Do you know that it is possible to live in any country and yet open a business in Tunisia? What are the advantages of starting a business in Tunisia?
How to start a business in Tunisia – First Steps
One of the first steps necessary in starting a business in Tunisia is getting a location. Businesses with physical locations have more credibility.
When negotiating with the property owner, it is recommended that you include in the agreement that the rent cost will increase by 5 percent every year. Officials of real estate claim that this is good for property owners and renters and helps to keep great long-term relationships.
You are encouraged to take your time to choose an appropriate office address. Frequent changes in office address will make the company look flaky. The address is used as a legal address to complete the company paperwork.
In Tunisia, the Ministry of Employment encourages those applying for a work visa to have an office and at least one employee.
It takes approximately two weeks to get this task done.
How to start a business in Tunisia-Drafting Articles of Association
It is necessary to draft what is called an article of association. It does not cost much. You are to make 12 copies that will be submitted to the beledia that will be registered for all of the other things needed to be done for your company registration.
It takes approximately two days to get the above done and it can be free or cost 2000 TND.
You will also need to declare the project online and make sure that the activities of your company align with what is written online.
This will take a day and it is free.
Also necessary is the opening of a bank account in the company name. Bank transfer fees are fixed between $25 to $50. A qualified bank will set up a temporary account that is transferred into your permanent account when you arrive in Tunisia.
This takes anything between 5-10 days to accomplish. It is usually set up an account in a day but it could take anything from 5-10 days for the deposit to arrive in the bank.
How to start a business in Tunisia-paperwork
Your articles of association need to be registered with the tax administration in Guichet Unique (API) desk. You will also need to obtain a certification attesting that your declaration has been filed.
You will require six original copies of articles of association. They are to be deposited with the tax administration. Eight registered copies are to be delivered to the company to observe all necessary protocols.
Two registered copies of the articles are to be deposited with the court officer and one of the copies is for filing at the Tax Control Desk.
If the company is an export company with a low turnover, less than one-third of the local Tunisian market, the company is filed with the Fiscal Revenue Service at the one-stop-shop desk. This costs nothing.
This takes about a day to accomplish. It will cost you 15 TND for every page necessary.
How to start a business in Tunisia-Filing Declaration of Existence
The documents needed to file a declaration of existence are listed as follows:
- a printed signature form
- a registered copy of the articles of association
- One copy of the minutes of the nomination of the managers
- A copy of the managers’ national identity cards (a copy of the passport for foreigners)
- One copy of the rent agreement or certificate of ownership of the premises where the headquarters is domiciled
- Any administrative authorization required to start a business
It takes approximately a day to file a declaration of existence with the Tax control Desk.
How to start a business in Tunisia-Depositing Documents at the Greffe du Tribunal
The following documents would be needed for filing at the Greffe du Tribunal
- Printed forms for the depositors to complete and sign. There are two copies and will be provided by the office.
- Two managers will sign a declaration of honour. There are also two copies. The office will also provide this.
- Two copies of the registered statutes will be needed.
- The minutes that nominate the managers will also be needed, especially if it is not designated in the articles of association
- The Arabic translation of the main clauses of the article is also necessary
- The declaration of the commencement of business along with the tax administration and tax identity card is required. Two copies are needed
- Two copies indicating the address of the headquarters of the company is needed
- A passport for foreigners and a national identity card in Tunisia of the company’s managers.
- A fiscal stamp that will cost you 15 TND
- A proxy, if the formalities are undertaken by a party other than a manager in the company
This takes a day to complete and costs 15 TND
How to start a business in Tunisia-Advertising with the Official Gazette
You will need to advertise in the official gazette with the government and in two newspapers. One of the newspapers should be in Arabic as preferred by the Tunisian government. After doing this, you must file the following documents:
- Texts of the opinion to publish in French or Arabic
- A copy of the announcer’s ID card, including references attesting to the deposit of an investment project declaration.
This takes approximately a week to complete and may cost you 200 TND.
How to start a business in Tunisia-Other registrations
You should register with the du Commerce at the Greffe du Tribunal. All you need to do is file a receipt of payment for the notice in the Official Gazette. This takes about one day and 15 TND to complete.
Registering for social security costs a day and 5 TND.
Getting inspected by a National Social Security Fund takes a day and is free. By law, the National Social Security Fund agents are required to visit the company premises to check if the company is complying with the rules and regulations of the nation.
How to start a business in Tunisia-conclusion
Finally, you file a declaration with the labour inspectorate. It typically takes a day to complete this and costs nothing. The company founder must file with labour inspectorate. They must present three dated and signed copies of the declaration. This must specify the following:
- The company name, business purpose, and address of the headquarters
- The company manager’s name, age, nationality, and address
- The social security affiliation number
- The number of permanent seasonal positions at the time of declaration, and the name, age, nationality, and professional skills of the employees
- The number, date of issuance, and the validity of the residence card for foreign workers.
The last thing you do is create the company seal.
Congratulations on starting your company.
Disclaimer: Be aware that this article is not a substitute for legal advice. Please always check official websites or seek legal advice before you take action. Also, take note of current tax laws in Tunisia and the percentage they are qualified to receive by law.