Register company in Tanzania

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Company Registration

6 Weeks

Local Director?

No

Bank Account Opening

4 Weeks

Travel Required?

No

Excellent

Based on 87 reviews

  • To register company in Tanzania is hassle-free if you are familiar with the entire incorporation process. With Tetra Consultants at the wheel, you will be able to dedicate your time and resources to other more important channels.
  • As one of the most prominent developing countries in Africa, it offers excellent market opportunities in tourism, import, manufacturing, and agribusiness and a pro-business government that facilitates the provision of various incentives for both local as well as foreign investors.
  • With our lean-and-mean mentality, you can rely on our team of experts to provide you with a seamless experience throughout the whole process of Tanzania company formation. Our ultimate goal is for your company to be operationally ready within the stipulated time frame.

Our service package includes everything you will require to start a business in Tanzania:

  • Local company secretary and registered address
  • Corporate bank account opening
  • Annual accounting and tax services

Company registration

Benefits of registering company in Tanzania

Many opportunities exist in Tanzania that encourage new investments and motivate new and upcoming entrepreneurs like,

  • With Tanzania being amongst the developing countries, the market is full of opportunities for investments ranging from agribusiness, tourism, and manufacturing to importation.
  • The Tanzanian government provides various investment incentives to local and foreign investors through the Tanzania Investment Centre.
  • Tanzania is a very peaceful country and it offers a very conducive environment for businesses to operate and prosper in the near future.
  • The labor market in Tanzania is readily available with skilled and semi-skilled workers who are ready and available to work in various industries like manufacturing, agribusiness, mining, and many others.
  • Tanzania allows free outflow of capital and profits and does not exercise foreign exchange controls or restrictions hence promoting investment activity.
  • The expenses in setting up a business in Tanzania are low, as the country has one of the lowest consumer cost indices in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The special economic zones in Tanzania have several incentives to offer, like 100% exemption of value-added tax (VAT) on utilities and no corporate tax or withholding tax for 10 years.
  • Tetra Consultants will complete your Tanzania company formation through a seamless and fuss-free procedure.
  • Upon receiving the required due diligence documents of the directors and shareholders, Tetra Consultants will conduct a Tanzania company registration search to check the availability of your preferred company name.
  • The process to register company in Tanzania can be carried out remotely and you will not be required to travel to Tanzania during the registration process.
  • Within 6 weeks, you can expect to receive your Tanzania company tax number and a digital copy of the documents of your new company including the Company Registration Certificate, Notice of Incorporation, and Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI).
  • After successful company formation, Tetra Consultants will assist to open a corporate account with a local bank or with an overseas global bank depending on your long-term goals and objectives. Opening an account in Tanzania for foreigners will usually take around 4 weeks to be completed.
  • Consequently, you can expect to start operations and issue invoices with your new company within 10 weeks upon engaging Tetra Consultants.

Can a foreigner start a business in Tanzania?

  • In 2012, FDI into Tanzania rose to over US$ 1.1 billion, the highest in East Africa. There are no laws or regulations that prohibit foreign investment, participation, or control, and firms generally do not restrict foreign participation.
  • Foreigners intending to reside in Tanzania for investment, business, employment, or any other acceptable purpose are now issued both work and residence permits.
  • With the entry into force of the Non-Citizens (Employment Regulations) Act 2015 on 1 October 2015, work permits must first be issued by the Labour Commissioner before an application for a residence permit is made to the Director of Immigration Services.
  • Generally, a foreign company establishes a business in Tanzania by either:
    • Setting up a limited liability Tanzanian company as a group subsidiary.
    • Registering a foreign limited liability company in Tanzania as a branch, that is, having an established place of business in Tanzania.

Types of entities in Tanzania

  • Depending on your interest and endeavors, there are a number of corporate structures available to you to legally register and conduct business in Tanzania.
  • To start a business in Tanzania, you can opt for one of the following company types.

SLimited Liability Company

  • A limited liability company (LLC) in Tanzania is a distinct legal entity, separate from its shareholders. The liability of each shareholder towards the debts and obligations of an LLC is limited to their respective share capital contribution.
  • As the prerequisite for an LLC incorporation in Tanzania, it requires:
    • Minimum 2 shareholders (Individual/ Corporate Entity and can be the same or different person of any nationality)
    • Minimum 2 directors (can be the same or different person of any nationality)
    • There is no minimum share capital required
    • A local registered office address and a company secretary are mandatory
  • An LLC is the most commonly preferred legal entity by a foreigner for registering one’s business and is best suited for the incorporation of a small business with a simple shareholding structure.

