Turkey attracts foreigners with its developed economy and favorable geographical location. These conditions make the country a very attractive place for business growth and investment. It is not difficult to register, open or buy a ready-made business in Turkey if you enlist the support of professionals. Under Turkish law, foreign citizens can engage in commercial activities on the same rights as residents of the country. There are loyal conditions for foreign entrepreneurs on the territory of the state. This includes the ease of opening an individual business or company, as well as low tax rates.
Opening a company in Turkey: current issues
With the increase in requests from applicants for permanent residence, one of the most pressing topics has become the opening of a business in Turkey. Let’s consider on what conditions a foreign citizen can open a business in Turkey, what pitfalls await him at the same time and how to open an individual entrepreneur in Turkey if there is a Turkish residence permit.
According to the legislation, foreigners have the opportunity to open a business in Turkey in several organizational and legal forms:
- Representative office
Usually, in practice, the first three forms are used. We will analyze them in more detail…
Sole proprietor in Turkey
Can a foreigner open an individual entrepreneur in Turkey?
Yes, theoretically it can, but in practice it is almost impossible. The problem arises at the stage of obtaining an individual work permit. According to the laws of the republic, it is necessary to employ at least 5 Turkish citizens, providing them not only with an official salary, but also with the necessary deductions.
It should also be noted that there are restrictions depending on the field of activity. For example, you cannot open an individual entrepreneur as a real estate agent. It is necessary to register the company as an open joint stock company or an anonymous enterprise. Since 2019, innovations have appeared in terms of real estate activity. For example, it is necessary to obtain a certificate of qualification, since without it they do not issue a permit to work as a real estate agent. To get a certificate, you must pass a two-stage exam. First, a written one is given, then an oral one with elements of practice. Here, of course, it is important to know Turkish if the candidate is a foreigner.
In addition, the office itself should consist of two offices — 30 m2 each. There should also be an archive, all office equipment, up to chairs, tables and chairs. It is necessary to conduct the Internet in the office; equip it with a fax machine, printer, computer; allocate a corporate car at the disposal.
Opening a business in Turkey through LLC or JSC
According to statistics, mostly business in Turkey is registered by foreigners in such organizational and legal forms:
- Limited Liability Company (in Turkish Limited Sirketi)
- Joint Stock Company (in Turkish Anonim Sirketi).
If a firm belongs to any of these types, its founder may be one shareholder. Self-registration of an enterprise in Turkey is available for foreign individuals and companies.
Is it true that a foreigner should take a Turkish citizen as a share?
According to the legislation, this is not necessary. But practice shows that, taking into account the bureaucracy, the speed of registration of the enterprise is faster. So, without a Turkish partner, the procedure lasts up to 3 months, and with him it will take no more than 30 days. That is, being in partnership with a local citizen, registering your business in Turkey is faster both in terms of time and in terms of the volume of bureaucratic procedures. At the same time, its share may be only 1%. This is convenient in terms of resolving issues in the absence of a foreign business owner, and also gives the right to sign documents. And from the point of view of obtaining a working permit for a foreigner, the Turkish partner also simplifies the procedure.
How is the issue of a work visa resolved if there is no Turkish partner?
You will first need to register a company, then submit an application to the official website of the Ministry of Family and Social Policy, attaching a scan of the residence permit, all documents for the company, 2 photos of the owners and an electronic signature. A positive or negative response will be received within 30 days.
If the application is not approved, the reason may be the lack of any documents or it is required to send the papers confirming them. In case of a positive response, it remains to pay the registration costs within 15 days and wait by mail for the arrival of a working permit.
Based on the above, we can draw the following conclusions:
Opening a company in Turkey is possible for a foreigner in any case, but bureaucratically and practically it is better to do it in partnership with a citizen of the country — an indigenous resident or a foreigner who has received Turkish citizenship. There is no limit on the size of the Turkish partner’s share, even 1% is enough.
Individual entrepreneurship (IE) is a type of activity that, in theory, gives a citizen of Russia, a Belarusian, a Ukrainian and other foreigners the opportunity to work, pay taxes and use state medical insurance SGK. But at the same time, an entrepreneur cannot get an individual work visa. The only solution to get it is to employ 5 Turkish citizens at your company.
Real estate activity is a profitable business, but it is necessary to have good experience, know the language and laws of the state, as well as have a certificate of appropriate qualifications.
It is important to note that some professions are subject to full retraining in Turkey. These are doctors, teachers, veterinarians, dentists, lawyers, accountants. According to the law of cabotage, it is impossible to catch mussels, oysters, pearls, etc.
It is impossible to officially open a barbershop with non-Turkish documents. It is necessary to have a certificate of the highest degree of qualification of the Turkish sample. You can solve this problem by studying at a local vocational school and learn from an apprentice to a master of the highest category, while gaining practical experience.
The first step to open any kind of business is to use the services of a sworn translator and get advice from a professional accountant. This will be the first and most important investment in your future business.
How to open a company in Turkey: stages
Individuals and companies of foreign origin have the right to open their own company on the territory of the Republic of Turkey without involving local shareholders. This makes Turkey stand out favorably from other countries. Let’s consider the most important nuances of how to open a business in Turkey.
Opening a business in Turkey involves a certain algorithm of preparatory actions:
- obtaining as the founder of the company a Turkish INN in the tax chamber;
- assigning an organization’s address;
- approval of the company’s activities;
- preparation of the foundation agreement.
Be sure to approve the authorized capital of your company. Of course, it is different for each type. The minimum authorized capital for a limited liability company is ₺10,000, for a joint—stock company – ₺50,000.
The preparation stage also implies the deposit of a quarter of the funds from the declared authorized capital and payment of a fee to the competition development fund in the amount of 0.04%.
As soon as these formalities are met, you can register the company with the Chamber of Commerce. Then you should take up the registration of a circular of signatures in a notary office, submit accounting books for registration and register the company with the tax inspectorate. After that, the company can function.