Domiciling your business in a virtual office in Istanbul

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Nearly 50% of professionals from the private sector are working remotely today. An activity formerly dedicated to self-employed freelancers has become democratized at the same time as the digital transition and the disappearance of workplaces in favor of virtual offices. Today, working physically from China on behalf of a company based in Turkey is possible and even privileged and ERAI Turkey offers virtual office in Istanbul, the city where the heart of business beats. In this article, we will see what the virtual office is, how this concept helps businesses to access success and how to take advantage of this service in Turkey.

Virtual Office in Istanbul

What does “Virtual Office” mean exactly?

The virtual office allows small and medium-sized businesses that do not demand physical offices to outsource some of their needs. In fact, without their nomadic employees (commercial agents, for example) needing a fixed workspace, the service provider provides them with a prestigious virtual address, a telephone hotline, and a call redirection or call forwarding service. Thanks to these services, the company can receive letters and calls without renting official premises. In other words, the provider offering the virtual office service offers the company a physical identity at a lower cost.

How does this service help businesses perform better?

In addition to the low costs of the virtual office, the business retains the impression of a traditional, high-cost office and infrastructure. Employees can work from home, at their clients’ premises or in suburban offices, while maintaining the prestige reputation that the virtual address often offers in luxurious workplaces. In addition, the lack of bureaucracy and space also makes it possible to hire fewer staff (reception assistants, cleaning staff, etc.) as well as to make significant savings while concentrating all its assets on the productivity of nomadic employees. As a result, revenues are better redistributed, and the company focuses on its business and development only.

What types of businesses can benefit from virtual office service?

The flexibility and many benefits of a virtual office allow many businesses to increase their productivity and sales. Here are some examples of companies:

  • Anyone who starts a business and does not want to use their home address and mobile phone number on their documents
  • Professionals who work in their clients’ offices but still need to maintain an independent identity
  • Companies expanding into new countries and regularly sending employees there.
  • Companies that need a receptionist or a standard but do not want to take any risks, expenses and hassle of hiring an employee etc.

How to benefit from the virtual office in Istanbul?

ERAI Turkey has been providing virtual office services for more than 10 years and has already hosted more than 100 companies from a wide variety of sectors. To benefit from this service and access the services of virtual office in Istanbul, in a prestigious plaza in the business district of the Asian side, do not hesitate to make a simple request via the contact form.

For more information on virtual office service in Istanbul, visit the ERAI Turkey service page.

Invest in Turkey in 2019?

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The offices of ERAI Turkey, based in Istanbul, are like a window that receives the echoes of everything that happens in Turkey as in France, at the economic level and at the level of trade. Since the fall of the value of the Turkish lira in the summer of 2018, the question that is most often asked to the director Simay SOYLU is: “Is it wise to invest in Turkey in 2019 when the country is in such a complicated economic phase? And to this question, she always answers:

“ERAI Turkey offices have never been as busy and as busy with their services as they are today. Why? Because the crisis has not scared those who know the Turkish market well: our old customers. They are realistic about the fact that Turkey is a country that has seen a great many economic, political and social crises, and that it has always been successful. Turkey will also recover from this crisis very quickly. Only companies that know nothing about the Turkish market are afraid of this climate. Turkey will be better tomorrow, and to prepare for it, it is now! We are here to answer any requests and to accompany the most separate in their discovery of the Turkish market.”

Invest In Turkey has published a list of 10 reasons to invest in Turkey and ERAI Turkey supports each of the points which are stated below:

1 / A well-performing economy

If we look at economic indicators such as the growth rate or the economic ranking of Turkey in the world rank, it is well positioned as it is in 19th place and intends to improve.

2 / The population (80 million inhabitants)

3 / A qualified and competitive workforce

4 / A liberal and reformist investment climate

5 / Infrastructures

6 / An ideal central location

7 / A corridor and an energy terminal for Europe

8 / Reduced taxes and incentives

9 / Customs union with the European Union since 1996.