Public Company

  • A public company in Tanzania is one whose shares are available for trading to the people. To form such a company, at least 2 directors and 7 shareholders (one of whom must be a Tanzanian national with a minimum 40% stake in the company) are required. Also, a minimum share capital must be deposited to start a public company depending on the intended business activity. A public company is ideal for someone looking to raise capital or list the company on the Tanzanian national stock exchange.

Private company

  • A private company is defined as any company that is not a public company. A private company tends to be smaller than a public company and cannot issue shares to the public. The registration of companies in Tanzania requires a Public company to be formed of two or more members but not more than fifty shareholders.

Branch

  • An overseas firm may set up a 100% foreign-owned company in Tanzania in the form of a branch office. It may be used to carry out business activities within the country.

Representative Office

  • A representative office refers to a company set up only for market research or promotion purposes. It is not allowed to carry out commercial or business-related activities.

What are the documents required to register a company in Tanzania?

Individual Shareholder/directors:

  • Application forms are duly signed by the authorized signatory.
  • Passport copy of the UBOs/ shareholders/ directors.
  • Copy of national identity card of the UBOs/ shareholders/ directors.
  • Most recent utility bill/ credit card statement/ bank statement with the name and residential address of the UBOs/ shareholders/ directors.
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) /profile of the UBOs/ shareholders/ directors.

Corporate Shareholder:

  • Application forms are duly signed by the authorized signatory.
  • Certificate of Incorporation of the corporate shareholder (mother company).
  • Memorandum and articles of association of the mother company.
  • Board resolution detailing the formation of the branch or the subsidiary nominating an authorized manager.
  • Passport copy of the UBOs/ shareholders/ directors.
  • Copy of national identity card of the UBOs/ shareholders/ directors.
  • Most recent utility bill/ credit card statement/ bank statement with the name and residential address of the UBOs/ shareholders/ directors.
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) /profile of the UBOs/ shareholders/ directors.

How to register company in Tanzania?

Step 1: Select the Type of Business Entity

  • The first step that has to be taken into consideration while forming a company in Tanzania is to select the type of business entity one wishes to form. Here, the incorporator has a choice among the different types of business structures as discussed above.
  • Prior to company formation, it is essential to choose the correct type of company. Based on your business structure and long-term goals, Tetra Consultants will advise you on the most optimum business entity, paid-up share capital, corporate structure, and business licenses if applicable.

Step 2: Choosing the Name of the Company

  • The next step in the process of company registration in Tanzania is to decide the name of the company through which you want to promote your company. The name chosen for the company should not match any other closed or open business in the country.
  • Tetra Consultants will reserve your preferred company name with the Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA).

Step 3: Preparation of important documents required to register company in Tanzania

  • Before Tetra Consultants can set up your company in Tanzania, you are required to provide a list of required KYC documents. Some of these documents include the names of directors and identification proof.
  • Upon receiving all the necessary documents, Tetra Consultants will proceed to draft and notarize the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association.
  • According to the business activity and company structure, Tetra Consultants will also draft articles of incorporation, business plan, and other incorporation documents.

Step 3: Preparation of important documents required to register company in Tanzania

  • Before Tetra Consultants can set up your company in Tanzania, you are required to provide a list of required KYC documents. Some of these documents include the names of directors and identification proof.
  • Upon receiving all the necessary documents, Tetra Consultants will proceed to draft and notarize the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association.
  • According to the business activity and company structure, Tetra Consultants will also draft articles of incorporation, business plan, and other incorporation documents.

Step 4: Registration of entity

  • Thereafter, Tetra Consultants will proceed with incorporation. We will submit the completed and Notarized memorandum and articles of association along with the necessary documents signifying the consent of directors and shareholders to take up the respective position for the first round of assessment of documents and fees to be paid is done by the Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA).
  • If the documents are in good order, the registrar will issue the certificate of incorporation along with the receipt signifying the registration fee to be paid by the applicant.
  • Once the approval is received, Tetra Consultants will courier the certificate of incorporation along with other corporate and internal documentary evidence to your preferred address.

Step 5: Opening of corporate bank account

  • After registration, Tetra Consultants will assist you in opening a corporate bank account. Our team has established partnerships with multiple reputable banks in both Tanzania and globally. We will present your business to each relationship manager and compliance team.
  • Typically, the account opening will take roughly 4 weeks. In most cases, the directors and shareholders are not required to travel. However, if travel is required, we will have a representative accompany you to the bank meeting. Alternatively, our team will negotiate with the banks to conduct a conference call instead or to request a waiver.
  • Once your account has been successfully opened, Tetra Consultants will courier the internet banking token and access codes to your preferred address.

