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How to open a company in Turkey: documents, authorized capital, taxes
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How to open a company in Turkey: documents, authorized capital, taxes

We talked with experts about opening business in Turkey and learned about the advantages and disadvantages of doing business in this country.

Yulia Cimen, 29 years old, city — Istanbul, Assistant to the Chairman of the Management Board, Commercial Development Department, @yulia.cimen


About myself

I moved to Istanbul seven years ago. Up to this point, I worked in Turkish organizations and firms, so I knew language and culture.

The move was connected with the desire to move on. However, at the first stage it turned out to be a jump back. I started from scratch, in a new place and without connections.

In Turkey, finding a company that will be ready to hire a foreigner, make a work permit, pay increased taxes and fulfill other obligations is a difficult task. For the first six months I was looking for work in various fields, until I got a job at a large consulting company Sistem Global, where I started working at the reception. Today, my main task, together with a team of 450 people, is to help foreign firms enter the Turkish market — correctly, optimally, quickly and for a long time.

How to open a company in Turkey

To begin with, you will need capital — from 10 000 to 50 000 liras, depending on the form of the legal entity. After making transfers, apostilles of passports and address statements, the company opens within a week.

There is a favorable environment here from the point of view of taxation

You will also need a good lawyer who will draw up documents: the company's charter, various powers of attorney, declarations and signatures so that the deadlines do not drag on.

There is an option to create an individual entrepreneur, it is enough for trading on online platforms. In this case, the process takes longer, but capital and a long list of documents will not be required.

About the advantages and disadvantages

Turkey supports business development. There are benefits for production facilities, the possibility of their placement in special free trade zones, additional subsidies for women entrepreneurs.

There is a favorable environment here from the point of view of taxation.

As disadvantages, some features of culture can be noted. For example, a large number of contacts live. Here you will not be able to send a TK and get an answer to it. If possible, we invite potential clients to the offices, get to know each other better. For some, it may seem like a waste of time, but that's how things are done here.

Tips for beginners

I advise you to become a resident or find a partner with a residence permit or local citizenship. Despite the fact that in theory a foreign citizen can open his own company — formally it is, in practice — it does not go further. The fact is that for other services, for example, to hire staff, you need a resident or citizen number.

For those who want to open a business in Turkey, I recommend being open to new things. Work with the best and be the best.

Olga Gostintseva, 40 years old, city — Istanbul, owner of the host tour operator and consulting company, @olgavstambule

WhatsApp Image 2022-04-25 at 22.21.04.jpeg

About myself

I was born and raised in Moscow. I have moved to Istanbul about ten years ago. Starting a business was not my goal, so at first, I worked for in a travel company. During this period, I studied local laws, made connections. When I brought clients to the company, I received a small percentage. Therefore, over time, I opened my own business. In 2019, I started a business with a Turkish partner, a stake in which she sold during the pandemic.

In 2020, I opened my own tour operator company Milenia Events. We are engaged in tourism, corporate trips, organization of weddings, birthdays and other events.

The second area of activity is the financial consulting company Milenia Business. We provide consultations on setting up accounting, choosing a chief accountant and an organizational and legal form. We help with all the questions that arise when starting a business.

How to open a company in Turkey

The most common form of doing business for non — residents is LLC or Limited Şirketi.

To open a company, you will need a notarized and translated into Turkish passport, TIN or tax number of the taxpayer — it can be obtained remotely, the initial authorized capital. If you work with foreigners, the minimum amount should be 100 000 liras. At the same time, it is not necessary to have the entire amount at once, it can be paid within two years.

Some activities, such as beauty salons, are subject to licensing. If you plan to engage in such a business, the founders must include a local resident with a professional license

At the first stage, it is necessary to choose the office where the company will be registered and located — one address is required. In some cases, you can register an electronic office in a coworking and pay for secretarial services, receiving mail and calls.

There are a lot of free niches for starting a business in Turkey

The next step is to choose the chief accountant or Mali Muşavir. As a rule, these are licensed specialists working on outsourcing and speaking Turkish or English. Mali Muşavir compiles the articles of association of the company. Here you need to choose the type of activity and three names in case one of them is occupied.

After that, the documents are entered into the MERSIS electronic system and a rendezvous is appointed — the date when you submit the documents for registration. This process takes about two days, after which an employee from the tax service comes with a check at the place of registration. If everything goes well, you will be brought documents certifying that the company is open.

You do not need a residence permit to create a business. But its presence does not exempt a foreigner from the regime of staying in the country. If you plan to conduct business in Turkey, you need to open a work permit for yourself as a manager. There is a condition — it is necessary that five local residents are registered in the company. This is done as part of protecting the population from unemployment.

About the advantages and disadvantages

There are a lot of free niches for starting a business in Turkey. The market is not oversaturated yet, so if you have a good, convenient product that covers the needs of the population, you will find your place.

I can't call Turkey a tax haven. Depending on the type of services and goods, we pay 23% of income tax and another 37.5% goes to the Wage Fund. Nevertheless, the list of the company's expenses is open here. If you prove to the tax service that your expenses are justified and relate to expenses, you can reduce the amount of tax.

If you pay taxes, conduct business in good faith and do not receive complaints, the state does not arrange additional checks. There are no unforeseen payments. You can work safely.

It can be difficult to get used to the local mentality. But it's hard to do business without it. Often processes depend on personal relationships with a particular employee.

Working relationships are built on connections. An entrepreneur is evaluated according to the way of doing business, creditworthiness. A lot depends on business reputation. It has weight and is acquired with experience. It is difficult to restore a damaged reputation once.

Tips for beginners

Turkish legislation may not always be clear. Therefore, it is important for foreigners to choose the right accountant. They have their own teams — lawyers, customs officials, customs specialists, professionals on various legal issues. It is necessary to be friends with Mali Muşavir, then there will be no problems with the laws.

An entrepreneur should know the Turkish language or have a trusted person who understands the laws and mentality of the country.

Before moving, I advise you to study all the details, live here, take a closer look. Understand how comfortable you are. But you shouldn't be afraid either. If there is a desire, you need to try. It will not be easy, but with proper management, everything is possible.

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