This short article will discuss the steps and requirements for foreign companies ( Branches and JVs ) to resume activity in Libya.
As the Libyan economy is now recovering, witnessing a period of stability compared to the last years. This has led many of the foreign embassies to resume and conduct their work from inside Libya, and eventually many foreign companies were encouraged by such steps and the overall current situation and decided to resume their business activities in the country.
As some of those companies left the country after the events of 2011 and 2014, without proceeding with any renewal applications for their license, this article will focus on what factors and steps these companies need to take into consideration in order to have their entities activated again in Libya.
1 – Settling Liabilities – Tax & Social Security
Unless the foreign entity has officially communicated to the authorities its will to cease its operations in the country for a certain period and for a justified reason, the entity will remain liable to all its financial obligations including tax and social security even after the expiry of its license, and those should be settled before applying for the renewal as social security clearance and tax clearance are among the renewal requirements.
Our firm with its extensive expertise in dealing with Tax and Social Security and with the assistance of our charted accountant can offer you great support in communicating with these authorities to check, negotiate, and settle any dues that may have been incurred for your entity and obtain the clearances needed for renewal.
2- Applying For Renewal at The Ministry Of Economy
The period for which a foreign entity is licensed to conduct activities in Libya is determined by virtue of the Minister of Economy (MoE) decree (permit) for granting the registration/renewal approval.
One thing here that needs to be considered is that as of mid-2019, MoE has started applying a penalty on late renewals (mainly on branches) that vary from 5,000 to 25,000 Libyan Dinar based on Art. 375 of the Libyan commercial code 23/2010, this practice has become common for the past 3 years for many renewal applications made to the ministry by foreign entities.
The application for renewing the permit should be submitted to Companies Department at MoE along with all the required documents, then it will be the sole discretion of the minister to accept or reject the application and determine the period granted which is usually from 1 to 5 years for branches of foreign companies.
3- Renewing Company Documents
Upon obtaining the renewal permit (decree), the foreign entity may proceed with renewing the company documents and licenses in the following sequence:
- The commercial extract,
- The certificate of registration in the chamber of commerce,
- The working license.
The working license is usually granted for the same period stipulated in the Minister of Economy decree, and the commercial extract and chamber of commerce certificate are granted for 1 year each, renewable for a similar period.
Having the correct guidance, expertise and support is an essential part of concluding the renewal/reactivation process as it will guarantee to avoid complications and effectively re-active your entity in Libya with minimum costs possible.
Tamkeen Firm would be happy to put at your disposal the experience we have and provide you with the support and assistance throughout all these essential steps up to fully resuming your activity in Libya.
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