Tanzania is endowed with many natural resources and investment opportunities. The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania has simplified investment regulations in order to attract investors from around the world. Investment in Tanzania is overseen by the Tanzania Investments Centre (TIC), a one-stop primary Government agency responsible for all investment matters.
The TIC is charged with the following functions:
- Promoting investment activities in Tanzania;
- Addressing administrative constraints facing local and foreign investors;
- Assisting in the establishment and registration of enterprise processes;
- Facilitating investors in obtaining necessary licenses, work permits, visas, approvals, facilities or services;
- Assisting investors to secure investment sites and the establishment of Export Processing Zone (EPZ) projects especially in the Agricultural, Mining, Infrastructure, Fisheries and Tourism sectors;
- Granting Certificates of Incentives, investment guarantees and registering technology agreement for all investments which are over and above US$ 300,000 and US$100,000 for foreign and local investments, respectively;
- Providing and disseminating up to date information on existing investment opportunities, benefits and incentives available to investors: and
- Facilitating investors to have smooth working relationships with Public and Private Sector bodies such as Tanzania Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA), Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI), Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC), Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF)
Trade in Tanzania
Tanzania attaches great importance to the role of trade in realizing National goals on poverty eradication through structural transformation of the economy with the private sector taking a leading role as an engine for national economic growth.
Tanzania offers a well-balanced and competitive package of fiscal trade incentives especially in the priority sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, Tourism, petroleum, gas and Mining. For all these sectors, except petroleum and gas sectors, acquisition of all capital goods and parts are zero rated for import duty purposes and VAT thereon deferred.
Research expenses for agriculture are allowable for income tax purposes, while capital acquisitions are 100% expensed. You can also import duty-free all capital goods, spare parts, hotel facilities, explosive material for gas and oil exploration. Tanzania has also signed double taxation treaties with Denmark, India, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and Finland.
Major import commodities include agricultural machinery, implement and pesticides, industrial raw materials, machinery and transportation equipment, petroleum and petroleum products, construction materials, consumer goods. The list is not exhaustive,
The principal export commodities include Minerals (gold, gemstones, diamonds, coal e.t.c.), coffee, cotton, cashew nuts, tea, sisal, tobacco, pyrethrum and cloves. The main imports are machinery and transport equipments, textiles and clothing, petroleum products.
- Tanzania’s major trading partners include: China, Germany, Japan, India, the European Union, United Arabic Emirates, United Kingdom, Kenya, Japan, India and South Africa.
- Major commercial/trading cities include Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Zanzibar, Arusha, Mbeya, Tanga, Kilimanjaro and Kigoma.
An overview of Starting Business in Tanzania
Starting business in Tanzania begins with obtaining Identification card from the National Identification Authority (NIDA) for Citizens. For non-citizens a Passport is enough to identify you. The Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA) is responsible for company registration and issuance of Business Licenses. BRELA issues a Certificate of compliance for foreign companies, certificate of incorporation for local companies and certificate of registration for Partnership and sole proprietorship (business names).
After obtaining a certificate of Icorporation / compliance or business name from BRELA, you MUST then register your company with the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and obtain Tax Payer Identification Number (TIN) Certificate. Each shareholder of the company is also required to obtain an individual TIN Certificate.
The next step is to obtain the Business License. Companies with business activities of National and International nature (Schedule A companies) should obtain the business license from BRELA. Companies with business activities of local nature (schedule B companies) obtain business licenses from nearest Municipal Council and Districts Council. Business license basically gives a new comapny a permission to start business. Depending on nature of business, you may be required to obtain Sector specific License. For example, if your business is tour operation then you will need to obtain the Tour Operators License (TALA) from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, before obtaining the main Business License from BRELA.
After Obtaining Business License, the laws requires that every new company to register with Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) to ensure Safety, Health and good working Environment for your staff. Also, your new company and employees need to be registered with National Social Security Fund (NSSF). In addition, the company must register with Workers' Compensation Fund (WCF).
For Companies with annual turnover of Tanzanian shilling 100 million and above or with sales of Tanzanian shilling 50 million or above in period of six months, are required by law to register with Value Added Tax (VAT) at nearest TRA office.
Investors with project value from 100,000 USD (local) and 500,000 USD (foreign investors or for a joint venture) can register their companies at the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC). At TIC investors, obtain all the services from Certificate of incorporation, Tax Payer Identification Number, Business License, Residence and Work Permit, Land Acquisition, Environmental Impact Assessment, Food and Drugs Cerfication services and Occupational Services under one-stop facilitation Centre. TIC also provides Certificate of Incentives to investors who wish to obtain incentives available to investors.
Summary of the process to start business in Tanzania
|PROCESS||ORGANIZATION||DOCUMENT YOU GET||REMARKS|
|Obtain National ID||NIDA||ID||For locals|
|Register a Company||BRELA||
|Register for Tax Identification Number (TIN)||TRA||TIN Certificate||Compulsory|
|Apply for Business License||BRELA or Municipal Council or District Council||Business License||Compulsory|
|Register for VAT||TRA||VAT Certificate||Depends on Turnover|
|Register for Occupational Safety and Health Clearance||OSHA||Certificate of Compliance||Compulsory|
|Register with Social Security schemes||Social Security||Certificate of Registration||Compulsory|
|Register for Workers compensation scheme||WCF||Certificate of Registration||Compulsory|
|Register Project with TIC||TIC||Certificate of Incentives||Depends on capital and Investor's discretion|
1. Local Company Registration
The Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA) is responsible for company registration. Local company is registered in Tanzania regardless of whether shareholders are Tanzanians or Foreigners. The registered company is issued with the Certificate of Incorporation. Company registration in Tanzania is governed by the companies Act 2002, Cap 212.
