Establishing a Business in Turkey: A Comprehensive Guide for Entrepreneurs

Establishing a Business in Turkey: Introduction Turkey presents a dynamic […]

Establishing a Business in Turkey

Establishing a Business in Turkey: Introduction

Turkey presents a dynamic and welcoming environment for international investors. Understanding the intricacies of establishing a business in this vibrant economy is crucial for entrepreneurs looking to leverage the opportunities available in this cross-continental country.

Overview of Turkish FDI Law

Turkey’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Law is a cornerstone of its investment environment, championing the principle of equal treatment. This means that international investors enjoy the same rights and obligations as local investors, ensuring a level playing field. The law facilitates a welcoming and non-discriminatory climate for global businesses.

Additionally, the Turkish Commercial Code (TCC) plays a pivotal role in enhancing the country’s appeal to international investors. The TCC, aligning with EU legislation and international standards, offers a comprehensive corporate governance framework. This includes transparency in operations, promotion of private equity, and facilitation of public offerings. The alignment with EU standards, particularly during the EU accession process, ensures that international businesses operating in Turkey can expect a regulatory environment that resonates with broader European business practices.

Types of Business Entities in Turkey

In Turkey, the business landscape accommodates various types of entities, catering to different business needs and structures. Under the Turkish Commercial Code (TCC), businesses can opt for either corporate or non-corporate forms.

  1. Corporate Forms:
    • Joint Stock Company (JSC): Ideal for larger businesses, JSCs offer limited liability to their shareholders and are preferred for their ability to raise capital through public and private offerings.
    • Limited Liability Company (LLC): Suited for small to medium-sized enterprises, LLCs offer a simpler and more flexible management structure with limited liability for the owners.
  2. Non-Corporate Forms:
    • General Partnership: This type involves two or more individuals who share unlimited liability for the business’s debts and obligations.
    • Limited Partnership: Similar to a general partnership but includes at least one partner with limited liability.
    • Partnership Limited by Shares: A mix between a partnership and a joint-stock company, providing a unique structure for investors who prefer a blend of both.

Both JSCs and LLCs are the most commonly chosen forms in Turkey, mirroring global economic trends. These structures provide a balance of flexibility and security, making them attractive options for a wide range of international businesses.

Step-by-Step Guide to Establishing a Business in Turkey

  1. Online Registration through MERSIS: Start by submitting your company’s memorandum and articles of association online to MERSIS, a central registry for commercial processes​​.
  2. Notarizing Company Documents: Essential for legalizing your business operations.
  3. Tax Identity Number: Obtain this for your non-Turkish shareholders and board members​​.
  4. Capital Deposit: Deposit a specified percentage of your startup capital to the Competition Authority and in a bank​​​​.
  5. Trade Registry Application: Apply for registration at the Trade Registry Directorate after gathering necessary documents​​.
  6. Certifying Legal Books: Certify essential legal books like the journal, ledger, and share ledger​​.
  7. Tax Office Notification: Ensure the Trade Registry Directorate notifies the tax office about your company establishment​​.
  8. Signature Circular Issuance: Required on the day of registration at the Trade Registry Directorate​​.
  9. Transition to E-TUYS System: For electronic documentation related to foreign investment​​.

Special Business Structures

Joint Ventures: A popular choice, joint ventures in Turkey are typically formed as commercial companies with no specific legislation governing them​​.

Branch Offices: These are extensions of the parent company with no separate legal entity status and specific setup requirements​​.

Liaison Offices: For foreign companies looking to establish a non-commercial presence in Turkey​​.


Establishing a business in Turkey is a journey that demands careful attention to legal details and a deep understanding of the local business environment. This comprehensive guide is designed as a roadmap, illuminating the path for entrepreneurs who are ready to explore the vibrant and dynamic Turkish market. While the process is streamlined and investor-friendly, navigating through the legalities and bureaucratic procedures requires precision and informed decision-making.

Additional Tips and Insights

  • Cultural Nuance: Understanding the local business culture and etiquette in Turkey can greatly enhance your experience. Building relationships and trust is key in the Turkish business world.
  • Legal Compliance: Regularly update yourself on Turkish commercial laws and regulations, as they can change. Non-compliance can lead to unnecessary delays and legal complications.
  • Market Research: Conduct thorough market research to understand the local demand, competition, and consumer behavior. This will help in tailoring your business strategies effectively.
  • Local Partnerships: Consider forming alliances with local businesses. This can provide valuable insights into the Turkish market and aid in navigating administrative processes.
  • Language Barrier: While English is widely spoken in the business community, having Turkish language support can be beneficial, especially in dealing with government offices and local suppliers.

Call to Action

Are you ready to embark on your entrepreneurial journey in Turkey? Our team of expert advisors, including experienced legal professionals, is here to provide you with personalized guidance and support every step of the way. From understanding the nuances of Turkish commercial law to navigating the complexities of business registration and compliance, our advisors are equipped to ensure a smooth transition into the Turkish market.

Contact our legal experts today to start shaping your business venture in Turkey with confidence and clarity.

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