DOING BUSINESS IN TUNISIA
Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has assisted our Clients with business registration in Tunisia. Our services include i) Tunisia company incorporation services ii) government license registration iii) corporate bank account opening services in Tunisia and abroad iv) employee recruitment v) visa strategies and vi) office rental solutions in Tunisia.
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Advantages and disadvantages
Advantages of Tunisia company registration
- Tunisia has been a member of the World Trade Organization since 1996, and thus, enjoys all the benefits provided by membership;
- Foreigners can start a company in Tunisia with a paid up capital of only US$500 (TND1,000). Directors and shareholders can live outside of Tunisia and Healy Consultants can complete the engagement without them travelling;
- In 2015, Tunisia has decreased its standard corporate income tax rate from 30% to 25%. New Tunisian startups can also be eligible to up to five years of corporate tax holidays;
- When its political situation stabilizes, Tunisia will once again be the preferred hub for foreign investment in Northern Africa because:
- Unless they plan to do retail trade, Foreigners are allowed to form branches and wholly-foreign owned companies in Tunisia, unlike most other Northern African and Middle Eastern countries like i) Algeria ii) Libya iii) Saudi Arabia and iv) the United Arab Emirates, where they have to form a joint venture;
- The Tunisian Government has signed several investment treaties with countries including i) China ii) South Korea iii) UAE iv) Indonesia v) European Union Member States vi) the United States of America and vii) Canada, giving legal protection to investments made by these countries’ citizens and corporations;
- There are no foreign exchange controls in Tunisia;
- It is possible to remit earnings abroad without restrictions after payment of a withholding tax of only 5%. Tunisian companies also benefit from a large network of double taxation avoidance treaties with forty-seven countries including: i) Canada ii) China iii) France iv) Germany v) Indonesia vi) Lebanon vii) the United Kingdom and viii) the United States;
- Businesses exporting their products and services can benefit from a reduced corporate income tax rate of only 10%;
- Tunisia is also a hub for corporate finance, thanks to the presence of several local, regional and international including: i) Citibank ii) the Arab Banking Corporation iii) Arab Tunisian Bank and iv) Habitat Bank.
- Tunisia is a good place to start a call center and other businesses requiring manpower because:
- While official statistics on salaries in Tunisia are scarce, the average monthly salary is estimated to be around US$500. Minimum salary is only US$130 (TND274). It is also easy to find workers as the current unemployment rate exceeds 15% and reaches twice that proportion amongst younger generations;
- Tunisian workers, including women, are more skilled than their northern African neighbors. The population’s literacy rate is close to 80% and reaches almost 100% amongst people between 18 and 24 years old;
- All Tunisians can speak Tunisian Arabic and a significant minority of them (around 30%) are also completely fluent in French. University graduates are additionally usually fluent in English.
Disadvantages of Tunisia company registration
- Trading companies can be subject to a joint venture requirement: in accordance with Tunisia Commercial Code No 129, it is likely your Firm will need i) a local, Tunisian national 51% shareholder and ii) a Tunisian resident director who will be the legal registered officer when dealing with the Government. Such requirements are related to the need to get a commercial card (carte de commercant). We can however assist by providing nominee services (click link);
- While Tunisia is the only democratic Northern African country, it is still politically unstable due to i) frequent changes of Governments (five since 2011) and ii) several terrorist attacks conducted by groups with ISIS links;
- All Tunisian businesses are required to register for VAT.
Best uses for a Tunisian company
- Labor intensive services and manufacturing: Like Morocco, Tunisia is often chosen by European companies, notably French ones, as the location their call centers, garments factories and other manpower intensive manufacturing activities.
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- Time to incorporate: Four weeks
- Cost to set up: US$12,200
- Minimum capital: US$500
- Physical office required: No
- Shareholders: 2
- Directors: 1
- Company secretary: Yes
- Resident director: Yes
- Corporate tax rate: 25%
- Corporate tax base: Territorial
- Shelf companies: No
- Main company type: LLC
Frequently asked questions
How many directors are required to register a new business in Tunisia?Only 1 director is required for registering a company in Tunisia.
How many shareholders are required for Tunisia LLC registration?At least 2 shareholders are mandatory for registration of a Tunisia company.
What is the minimum share capital required for Tunisia subsidiary registration?For a limited liability company (SARL), there are no minimum capital requirements.
How to register a company in Tunisia?Healy Consultants provides Tunisia business establishment services for our Clients. To register a Tunisia resident company, Healy Consultants will i) search for a company name ii) open a corporate bank account to deposit share capital iii) prepare company M&AA and incorporation forms iv) advertise the incorporation in the Gazette and v) register for social security.
Useful links for Tunisia
Government and public authority websites:
- Tunisia Tax Authority
- Central Bank of Tunisia
- Tunisia Stock Exchange
- Tunisia Chamber of Commerce
- Tunisia airports
- Doing Business in Tunisia
- Tunisia – Country Profile
- Doing Business in Tunisia
- Commercial Laws of Tunisia March 2013
- Tunisia Highlights 2013
- Tunisia Tax Guide