Getting Started

Exporting to Senegal

President Obama announced the National Export Initiative (NEI) http://www.export.gov two years ago, with the goal of doubling exports by 2014. U.S. embassies are committed to supporting U.S. companies to start exporting or grow their exports to Senegal. In this section, you’ll find a quick description of Senegal as an export market and some suggestions for getting started.

  1. The specific type of representation that a U.S. firm establishes in Senegal must be tailored to fit the individual requirements of the product and its potential market.  U.S. firms may make use of business matchmaking services (See Business and Services box on the right.)  Preferably, the agent or the distributor should be a local business/firm, fluent in French, and aware of Senegal’s business practices.  If the product requires some servicing, the U.S. exporter should make available a reasonable inventory of spare parts to his agent or distributor.  U.S. companies also should provide brochures and marketing literature in French.Once the decision to open a business in Senegal is made, the U.S. businessperson will require legal counsel and a notaire (notary) for all the legal formalities associated with the incorporation of a company.  The Embassy has available a list of lawyers and notaries.  It is advisable that U.S. firms approach firms specializing in financial and tax advisory services.  Well-qualified representatives of major U.S. and international auditing and business consulting firms are located in Senegal.
  2. Visit the export.gov page on Senegal to get an overview of economic conditions and opportunities.  Access the U.S. Commercial Service Market Research Library containing more than 100,000 industry and country-specific market reports, authored by our specialists working in overseas posts.The Library Includes:
    – Country Commercial Guides
    – Industry Overviews*
    – Market Updates*
    – Multilateral Development Bank Reports*
    – Best Markets*
    – Industry/Regional Reports*
  3. Contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center for advice and support on exporting to Senegal. Contact a Trade Specialist Near You
  4. Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDCs) Starting a business can be a challenge, but there is help for you in your area. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are partnerships primarily between the government and colleges/universities administered by the Small Business Administration and aims at giving educational services for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
  5. Contact in-country business support organizations such as the American Chamber of Commerce in Senegal

This section provides information for current and potential investors in Senegal.

Potential Investors: Getting Started.

If you are considering investment in Senegal, here are some steps you may wish to consider as you get started:

  • Register with the U.S. Embassy – If you are planning a visit to consider investment, let us know by sending an email to the contact addresses on this page.
  • Visit the Investment Promotion Agency (APIX)’s website.  APIX provides investment information and assistance for entrepreneurs interested in starting a business in Senegal.
  • Contact the American Chamber of Commerce in Senegal Amcham
  • Subscribe to our embassy Facebook page or Twitter feed

Current investors: Staying Connected.

If you are a current U.S. investor in Senegal, the U.S Embassy wants to stay in touch. Here are a few steps you can take to keep the channels of communication open:

  • Register with the U.S. Embassy – If you are active in Senegal, let us know by sending an email to the contact addresses on this page.
  • Add us to your mailing lists – we are always happy to stay informed
  • Subscribe to our embassy Facebook page or Twitter feed 
  • Set up a meeting with our economic or commercial team to discuss any issues that arise

Work and Residency Permits:  American citizens who expect to work in Senegal for an extended period of time must apply for a work permit (carte de séjour) at the local immigration office located at the Ministry of Interior.  The following documents should support the application:

  • Photocopy of the passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Police or criminal record
  • Completed application form
  • Proof of employment (a businessperson should submit the statutes of his/her company, and a deportation bond of approximately $175 reimbursable at the time of departure from Senegal)
  • Medical certificate
  • Fiscal stamps worth $20.

Business Visas

A passport and proof of return/onward ticket is required.  A visa is not required for stays of less than 90 days.  Evidence of a vaccination for yellow fever may be required at the port of entry.

Travelers should obtain the latest information on entry requirements from the Embassy of Senegal, – 2031 Florida Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20009 – Telephone: (202) 234-0540 – Fax: (202) 629-2961 – Email: contact@ambasenegal-us.org.  Overseas inquiries should be made at the nearest Senegalese embassy or consulate.

Travel Advisories

Make sure to check the current State Department travel advisory https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html for Senegal.

FCPA

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is an important anti-corruption tool designed to discourage corrupt business practices in favor of free and fair markets.  The FCPA prohibits promising, offering, giving or authorizing giving anything of value to a foreign government official where the purpose is to obtain or retain business.  These prohibitions apply to U.S. persons, both individuals and companies, and companies that are listed on U.S. exchanges. The statute also requires companies publicly traded in the U.S. to keep accurate books and records and implement appropriate internal controls.

More information on the FCPA can be found here: http://www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/fcpa/

A party to a transaction seeking to know whether a proposed course of conduct would violate the FCPA can take advantage of the opinion procedure established by the statue.  Within 30 days of receiving a description of a proposed course of conduct in writing, the Attorney General will provide the party with a written opinion on whether the proposed conduct would violate the FCPA.  Not only do opinions provide the requesting party with a rebuttable presumption that the conduct does not violate the FCPA, but DOJ publishes past opinions which can provide guidance for other companies facing similar situations.

More information on the DOJ opinion procedure can be found here: https://www.morganlewis.com/