Benin - Country Commercial Guide
Selling Factors and Techniques

Identifies common practices used in selling in this market, including sales material that needs to be in the local language.

Last published date: 2021-09-29

Direct personal engagement with current and prospective clients is important. Promotional materials and technical documents should be in French, or in both French and English.

Trade Promotion & Advertising

 In addition to the public daily, state-run newspaper, “La Nation,” there are more than thirty daily newspapers published in Cotonou. Television outlets include the national TV stations include ORTB and the Benin Business Channel (BB24).  Local Private TV stations include, Golfe TV, Canal 3, Ado TV, TV Ilema, and Tele Carrefour, and international cable channels such Canal+ and DSTV.  Radio outlets include seventy-eight private radio stations, as well as the radio division of the national broadcast corporation.  ORTB, Golfe, and Canal 3 broadcast via satellite to several African, European, North American, and Asian countries.  Cell phone text messages are also used for advertising. The Embassy’s Economic and Commercial Section also offers paid services such as Single Company Promotions to help get the word out about an American company’s products or services.

Pricing

  • With an per capita of approximately $1,280 most consumers are sensitive to sudden or substantial increases in consumer good prices.  However, there is a growing number of consumers for higher-end merchandise.
  • A Value Added Tax (VAT) of 18 percent of gross value is applied to transactions with certain exceptions, including salaries and agricultural inputs. There is a 48 percent duty on most, non-ECOWAS imported goods be sold in Benin.
  • Quotations and invoices should be made in CFA Francs.
  • U.S. exporters should provide prices on a CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) basis.  U.S. exporters new to the market should require an irrevocable letter of credit prior to shipping.

Sales Service/Customer Support

Beninese clients may expect maintenance services to be included in the purchase price of durable goods.  Sellers should clarify this point with clients and may wish to factor customer service support into the purchase price or negotiate an after-sale support agreement at the time of purchase.

Local Professional Services

The government ha established a one-stop business registration center to facilitate registration of new businesses.  In addition, investors are strongly encouraged to hire a local notary, whose services are required for most formal documentation. 

Principal Business Associations

Benin Private Investment Council (CIPB)

Benin Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIB)

Limitations on Selling U.S. Products and Services

There are no limitations on U.S. products and services in Benin