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Buying a Shelf Company in Turkey

Updated on Friday 08th January 2021

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The foreign entrepreneurs, who are ready to set up a company in Turkey and don’t want to go through the whole company registration process, choose to purchase a shelf company. Buying a ready-made company is an alternative for foreign investors in many countries, but the laws in Turkey are a little bit different. A firm must have an economic activity in order to exist, so there are no companies with no activity for years.

Ready-made companies are generally chosen by investors who are in a hurry to start their businesses and who need a firm with longevity on the market. According to the Turkish Company Law, the company director should come to Turkey in order to modify the articles of association and then to prove to the local tax office that the firm is doing business.

In the recent years, many foreign investors have been interested in businesses in Turkey because of the favorable economic environment. Some of them want to buy a shelf company that means that they have to engage in the share transfer procedure for the already registered firm.

Our company formation specialists in Turkey can help foreign investors who want to purchase ready-made companies.

Who can purchase shelf companies in Turkey?

There are no restrictions when it comes to the nationality of those who want to buy shelf companies in Turkey. Considering Turkey is quite open when it comes to foreign investments, entrepreneurs from any country around the world can decide on the way they want to set up a business: by registering a new company or through a shelf company.

If you are interested in opening a company in Turkey and don’t know if a ready-made company is the best option, you can discuss your decision with our local agents.

The main characteristics of a ready-made company in Turkey

Ready-made companies are preferred by many investors because:

  1. they are already incorporated, and they only need a few changes in order to start economic activities;
  2. even if in Turkey shelf companies must have had an economic activity, the purpose of these companies can be changed;
  3. they come with tax identification and VAT numbers and thus no longer require tax registration;
  4. they can be used for almost any type of economic activity in Turkey, but can also be used as offshore companies;
  5. they come with bank accounts; however, these can be changed alongside other amendments which can be brought to them;
  6. shelf companies are usually registered as private limited liability companies which offer several benefits.

The purchase of a Turkish shelf company does not imply lengthy procedures, as it can be bought in a matter of days. Our company registration agents in Turkey can help you with the formalities when buying an aged company.

The procedure of buying a shelf company

This procedure is simpler and it lasts less than the incorporation of a new company. A legal entity or a natural person can buy a ready-made company based on the certificate of registration for the company that will buy a Turkish firm or the passport of the person signing the agreement for the share transfer, at the office of a public notary.

After the new shareholder takes over the company, he can make any changes, after he notifies the Trade Register from Turkey. The new board of directors, company management and address will also be registered with the Trade Registry. The new shareholder can add other objects of activity and can make other changes too regarding the bank representatives or other activities of the firm.

The sale- purchase agreement when buying a Turkish shelf company

The purchase of a shelf company in Turkey is based on a contract signed between the company selling such structures and the foreign investor. The document needs to be signed by both parties; however, due diligence is important before signing any document. Then, the transfer of shares needs to be completed and the changes must be notified with the Turkish Companies Registrar.

We can help with company due diligence services, no matter if you are interested in buying a shelf company or entering a partnership with a Turkish company.

Our company registration advisors in Turkey can offer assistance when making changes in a company.

Private companies as shelf companies in Turkey

As mentioned above, most shelf companies take the form of private companies in Turkey. These business forms allow foreign investors to be the sole shareholders in the company, however, they can also act as directors of the company. Also, their responsibility will be limited to the amount of money they injected in the company. It is also good to know that the share capital of a shelf company can be altered based on the needs of the shareholder.

We can help you open a company in Turkey, no matter if you want to register it from scratch or by purchasing a ready-made one.

Why buy a ready-made company in Turkey?

Before purchasing the shelf company, the investor should be very careful about the history of that firm and problems in the past, such as debts or legal issues.

The main advantage of buying a ready-made company is that it can be used for signing an important contract or close an urgent deal. You can change the name of the shelf company.

Turkish shelf companies already have registered addresses and VAT numbers which makes them fully operational from the first day of the acquisition. This helps investors spare a lot of time otherwise spent with the tax authorities. The ready-made company is also suitable for those seeking to incorporate the history of a foreign company and thus helping them to improve relations with business partners and customer, and also to attract other clients or partners.

FAQ on ready-made companies in Turkey

  1. How long does it take to buy a shelf company in Turkey?

The purchase of a ready-made company is Turkey can take a few days, considering the share transfer which must be made.

  1. How much does a shelf company cost?

The cost of a shelf company depends on its age and the activities it has undertaken.

  1. Is it better to buy a shelf company or to register a new one?

The procedure of starting a business in Turkey through any of the options depends on the hurry the investor is in. Our company formation agents in Turkey can help you make a decision.

  1. Can Turkish companies be bought by both natural persons and other companies?

Yes, there are no restrictions on the persons or companies seeking to buy ready-made companies in Turkey.

  1. Can I use a Turkish shelf company as a subsidiary for my foreign company?

Yes, the shelf company can be used as subsidiary company by a foreign entity interested in entering the Turkish market.

Why set up a business in Turkey?

Turkey is by far one of the most appreciated investment destinations in both Europe and Asia because its geographical location allows entrepreneurs to operate on both continents.

According to various Focus Economics, Turkey’s economy:

  • - has expanded by 3.2% in 2016, by 7.4% in 2017 and by 2.8% in 2018;
  • - relies on foreign investments which have increased by 7.8% in 2017 (one of the highest growths in last 3 years);
  • - also relies on industrial production which has registered a 9% increase in 2017 compared to the previous year;
  • - is expected to contract by 1.4% in 2019 but is forecast to grow back up by 2.3% in 2020.

 If you need assistance during the whole procedure of buying a shelf company or you want to set up a company in Turkey, you can contact our local representatives who will offer you more information and guide you through the procedure.

We invite you to watch a short video about buying a shelf company in Turkey:

If you are interested in opening or buying a shelf company in other countries, such as: UAE(Dubai), Georgia, China, Russia, you may contact our local representatives.

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Call us now at +90 532 351 66 77  to set up an appointment with Cagatay Altunsoy, one of our specialists in company formation in Istanbul, Turkey. Alternatively you can incorporate your company without traveling to Turkey.

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