Company Shareholders and Work Permit istanbul

Company Shareholders and Work Permit istanbul

As per the provisions of Turkish Commercial Code and the Code of Foreign Direct Investment of Turkey, the principle “Equal Treatment” is accepted. This means there will be no differance between a Turkish Citizen and a foreign investor. In other words, establishing a company (either a joint stock company or a limited liability company) in Turkey by a foreigner is as easy for as its for a Turkish Citizen. 
However, being a shareholder of a company which is established in Turkey or having a Branch in Turkey or a Liaison Office in Turkey DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN THAT shareholders or Board Members are exempt from “Work Permit” nor does it mean “GETTING A WORK PERMIT WILL BE AS EASY AS ESTABLISHING THE ENTERPRISE”. To make it clear, being a shareholder and a Board member does not grant work permit. You can be a shareholder or a board member but if you are going to be full time worker at the company and have a salary or any kind of payment for your work time then YOU NEED TO HAVE WORK PERMIT. 
In order to have one, there are some conditions to be met by the enterprise. Some of them are;
  1. the foreign shareholder should have at least 20 percent of Company’s shares,
  2. the amount of such 20 percent can be no less than 40.000.-Turkish Liras (equivalent to 24.000.USD approximately) 
  3. the initial 6 months, the company is not required to employ any Turkish citizen, however after 6 months the company should employ at least 5 Turkish citizen
  4. if the foreigner who is applying for a work permit is a “Key Personel” of Such company then the Authorization Documents should also be submitted to the Ministry
  5. if there is a Liaison Office then there should be at least USD 200.000.- is to be transferred to the Office. 

Above mentioned requirements have been recently loosened for Syrian refugees. In order to make them integrate the Turkish economy and provide sufficient care to their family, ministry of labor do not seek all the requirements mentioned above such as employing 5 Turkish Citizens. 

Even tough, foreigners have work permit – since it is granted for one year – they are supposed to renew their application for the next year. However in the second term it can be granted for 2 years. If not granted then not only the work permit but also residence permit will be revoked. 

Lastly we would like to inform that any foreigner having work permit has right to have residence permit for his wife/her husband and for his children (who are below 18 years old). 

Best Regards, 

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