Business entities in Libya

Business entities in Libya

LLC setup in LibyaSince 2003, Healy Consultants provides our Clients with the optimum corporate structures for doing business in Libya. Wholly foreign owned companies in Libya are limited to certain sectors only. So, our Clients will be better served by setting up joint ventures entities in the form of LLCs or Joint Stock companies. Alternatively, our Clients may choose to setup branch offices or representative offices in Libya.

The Libyan limited liability company (LLC)

  • A foreign investor may choose to establish a wholly foreign owned LLC in Libya if the initial share capital deposited is higher than US$3.7 million. Such an entity can operate in certain sectors of the Libyan economy, including i) industry ii) heath care iii) tourism iv) services and v) agriculture. If the company corporate structure includes a Libyan partner holding 50% shares, the capital requirement will be reduced to US$1.5 million;
  • An LLC can be setup with 1 director and 1 shareholder. While the company can be 100% foreign owned, the director must be a Libyan national. Furthermore, our Client will be required to lease office space in Libya before company incorporation.

The Libyan joint stock company (JSC)

  • This Libya business setup allows non-Libyan residents to only own up to 49% stake in the entity. However, it is possible for our Clients to obtain the approval from the Ministry of Economy to own up to 60% of stake in the company;
  • A JSC must have at least 10 shareholders, each of whom can not hold more than 10% of the shares. The minimum capital required to setup this entity is US$730,000. Furthermore, our Client will be required to appoint at least 1 Libyan national as the chairman of the company’s board of directors.

The Libya branch

  • Foreign companies looking to do business in Libya may seek to setup a branch office in Libya. For this purpose, the branch office must appoint a Libyan resident manager and deposit a minimum capital of US$184,000 in a local bank prior to commencing operations;
  • A branch office may only engage in the following activities: i) oil and gas activities ii) telecommunication and information technology iii) contracting and civil works iv) electricity works v) industrial activities vi) environmental protection vii) planning and surveying and viii) contracting and civil works.

The Libya representative office

  • Foreign entities also have the option of setting up a representative office in Libya. This entity is not permitted to engage in any commercial or profit making activities in the country. Consequently, its activities are limited to i)market research and data collection and ii) facilitating contracts between parent companies and third parties;
  • This Libya business setup must be registered with the Ministry of Economy. Furthermore, this entity must also have a bank account with Libyan bank.

Comparison table between Libya business entities

 LLCJSCBranch officeRep office
How long to set the company up?12 weeks16 weeks35 weeks35 weeks
How long to open company bank account?4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks
Legal liability?LimitedLimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Wholly foreign owned?YesNoNANA
Minimum capital required?US$3.7 millionUS$730,000US$184,0000
File annual tax return?YesYesYesNo
Tax registration certificate required?YesYesYesNo
Recommended corporate bank account?Libyan Foreign Bank Bank of Commerce & DevelopmentNational Commercial BankAman Bank Libya
Does our Client need to travel?NoNoNoNo
Resident manager required?YesYesYesNo
Resident shareholder required?NoYesNANA
Minimum directors allowed?12NANA
Minimum shareholders?110NANA
Tax identification code (TIN) needed?YesYesYesNo
Libya resident company secretary required?NoNoNoNo
Corporate shareholders allowed?YesYesYesYes
Libya corporate tax rate?20%20%20%0%
Annual financial statements required?YesYesYesNo
Statutory audit required?YesYesYesYes
Regulated by?Ministry of EconomyMinistry of EconomyMinistry of EconomyMinistry of Economy
Allowed to issue sales invoices?YesYesYesNo
Allowed to sign contracts?YesYesYesNo
Allowed to import and export goods?YesYesYesNo
Can rent an office space in Libya?YesYesYesYes
Can buy Libya property?YesYesYesNo
Can own equity in other Libya companies?YesYesYesNo
Total Libya business setup costs in Yr. 1US$20,370US$28,370US$22,650US$14,705
Subsequent annual costs (incl. accounting and tax fee)US$8,150US$10,150US$8,150US$5,400
Sample engagement invoiceLibya LLC invoiceLibya JSC invoiceLibya branch office invoiceLibya Rep office invoice

Contact us

For additional information on our company setup services in Libya, please email us at Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
Libya investment authority Libya government Libya chamber of commerce Central bank of Libya Libyan airlines Libya ministry of finance