10 / A large internal market

To read the details of these points, click here.

To contact ERAI Turkey and get an appointment, send an email to [email protected] or call us on +90 216 463 33 66.

Work Permit Application Process in Turkey

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In 2017, Turkey has more than 87,000 foreign employees who go through a work permit application process with the Turkish administration. This number is increasing every year with a growth of more than 14% for the last 4 years. One of the reasons for the significant increase in recent years is notably the massive influx of Syrian citizens (this is about 20,970 applications for work permits in 2017). Around 5,000 to 6,000 work permit applications are from Europe, between 500 and 600 a year come from France.

Although the Turkish administration is more efficient than that of a large number of European countries, it still has some shortcomings and is known to be quite slow with respect to the time required to issue permits, which can range up to 4 to 6 months for some cases. Procedures are also slower because massive demands from Syrians have significantly slowed internal systems.

Our advice to avoid this prohibition of an organization like ERAI Turkey which is in direct contact with the administration and which issues the license in 2 months for the longest and 3 weeks for the fastest.

Some important information to know about obtaining a work permit in Turkey:

  • A single person cannot apply for a work permit. The request must be made by a local company.
  • The Turkish company has the right to hire 1 foreign employee for every 5 Turkish employees. For example, if the company has 25 Turkish employees, they can, therefore, employ 5 foreign employees.
  • The capital of the company in question must be equal to or greater than 100,000 TL or the company’s turnover must be equal to or greater than 800,000 TL or its exports must be equal to or greater than 250,000 $.
  • If the employee is already in Turkey, he/she must have a 6-month residence permit and must be valid when the work permit application is made to the Ministry.
  • If the foreign employee is in another country, his application should be addressed to the Turkish Consulate of the country in which he is located.
  • All documents must be submitted to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security within 6 days after the employer’s work permit application.
  • If the employee is declared as a senior manager, pilot, director, architect or engineer, his local salary must be at least 4 to 6.5 times higher than the Turkish minimum wage. See more details on salary restrictions here.

To know the administrative procedure, do not hesitate to consult this link.

Do not hesitate to visit the ERAI Turkey website for your further needs!

How to set up a business in Turkey in 8 steps ?

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Turkey always welcomes foreign investments and the government supports all the investors as long as they are reliable and ready to meet the requirements. There are many business opportunities in Turkey since it is still a fast developing country and the Turkish economy is in the first twenty economies in the world. In many different fields, there is not enough production due to lack of capital to catch up with the new technological trends in the world. That’s why the government encourages foreign investors to come to Turkey to set up a business here especially manufacturing steps because of low costs. Since 2016, the government looks set to offer people who have or buy property in Turkey the right to work in the country.

Do I Have To Get Help or Can I Do It Myself?

In order to get proper information and to follow every step to set up a business according to the procedure, referring to a consultant and a legal advisor is a must. Consulting a company like ERAI Turkey which followed many cases would be the right decision if you are new to the process.

Besides that, up to date information can be gathered from the Turkish Embassy as well as the related ministry of the possible business field.


Please note that the trading name of a company cannot be accepted if it was registered before by someone else and it cannot mislead third parties. “Turkiye, Turk, Cumhuriyet” and “Milli” cannot be used in a company name without special approval of the Turkish Council of Ministers. Foreign names or words can be used if they are not contradicting any government or cultural laws or policies.

Create a Company In Turkey As a Foreigner

According to Article 7 of Law No. 4817; Foreigners who work independently may be allowed to work independently by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security if they have lived in Turkey for at least five years without legal interruption. This permit will allow the person to open a private company as a self-employed person. Otherwise, it is not possible to establish a private company without a working permit. Only the residence permit is not enough. For this reason, after the residence with the residence permit for 5 years, if the work permit is applied, the private company can be established.

The foreigner who is eligible to be granted an Independent Work Permit is given an “Independent Work Permit Application Document”.  This document shall be valid for a period of “three months” from the date of issuance.