Step 6: Process of Inclusion

  • In order to work in a foreign land without any trouble, the company needs to complete the process of inclusion and get the license of incorporation.
  • Tetra Consultants will undertake the process of submitting the details of the director and the secretary of the company along with the petition for acknowledging the compliance of company registration in Tanzania. Further, we will state the goal of the company and the hierarchy of all the members along with their responsibilities to the Tanzania Investment Centre.

Step 7: Register the Company for TIN and VAT

  • Once the above procedure is finished, Tetra Consultants will proceed with the further post-registration requirements to be carried out for the smooth day-to-day operation of your business.
  • The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) will provide the TIN for the company and authorize it for the VAT. If it is an LLC, we will need to submit the forms with the company and shareholders’ data to get the TIN.

Step 8: Apply for Other Mandatory Registrations

  • Tanzania’s government allows the company to operate legally once it has completed all the mandatory registration formalities.
  • At this stage, Tetra Consultants will apply for a business license at the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT) and Local Government Authorities (LGAs). The license is either issued by MIT or LGAs based on the nature of the business. The following documents are supposed to be submitted along with the application:
    • Certificate of incorporation
    • Proof of suitable company premises
    • Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA)
    • Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
    • Proof of Tanzanian Citizenship

Step 9: Register for Workmen’s Compensation Insurance

Step 10: Obtain Social Security Registration

  • The tenth and penultimate step is to obtain Social Security Registration Numbers from all mandatory security schemes. These mandatory schemes are provided by law and are guaranteed by the government in order to provide employees with social security services.

Step 11: Register with the Occupational Safety and Health Authority (OSHA)

  • Any person being the owner of the company must register with the OSHA. They must complete the application form and provide the company registration documents. The OSHA officials visit the workplace/factory prior to you applying for inspection and health safety. The application requires the following:
    • Name of occupier
    • Address
    • Nature of work
    • Total number of employees

Step 12: Post-incorporation Compliances

  • It is a statutory duty for every company incorporated in Tanzania mainland and in Zanzibar to file their annual returns with the Registrar of Companies accompanied with audited accounts, which are made up to a date not later than the return date. The return date is the date of the anniversary of the company’s incorporation.
  • Tetra Consultants will timely prepare your firm’s financial statements, annual returns, and accounting records and file them with the relevant authorities and auditors to ensure your company remains compliant with the Tanzania tax authority. Annual filings and tax returns will be timely completed before the stipulated deadlines set out by the government.

Timeline to register a company

Accounting and tax obligations

  • For business entities that are residents in Tanzania, corporate income tax is charged on the aggregate income, regardless of the geography from which it has been sourced. In other words, both, income sourced from within Tanzania, as well as income sourced outside Tanzania are used to calculate corporate income tax in Tanzania.
  • On the contrary, non-residents are supposed to pay taxes on income that has been sourced from within Tanzania only.

Corporate tax

  • Corporate income is taxed in Tanzania at a rate of 30%. This rate is applicable for both, resident business entities, as well as Permanent Establishments of non-resident business entities. Alternatively, a 5% turnover fee is charged for technical and management service providers for mining, oil, and gas-related services.
  • For newly established companies, a reduced rate of Corporate Income Tax is applicable. Under this premise, the applicable rate is set at 25% for the first three years of operations of businesses on the stock exchange. However, only those companies eligible for this have around 30% shares already issued to the public.

Reduced corporate tax rates for specific companies Reduced rates of corporate tax are applicable for the following business entities:

  • For new vehicle assembly plants, tractors, or fishing equipment (for the first five years of operations): tax is levied at a rate of 10%.
  • For newly established manufacturers of pharmaceutical products and leather products (for the first five years of operations): tax is levied at a rate of 20%.
  • For newly established manufacturers of sanitary pads (for the first two years of operations): tax is levied at a rate of 25%.

Other Taxation in Tanzania Alternative Minimum Tax

  • AMT is levied at a rate of 0.5% of the sales turnover for companies that have unrelieved tax losses for current, as well as preceding income years. However, this does not apply to agricultural companies or companies that are engaged in healthcare or education.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

  • VAT is charged as a consumption tax across all locally sourced goods and services, at a standardized rate of 18%. However, this rate of VAT is applicable in Mainland Tanzania. For Tanzania Zanzibar, VAT is levied at a rate of 15%. Export-related businesses, as well as businesses dealing with staple food supplies, are zero-rated when it comes to VAT.

Accounting requirements

  • An entity doing business in Tanzania must file income tax returns within six months from the end of every fiscal year. It should be noted that income tax returns can only be accepted at TRA if the entity has cleared the income tax assessed by TRA during registration for TIN. This assessed tax is required to be paid every four months of the year (quarterly).
  • It is a requirement of the law that every company shall keep in English or Swahili proper books of account, which are sufficient to show and explain the company’s transactions. The accounts shall disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time, the financial position of the company and enable the directors to ensure that any balance sheet, profit and loss account, and cash flow statement prepared complies with the law.
  • The books of account shall be kept at the registered office of the company or at such other place in Tanzania as the directors think fit, and shall at all times be open to inspection by the directors.

