Business entities in Tunisia in 2022

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There are several ways of doing business in Tunisia but the corporate structure preferred by most entrepreneurs to do so is the limited liability company (LLC). Foreign corporations not willing to consolidate their accounts can alternatively register a branch. A representative office is also a good option for first ventures in the Tunisian markets, when investors when to study this market without conducting any commercial or productive operations.

The Tunisia limited liability company (SARL)

Tunisia business entity setup requirements

  • The Tunisia limited liability company is usually used by entrepreneurs willing to establish SMEs in Tunisia. An LLC must have at least 2 shareholders and one director who can be of any nationality and do not need to live in Tunisia. There is no systematic joint venture requirement to establish a foreign-owned business, if the company is not planning to do commercial trade and the paid-up capital is US$500 (TND1,000);
  • All Tunisian companies are required to register for VAT and corporate income tax with the Tunisian tax authority during the registration procedures. However, limited liability companies are not required to appoint a statutory auditor, provided the company’s total assets are below US$55,000.

The Tunisia public liability company (SA)

  • While the minimum capital required to form a public limited company in Tunisia (US$3,000) is limited compared to other countries, this business entity is however only recommended for businessmen in need to attract investment from third parties. At least 7 shareholders and 3 directors must indeed be appointed when incorporating a PLC. Foreign investors are furthermore only allowed a 49% ownership of this entity or must seek foreign investment approval from the Higher Investment Board;
  • Unlike LLCs, Tunisian PLCs must also always appoint an auditor with the mandate to check the company’s accounts.

The Tunisia branch office (succursale)

  • The Tunisia Companies Law allows entrepreneurs to setup branches of their foreign companies in Tunisia. The scope of operations for this entity will be defined by the parent company. A branch must appoint at least 1 resident director of any nationality during the registration process. This entity must register with the Tunisia Trade Registry in order to conduct any commercial activity in Tunisia;
  • Compared to a limited liability company, registering a branch in Tunisia presents the advantage of limiting the accounting and bookkeeping obligations. However, the foreign company will be fully liable against potential losses and debt suffered by its local branch.

The Tunisia representative office (bureau de liaison)

A representative office must appoint at least on director who must be resident in Tunisia. This entity is mainly used as a liaison office and can only engage in i) market research and ii) promoting the business of the parent company.

Table of comparison between Tunisia business entities

  LLC PLC Branch Rep Office
Also known as: SARL SA Succursale Bureau de liaison
How long to set the company up? 5 weeks 6 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks
How long to open company bank account? 4 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks
Legal liability? Limited Limited Unlimited Unlimited
Wholly foreign owned? Yes No Yes Yes
Minimum share capital? US$500 US$3,000 N/A N/A
File annual tax return? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tax registration certificate required? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Recommended corporate bank account? International Tunisia Arab Bank Atijari Bank Tunis International Bank Arab Tunisian Bank
Does our Client need to travel? No No No No
Resident director or representative required? No Yes Yes Yes
Tunisian partial ownership required? Yes Yes No No
Minimum directors allowed? 1 3 1 1
Minimum shareholders? 2 7 1 1
Tax identification code needed? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Corporate shareholders allowed? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Corporate director(s) allowed? No No No No
Tunisia standard corporate tax rate? 25% 25% 25% N/A
Annual financial statements required? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Statutory audit always required? No Yes Yes Yes
Regulated by? Tunisia Trade Registry Tunisia Trade Registry Tunisia Trade Registry Tunisia Trade Registry
Allowed to issue sales invoices? Yes Yes Yes No
Allowed to sign contracts? Yes Yes Yes No
Allowed to import and export goods? Yes Yes Yes No
Can rent an office space in Tunisia? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Can buy Tunisia property? Yes Yes Yes No
Can own equity in other Tunisia companies? Yes Yes No No
Total Tunisia business setup costs in Yr. 1? US$12,200 US$17,200 US$16,300 US$14,200
Subsequent annual costs (incl. accounting and tax fee)? US$3,400 US$3,400 US$3,560 US$3,400
Sample engagement invoice? View invoice PDF View invoice PDF View invoice PDF View invoice PDF

Frequently asked questions

Contact us

For additional information on our business setup services in Tunisia, please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Simon Guidecoq, directly:
client relationship officer - Simon
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