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 between 10 and 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 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare Tanzania to 189 other economies.

  • No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs

    Apply for clearance of the proposed company name

    Agency: Business Registration and Licensing Authority (BRELA)

    A business name and a company name refer to two different names. Regarding the company name, the applicant writes a letter to BRELA with at least three proposed names for the company. BRELA will then approve one of the names proposed.

    A company can have different businesses or projects, which are registered under the umbrella of the company but can have different names. An application for registering a business name can be submitted either by mail to the Registrar of Companies or at the counter of the Business Registration and Licensing Authority (BRELA) for clearance. Upon receiving notification that the name is available, the applicant prepares the memorandum and articles of association and submits to BRELA. If the memorandum and articles of association have been prepared and presented for registration without name clearance, the search will be conducted during the registration process. If a search reveals a similar name in the Register, the name application will be rejected.

    Recently, the Business Registration and Licensing Authority (BRELA) enabled the online name search service to be conducted on its website: www.brela.go.tz.

    1 day no charge

    Obtain a notarized declaration of compliance

    Agency: Notary

    Entrepreneurs visit the notary for notarization of the declaration of compliance. Notaries charge within the range of TZS 10,000-50,000 for notarial services for normal documents such as form No. 14 b.

    1 day TZS 10,000-50,000

    Apply for company incorporation and obtain the certificate of incorporation

    Agency: Registrar of Companies

    Companies 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:
    - 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 3 days. Registration forms are free.

    A company can prepare its own articles of association but Table A of the Schedules to the Companies is in most cases adopted by companies limited by shares.

    Company registration fee (based on share capital):
    - Share capital from 20,000 to 1,000,000: TZS 95,000.
    - Share capital from 1,000,000 to 5,000,000: TZS 175,000.
    - Share capital from 5,000,000 to 20,000,000: TZS 260,000.
    - Share capital from 20,000,000 to 50,000,000: TZS 290,000.
    - Share capital 50,000,000 and over: TZS 440,000.

    Filing fee: TZS 66,000: 22,000 per document

    Stamp duty fee:
    - Original memorandum and articles of association: TZS 6,200.
    - Every additional copy: TZS 5,000.

    4 days TZS 337,200

    Apply for taxpayer identification number (TIN)

    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 liabilities company can apply for TIN certificate by filling TIN application forms as follows:
    • Application for the company.
    • Application for each shareholder/director, in case any director has already issued with TIN certificates for other purpose he or she cannot make another application. The same TIN number will be used.

    1 day no charge

    Obtain taxpayer identification number (TIN)

    Agency: Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA)

    At least one of 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

    Apply for a business license

    Agency: Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT) or Local Government Authorities (LGAs)

    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

    Apply for the VAT certificate

    Agency: Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA)

    VAT registration takes 3 to 5 days if the proposed company has over the threshold income of TZS 100,000,000.

    4 days no charge

    Register for the workmen’s compensation insurance

    Agency: Workers Compensation Fund (WCF) and Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA)

    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

    Obtain Social Security registration number

    Agency: Social Security Regulatory Authority (SSRA)

    It takes a week to obtain a social security registration number. Every employer in the formal sector is required to register his/her employees with any 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