Starting a Business in


Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Tanzania. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with up to 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 189 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2014.

Compare Tanzania to 188 other economies.

  • Standardized Company

  • Legal form: Private Limited Liability Company
  • Paid in minimum capital requirement: TZS 0
  • City: Dar es Salaam
No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
1 Apply for clearance of the proposed company name at the Business Registration and Licensing Authority (BRELA)
Agency: Business Registration and Licensing Authority ("BRELA")

An application for registering a business name (form no. 8) can be submitted either by mail to the Registrar of Companies or on-site at the Business Registration and Licensing Authority (BRELA) for clearance of the proposed name upon conducting an automatic search to verify the name uniqueness and availability. Upon receiving notification that the name is available, the applicant prepares the memorandum and articles of association and submits them during the company registration process. If these documents are prepared and presented for registration without name clearance, the search is done during the registration process with a chance of rejection if the search reveals a similar name in the Register. Recently, the Business Registration and Licensing Authority (BRELA) enabled the online name search service to be conducted on its website: www.brela-tz.org.
1 day no charge
2 Obtain a notarized declaration of compliance
Agency: Notary

Entrepreneurs visit the notary for notarization of the declaration of compliance.
1 day Notaries do charge at the range of TZS 10,000-50,000, for notarial services to normal documents such as form No. 14 b.
3 Apply for company incorporation and obtain the certificate of incorporation
Agency: Registrar of Companies

Business trade names (Cap 213) and companies (Cap 212) can be registered only in Dar es Salaam. A lawyer is not required, but using one is common practice.
To apply for a certificate of incorporation, a subscriber, secretary, or a person named in the articles of association as a director must submit the following to the Registrar of Companies, along with the registration application form (form no. 1):
- 14a (First Directors and Secretary and Intended situation of Registered Office)
- 14b (Declaration of Compliance on Application for the Registration of a Company)
The Memorandum and Articles of Association are also filed with the forms.

After the forms are filed, the certificate of incorporation is usually processed within 2-3 days. Registration forms are free, and applicable registration fees (according to the New Companies Act 2002) are shown below.

Although there are no standard articles of association, Table A of the Schedules to the Companies Ordinance may be adopted. The fee for incorporating companies with capital below TZS 1 million is 10% but is negotiable.

Company registration fee (based on share capital):
- Share capital from 20,000 to 500,000: TZS 50,000.
- Share capital from 500,000 to 1,000,000: TZS 80,000.
- Share capital from 1,000,000 to 2,000,000: TZS 100,000.
- Share capital from 2,000,000 to 3,000,000: TZS 120,000.
- Share capital from 3,000,000 to 5,000,000: TZS 150,000.
- Share capital from 5,000,000 to 10,000,000: TZS 180,000.
- Share capital from 10,000,000 to 30,000,000: TZS 200,000.
- Share capital 30,000,000 and over: TZS 300,000.

Filing fee: TZS 45,000: 15,000 per document

Stamp duty fee:
- Original memorandum and articles of association: TZS 6,200.
- Additional copies: TZS 5,000.
4 days TZS 236,200
4 Apply for taxpayer identification number (TIN) at the Tanzania Revenue Authority
Agency: Tanzania Revenue Authority ("TRA")

TIN registration is free of charge. Tax registration has been computerized. It takes a minimum of 2 days to obtain a TIN number, depending on the number of requests made to the Revenue Authority (TRA) at the time.

The Certificate of incorporation shall be attached to the TIN application enclosed with Memorandum and Articles of Associations when a person makes application to TRA.
The limited company shall apply for TIN certificate by filling TIN application forms as follows:
• Application for the company.
• Application for each shareholders/directors, in case any director has already issued with TIN certificates for other purpose he/she cannot make another application. The same TIN number will be used.
1 day no charge
5 Obtain taxpayer identification number (TIN)
Agency: Tanzania Revenue Authority ("TRA")

All the directors of the company must be physically present at the tax office to give their fingerprints (biometric data). The applicant must visit TRA offices to pick up the TIN number in person. The company will be required to declare its estimated income or turnover for the provision tax assessment for the particular year. At the TRA office, the tax officer may interview the company founders/directors and record their business and personal particulars.
1 day no charge
6 Apply for a business license from the regional trade officer (depending on the nature of business)
Agency: Regional trade officer

The business license automatically registers the company for various taxes imposed by the Dar es Salaam City Commission (for example, the development levy). The application is free of charge for companies with a turnover of less than TZS 40 million and certain health providers.

The business license is either issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade or the Local Authorities depending on the nature of business. Together with the application, the following documents must be submitted:
1) Certificate of incorporation
2) Memorandum and Articles of Association
3) Proof of Tanzanian Citizenship
4) Proof of a suitable company premises
5) Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
6 days TZS 1,000
7 Apply for the VAT certificate at the Tanzania Revenue Authority
Agency: Tanzania Revenue Authority

VAT registration takes 3–5 days if the proposed company will have a threshold income of TZS 20 million.
4 days no charge
8 Register for the workmen’s compensation insurance at the National Insurance Corporation or an alternative insurance policy provider
Agency: National Insurance Corporation

To register for workers’ compensation insurance, employers must complete the Workmen’s Compensation Tariff Proposal Form. This form should be completed once the firm begins hiring employees and just before the firm becomes operational. However, because the insurance industry is privatized in Tanzania, employers may opt to take an insurance policy instead of the workmen’s compensation claims.
1 day no charge
9 Obtain the registration number at the National Social Security Fund (NSSF)
Agency: National Social Security Fund (NSSF)

It takes a week to obtain the registration number at the National Social Security Fund.
According to Section 30 of the Social Security Regulatory Authority Act, every employer in the formal sector is required to register his/her employees with at least one of the mandatory schemes, provided that it shall be the right of the employee to choose the mandatory scheme to register under. These mandatory schemes are established by law and guaranteed by the Government to provide social security benefits to employees.
7 days no charge

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