Procedures for Foreigners to Open a Business in Turkey

Last Updated on 27 December 2021 by Okyanus Hukuk

Foreigners who want to open a business in Turkey must obtain a work permit from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security in accordance with Article 5 of the Regulation on Business and Work Licenses. It is not possible for foreigners who do not have a work permit obtained from the relevant ministry to open a business in Turkey.

If foreigners in Turkey want to work in their own name and account by opening a workplace, they should apply to the Ministry for the establishment of the relevant workplaces before the competent authorities and to obtain a work permit after the completion of the procedures. It will be in the best interest of the individual to act together with an experienced lawyer in order not to take any wrong or negligent action regarding the procedures for foreigners to open a business in Turkey.

A work permit is given to foreigners whose applications are approved by the Ministry together with the province of application to be made to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. Foreigners who have obtained a work permit should apply to the relevant municipalities together with the permit and request a business and work permit.

Regulation of business and work permit for foreigners; It is possible for the relevant municipalities to issue a workplace and work license for the foreigners who are business owners or business partners by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, considering the periods specified in the temporary work permit document. Municipalities do not need to request an external independent work permit from foreigners holding a temporary work permit.

For Syrians under temporary protection in Turkey to work in Turkey, they must also obtain a work permit from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. Administrative fines are imposed in case of working without a work permit.

For persons who are under temporary protection and work individually for their own name and account, following the completion of the establishment procedure of the workplace, provided that they have a tax number, the trade registry gazette for companies, and the relevant chamber registry documents for tradesmen and craftsmen if they are real persons, not companies, it is obligatory to obtain a work permit before starting to work, provided that the documents expressing the activity of the place are introduced to the automation system during the application. This is because the relevant foreigner is required to have a work permit while issuing a business and work permit by the competent authorities.

Establishing a Company as Foreigner in Turkey

In case of foreigners establishing a company in Turkey, it is necessary to proceed by adhering to the legal procedure that regulates the process. In this respect, it would be beneficial for foreigners who want to establish a company in Turkey to contact an experienced company lawyer and request legal assistance from him. Because many of the rights, interest and time losses that are frequently encountered in practice are experienced due to the lack of legal assistance from an expert lawyer.

Foreign nationals can establish a company in Turkey under the Foreign Direct Investment Law. During the old law numbered 6224, foreigners only had the right to establish joint stock companies and limited liability companies. However, with the current law numbered 4875, the restriction on the type of company that foreigners were exposed to in the process of establishing a company was removed and the right to establish all existing company types was recognized. Under this right, within the scope of sole proprietorship, foreigners can establish;

  • Collective company
  • Limited partnership
  • Ordinary partnership
  • Cooperative

Within the scope of equity firms;

  • Joint stock company
  • Limited company
  • Limited partnership in which the capital is divided into shares

The Process of Establishing a Company for Foreigners in Turkey

Even if the process of establishing a company in Turkey by foreigners differs a little depending on the concrete case, the general procedure proceeds as follows:

  • Preliminary preparations should be made for the establishment of the company,
  • The type of company to be established by the foreigner should be determined,
  • Preparation of the main contract regarding the activities of the company,
  • An application for establishment should be made through the Central Registry System,
  • Preparation of necessary documents and notarization,
  • Obtaining the tax number of the company,
  • Depositing a certain percentage of the capital into the account of the Competition Authority,
  • Depositing a certain amount of the committed capital to the company bank account,
  • Documentation of the amount deposited into the bank account,
  • Making the application to the relevant directorates on behalf of the registration of the company,
  • Obtaining a tax board,
  • Obtaining a social security number,
  • Certification of necessary books,
  • Follow-up of the company establishment statement,
  • Company establishment notification request from the tax office,
  • Creation of signature circular,
  • VERBIS registration.

Each of the mentioned stages contains complex processes in itself. While going through this process, it should be proceeded in accordance with the current legislation and erroneous steps should be avoided. In this respect, it is extremely important to get legal advice from a competent and experienced lawyer.

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