In accordance with Turkish law, establishment by a foreign
company of a liaison office in Turkey is governed by the Law No.
4875 on Foreign Direct Investments1 (the
Law). Pursuant to the Regulation for
Implementation of the Law2 (the
Regulation), the foreign entity founding the
liaison office (i.e., the investor itself) must be
established in the form of a "company" in accordance with
the laws of its country of origin. The major point to note is that
liaison offices cannot engage in any commercial activity. In other
words, the conduct of any income-generating activity in Turkey
through a liaison office is strictly prohibited.
An amended version of the Regulation was published in the
Official Gazette on 3 July 2012. This article sets forth the main
changes brought about by the amended Regulation:
Applications for liaison office permits shall hereinafter be
submitted to the General Directorate of Incentive Implementation
and Foreign Capital, which is part of the Ministry of Economy.
According to Article 6 of the amended Regulation, the Ministry
shall have a particular discretionary power with regards to the
granting of liaison office permits to foreign companies
incorporated (in their origin countries) less than 1 (one) year
ago. This provision is aimed at preventing shell companies to open
liaison offices in Turkey. The Regulation provides that the
Ministry shall be entitled to grant a conditional permit in this
Applications for liaison office permits shall be finalized
within 15 (fifteen) business days from the submission date provided
that the application file is complete. This term used to be five
days before the amendment.
Pursuant to Article 7 of the amended Regulation, some
additional documents shall be provided by the applicants: A new
application form and a signed undertaking letter whereby the
applicants would undertake to not carry out any commercial activity
in Turkey are among such documents.
When first granted, liaison office permits shall have a term of
3 (three) years at the most. Extension applications shall be
submitted before liaison office permits expire. The Ministry may
extend the permits covering the following activities for another
5-year term: (i) Representation and Hosting, (ii) Control,
Inspection and Provision of Local Suppliers, (iii) Technical
Support, (iv) Communication and Transfer of Information. On the
other hand, permits granted for market research and promotion of
products and/or services of the foreign company shall not be
1. Published in the Official Gazette dated 17 June 2003 and
2. Published in the Official Gazette dated 20 June 2003 and
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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