Why do companies invest in Tanzania?

Political

  • Tanzania is a peaceful and politically stable country with no history of civil wars, ethnical conflicts, or internal uprisings. This political stability is crucial as it provides protection to investors.
  • Tanzania has been working to improve its business environment, but further improvements are required. This is as the country lags behind its regional peers in a number of global business environment rankings. Tanzania ranked 141 out of 190 countries in the latest 2020 World Bank’s Doing Business rankings.
  • Similarly, the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report of 2019 ranks Tanzania in the 117th position, placing it behind Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Rwanda, despite gradual progress in Tanzania’s ranking since 2013, given improvements in its macroeconomic environment, in infrastructure, education, and institutions.

Economical

  • Tanzania’s infrastructure quality differs largely between the four major modes of transport. It is well served by air, particularly domestically, but also has relatively good international connections.
  • Infrastructure in Tanzania has witnessed impressive investment in recent years and there is more to come.
  • The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom 2022 ranks Tanzania at 93rd position globally and 10th in the sub-Saharan region with notable successes being fiscal and investment freedom.

Technology

  • The Global Innovation Index report of 2020 comes with a piece of good news to Tanzania’s innovation ecosystem. In the top 3 innovation economies by region, in Sub-Saharan Africa, the country ranks 3rd just behind South Africa/Mauritius (1st) and Kenya (2nd).
  • Tanzania also has been clustered among economies that are outperforming on innovation relative to their peers. Tanzania is among the countries in the group of innovation achievers together with 7 other economies; Bulgaria, Serbia, Tunisia, Jamaica, Morocco, Madagascar, and Niger. The last time Tanzania was in this group was in 2017.

Legal

  • While the jury is still out on this, the Magufuli government has, in its first few months in office, shown its intent to root-out corruption in many public sector offices.
  • According to the World Bank’s Global Indicators of Regulatory Governance 2020, Tanzania scores low in regulatory governance with 1.25 out of 5 totals in the transparency of regulatory governance.
  • One example of reform in the above-mentioned 2016 World Bank ranking is that Tanzania is amongst the economies that have shown the most progress in adopting electronic tax filing and payment systems. For instance, the implementation of the LGRCIS in 2014, which increased tax revenues by 71% between 2014 and 2015, is one example of measured progress and reforms.

Society

  • Tanzania is accorded the position of 163rd out of 189 countries on the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Index 2019.
  • Tanzania remains a low-income country, with almost half the population of 55 million living on less than US$1.90 a day and over 56% of the population considered to live in multidimensional poverty (which takes into account such factors as health, education, and standard of living).

Environmental

  • Tanzania’s rich natural resources are fundamental for the country’s growth and economic development. However, the underutilization of the potential of the environment and natural resources for the economy and people’s livelihoods contributes to Tanzania’s standing as one of the world’s poorest countries.
  • According to the Environmental Performance Index of 2022, Tanzania ranks at the position of 134th out of 180 countries in terms of facing environmental challenges and having updated environmental policies in the country.

Looking to register company in Tanzania?

Contact us to find out more about how to register a company in Tanzania. Our team of experts will revert within the next 24 hours.

FAQ

How much does it cost to set up a company in Tanzania?

  • Depending on the services you need from Tetra Consultants, the total engagement fee will differ. Our services include planning and strategizing with your company, assisting you in the incorporation process, ensuring that you are compliant, and more.
  • This total fee includes the registration fee charged by the Tanzanian government. We will discuss with you the total engagement fee you would need to pay before we start the registration process for your company.

How much time does it take to register company in Tanzania?

  • Tetra Consultants will register your Bermuda company within 10 weeks.

What is the most prevalent form of an entity registered in Tanzania?

  • The most prevalent form of entity in Tanzania is a limited liability company.

What is the most prevalent form of an entity registered in Tanzania?

  • The most prevalent form of entity in Tanzania is a limited liability company.

Is there any requirement for having a registered local office address in Tanzania?

  • Yes, entities registering in Tanzania are required to have a registered local address.

Do I need a local registered agent to register Company in Tanzania?

  • Yes, according to the laws of Tanzania you will need a local agent who will act as an intermediary between you and the government authorities of Tanzania.

Is there any requirement of a license to operate a business in Tanzania?

  • The requirement for licenses depends on the activities to be carried on by the entity.

Can I set up a company with 100% foreign ownership in Tanzania?

  • Yes, a typical Tanzanian limited liability company allows 100% foreign ownership.






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