After establishing the workplace, the foreigner is granted an independent foreign work permit if he/she submits the trade registry to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

What Types of Companies Exist in Turkey?

Choose Your Company Type :

There are five different types of companies under the Turkish Commercial Code (TCC) some of which are corporate while the others are non-corporate.

  • Corporate forms
    1. Join Stock Company (JSC)
    2. Limited Liability Company (LLC)
    3. Cooperative Company
  • Non-corporate forms
    1. Collective Company
    2. Commandite Company

Despite some differences in terms of minimum capital and organs, the process of establishment is similar to each other in JSC and LLCs. They are the most comment types of companies both in the global economy and Turkey.

There is also an option of opening a branch office or liaison office, however, they are not considered to be legal entities.

8 Steps To Establish Your Company in Turkey

  1. Submit the memorandum and articles of association online at MERSIS

MERSIS is a central information system for carrying out commercial registry processes and storing commercial registry data electronically on a regular basis. A unique number is given to legal entities that are actively involved in the business.

  1. Execute and notarize company documents
  • Notarized articles of association (four copies, one original)
  • In case the foreign partner is a real person, the required documents are:
    – For each real person shareholder, two copies of their passports
  • In case the foreign partner is a legal entity, the required documents are:
    – The Certificate of Activity of the legal entity designated as the shareholder issued by the relevant authority in the investor’s country. The certificate must bear information regarding the current status and signatories of the company.
    – Resolution(s) of a competent corporate organ of legal entity shareholder(s) authorizing the establishment; if there will be any specific condition for the prospective company to be incorporated (name of the company, field of activity, etc.) it must be stated in the resolution for the sake of clarity.
    – In case a legal entity is going to be appointed as a member in the board of directors of the prospective company to be incorporated, the name of the real person who will act in the name of the legal entity and the legal entity board member’s appointment must be stated within the same or with a separate resolution for the sake of clarity.
    – If the process is going to be followed by proxy, a notarized copy of a power of attorney authorizing the attorneys who will follow up the application before the competent Trade Registry Office and other official authorities in order to proceed with the application (where applicable).
  • Notarized signature declarations (two copies)
  • Notarized identity cards of the company managers (one copy)
  1. Obtain potential tax identity number

A potential tax identity number for the company, non-Turkish shareholders, and non-Turkish board members of the company must be obtained from the relevant tax office. This potential tax identity number is necessary for opening a bank account in order to deposit the capital of the company to be incorporated.

  1. Deposit a percentage of capital to the account of the Competition Authority 

Original of bank receipt (from Halk Bank, Ankara corporate branch) indicating that the 0.04 percent of the capital has been deposited to the account of the Competition Authority at the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) or a public bank, or the EFT receipt signed and stamped “collected”.

  1. Deposit at least 25 percent of the startup capital in a bank and obtain proof thereof

25 percent of the share capital must be paid in prior to the new company registration. The remaining 75 percent of the subscribed share capital must be paid within two years. Alternatively, the capital may be fully paid prior to registration.

  1. Apply for registration at the Trade Registry Office

Following the completion of the registration phase before the Trade Registry Office, the Trade Registry Office notifies the relevant tax office and the Social Security Institution ex-officio regarding the incorporation of the company. The Trade Registry Office arranges for an announcement in the Commercial Registry Gazette within approximately 10 days of the company registration. A tax registration certificate must be obtained from the local tax office soon after the Trade Registry Office notifies the local tax office. A social security number for the company must be obtained from the relevant Social Security Institution. For the employees, a separate application has to be made following the registration of the company with the Social Security Institution.

  1. Certify the legal books by a notary public

The founders must certify legal books the day they register the company with the Trade Registry Office. The notary public must notify the tax office about the commercial book certification.

