Libya Business Registration – 4 Options (2018)

As of 2018, the laws of registering a business for foreigners is still fairly similar, however, they have updated the amount of investment capital needed. This past week, I met with some lawyers here in Tripoli to understand more about the options for foreigners looking to establish a business presence in Libya. They told me that there were really only 4 options for registering in Libya.

Representative Office

The simplest method is to register as a representative of a foreign company. The paperwork seems to be minimal and requires an investment of at least 150,000 Libyan Dinar.

Real Estate Agents – How do they work?

The process of using a local real estate agent in Libya is actually quite simple. There are agents with small little offices and some who have developed their businesses into larger offices. Which ever agent you choose, you need to understand how they work. The first step in the process is to sit down with your agent and tell him what you are looking for. Make sure that you are very clear on how many rooms, what neighborhood (they normally only work their own area), how long of lease, and price range.

How to obtain a Libyan Driver’s License

Process for Converting a Foreign Driver’s License to a Local Libyan License  September 2012 (Updated June 2013) The Process 1. If possible, it’s good to have an International Driver’s license as well as a license from your country of citizenship, although it’s not a “must.” 2. An eye check-up is required…both to test for colorblindness AND vision! This may be done at an eye place near the roundabout in Fornaj (which is open for appointments only on Mondays), or by an eye doctor in Zawiya Dahamani (located on the same street as the eye hospital but on the opposite side of the road…next to an eye glass shop…on one street over from the bakery Kusha Fuanis). But…I think the place in Fornaj is preferred by the driver’s license office, since they are more familiar with it. The cost of this is 25 LYD. 3. Take your driver’s license (and Int’l license, if you have one) to YOUR Embassy (i.e. Americans must go to the US Embassy…note that an appointment is a MUST there!) and get them to write you a letter validating that your driver’s license is genuine. It must be signed and stamped by the consul. You will need your passport as well as a color copy of each of the driver’s licenses that you have. The cost at the US Embassy is about 70 LYD.

Internet – Getting set up

At this point in time, there are only a few ways that you can have internet in your house. All of them take time to get established, but are necessary for keeping in touch with your families back home. DSL One of the best options is DSL, however, this can only be done if you have a landline in your house. You must first apply for a phone line through the phone company and then apply for your DSL connection.

Doing Business in Libya – The Basics

Libya is becoming a business hot spot that offers amazing prospects for investors and is enjoying an influx of foreign stores and brands. Setting up a business in Libya requires extensive market and culture know-how. You may be tech savvy but you will need to be prepared to conduct business in a country that is based on vital relationship building and deep-rooted cultures. Although processes are a bit slower, the rewards your business will reap are well worth it. You will also need to research your competitors and it is a good idea to use third party vendors to diligently collect data. Having a trustworthy expert on the ground is a must. You will have to familiarize yourself with Libyan law too, particularly in the areas of sales and services such as building and construction. Local laws can seem somewhat ambiguous to foreigners so it is essential to work with a knowledgeable team who is equipped to handle your needs which will include coordinating with local council and ensuring compliance.

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