How to set up a business in Turkey as a foreigner
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Setting Up a Business in Turkey As a Foreigner

Created : 06 Jun 2022
Business in Turkey

By Justin Mays:

Turkey has become one of the favorite places for many foreigners to establish companies. The country’s location, easy registration process, and seaways are some of the major reasons that are considered by some company owners when opting to open and establish offices in Turkey.

There are a few steps that individuals or people who wish to open a company in Turkey should go through;

Steps to follow when opening a company in Turkey 

-Submit the memorandum and articles of association online to MERSIS. MERSIS is an electronic registry incorporated for legal entities.

-Execute and notarize company documents

-Obtain potential tax identity number

-Follow up with the tax office on the Trade Registry Directorate’s company establishment notification

-Deposit at least 25 percent of the startup capital in a bank and obtain proof thereof

-Apply for registration at the Trade Registry Directorate

-Certify the legal books

-Issuance of signature circular

-Move certain documents to electronic format / E-TUYS syste

Can you register a company online in Turkey? 

When registering a company in Turkey, there are documents that are required to be uploaded online and some that must be submitted in their physical form. The documents required for registering a company in Turkey depend on whether the shareholder or shareholders are individuals or companies. Some people prefer to work with law firms that will remove a huge burden on them making the process easy for the person who wishes to open a business. Be careful when choosing a law firm or a legal practitioner to help you with this process. Thorough research is needed. However, you can still do it by yourself. Find out the locations you have to submit your paperwork beforehand.

Types of companies in Turkey 

The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) law in Turkey gives international investors and local investors equal treatment, rights, and liabilities. The Turkish Commercial Code (TCC) is in compliance with EU legislation as well as with the EU accession process. TCC accommodates corporate and non-corporate forms. Choose a company model that is suitable for your business structure. The following are two company types that fall under TCC; 

Corporate Forms

- Joint Stock Company (JSC)

- Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Non-Corporate forms

-General Partnership

- Limited Partnership

- Partnership Limited by Shares  

Where to Set up a business in Turkey

Many foreign investors find themselves flocking to Istanbul, which they believe is the center of business however, several regions in Turkey have their own certain strengths when it comes to the type of business. 

Turkey has seven regions and it is up to the business person to choose a region that best suits their type of business. Here we are going to discuss the best four regions that business owners favor the most in Turkey.

Marmara Region

Cities in Marmara Region include Istanbul, Bursa, Erdine and Iznik. Popularly known for the production of paper, cement, petrochemical products, processed food, wine, and olive oil this region shines and takes the trophy for the production of various products which are made in the region and are sold in other regions and exported across the globe. The region has also good soils and is responsible for 73% of the country’s sunflower production.

Black Sea Region

Medical products, chemicals, and automobile parts are centered in the black sea region. Samsun has the major black seaport which is a significant advantage to those who wish to export from Turkey.

Central Anatolian Region

This region is responsible for the production of a third of the country’s wheat. It is the center of trade and the country’s largest industrial Park the OSTIM industrial zone which specializes in small business trade is located in this region. The park has more than 5.000 companies with more than 50.000 employees in total.

Aegean Region

Has a great transportation network which is perfect for trade. It is a prime stop in Turkey and is perfect for any kind of business.   

How Much does it cost to open a company in Turkey?

The cost of opening a company in turkey is significantly low and affordable. However, you have to take into account to consider notary fees, company registration fees, and honorary of the Turkish law firm handling the process for you. Eryilmazcpa indicates that the average expenses of opening a limited company could amount to 400 USD. This whole process takes approximately 3 weeks for your company to start running. 

Advantages of Opening a Business in Turkey

Great Business Opportunities and Potential - There are a number of industries in which a lot of foreign investors have shown interest in Turkey over a couple of years. Manufacturing, automotive, construction, energy industries, and tourism. The tourism sector is full of potential due to the country’s location with the proper climate of the country with many developed numerous accommodations, hotels, and high-class buildings.  Some have begun to show a growing interest in medical aesthetics services, especially hair transplants and there has been a rising number of foreign investments in this field.

Easy Registration Process - company registration in Turkey is a simple process and does not take much time. Most investors use accredited lawyers or law firms. A limited liability company is the most suitable business structure.

A great Tax Structure  - Turkey’s tax regime is favorable to investors and has a favorable tax structure for company owners. 

Great Geographical Location - Turkey sits on 2 continents, Europe and Asia, and has sea exits, the Black Sea and Aegean sea which are important for export and import business activities. A number of international companies have their headquarters and regional offices in Turkey.

Investment Incentives in Turkey

There are two types of incentives that investors benefit from in Turkey, super incentives and center of attraction incentives. Super incentives were created to encourage the research and development sector and any technological field. The latter is meant to attract foreign investors in less developed regions by focusing on employment and exports.

The Turkish government is empowering both local and foreign investors by decreasing venture-related costs and establishing a more investor-accommodating climate.  

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