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Company Formation Turkey



Open a Restaurant in Turkey

Updated on Friday 01st March 2019

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Open_a_restaurant_in_Turkey.jpg.jpgForeign investors in Turkey often choose to open a restaurant or any other business establishment that can be linked to tourism. Turkey is an increasingly popular tourist destination and a large number of visitors will always represent a good clientele for a restaurant. Much as the country, the Turkish cuisine is a blend between different cultures - the Asian, Caucasian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Balkan cuisines have shaped and influenced the Turkish food.

Business owners in Turkey who want to open a restaurant should know that this type of business requires special permits and licenses for functioning. Our company formation team in Turkey can give you complete details about the legal requirements for Turkish restaurants. We offer company registration services to both local and foreign investors interested in setting up businesses in Turkey.

Legislation governing the restaurants sector in Turkey

Those who want to open companies in the food industry in Turkey, including restaurants or catering businesses need to comply with various laws. Among these, we mention the following:

  • -          the Food and Feed Law which provides for the licensing requirements for units preparing and selling food;
  • -          the Food Premise Regulations which provide for the norms which must be respected on the premises of restaurants;
  • -          the Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulations which provide for the sale of alcoholic beverages in restaurants;
  • -          the Company Law which provides for restaurants and other types of food establishments to be registered as commercial entities.

Our company registration consultants in Turkey can offer information on the legislation related to starting a restaurant business in this country.

Choosing a business for a Turkish restaurant

The first step in opening a restaurant in Turkey is related to choosing a business form acknowledged by the Company Law. Among these, the sole proprietorship, the commandite company, and the limited liability company are preferred structures.

The sole proprietorship is suitable for small restaurant businesses in Turkey and requires a simple registration procedure, however, the licenses to be obtained are the same as for a larger business. Considering the logistics involved in opening a restaurant, the Turkish sole trader is rarely used in Turkey for such a business.

The commandite company is the equivalent of the partnership in European countries and is a good option for foreign investors interested in having a Turkish partner.

The most employed business form, however, remains the limited liability company which can be used by foreign investors under very advantageous conditions.

No matter the type of structure chosen, our Turkish company formation advisors can help with the incorporation with the Trade Register.

From a licensing point of view, the restaurant is required to obtain all the authorizations, as required by the law.

A new restaurant in Turkey

A new restaurant in Turkey will need a good location. Our experts can help you purchase a building in Turkey that can be later renovated and adapted for the needs of the restaurant. It is advisable to perform a real estate due diligence before purchasing any kind of real estate in Turkey
A Turkish restaurant needs to be registered, just like any other type of company in Turkey. The registration procedure requires certain documents and it is performed at the Turkish Trade Register. Also, the restaurant will have to comply with VAT requirements.
In order to be successful, a restaurant needs to attract clientele. Whether or not you wish to open a traditional Turkish restaurant or opt for a restaurant that serves international cuisine, you will need a good marketing plan and an accountant that can help you with the books and annual fillings.

Special permits for Turkish restaurants

The production, sale, purchase, export and import of Turkish food and the provision of catering services are subject to the Food and Feed Law. The purpose of this law is to make sure that the consumer’s rights are being observed and, at the same time, the business complies with the environmental regulations. Hygienic norms are extremely important and restaurants that don’t observe them risk serious fines or even closure.
A restaurant in Turkey needs to obtain an operation permit. According to the Food Premise Regulation, premises that provide catering services in Turkey are subject to registration and restaurants must also obtain the approval of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Livestock. Certain food premises must also register at the Ministry before commencing any operations. 
Our company formation agents can help you submit the necessary documentation to the aforementioned authorities if you want to open a restaurant in Turkey.

Obtaining a food and alcohol license for a restaurant in Turkey

Those who want to open restaurants in Turkey must apply for several licenses in relation to the preparation and supply of food products. These licenses consist of:

  • -          the operation permit which imposes the requirements related to hiring specialized employees to handle, cook and serve food;
  • -          the business and operation license is required for restaurants serving food and non-alcoholic drinks on the premises;
  • -          the food premises operation license which is issued by the Provincial Directorate or the District Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture;
  • -          the alcohol license which is issued by the Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulatory Authority.

It should be noted that each type of license is issued for a specific purpose and is subject to different conditions. For example, the operation permit required for a restaurant with more than 50 employees.

The business and operation license is issued for restaurant handling more than 500 products. The food premises operation license is, however, the most common license when opening a restaurant in Turkey. This license is issued under the following conditions:

  • -          the license can be obtained by a natural person, a company or the representative of a company;
  • -          the application must be filed 3 months before starting the activities of the company;
  • -          it takes around 15 working days for the Directorate to process the application request;
  • -          the license is issued for a single location, and if the restaurant will be expanded, another application must be submitted.

When it comes to selling alcoholic beverages in a Turkish restaurant, the company representative must obtain the license with the Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulatory Authority. It must be noted that the beverages must be kept in their original recipients all the time and that serving alcohol to persons under the age of 18 is strictly forbidden.

In case the restaurant will import ingredients from other countries, these must respect the local legislation with respect to the safety of the foodstuff. Also, they must be accompanied by documents supporting the provenience.

Foreign investors who want to open restaurants in Turkey should know that the government has concluded a special accord with the EU in relation to the import and export of foodstuff.

Please contact our agents, if you need help opening a company in Turkey or you want advice for investments. With a vast experience in company registration in Turkey, our representatives are ready to offer counseling and assistance to foreign entrepreneurs who want to activate on the local market through any type of company.

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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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