How to Start a Business in Turkey?

How to Start a Business in Turkey?
Table of Contents

Starting a business in Turkey can be an exciting venture, but it requires careful planning and understanding of the legal framework. Turkey offers various business structures, each with its own set of advantages and requirements. Whether you’re a local entrepreneur or a foreign investor looking to establish a presence in Turkey, navigating through the legal processes can seem daunting. However, with the right knowledge and guidance, setting up your business can be a smooth and rewarding experience.

Legal Framework in Turkey

The first step in establishing a company in Turkey is grasping the legal framework. Turkey has robust laws governing business activities, primarily regulated by the Turkish Commercial Code, the Turkish Code of Obligations, and the Turkish Labor Law. These laws cover aspects such as company formation, contracts, liability, and labor issues, providing a solid foundation for conducting business in the country.

Choosing the Right Legal Structure

Before registering your business, it’s essential to choose the appropriate legal structure. Turkey offers several options, including sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), joint-stock company (JSC), and branches or representation offices of foreign companies. Each structure has its pros and cons, depending on factors like the size, nature, and goals of your business.

Sole Proprietorship: Simplest form of business ownership, suitable for small ventures, but exposes the owner to unlimited personal liability.

Limited Liability Company (LLC): Popular choice offering limited liability for owners while allowing multiple shareholders, with a minimum capital requirement of ₺10,000.

Joint-Stock Company (JSC): Corporate structure suitable for larger businesses, where ownership is divided into shares, with a minimum capital requirement of ₺50,000.

Branch & Representation Office of Foreign Companies: Options for foreign investors to establish a presence in Turkey, with fewer capital requirements compared to LLCs and JSCs.

The Company’s Capital Funds

Having the required capital is crucial for company formation in Turkey. The minimum capital varies depending on the chosen legal structure, with ₺10,000 for an LLC and ₺50,000 for a JSC. Adequate capitalization not only ensures compliance with Turkish legislation but also facilitates various business activities and opportunities.

Required Documents for Registering a Company

Once you’ve selected the legal structure and secured the necessary capital, you’ll need to gather the required documents for company registration. These documents typically include:

  • Title of company and Articles of Association (AoA)
  • Personal information and passport copies of shareholders and directors
  • Proof of address for shareholders and directors
  • Proof of capital amount and its source
  • Tax Identification Numbers (TIN) for shareholders and directors
  • Registration and Commercial Activity Certificate
  • The Procedures for Starting a Company

Steps of Establishing a Company in Turkey

The process of establishing a company in Turkey involves several steps:

  • Reserving the company name
  • Drafting the Articles of Association
  • Submitting documents to the Trade Registry Office
  • Obtaining Tax Identification Number and Commercial Registration Certificate
  • Registering with the Chamber of Commerce
  • Obtaining necessary licenses and permits
  • Opening a bank account

Obtaining Necessary Licenses and Permits

obtaining necessary licenses and permits scaled

Once your company is registered, you’ll need to obtain various licenses and permits to operate legally in Turkey. These may include a Commercial Registration Certificate, Tax Identification Number, VAT number, and other permits depending on your business activities.

Opening a Bank Account

Having a business bank account is essential for managing finances, making transactions, and complying with regulatory requirements. Choose a reputable bank with suitable services to meet your business needs.

Registering with Social Security and Tax Authorities

To ensure compliance with legal obligations, register your company with social security and tax authorities. This involves registering employees for social security and obtaining necessary tax registrations for income tax, VAT, and corporate tax.

Hiring Employees and Labor Laws

If your business requires hiring employees, adhere to Turkish labor laws governing employment contracts, benefits, and workplace regulations. Ensure proper documentation and compliance with labor standards to avoid legal issues.

Shareholders and Board of Directors

Understand the roles and responsibilities of shareholders and directors in your company. Shareholders hold ownership rights and may have minority shareholder rights, while directors oversee company operations and decision-making processes.

Essential Requirements

To summarize, key requirements for opening a business in Turkey include meeting minimum share capital, appointing shareholders and directors, having a legal representative (if shareholders are non-residents), and maintaining a physical address for official correspondence.

Starting a business in Turkey offers promising opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors alike. With thorough research, professional guidance, and adherence to legal procedures, you can establish a successful and compliant business in this dynamic market.


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