Any company incorporated under the laws of a foreign country may establish a liaison office (aka, representative office) in Turkey upon obtaining a license from the Ministry of Commerce, provided that the company does not engage in any commercial activities in Turkey. To establish a liaison office, the following documents should be submitted to the Ministry of Trade, General Directorate of Incentive Implementation and Foreign Investment (GDIIFI).
1. Application form
2. Statement outlining the works to be conducted by the liaison office, an undertaking that the office shall not engage in any commercial activities, and proof that the signatory to the statement is fully authorized by the company
3. A certificate of activity issued by the foreign country and verified by the relevant Turkish Consulate or in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (the Apostille Convention)
4. A certificate of activity issued to foreign companies or balance sheet and income statement
5. A certificate of authorization issued to the individual(s) appointed to conduct the activities of the liaison office
6. A power of attorney in the event that the procedures for establishing the liaison office are carried out by another representative
During the initial application for liaison offices, licenses are granted for a maximum of three years within the scope of the declared activities. Liaison offices willing to extend their term of operation shall apply to GDIIFI before the expiration of their terms of operation. GDIIFI may conclude applications for the extension of their tenure based on the nature of activities of the office over the previous year, business plan, the company's future objectives in Turkey, existing and anticipated amount of expenditure and the number of employees. The tenure of operation of offices licensed to conduct market research or promotion of foreign company products or services shall not be extended.
Applications for establishment and tenure extension shall be concluded in fifteen working days from the date of application provided that the requested information/documents is/are complete and accurate.
Applications submitted by foreign companies to set up a liaison office to conduct financial activities subject to special legislation such as money and capital markets or insurance shall be evaluated by competent agencies such as the Capital Markets Board of Turkey and the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency – both being the duly authorized bodies pursuant to special legislations. The ministry may conclude foreign companies’ applications to set up liaison offices in other industries that require licenses for operations or similar authorizations, if necessary, upon consulting competent bodies that are duly authorized to issue such permits or licenses.
Copies of tax registration and tenancy agreement for the liaison office shall be submitted to GDIIFI within a maximum of one month. Liaison offices shall notify GDIIFI of any changes with regard to the office representative(s) or foreign company title within a maximum of one month following the change. Liaison offices shall produce a new tenancy agreement comprising the new address, the certificate of authorization of the newly appointed representative or the document(s) related with the change of title of the foreign company.
In the event that a liaison office terminates its operations, it shall furnish GDIIFI with a statement of termination to be obtained from the relevant tax office. Offices may not claim transfers of funds except for balances that remain outstanding upon termination and liquidation thereof.