December 6 2004 saw the entry into force of the new Law on Industrial Activities. The legislation sets out the general norms and principles applicable to all industrial activities, as well as the rules for the avoidance of risks to security, public health and the environment inherent to such activities.
Angola is undergoing major economic development, and with the enactment of the new Company Law foreign investors have gained a number of benefits relating to the flexibility of structuring joint venture companies. The new law appears to have provided a suitable response to several issues which are usually raised during the process of setting up a company.
The new Company Law which entered into force earlier this year is a milestone in the ongoing reform of the Angolan legal system. It modernizes the legal framework for corporate structures and ensures a high degree of stability and credibility, expected to be an important factor in attracting private investment.
A recently enacted law approving the statutory regime applicable to agency and commercial concession agreements fills a regulatory gap which has been keenly felt for several years. Parties that decide to structure their transactions on the basis of its provisions will benefit from increased legal certainty, which is expected to translate into an increase in business.
A new law creates greater legal certainty by setting out the rules applicable to three typical business cooperation agreements between companies: the partnership, the consortium and the corporate group. This should provide new incentives for investors to get involved in the Angolan economy and to favour associations with companies already established in Angola.
The Angolan National Assembly has approved a new law which provides for the automatic winding-up of companies which have lost at least half of their share capital. This new provision may prove particularly problematic for companies whose share capital is indexed to a foreign currency.