  1. Follow up with the tax office on the Trade Registry Office’s company establishment notification

The Trade Registry Office notifies the tax office and the Social Security Institution of the company’s incorporation. A tax officer comes to the company headquarters to prepare a determination report. There must be at least one authorized signature in the determination report. Trade Registry Officers send the company establishment form, which includes the tax number notification, to the tax office.

How To Open a Branch or Liaison Office?

First of all, it should be noted that they are not legal entities, as a result, they do not require capital. A branch office is allowed to repatriate. The profit of branch transferred to the headquarters is subject to dividend withholding tax at a rate of %15 which may be reduced by Double Taxation Prevention Treaties. An application with the necessary documents must be submitted to the relevant Trade Registry Office.

A liaison office’s main activity is to conduct market research and feasibility studies to see the possibilities of a probable investment in the Turkish market on behalf of the parent company. It is not allowed to carry out any kind of commercial activities and they must obtain a permit from the Ministry of Economy, General Directorate of Incentive Implementation and Foreign Investment. The initial permit is issued for three years and can be extended depending on the activities in the past three years and the future plans of the parent company.

It should be noted that all the necessary documents issued and executed outside Turkey must be notarized and apostilled or alternatively ratified by the Turkish consulate where they are issued. The original executed, notarized and apostilled documents must be officially translated and notarized by a Turkish notary.

For any kind of questions do not hesitate to contact us. We are ready to assist you in every step you take to set up a business or any other need of your company!

For further information check the links below.


5 tips to negotiate well with Turkish entrepreneurs

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You will soon have appointments with Turkish entrepreneurs and you don’t know much about the local practices to be applied before and during the interview. Here is an article that will help you to better understand your interlocutors better. You will also find some basic practical tips to know before you jump into the water.

1 / Identify your contact person

Identifying the identity of your interlocutor, but especially his position in society is a crucial point that must not be overlooked before your appointment. This information will determine the tone of your conversation.

If you are going to meet the decision-maker of the company, CEO, owner or partner, you will need to be more global and direct, and thus give global information (potential turnover, forecast sales volumes, etc.). The goal is to convince him that the project will be beneficial and fruitful for his company.

If, on the other hand, you are going to see an employee of the company who will hand in a report of the interview to the decision-maker, give more precise figures, explain the step-by-step processes, do not hesitate to give technical details. By convincing him by precise means of the potential success of the project, you will give him the keys in hand so that he himself can convince his superior.

2 / Taking the cultural aspect into consideration

Turkish culture has an important place in professional talks. Know that the Turks are warm and appreciate to exchange a few words at the beginning of interviews and then slowly bring the discussion to the professional side. You will be systematically offered a drink, tea or coffee, then the host will accompany you to drink it. Turkish people appreciate that you enjoy their tea or coffee, so for them, it is nice to share this cup with you. Moreover, if you want to attract the positive attention of your partner potential, learning a few words in Turkish and then slipping them into a conversation can only be a bonus for you.

The Turkish entrepreneurs are very warm, smiling but slightly stressed to meet a foreigner for the first time, especially if his English is insufficient (according to him). It will be good to relax the atmosphere from the start by complimenting the English of his Turkish interlocutor or apologizing for not being able to communicate in his language. Finally, you will end the interview with a “thank you” for the welcome and the time granted. If the interview ends at dinner time or lunch, you may be invited to share a meal with the host. This is not a form of politeness, it is a sincere proposition! If you accept, you will have the opportunity to eat in good company, surely in a pleasant place, with perhaps a view of the Bosphorus, while strengthening your complicity with your interlocutor who will attach importance to it.

3 / Find out about the country’s economic situation

You may offend your host and jeopardize your credibility if he realizes that you do not have the basic economic knowledge about his country. Turkish people appreciate the interest in their country and like to know that their trading partners are concerned about the economic well-being of the country in which they want to do business. So be warned or even make a study on the country BEFORE getting in business with Turkish entrepreneurs.

