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wheezie

working online from Turkey

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Hi all,

 

I live permanently in Turkey and want to sell, on-line, holiday accommodation in Turkey. There would be no office, and all the 'work' would be on-line, and payments from customers would be to a UK bank account. I am thinking that as a UK citizen, the easiest way for me to do this to avoid any work permit issues, is to set up a UK limited company - it would be me and a Turkish Citizen only as directors and there would not be any staff (other than us). 

 

Is this correct? That by doing this I wouldn't need a work permit??

 

I've searched previous threads and the only one I can find dates back to 2009 so wondered if there had been any changes since that advice was given.

 

And just if anyone knows - I assume I actually CAN set up a UK company without being resident there!!??

 

Thanks all

 

Wheezie

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I have had it explained to me that "working in Turkey" means being paid, by an employer, in Turkey, or cutting invoices in Turkey. If it is your business who performs this role from another country, I don't see how this would be illegal. I think the work permission laws were set up to stop the traditional illegal workers from stealing jobs Turks could be doing, not bar people who have companies in other countries from living in Turkey.

You might want to look in to opening a limited company in Delaware. The Incorporating Company has packages for $395 to open a business, and $50 per year for resident agent fees. Delaware law requires that you have a representative in the US in case a subpoena has to be served. They can also serve as your company address. Delaware is extremely business-friendly. It might be cheaper than a UK company.

It seems to be a situation where the law doesn't really say you can do it, but it also doesn't say you can't do it.

I am not a lawyer, but this is legal advice which was given to me by three lawyers. Surprisingly enough, they all said the same thing. I would recommend talking to a lawyer yourself just to make sure.

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Thanks Ken, that's kinda what I thought, but after 7 years of living here, I know that sometimes what seems logical and 'must' be right, isn't always! Posted Image

I will look at a Delaware Company too as that's another option.

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Knowing how the Turkish government, they may pass a law prohibiting anybody from operating an unregistered company in Turkey, hoping to rake in some tax money from it. Then word it in such a way that anyone on vacation who checks his business e-mail is subject to arrest! :lol: But if you're working in your home on the Internet, the chances of them breaking down your door and arresting you for that is nil.

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I don't know if this is any help, but I was working in turkey for Finnish company, I got paid in Finland, I paid taxes to Finland but I just happened to do project in Turkey. I didn't have work permit and I was staying in as normal tourist. What makes me think it was perfectly legal was, that Turkish ministry of culture had set protocol to my flight ticket and we were closely in touch with governor of Alanya. So authorities new we were there and with what permissions and nobody made it issue :) so according to this, I agree it should be fine.

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Thanks Fen, that's interesting if they knew you were there. I'm more worried about our competitors as where I live is a small place and everyone knows your business! If we are successful, and I think we will be, people will soon be calling the authorities. I also work for a tour operator and have a work permit with them, so everything is legal with that job, and last year I got a visit from the authorities to check my permit because someone had reported me - they told me this. So I am almost expecting it!!

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That's interesting. Fen it sounds like they kind of bent the law for you, or just didn't bother with the work permit process in your case. I assume because the project benefited Turkey in some way.

Wheezie, what exactly happened when they visited you? When you get a residence permit, the police visit you to make sure you live where you said you were going to live, and they ask if you are working as part of their normal procedure. Could the visit have been for that purpose or are you sure they were investigating an allegation that you were working illegally?

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Hi KenNo it was nothing to do with my residency as I've had that for 7 years now and had the Jandarma visit way back then. This wasn't the police visiting me either. They were from Antalya (I live 3 hours away from the centre of Antalya), so not local, and they were from a Government department. They came to my place of work unannounced and asked to speak with me, I then had to produce my work permit and they recorded the information about me and the travel agency I work for. They had other people on their list for that day too who I know didn't have permits.I'd like to apply for citizenship as I'm eligible, but as I 'live in sin' with my Turkish partner, I've already been told that as we're not married it would be difficult.

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I'd like to apply for citizenship as I'm eligible, but as I 'live in sin' with my Turkish partner, I've already been told that as we're not married it would be difficult.

Unbelievable ! Posted Image Can it really be true there's any such written regulation which prevents you from becoming a citizen ? .......... if so, I'd like to see it! Somehow I think people believe those who make these decisions can use their discretion to arbitrarily accept or reject an application based on circumstances that have nothing to do with the actual rules......... but then maybe not ? After all, this is Turkey ! Posted ImagePosted Image LOL.

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As I recall, hey have had "sweeps" like that before, because foreigners were illegally working for Turkish travel agencies, and competing travel agencies complained about it. I'm sure there was a lot more going on than just a few people running personal websites with a few Google ads on them.

I don't know what the law says about people working for foreign companies from their residence in Turkey. I've asked three different lawyers what the definition of "working in Turkey" is, and all three said that being paid in Turkey and cutting invoices in Turkey makes it "working in Turkey." But to be sure, the real people to ask would be the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

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