations.
  • Conservation Areas: Papua New Guinea has numerous protected areas, including national parks and marine reserves. If your business operates in or near these areas, familiarize yourself with the specific regulations governing activities in conservation areas.

Property Regulations

If your business involves renting or owning property in Papua New Guinea, it is crucial to understand the local property regulations. Here are some key considerations:

  • Lease Agreements: When renting or leasing property, ensure that you have a legally binding lease agreement in place. The agreement should outline the terms and conditions of the lease, including rent, duration, and responsibilities of both parties.
  • Land Ownership: The Land Act of Papua New Guinea governs land ownership in the country. Familiarize yourself with the regulations regarding land tenure and ensure that you comply with the legal requirements when purchasing or leasing land.
  • Building Permits: If you plan to construct or renovate a building, you will need to obtain building permits from the relevant local authorities. Failure to obtain the necessary permits can result in fines or the demolition of unauthorized structures.


Navigating local taxes and business regulations in Papua New Guinea is essential for the success and compliance of your business. By understanding and adhering to the relevant laws and regulations, you can establish a strong foundation for your business operations in this beautiful country. Remember to consult with legal and tax professionals to ensure that you meet all requirements and obligations.


– Investment Promotion Authority (
– Internal Revenue Commission (
– Papua New Guinea Customs Service
– National Minimum Wages Board
– Intellectual Property Office of Papua New Guinea (
– Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (

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