The United Republic of Tanzania is a unitary state. It is a union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, formed on 26th April 1964, and located in eastern Africa.

Tanzania is one of the most widely attractive places to invest, due to favorable government policy, Availability of natural resources, and development of banking, financial, tourism, and agricultural sector, all contributing to its vibrant growing market economy. However, to conduct business in Tanzania, one must follow the governing law, rules, and regulations which provide procedures and legal requirements. Therefore, the following are the top five documents that everyone running/expecting to start a business in Tanzania should have, for his/her business to be legally conducted.

  1. Company, partnership and/ or sole proprietorship registration document.

For a company either public or private, a legal document that shows its existence is a Certificate of Incorporation, governed by the Companies Act, 2002. And Certificate of Registration for both partnership and sole proprietor/investor, governed by The Business Names (Registration) Act (cap 213). To start registering any kind of business entity herein, you will need to engage with the Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA), via BRELA ORS Portal, fill in the required details, and pay the application fees.

  1. Business Tax Identification Number (TIN)

After a company obtains Certificate of Incorporation, must register with Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). Which is governed by the Income Tax Act Cap 332 R.E 2019 and Tax Administration Act Cap 438 R.E 2019, TIN registration for companies is done at TRA district office near the business location. In addition, each shareholder and director must register with TIN to be able to pay taxes. The application process for individual TIN is done online. and for Sole Proprietorship, the Tax Revenue Authority (TRA) will issue a TIN on the same document as his/her personal TIN. In this process, TRA will also calculate his/her quarterly tax dues based on a presumed revenue scheme, which he/she will reassess with TRA towards the end of your first year in business.

  1. Tax clearance certificate

All businesses that are to obtain a license are required to apply for a tax clearance certificate from the respective Tax region under which the business is registered. The application for a tax clearance certificate should be in writing with proof showing compliance for all taxes by the applicant of the tax clearance certificate. This is a legal requirement governed by the Income Tax Act Cap 332 R.E 2019 Tax Administration Act Cap 438 R.E 2019,

  1. Business License

Business Licence is a legal document issued by government agencies that grants the user the right to operate any form of trade, commerce, craftsmanship or specified profession carried on for profit or gain (business) within government’s geographical jurisdiction.

Any business line in Tanzania should obtain its own business licence from the Government agency mandated to issue a Business Licence. For the purpose of business registration, there are two types of licenses namely, general and specific Business Licenses. General business licenses are issued by Business Registrations and Licensing Agency (BRELA) and Municipal/City Councils. Specific business licenses are sectoral licenses issued by accreditation bodies such as the Engineer Registration Board, Drug Authority, Ministry of Tourism etc.

Under general licenses there are two categories namely, Schedule “A” and Schedule ‘B’ business licence. Schedule A license is issued to companies with businesses of national and international nature while Schedule B issued to business of local nature.

  1. Title Deed, Lease Agreement and (for non-citizens) Certificate of Incentives.

These are documents which gives right to enjoy use and occupy land for owner of the business entity, to the place where business activities are conducted, it is also governed by law of contract Act Cap 345 R.E 2019, Land Act Cap 113 R.E 2019 and the Tanzania Investment Act, 1997.