If previously Russian citizens bought residential property in Turkey for vacation, temporary or permanent residence, and worked remotely or did business abroad, then in recent years a different trend has emerged. Now more and more Russians moving to Turkey are opening their own businesses here – especially since the country’s authorities treat foreign businessmen favorably, regardless of their country of origin.
Foreigners – both individuals and legal entities – are entitled to the same rights in terms of starting and running a business as Turkish citizens. There are no restrictions for them, and they can open companies of any type, although the most popular is the analogue of the Russian limited liability company – Limited Şirketi.
The main advantages of an LLC include a small amount of initial (authorized) capital – about 600 US dollars (based on the Turkish lira exchange rate), which can also be paid in installments over two years, and the absence of personal liability to third parties. There is essentially one limitation, and it lies in the fact that the sole founder of the LLC must hire a Turkish citizen as director, since only they or holders of a work visa can occupy it. A foreigner can become a Turkish citizen by purchasing any real estate for a total amount of over 400 thousand US dollars, while in order to obtain a work visa, the authorized capital must be increased tenfold, and at the same time jobs must be created for at least five Turkish citizens.
Before opening an LLC in Turkey, you need to choose a name that has no analogues in the Trade Register and open a company account in one of the local banks, where you will subsequently need to deposit at least 25% of the amount of the authorized capital. Next, you can begin collecting a package of documents in accordance with which the company is registered. It includes the founders’ passports or other identification documents, the decision to establish the company and its articles of association, which must be translated into Turkish and certified by a notary.
If the founders have a Turkish TIN (you can get it at www.ivd.gib.gov.tr), then the next step is to submit an application for registration in the MERSIS system (www.mersis.gtb.gov.tr), which is a special service for accounting of commercial organizations. To register in this system, a foreign passport and an individual taxpayer number in Turkey are sufficient. In advance, foreigners must pay a state fee to the Turkish Antimonopoly Service, the amount of which in 2022 was equal to 0.04% of the authorized capital.
To register with the Trade Register, you must contact its nearest branch by filling out the appropriate application form. All other documents are printed on site from the MERSIS system, verified and certified, after which a company registration certificate and books of accounts are issued, which on average takes no more than an hour.
After this, all that remains is to confirm the legal address of the company and register with the social security service, which will also take no more than one day. For some types of economic activity – such as a medical center, pharmacy, construction company, security agency, a mandatory condition is to obtain an appropriate license, without which you can engage in small retail trade and other types of small business that do not require special knowledge or training.