Business has been truly global for years. Nowadays, any company having a computer with an internet connection is theoretically capable of doing business worldwide. In such a world, Turkey, with its strategic geographical position, may instantly become a commercial hub for many companies having no presence in it. Business is usually too fast. Accordingly, a non-Turkish company may have an immediate need to open a bank account in Turkey for various reasons. What should be done in such a case can be summarized as follows:
The first thing that the foreign company should do is obtaining a “potential tax number” from the Tax Authority in accordance with the Communiqué No. 3 dated 29 August 2006 and published by the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Turkey. This process takes no more than 1 (one) business day. Application can also be made by proxy through a duly issued Power of Attorney.
Identifying corporate documents are also necessary: Both the Tax Registry and the relevant bank(s) require a notarized copy of the company’s certificate of activity. For the avoidance of doubt, a certificate of activity is issued either by the Chamber of Commerce or authorized courts. This certificate confirms due incorporation or declaration of good standing of the foreign company by the trade registry/court in the relevant jurisdiction. It should explicitly state when, where and by which laws the foreign company was incorporated and its authorized signatory(ies)/ representative(s) (i.e., board members, managers).
Some banks also require a notarized copy of the foreign company’s Articles of Association.
Once the potential tax number is obtained and the required documents are provided, the foreign company’s bank account opening procedures can be completed in a few hours. Nevertheless, one should bear in mind that opening of an account does not necessarily mean that the relevant bank would unconditionally provide the account owner with any and all banking services. Additional documents are likely to be required for establishing a credit line and further sophisticated transactions.