Doing Business in Tunisia
Doing Business in Tunisia: All You Need to Know/How to Begin
Thinking about doing business in Tunisia? The Tunisian economy is very diverse with agriculture, mining, tourism and manufacturing being major industries. Increasing privatization, simplification of the tax structure, free transfer of profits and capital as well as several free trade zones (like the UAE) has made it an attractive business proposition for expats and foreign investors.
There are many incentives for setting up business in Tunisia covering almost all sectors except local trade, finance, mining and energy. For instance, foreigners can own up to 100% of equity without prior authorisation in manufacturing industries, tourism, fully-exporting and industry-related services.
Wondering how to get started? Read our quick guide below.
- Explore several project ideas: The Tunisian Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA) and the Ministry of Industry and Technology provide valuable information and support for starting and building up your enterprise. Take advantage of their project ideas, pre-feasibility and strategic positioning studies to identify suitable opportunities.
- Identify Tunisian business support structures: Need help and advice in determining the viability of your business idea? There are several support structures to provide advice and guidance e.g. Mixed Chambers of Commerce and Industry, FIPA, Development Authorities, Central Bank of Tunisia, regional investment and development companies, etc.
- Make a proper business plan: Have a well-defined strategy for getting your business off the ground. This should have a detailed outline of everything you require including management, sales and marketing, human resources, financial plan and future growth.
- Getting financing for doing business in Tunisia: There are several financial mechanisms with varying levels of support to help you establish your business, such as grants (including national funds) and shareholdings, short and medium-term investment loans as well as guarantees for loans and shareholdings. Explore your options.
- Choose the type of company: Knowing your options will help you make an educated decision. You can set up a:
- Public limited company (SA): requires at least 7 shareholders who are natural persons or legal entities
- Limited liability company (SARL) or Company Owned by a Sole Proprietor (SUARL)
- Partnership company: General partnership (2 or more partners), limited partnership (at least 2 active and 2 silent partners) or partnership by participation (freedom to determine rights, duties and allocation of profits and losses)
- Joint venture: Generally operates as partnerships in the form of a company
- Branch: Registration procedures are similar to those of a limited liability company
- Setting up your company: The one-stop shop at the Agency for the Promotion of Industry and Innovation (API) can take care of all the administrative and legal procedures required to set up a company. Services at the API are available to Tunisian and foreign promoters, either resident or non-resident, who are investing in Tunisia, covering undertakings that have been the object of an investment declaration as per the investment incentives code. Quick, simplified procedures make it possible to set up your company in 24 hours.
The Tunisian Business Council (TBC) is a non-profit organization that helps entrepreneurs pursue their business interests in Tunisia as well as the UAE. Through periodic gatherings, seminars, presentations, fairs, exhibitions and other business-related events, we provide opportunities for our members to communicate with representatives of both governments and develop contacts with organizations that will help them realize their entrepreneurial dreams.
Contact us for membership details and to find out more about doing business in Tunisia.