Since February 2018, company registration is done through an online registration system (https://ors.brela.go.tz/ors/start). Any local businessmen wishing to register company must first be registered by National Identification Authority (NIDA) and Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) in which identification number and individual Tin Number are used to register your user account for ORS system. Foreign Directors of the local company can use passports as an ID. BRELA advises that online applicants to be among the directors or company secretaries of the new company. Where Authorized representatives such as Agents are being used to register a company, they must avail log-in credentials to enable the Shareholder or Director to update the information in the future.
1. Notarise with a Lawyer the Memorandum and Articles of Association (MEMAT) and Declaration of Compliance form (Form 14B)
2. Create an Online account
3. Fill consolidated form
4. Download, print and sign the consolidated form and Ethics and integrity pledge form
5. Scan and upload documents
6. Obtain the payment order (invoice)
7. Pay incorporation fees
8. Download Certificate of Incorporation
1. NIDA Identification Number (for Tanzanians) or Passport (for foreign shareholder / Director)
2. Personal (Individual) TIN number from TRA
3. Notarised Memorandum and Articles of Association
4. Notarised Declaration of Compliance Form 14B
5. Ethics and Integrity pledge form
Table: Current fees structure for registering and operating a local company
|SNO||FEE DESCRIPTION (TSH)||TSH.|
Company whose nominal share capital is: (choose relevant)
More than 20,000/= but not more than 1,000,000/=
More than 1,000,000/= but more than 5,000,000/=
More than 5,000,000/= but not more than 20,000,000/=
More than 20,000,000/= but not more than 50,000,000/=
More than 50,000,000/=
|2||For registration of a company not having a share capital where the number of members as stated in the Articles of Association:||300,000|
|3||Filling fee for the application, meaning 22,000/= for each document i.e. Memorandum and Articles of Association, Forms no. 14a and 14b.||66,000|
|4||Stamp duty for each copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association is charged||5,000|
|5||For Stamp Duty when Form no. 14b is charged||1,200|
|6||For reservation of a company name||50,000|
|7||For company name change||22,000|
|8||For the receipt and/or registration by Registrar of any document which under the Act is to be delivered to him||22,000|
|9||For the late filing/registration fee to be paid to the Registrar of any document deliveed to him (per month or part thereof)||2,500|
|10||For filing of Annual Returns||22,000|
|11||For certification of any document, per page||3,000|
|12||For making search in any file/perusal||3,000|
|13||For obtaining a written search report per file||22,000|
|14||For obtaining a copy of Certificate of Incorporation||4,000|
Note: Fees are subject to change. It is advisable to consult BRELA website for any further information.
If all documents uploaded into ORS are in good order, and fees is paid, you can obtain your Certificate of Incorporation within TWO hours.
There are three types of cost under this category:
1. Registration fee which depends on a company's nominal share capital or without nominal share capital. It ranges between Tanzanian Shillings 95,000 t0 440,000.
2. Filling fee is 66,000
3. Stamp Duty is 6,200
Payments details (Bank details and other payment methods) are generated online while filling the online registration form. Payment can be made through bank and mobile money transfer.
A FOREIGN COMPANY REGISTRATION
In registering a foreign company, you need to submit all necessary document (certified copies) of the company registered abroad. The company registered becomes a branch of the main company which is outside Tanzania mainland. After registration, BRELA issues you with a Certificate of Compliance. Registration of a foreign company also is done online and it follows the same procedure as that of local company. The difference is on the required documents. These companies are registered under part XII of the Companies Act, 2002 Cap 212.
1. Certify copies of Contitution / Memorandum and Articles of Association (Statute or Chatter) and Return and Form 434
2. Create an Online account
3. Fill consolidated form
4. Download, print and sign the consolidated form and Ethics and integrity pledge form
5. Scan and upload documents into ORS
6. Obtain Payment Order (invoice)
7. Pay compliance fees
8. Download Certificate of Compliance
1. Certified copies of Memorandum and Articles of Association or Statute or a charter (one copy. Certification should be done by Lawyer from Country of origin or the applicant's Embassy in Tanzania)
2. Filled Form 434: (It should be filled, attested by Commisioner for Oath and signed by one of the Directors)
3. Copy of most recent accounts and related reports of the original company
If all documents uploaded into ORS are in good order, the system sends to your registered email address Certificate of Compliance within FOUR hours.
The total cost for registering a foreign company is usd 1,190 as explained on the table below. Payment details (Bank details and other payment methods) are generated online while filling the online registration form.
Fee structure for registering a foreign company and related services
|Fees payable by a company to which Part XII of the Act applies||USD|
|A||For the registration of certified copy of a charter, statute or memorandum and articles of the company, or other instrument constituting or defining the constitution of the company||750|
|B||For registration or filling any document required to be delivered to the Registrar under Part XII of the Act/other than the balance sheet||220|
|C||For filling of Balance Sheet||220|
|D||For late filling/registration fee to be paid to the Registrar of any document delivered to him out of time (per month or part thereof)||25|
*Note: Fees are subject to change. This book will update fees accordingly but it is advisable to consult BRELA website (www.brela.go.tz) for any further information.
For trade statistics and further details on trade in Tanzania, please contact:
Trading in Tanzania
Ministry of Industry, Trade and Marketing,
P. O. Box 9503, Dar Es Salaam,
Investment Centre Contact
For further details please contact:
The Executive Director,
Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC),
P. O. Box 938, Dar Es Salaam,
Tel: +255 22 2116328 -31,
Fax: +255 22 2118253,