- January 20, 2023
This is an article in our series on opening bank accounts in reliable jurisdictions. Find out in the interview with our Ankara and Istanbul partner how to open a bank account in Türkiye.
1. What is the standard procedure for opening a bank account in Türkiye?
Whether individual or company is opening an account a potential tax number has to be obtained in order to open a bank account first. As a private person you also have to provide passport translations. Moreover, in some cases foreign residence certificates shall be also needed. For a company the Director or Chairman of the Board of Directors can open the bank account. Passport translations, tax number, foreign residence certificate, tax certificate, circular of signature, and trade registry certificate. Then the bank account is opened in accordance with the banking law, but it cannot be guaranteed, as the bank management decides in the end if the bank account is opened or not.
2. What documents are required? Who can open an account?
- Passport translation
- Potential Tax number (it can be obtained from tax offices with the translated and notarized passport)
- Foreign residence certificate (for many banks, it might be required but state-owned banks generally do not request it)
For companies that do not have any branch or liaison office (the Director or Chairman of the Board of Directors has to open it):
- Apostilled and signed document which proves that the company is registered accordingly to that country’s legislation and the articles of association of the company.
- The authorized person’s (which has the ability to conduct transactions on behalf of the company) signature circular
- Potential Tax Number
- Deposit Account Agreement
- The authorization by the Turkish embassy/consulate on the translated documents that are specified above.
The latter 4 items will be obtained in Türkiye usually within 4 working days.
3. Is the Director of the Russian company personally needed or can it be via power of attorney?
It is possible to open a bank account by power of attorney. However, banks are generally reluctant to activate online banking despite the fact that the account is open.
4. Does the company have to open a local entity (LLC/JSC) and/or have a local General Director in order to open an account?
There is no need to establish a company, but in terms of opening bank accounts, activating the company and for the bank to have trust in the client, our suggestion is to establish the company first via a Turkish Person, put it into operation and then hand over the company to the actual owner. During the opening phase, being a Turkish citizen in a company makes things easier in today’s conditions, but the most important thing is that bank does not provide the necessary convenience to every Turkish citizen
5. What are the steps and requirements to open/register a company?
You need to provide PoA to your lawyer and also provide company name, minimum capital amount and activities of the company. Rest will be done by your local lawyer.
6. How long does it take to open an account?
For the real person it might take 1 day. The same for companies once all documents are ready.
7. Is it possible to transfer money from/to Russia or is there a risk that these transfers will be blocked because of the sanctions?
Yes, it is possible for USD, EUR, TRY, or etc but Ruble transfer is not possible in most Turkish banks. In case one of the related party is sanctioned, (sender, sender bank, intermediary bank or received) the money may be blocked. You need to choose the sender bank among the banks that are not sanctioned.
8. Are there currently any sanctions in force against Russia, Russian companies or individuals limiting them to open bank accounts?
There is no sanction on the part of the state, but the banks are very cautious and may not open accounts for Russian citizens. Here we suggest the registration of an LLC via a Turkish national to bypass that risk.
9. Have you already assisted Russian companies in opening bank accounts?
Yes, we have customers from Russia /Ukraine / Kazakhstan/ Turkmenistan/ India /Afghanistan/Iraq/Saudi Arabia, etc.
10. Is it possible to issue a virtual corporate card for making online payments (for example to pay for Adobe Photoshop and other online services)?
After bank accounts are opened, the bank issues a debit card, this card contains a VISA or MASTER infrastructure and has validity if money is deposited and used.
11. Do you need a local mobile SIM card for approving bank operations (signing bank payments)?
There is no need to get a Turkish SIM Card. The foreign number can be introduced at the bank to get to access to online banking. On rare occasions, some banks might require a Turkish SIM Card.
12. What banks would you recommend for opening accounts for Russian companies and individuals?
Note: based on which ones provide more favorable conditions for Russian/international businesses, less paperwork, but with a high-reliability level etc.?
Ziraat Bankası, Ziraat Katılım Bankası, FİBA BANK, Aktif BANK, Emlak Katılım BANK, Halk Bank
13. Is it possible to open an account as an individual person (not a company) and can you assist with this as well?
14. How can Russian individuals/companies manage their accounts in Türkiye from abroad? Are there options for online banking provided by all banks?
After the mobile number has been introduced to the bank, then Russian individuals/companies can access to their internet banking accounts. Daily transfer limits and currencies are dependent on the bank.
15. Could you describe in a sample case how the process works, including timelines, etc. for interested clients to get a clearer picture of what they will have to expect?
The company establishment process after all documents is collected, takes up to 1 week, Residence permit transactions between 1-2 months and then bank account opening transactions 1-5 days.
16. Can you help us getting Turkish Citizenship through investment?
Foreigners are granted Turkish citizenship if they purchase real estate having a value of more than USD 400.000. We can help you to select real estate as well as making the correct form and ways of application. The process takes 6-8 months after a convenient application is made. In case of a wrong application getting citizenship may even be delayed beyond 12 months.
Together with our reliable and professional partner in Türkiye we’ll find the best way to support your company, to ensure smooth operations and reduce the sanction risk! Contact us for questions or a quote.