The subject to be avoided is still a political subject. Not knowing the opinion of your interlocutor on the subject, it is better not to give your opinion neither on the government nor on the overall political situation of the country.

4 / Show your commitment to the development project in Turkey

During the appointment (which you surely have to prepare upstream), we advise you to have:

  • Your business card, to be presented at the beginning of the meeting
  • Brochures in English or Turkish
  • Samples (if possible to leave to the prospect)
  • A price list (if you want to share it with the prospect)
  • Some technical sheets if the presentation of your product requires precise details

It is not usual to bring a gift to his prospect, but a small box of chocolate will be very appreciated, especially for the prospects with whom you feel a real interest.

But the most important thing is to bring with you a specific plan of actions, although it will certainly not be the final action plan. The Turkish entrepreneurs must feel that you are motivated, prepared to face the market and determine to breakthrough. If he is not confident, he will doubt your credibility and his interest will remain only superficial.

5 / Make concessions and stay flexible

Flexibility is the biggest complain that Turkish businessmen make about some European companies. They complain of the rigidity in action plans, deadlines, prices and the most basic processes of partnerships.

The Turks have direct and instant decision-making methods that are rarely found in some European countries and they ask foreign entrepreneurs who are rather thought-provoking. The Turkish will, therefore, expect from you flexibility that must be granted without falling into excess.

If you wish to be trained or accompanied during your professional meetings with Turkish companies, send us an email at [email protected] or contact us by filling the form!

The French version of the article, click here.

Find Your Ideal Business Partner in Turkey

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The pattern most borrowed by French companies wishing to establish themselves in Turkey is the partnership agreement with a local company in the form of a distribution contract. The company is, therefore, working with a Turkish company of the same sector as a business partner in Turkey which has the capacity to distribute the products in question. This affiliation with an already existing market player is beneficial for several reasons:

  • EASY AND SMALL COST OF ESTABLISHMENT: It allows the French company to quickly settle in the Turkish market, without having to go through many formalities or unblock large costs.
  • MINIMIZING RISK: Commitment to the market is shared with a local company, reducing risks in the event of failure
  • BENEFIT FROM LOCAL KNOW-HOW: It allows to have commercial and technical support on the spot, thanks to the partner who knows the market and already knows its needs
  • QUICK SALES: It allows the company to benefit from the customer portfolio of its partner and to realize sales quickly

The objective of this partnership is a matter of both parties fully satisfied with the mutual commitment. Foreign companies benefit from it as mentioned above but for a Turkish company, this type of commitment remains a challenge as well as a big commercial, marketing, and sometimes technical investment. Why? Indeed, it takes a huge amount of effort to implement a brand new brand and to put in place a large number of procedures, or even to hire additional staff before making any sale.

It is therefore essential to have sharp and relevant criteria in your search for the ideal business partner in Turkey and then to make compromises for a good bilateral understanding.



Prefer a partner who speaks a common language with you. CEOs or business managers often speak good English, but there are exceptions.


  • Check the credentials of the team in place
  • What work methods does the company use internally? Will you be able to adapt to the methods?
  • Does the team have experience on the ground?
  • What are their existing customers’ portfolios?
  • In which market does this company evolve?


It is best for you to control your partner’s financial solvency before making any decisions. ERAI Turkey can perform a financial analysis for you. Do not hesitate to contact us.


Turkish companies criticize a lack of responsiveness of international companies in their decision-making process. Therefore international companies have big competitors with a better reputation in Turkey which concluded distribution contracts much more easily. Keep your promises and respect deadlines, and everything should be fine between you and your business partner in Turkey.


See this engagement as a marriage. Before signing anything, meet your business partner in Turkey several times in order to know him better and to avoid any bad surprises once the agreement is signed. It will also allow you to forge stronger bonds that can only be positive when this “common life” is put in place.

Do not hesitate to contact ERAI Turkey for support in finding your ideal business partner in Turkey. Send us an email at [email protected] or via this form.

The French version of the article: