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Start a Business in Tanzania

Apply for clearance of the proposed company name

Tanzania industry

Agency: Business Registration and Licensing Authority (BRELA)

A business name and a company name refer to two different names. Regarding the company name, the applicant writes a letter to BRELA with at least three proposed names for the company. BRELA will then approve one of the names proposed.

A company can have different businesses or projects, which are registered under the umbrella of the company but can have different names. An application for registering a business name can be submitted either by mail to the Registrar of Companies or at the counter of the Business Registration and Licensing Authority (BRELA) for clearance. Upon receiving notification that the name is available, the applicant prepares the memorandum and articles of association and submits to BRELA. If the memorandum and articles of association have been prepared and presented for registration without name clearance, the search will be conducted during the registration process. If a search reveals a similar name in the Register, the name application will be rejected.

Recently, the Business Registration and Licensing Authority (BRELA) enabled the online name search service to be conducted on its website: www.brela.go.tz.

Obtain a notarized declaration of compliance

Agency: Notary

Entrepreneurs visit the notary for notarization of the declaration of compliance. Notaries charge within the range of TZS 10,000-50,000 for notarial services for normal documents such as form No. 14 b.

Apply for company incorporation and obtain the certificate of incorporation

Office Tanzania

Agency: Registrar of Companies

Companies can be registered only in Dar es Salaam. A lawyer is not required, but using one is common practice.
To apply for a certificate of incorporation, a subscriber, secretary, or a person named in the articles of association as a director must submit the following to the Registrar of Companies:

The Memorandum and Articles of Association are also filed with the forms.
After the forms are filed, the certificate of incorporation is usually processed within 3 days. Registration forms are free.

A company can prepare its own articles of association but Table A of the Schedules to the Companies is in most cases adopted by companies limited by shares.

Company registration fee (based on share capital):

Filing fee: TZS 66,000: 22,000 per document.

Stamp duty fee:

Apply for taxpayer identification number (TIN)

Ministry industry Tanzania

Agency: Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA)

TIN registration is free of charge. Tax registration has been computerized. It takes a minimum of 2 days to obtain a TIN number, depending on the number of requests made to the Revenue Authority (TRA) at the time.
The Certificate of Incorporation shall be attached to the TIN application enclosed with Memorandum and Articles of Associations when a person makes application to TRA.

The limited liabilities company can apply for TIN certificate by filling TIN application forms as follows:

Obtain taxpayer identification number (TIN)

Agency: Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA)

At least one of the directors of the company must be physically present at the tax office to give their fingerprints (biometric data). The applicant must visit TRA offices to pick up the TIN number in person. The company will be required to declare its estimated income or turnover for the provision tax assessment for the particular year. At the TRA office, the tax officer may interview the company founders/directors and record their business and personal particulars.

Apply for a business license

Ministery industry commerce Tanzania

Agency: Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT) or Local Government Authorities (LGAs)

The business license is either issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade or the Local Authorities depending on the nature of business. Together with the application, the following documents must be submitted:

  1. Certificate of incorporation;
  2. Memorandum and Articles of Association;
  3. Proof of Tanzanian Citizenship;
  4. Proof of a suitable company premises;
  5. Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).

Apply for the VAT certificate

Agency: Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA)

VAT registration takes 3 to 5 days if the proposed company has over the threshold income of TZS 100,000,000.

Register for the workmen's compensation insurance

Agency: Workers Compensation Fund (WCF) and Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA)

To register for workers' compensation insurance, employers must complete the Workmen's Compensation Tariff Proposal Form. This form should be completed once the firm begins hiring employees and just before the firm becomes operational. However, because the insurance industry is privatized in Tanzania, employers may opt to take an insurance policy instead of the workmen's compensation claims.

Obtain Social Security registration number

Agency: Social Security Regulatory Authority (SSRA)

It takes a week to obtain a social security registration number. Every employer in the formal sector is required to register his/her employees with any of the mandatory schemes, provided that it shall be the right of the employee to choose the mandatory scheme to register under. These mandatory schemes are established by law and guaranteed by the Government to provide social security benefits to employees.