Business Formation

Verify the availability of the proposed company name

Agency: Online Registration System, Business Registration and Licensing Authority (BRELA)

A new company would have a business name and a company name. The company can have different businesses or projects, which are registered under the umbrella of the company but can have different names. Prior to registering the company, the availability of both the company name and business name can be verified online at

Once it was verified that the names are not used by existing companies, the business founders may proceed with the incorporation of the company.

Time and cost: Less than 1 day (online procedure), 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.

Time and cost: 1 day, TZS 10,000-50,000

Apply for company incorporation and obtain the certificate of incorporation

Agency: Online Registration System, Business Registration and Licensing Authority (BRELA)

The company will be registered online through the Online Registration System (ORS). 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 documents:

  • 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 submitted, the registration is usually processed within 3-4 days and an electronic version of the certificate of registration will be provided to the applicant. The registration number will be the same as the company’s tax identification number. The company registration fees can be paid online and are as follows (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.

Time and cost: 6 days, TZS 337,200

Obtain the taxpayer identification number (TIN) certificate

Agency: Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA)

Once the company has been registered, the business founders must apply for tax registration at the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and obtain a tax identification number (TIN). The application for the TIN certificate is made 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).

The application can be submitted online. To complete the tax registration, 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.

Time and cost: 2 days, no charge

Apply for a business license

Agency: Ministry of Industy, Trade and Investment (MITI) or the Local Government Authorities (LGAs)

The business license is either issued by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (MITI) or the Local Government Authorities (LGAs), depending on the nature of business. Together with the application, the following documents must be submitted:

  • Certificate of incorporation;
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association;
  • Proof of Tanzanian Citizenship;
  • Proof of a suitable company premises;
  • Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).

The cost of the license depends on the nature of the business, and it usually varies between TZS 200,000 and TZS 1,000,000. For a medium-scale manufacturer and seller of goods, the license costs TZS 400,000.

Time and cost: 6 days, TZS 400,000

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.

Time and cost: 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.

Time and cost: 1 day, no charge

Register with the Occupational Safety and Health Authority (OSHA)

Agency: Occupational Health and Safety Authority (OSHA)

Any person being the owner or occupier of a workplace shall, before operating, be required to register such factory or work place. Therefore the applicant is required to complete the application form and provide the company’s registration documents to OSHA. Prior to approving an application OSHA officials visit the premises for inspection on health and safety.

The application requires the following:

  • Name of occupier;
  • Address;
  • Nature of work;
  • Total number of employees.

Time and cost: 10 days (simultaneous), no charge

Receive inspection from the Occupational Safety and Health Authority (OSHA)

Agency: Occupational Health and Safety Authority (OSHA)

Prior to approving an application for the workplace, OSHA officials visit the premises for inspection on health and safety. A certificate of registration and certificate of compliance will only be issued once the OSHA officials are satisfied that the premises are in safe and good habitable condition.

Time and cost: 1 day (simultaneous), no charge

Obtain Social Security registration number

Agency: Social Security Regulatory Authority (SSRA)

SSRA is the regulatory authority for social security. Every employer in the formal sector is required to register his/her employees with any of the mandatory schemes, and it is 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. They include the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), the Parastatal Pensions Fund (PPF), the Local Government Authority Provident Fund (LAPF), and the Government Employees Provident Fund (GEPF).

Time and cost: 7 days (simultaneous), no charge