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Step By Step Guide On How To Register Your Business In Tanzania

Do you wish to invest in Tanzania today? If yes, you need to have information and updates on how to start! So if you want to launch your business soon in Tanzania and you don’t know how and where to start from, give this guide a bit of your time. We will walk you through the necessary details you need to know about the importance of registering your business and how you need to do it in Tanzania.


Business registration has many associated benefits like unique identity, safety and security, continuity, growth, trust, 100% VAT exemption, the free outflow of capital and profits with no foreign exchange restrictions, few setting up expenses, access to all government services and many others.


Citizens, foreigners, refugees and other categories of people are all free to register their businesses in Tanzania and engage in income-generating activities. However, business registration in Tanzania involves various entities and it takes seven to fourteen working days closely.

Entrepreneurs and investors who wish to establish businesses in Tanzania are advised to seek professional advice and consultation from lawyers and other related experts since they offer the best regarding the accurate description of the scope of business that gives enormous benefits.


The business registration and licensing agency (BRELA), empowered by the government under act No 30 of 1997 for business registration in Tanzania, is in charge of business registration and company incorporations. Therefore, if you wish to register and incorporate your business, you can visit www.brela.go.tz to know the requirements and the process you have to go through until you can secure a business registration certificate.


The business registration and licensing agency allows registration of;
  • Private companies

  • Public companies

  • Foreign branch

  • Parastatal or state-owned companies


How to incorporate a company in Tanzania

  • Do a business name search to prove the availability or unavailability of the business name that will be used.

  • Reserve the business/ company name and if the business is to be incorporated at a later stage, fill forms 14a, 14b and prepare a memorandum and articles of association for filling at Brela.

  • For foreign branches, submit certified copies of the memorandum and articles of association of the parent company, a notice of the location of the registered office in the country of domicile, a list of directors and names of the representatives in the country. This process from name search to the acquisition of a certificate takes about 5 days.


Requirements for doing business in Tanzania upon acquisition of an incorporation certificate include;

1. TIN (Tax Identification Number); a TIN certificate can be obtained from Tanzania Revenue Authority in person from their website at; www.tra.go.tz. Requirements for obtaining a TIN include;

  • Certified copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association

  • Certified copy of a certificate of incorporation

  • The directors TIN

  • Payment of provisional taxes

  • Lease agreement (stamp duty and withholding tax paid)

  • Directors/shareholders passport copies and photos. This process takes about three days.


2. Business license; this can be obtained from the ministry of trade and industry. The requirements include; certified copy of memorandum and articles of association, certified copy of a certificate of incorporation, certified copy of a TIN certificate, certified copy of tax clearance from TRA, certified copy of lease agreement and directors/ shareholders passport copies. This process takes three days.


3. Value Added Tax Identification Number (VAT); this can be acquired from Tanzania Revenue Authority. Requirements for obtaining VAT include;


  • a certified copy of memorandum and articles of association

  • a certified copy of a certificate of incorporation

  • a certified copy of a TIN certificate

  • a certified copy of the tax clearance certificate

  • a certified copy of a business license

  • purchase of an EFD devise for VAT

  • a certified copy of the lease agreement and directors/ shareholders passport copies. This process takes three days.



Requirements for business registration in Tanzania

Certified memorandum and articles of association

  • Certified copy of the lease agreement (with stamp duty and withholding tax paid)

  • Passport copies of the shareholders and directors

  • TIN application form

  • VAT application and registration form

  • Application for employer registration

The criteria of registering a company in Tanzania


1. Decide on the business type for your company

This requires you to pick a legal entity type you would like to have your business as. In Tanzania, you can have your business registered as; sole proprietorship, Private companies, public companies, foreign branches, Parastatal or state owned companies, branch or representative office. This majorly depends on what you want to operate.


2. Register the business name

Registering a business name can be done with Business Registration and Licensing Agency. The proposed business name must be unique and not exist by any other business in Tanzania.


3. Submit the required documents

Organize the Memorandum and Articles of Association, fill out form 14A, and provide details regarding office location, company directors, and the secretary. Then submit the forms (form 14A) and other necessary documents to BRELA. Processing of the above documents and forms takes approximately two days, and then the agency issues a certificate of incorporation.


4. Obtain notarization of compliance

The incorporator has to visit a notary for notarization of the declaration of compliance to get a notarized declaration of compliance.


5. Apply for a certificate of incorporation

Applying for a certificate of incorporation is done at the Tanzania investment centre. The secretary or the incorporator must submit the following documents to the registrar of companies. The documents include; first directors and secretary and the intended situation of the registered office and declaration of compliance on application for the company's registration.


6. Draft Memorandum and Articles of Association

Prepare the memorandum and articles of association. The memorandum of association is a detailed statement of objects of the company, while the articles of association are clear statements of management structure and processes.

7. Register with the Tax Authority

Get a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) for your company. The Tanzanian Revenue Authority issues a TIN. Once you get a TIN, the Tanzanian Revenue Authority will open a tax file for your business, and you will be required to fill out the tax return form.


8. Getting a business license

Once you have a business license, you are free to begin your business in Tanzania. The kind of business license you acquire depends on the nature of your business and the nature of activities your business is involved in.


Business licenses can be obtained from the Ministry of Industry, trade and investment or the nearby Municipal council in the locality (local government authorities) in which your business would be operating. Companies like oil and gas, food and beverage, manufacturing, and consultancy must apply for special licenses and permits. The license is issued by MIT or the LGAs based on the nature of the business.

While applying for the license, you must submit these details along with the application. The documents include; certificate of incorporation, proof of suitable company premises, memorandum and articles of association, TIN, proof of Tanzanian citizenship.


9. Complete your Value Added Tax (VAT) registration

Applying for VAT can be done at Tanzania Revenue Authority. VAT is compulsory for businesses that intend to have initial capital of 50 million in the first six months and 100 million in a year. Therefore, it would be best to visit the Tanzanian revenue authority office to get the required papers for registration. VAT is for all businesses except those that offer professional expertise services. You conduct VAT registration through the Tanzania Revenue Authority.


10. Register for workmen’s compensation insurance

Workmen’s compensation insurance can be registered at the National Insurance Corporation or with another provider. Employers must complete the workmen’s compensation tariff proposal to register for workmen's compensation. This can be done at the workers' compensation fund and Tanzania insurance regulatory authority.


11. Obtain social security registration

Obtaining social security registration numbers is for all mandatory security schemes. The law provides the compulsory schemes and is guaranteed by the government to provide employees with social security services.


12. Register with the occupational safety and health authority

Every person who owns a company must register with the Occupational safety and health authority. Owners of companies complete the application form and give company registration documents. Application documents required include; the name of occupier, address, nature of work, the total number of employees. In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Authority officials must visit the workplace for inspection and health safety before your application.


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