Types of Companies You Can Register in Lesotho

Lesotho offers a variety of options for business registration, accommodating diverse business models and goals. The Companies Act of Lesotho provides the legal framework for the incorporation and operation of different types of companies. Here’s an overview of the main types of companies you can register in Lesotho:

Public Companies

A public company in Lesotho can offer its shares to the public and may be quoted on a stock exchange. Public companies are suitable for businesses aiming to raise capital from the general public. Key characteristics include:

  • Share Offering: Ability to offer shares to the public.
  • Stock Exchange Listing: May or may not be listed on a stock exchange.
  • Limited Liability: Members have limited liability, protecting personal assets from business debts.

Private Companies

Private companies in Lesotho cannot offer their shares to the public and are restricted to a maximum of 50 members. This structure is ideal for smaller businesses or family-owned enterprises. Key features include:

  • Share Restrictions: Cannot offer shares to the public.
  • Member Limit: Limited to 50 members.
  • Limited Liability: Members’ liability is limited to their investment in the company.

Non-Profit Companies

A non-profit company operates in the interests of the public or a specific section of the public. These companies are prohibited from distributing dividends to their members, ensuring that profits are reinvested into their social or public missions. Key points include:

  • Public Interest: Operates for the benefit of the public or a section of the public.
  • Dividend Prohibition: Cannot pay dividends to members.
  • Naming: May be excused from having “limited” at the end of its name.

External Companies

Companies that are incorporated elsewhere but wish to operate in Lesotho can register as external companies. This allows foreign businesses to establish a presence in Lesotho while maintaining their original incorporation status. Key aspects include:

  • Foreign Incorporation: Incorporated in another country.
  • Local Operation: Registered to operate within Lesotho.


Lesotho’s Companies Act provides a robust framework for the incorporation of various types of companies, catering to the needs of both local and international entrepreneurs. Whether you aim to start a public company, a private company, a non-profit organization, or register an external company, Lesotho offers a supportive legal environment for your business endeavors. By understanding the different types of companies you can register, you can choose the structure that best suits your business goals and objectives.

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