As of 2021, the laws of registering a business for foreigners is still fairly similar, however, they have updated the amount of investment capital needed back in 2018. The Libya business registration information for this article was a result of a meeting I had with some lawyers here in Tripoli. I waned 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.
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. You can legally represent the company with marketing and oversight, however, you may not make any money in Libya. There are also no taxes due in Libya.
The representative office is perfect for those companies looking for a physical presence in Libya yet don’t require local contracts.
For those looking for a little more versatility, they may want to register a branch of a foreign company. The paperwork is a little more complicated and the minimum investment is 250,000 Libyan Dinar. The branch has the right to do business but is also liable under Libya Tax Law.
A foreign company may register a branch of their company as long as it fits into the 11 categories allowed by the 207/2012. The branch of a foreign company does not need to have a Libyan partner and can be 100% foreign owned. The registration is usually granted for a 5-year period.
One note, either the branch manager or the deputy must be a Libyan citizen
This is known as a “joint venture”. This is for those looking to establish a mixed company that is partially foreign owned. The foreign company can own up to 65% of the company with a minimum investment of 1 Million Libyan Dinar. This company is fully licensed under Libya Law and is liable for taxes in Libya.
Investment Law Company
For those looking to establish a totally foreign owned company, you will fall under the investment law. The minimum investment is 5 Million Libyan Dinar and there are certain sectors where investment is applicable. In order to fall under the investment law, you will need to do your registration & application process through the Privatization & Investment Board.
These 4 options for doing business in Libya all fall under the old law, however, according to investment law 207/2012 the new government will establish a new business law in Libya.
If you are interested in a full copy of this invest law from 207/2012, please contact us