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In Tanzania businesses can be registered as a business name (individual enterprise), a local company or a foreign company.
Business Registrations and Licensing Agency (BRELA) is responsible for business registration in Tanzania. BRELA issues certificates of compliance for foreign companies, certificates of incorporation for local companies, certificates of registration for single proprietorship and Business License for all businesses.
Registration for companies and application for business licenses are done through an online system at www.brela.go.tz
Firms must then register their businesses with the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) and the Worker's Compensation Fund (WCF).
Start a local company
Local company is a company incorporated in Tanzania regardless of whether shareholders are Tanzanians or are foreigners. Number of shares is determined by shareholders themselves. Click above heading to see steps.
Obtain certificate of incorporationLocal company is a company incorporated in Tanzania regardless of whether shareholders are Tanzanians or are foreigners. Number of shares is determined by shareholders themselves. Click above heading to see steps. Obtain TIN for Individual with NIDA IDEvery shareholder of the company must register for Tax payer Identification number with Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and obtain TIN Certificate. Registration of TIN for individuals is done through an online system (https://ots.tra.go.tz). Obtain company TIN numberAfter obtaining Certificate of Incorporation, the new company must register with Tax payer Identification Number (TIN). TIN registration for companies is done at TRA district office near the business location. In addition, each shareholder and director must register with TIN to be able to pay taxes. The application process for shareholders is done online. Obtain tax clearance certificateAll businesses that are to obtain a license are required to apply for a tax clearance certificate from the respective Tax region under which the business is registered. The application for a tax clearance certificate should be in writing with proof showing compliance for all taxes by the applicant of the tax clearance certificate.Obtain business license
Business Licence is a legal document issued by government agencies that grants the user the right to operate any form of trade, commerce, craftsmanship or specified profession carried on for profit or gain (business) within government's geographical jurisdiction.
Any businesses line in Tanzania should obtain its own business licence from the Government agency mandated to issue Business Licence. For the purpose of business registration, there are two types of licenses namely, general and specific Business Licenses. General business licenses are issued by Business Registrations and Licensing Agency (BRELA) through an online application system and at Municipal/City Councils.
Under general licenses there are two categories namely, Schedule "A" and Schedule 'B' business licence. Schedule A license is issued to companies with business of national and international nature while Schedule B issued to business of local nature.
Specific business licenses are sectoral licenses issued by accreditation bodies such as Engineer Registration Board, Drug Authority, Ministry of Tourism etc.
Register for VATAll businesses with annual turnover of 100 million Shillings and above must register for Value Added Tax (VAT). It is mandatory for taxpayers to purchase Electronic Fiscal Device before they obtain the VAT certificate. Companies collect VAT on behalf of TRA when they sell goods and or services. Companies are required to submit monthly returns showing the total sales and purchases of the business.National social security schemeThe National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Act No. 28 of 1997 provides for registration of both employers and employees. All employers are required to register with the Fund immediately after setting up companies. Registration is completed by filling Form NSSF/R1A which is available at any NSSF office throughout Tanzania. Occupational Safety and Health
The Occupational Safety and Health Authority (OSHA) aims to ensure that workplaces are free from occupational hazards that may cause injuries or illness to employees.A workplace is any premises or place where a person performs work in the course of his employment.
Any company or individual owning or occupying a factory or another workplace in Tanzania needs to obtain the Certificate of Compliance with the OSHA Chief Inspector. The registration of a work place should be done before commencement of any business operation as per section 16(2) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 2003.
After registration of the workplace, OSHA will conduct an inspection. Depending on the nature of the business, these inspections could encompass general, plant, electrical safety, industrial hygiene inspections, medical examinations, buildings and construction safety, ergonomics.
Workers Compensation Fund (WCF) is a social security scheme established in accordance with Section 5 of the Workers Compensation Act [Cap 263 Revised Edition of 2015].
The main purpose for establishment of the Fund is to provide for adequate and equitable compensation for employees who suffer occupational injuries or contact occupational diseases arising out of and in the course of their employment and in case of death, for their dependants.
All employees in the public and private sectors in Mainland Tanzania are covered and hence employers are required by Law to contribute to the Fund on behalf of their employees. Until 2017/2018 financial year, the rates of contribution (tariffs) were categorized into two groups of employers i.e. private employers and public employers. Contributions to be paid by employers in the private sector were calculated at a rate of 1% of employees’ earnings and contribution to be paid by employers in public sector were calculated at a rate of 0.5% of employees’ earnings
Local company full procedureThe full procedure shows step-by-step manner all procedures needed to register a local company in all mandatory registers in Tanzania
Register a foreign companyA foreign company is a company that is registered/incorporated outside Tanzania. It may conduct business in Tanzania by opening a branch in Tanzania. In this case a foreign company can also be a company that has been incorporated in Tanzania but with majority shareholding (51%) being owned by a foreigner.
Register business name onlineRegistering a business name is the simplest way to start and conduct business in Tanzania. It is also the most inexpensive and easiest business form to maintain. In Tanzania individuals (sole proprietors) or partners (partnerships) who wish to register their business as personal business other than companies are categorized under Business Names.