Setting up a Foreign Business in Tanzania

Setting up a Foreign Business in Tanzania

Tanzania is an East African country that lies just below the equator, and its capital is Dodoma. Tanzania is mountainous and densely forested in the northeast, where Africa’s highest peak Mount Kilimanjaro is located along with that some major lakes are present. Tanzania’s economy is primarily fueled by agriculture (which employs about 75% of the workforce). Its economy is also fueled via mineral extraction (it’s endowed with significant deposits of gold, uranium, bauxite, platinum, tin, diamonds and natural gas). Not only just minerals but also Tanzania is famous for its tourism, manufacturing and agricultural sector. The Tanzanian economy is heavily based on agriculture and farming. There are a lot more business opportunities in Tanzania because of its broad diversity and significant natural resources.

Business Establishment in Tanzania

In order to do any business in Tanzania, regardless of the nature of the market, one  definitely needs to form a business entity, either by registration of a Business Name or a Company, but in our case a form of a Limited liability company (LLC) as per the Tanzania Companies Act No 2 of 2002. A limited liability company (LLC) in Tanzania is a legal entity, used for the establishment of small business in Tanzania, with less capital and simple shareholding structure. Especially for foreigners who want to invest in Tanzania. To register in LLC, one needs two shareholders and two directors. The main attraction of LLC is there is no minimum paid-up share capital precondition.

To start a foreign company in Tanzania Tanzania must register with Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA) which is under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, One may choose to register a new company here or opt to use the same company registered in another country and obtain a certificate of Compliance in Tanzania.

Local Company Registration

By assigning a  foreign name or a new name, a new company can be registered.with just addition of the word “Tanzania Limited” The company registered in Tanzania will be recognized as a local company, but for some reason, if there is foreign shareholder, the company is considered as a foreign company.

It’s not permissible to register a company with a name similar to an existing company or company with an unqualified name. The Registrar of companies must approve the usage of the proposed name only.

Certificate of Compliance

Business Registrations and Licensing Agency (BRELA) issues certificates of compliance for foreign companies, certificates of incorporation for local companies and certificates of registration for single proprietorship. The business firms must register their businesses with the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) or any of the other five social security schemes in Tanzania and, depending on their business activities, they should obtain licenses with the Ministry of Industry and Trade or the Municipality.

Foreign Company Registration

Foreign company registration in Tanzania can be done either through Tanzania Investment Centre or Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA).

Documents Required for Registration in Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC)

  • Return and declaration delivered form
  • Financial Statements
  • Memorandum Certificate and Articles of Association
  • Incorporation certificate
  • Bank Slip
  • TIC Payment Receipt
  • An estimate of tax payable by installments form
  • TIN application form
  • Notarized lease agreement
  • Passport
  • Application form of Business License
  • Application and Registration Form

Documents Required for Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA)

  • Lease Agreement
  • Financial Statements
  • Incorporation certificate
  • Certified Memorandum
  •  Articles of Association
  • CRDB payment slip
  • Payment receipt (BRELA - company)
  • Registration form and Lease
  • Passport
  • TIN application form (Tax Identification Number)
  • An estimate of tax payable by installments form
  • Compliance Certificate
  • Shareholder TIN application form
  • Business License
  • Proof of suitable business premises for the business applied
  • Registration and VAT application form
  • Return and declaration delivery form
  • Application for Employer registration

Tax Payer Identification Number

After registering a company, the next step is to get a tax payer identification number for the company and shareholders.

In order to get the Taxi Payer Identification Number, at least one of the shareholders of the Company must appear at the Tanzania Revenue Authority’s office for interview or use another person after granting power of attorney to him.

Obtaining Business License

After the registration for incorporate business in Tanzania, the final step would be to get the business license for Tanzania. Business setup worldwide helps every foreign company helps to get the license for setting up a business venture in Tanzania.

After getting a business license, a company is said to be dully authorized to set a business venture in Tanzania. 

This whole procedure may take a maximum of seven days after handling properly signed agreements and articles of Association and relevant forms for a company to be fully registered.

So approximately 10 days will be required for completing all the legal procedures.


To register a foreign company and to clear all the legal proceedings may be a tough job for an outsider. So our company Business Setup Worldwide helps the localities as well as the outsider to get the business license and helps to complete all the registration in a hassle free manner within a shorter period of time. Contact us to get more information regarding registering and licensing for a company in Tanzania.