TanzanianBusiness License Tanzania: Legal Requirements To Start a Business


One of the prerequisites needed by law to run any business in Tanzania is having a business license. Any license or authorization that a nation or other government body requires for a business to function is known as a business license. The federal, state and municipal governments offer a variety of business licenses and permit for a range of commercial businesses. The types of business license your firm will require to operate legally depend on where it is established and the type of business it is/

If you are planning to register company in Tanzania and are required to obtain a business license in order to run your business in the country, Tetra Consultants provides advice to its clients on the most effective strategies to get their company licenses in Tanzania. From gathering and assembling the required papers to submitting them and overseeing the follow-up on your behalf, we will walk you through the process of applying for business license Tanzania.

Why do you need a business license?

  • A business license is your company’s official authorization, allowing you to conduct business in your business sector and locality. Federal, state, and local governments have legal obligations to oblige small businesses to get the necessary business licenses prior to offering their products or services to the public.
  • County councils gain from business licenses by using them to control and raise money for their operations. Yet your small business might also benefit from a business license as Having a license enables business owners to provide their clients, staff, and other stakeholders the assurance that the business is conducted ethically and that the products and services it offers are reliable. Further, in some industries, licensing may also give firms a competitive edge because it allows them to show their license documentation during negotiations or RFPs.
  • Every county has its own set of rules and regulations regarding business licenses, and failing to abide by them can result in a wide range of penalties, including fines, late fees, penalties, and even being prohibited from operating. Hence, it is always advised to determine which licenses and permits you require before officially starting the operation of your business.

Tanzania business licensing law

  • The primary law governing Tanzania’s business licensing procedures is the Business Licensing Act No. 25 of 1972. According to the Act, no entity may run a business in Tanzania unless it is the holder of a relevant business license from the relevant authority. In Tanzania, two authorities, the Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA) for Class “A” Business Licenses and Local Government Authorities (LGAs) for Class B Licenses are responsible for issuing business licenses.

What are the requirements for obtaining a business license in Tanzania?

Under Tanzanian Business Licensing Act, every entity applying for a relevant business license is required to submit the documents and information enlisted below:

  • Details and proof of rented and owned business premises
  • Details of company registration or a business name with the Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA)
  • Details of Tax Identification Number (TIN) obtained from Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) 
  • Details pertaining to company registration with Sector Ministry/ Agency for the Permit to operate in the sector
  • Details of pre-owned Business License with the Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment (MITI) of Local Government Authorities (LGAS) 
  • Application requirements for Business Licenses In Tanzania
  • Application Requirements for Business License Issued under Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment and Local Government Authorities (District, Town/Municipal or City Councils)​
  • Business License Application Form (TFN 211) 
  • Attach a photocopy of the Certificate of incorporation (in case of a Company) or Certificate of Registration and Extract in case of Business Names)
  • Proof of Tanzania citizenship (of legal representative – nominee director/company secretary/agent) by attaching – Photocopy of passport, birth certificate or Affidavit, and in case of non-citizens attach a photocopy of Residence Permit Class A” – showing the holder to be an investor in that company/business
  • In case the shareholders of the company are non-residents, powers of attorney to citizens/Residence should be submitted/attached,
  • Proof by the applicant having suitable business premises for the business applied. The following can be submitted as proof, a copy of the title deed, tenancy agreement, etc
  • Proof of registration for tax payment from TRA by attaching a copy of the TIN Certificate and Business License Tax Clearance Certificates. 

Examples of sectorial licenses in Tanzania

  1. Gaming License: Entity planning to provide gaming services or conduct gaming activities in Tanzania are required to obtain a relevant gaming license from the Gaming Board of Tanzania. Further, such a license is also required to be applied in order to ensure the legal operations of casinos, slot machines, lotteries, and betting games, the manufacture of gaming equipment, and the sale and distribution of gaming equipment and accessories.
  2. Customs Agency License (CAL): An entity acting as an agent for the transaction of any business relating to the entry or departure of conveyances or the import or export of goods at a customs station is required to obtain a Customs Agency License (CAL)  from the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) for the businesses of Clearing and Forwarding, Bonded Warehouses, and Inland Container Depots (ICDs). 
  3. Insurance License: Businesses of insurance and assurance, insurance brokers, insurance agents, underwriting, and loss assessment are required to obtain an insurance license in Tanzania from Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA)


Tetra Consultants specializes in international corporate consulting services. Following years of growth, it has developed into a one-stop comprehensive service group offering the following five core services: international business/company registration, offshore financial license, accounting and tax planning, corporate bank account opening, and regulatory compliance consulting services

Tetra Consultants is the top cross-border corporate consulting platform in terms of scope, industry chain coverage, and overall strength. we are able to do cross-border business around the clock and with an immediate response. Our firm has a global reach that includes countries like Tanzania.

Contact us to know more about how to apply for a business license in Tanzania and our team of licensing experts will revert within the next 24 hours.

Tetra Consultants

Tetra Consultants is the consulting firm that works as your advisor and trusted partner in your business expansion. We tell our clients what they need to know, instead of what they want to hear. Most importantly, we are known for being a one-stop solution for our valued clients. Contact us now at enquiry@tetraconsultants.com for a non-obligatory free consultation. Our team of experts will be in touch with you within the next 24 hours.

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