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Starting an Online Business in Turkey

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Hi everyone,

I intend to move to Turkey to start a business. I do online business, basically I create websites either selling services or products online. These websites target the US mainly but they are worldwide oriented. So basically my work doesn't need employees, I can work by myself. And I don't even need an office, I can work from home.

Can anybody advise me about the process of starting such a business in Turkey? How much will it cost me? What Turkish papers should I hold after launching the business (residence permit, work permit,...)?

I've been warned of getting used or scammed even by lawyers, so how should I proceed?


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Some time ago I called the helpline for the Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Services and asked that question.

They told me that you don't need a work permit if you work online working for a foreign company or if you aren't providing products or services to Turks (except for the fact that Turkey is part of the world and they would come across your website just like anybody else would). But once you get into a situation where you have to pay taxes in Turkey, you will need a work permit. That would include if you've settled permanently in Turkey and Turkey has become your tax home, and you have to pay taxes on what you're making in Turkey.

Unfortunately, I didn't think to ask the guy where it says this so I could read it for myself.

I haven't heard of anybody who has gotten a work permit doing online work. But you can always call the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services and ask them. They have a helpline you can call at 170, with an English option.

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Thanks for the information Ken!

Yes, I'm planning to settle in Turkey so I guess I'll need to pay taxes. Also I guess I need to establish a business, because on the long run I'll need to hire people to work with me. I'll start by myself at the beginning till I'll settle everything on the right path, then I'll do the hiring.

I searched online how to create a company in Turkey, but information seem scarce and murky! I've emailed some of the services which presented themselves as facilitators or business creators but didn't receive any single answer! (Weird! I thought this is their business and should reply as soon as possible and get customers!)

Also I read somewhere (sorry somehow I can't find the source) that I could be exempt from both corporate and personal taxation till 2023!

My question now is how should I proceed to create my company in Turkey? How much will it cost me? Should I hire a lawyer and/or a CPA to do this for me? How much will they cost me? Is there any governmental online portal where I can just submit my papers and payments and they will take care of the rest? (some countries in the Middle East have this service such as Qatar and the UAE! You do everything online!)

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I would recommend you to read a lot of the other posts in the Doing Business section. There are pitfalls and problems that you can avoid.

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