Working for Yourself (Self Employment) in Turkey

It is often difficult for a foreigner to find legal employment in Turkey and so the obvious question arises as to whether, if you can't work for somebody else, you can set up your own business and work for yourself.

Video guide to self employment in Turkey

You can get a quick overview of self employment for foreign residents in Turkey by watching this video interview (below) with Turkish lawyer Başak Yıldız Orkun.

Can a foreigner be self employed in Turkey?

The short answer is: maybe.

There are two ways of working for yourself. The first is as a self-employed person, as defined by Turkish law. You work in your own name (rather than by setting up some business entity to deliver your service) and you are taxed on the profits you generate.

The second is to set up a company (owned either by you alone or by you and other people) and then for you to work for that company.

In both cases you are, in essence, your own boss and your income depends upon the profits from your own labour.

It is, realistically, not possible for most foreigners to become self-employed in Turkey. But it is possible for them to set up a business and then work for it. See our Guide to Starting a Business in Turkey. That business does not need to be a limited company or, indeed, anything fancy. It merely needs to be a tax-registered business.

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