Open a Restaurant in Turkey

Open a Restaurant in Turkey

Updated on Wednesday 08th May 2019

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Open-a-restaurant-in-Turkey.jpgForeign investors who want to explore various branches of the tourism industry can set up food establishments in Turkey. While some of them work very well in collaborations with hotels established in famous resorts, big cities like Istanbul, Ankara or Izmir are also good places for opening restaurants in Turkey. The decision for setting up the restaurants is entirely up to the future owner who can also take into account aspects like the type of food the restaurant will offer or if it will also have a catering division. No matter the specific of the Turkish restaurant, the steps to open it and the laws to follow are the same.

Our lawyers in Turkey can offer information on the legislation related to starting a food business in this country. Our law firm can also assist local and foreign entrepreneurs who want to open restaurant businesses in Turkey.

Food laws in Turkey

One of the most important aspects which needs to be considered when establishing a restaurant in Turkey is related to the legislation. There are several laws which restaurant business owners must respect in Turkey, and the most important ones are:

  • - the Food Premises Regulation which provides for the sanitary conditions any restaurant business must comply with;
  • - the Food and Feed Law which provides for the licenses to be obtained upon the opening a food business;
  • - the Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulations which allows restaurants in Turkey to sell tobacco and alcoholic drinks;
  • - the Operation Permit Regulation which provides for the license to operate a restaurant business in Turkey;
  • - the Turkish Company Law under which a restaurant owner must register a business form in order to complete activities.


It is important to note that all types of Turkish businesses serving food are required to respect the laws above. Our Turkish lawyers can explain how to obtain the necessary licenses based on the types of restaurant one wants to open.

First step to open a Turkish restaurant: register a company

In order to open a restaurant in Turkey, a local or a foreign investor must first select and register one of the types of structures acknowledged by the Commercial Law. Among these, the private limited liability company is one of the most suitable options. The minimum capital required to set up this type of company is 10,000 Turkish liras (close to 3,000 euros), however the restaurant owner must also consider the expenses related to premises, the utensils and the products used to cook the food.

It is best to ask for the services of a lawyer in Turkey who can handle the company registration procedure when opening a restaurant in this country.

Obtaining approval for the premises of a Turkish restaurant

Once the chosen business structure is registered, the owner must comply with the requirements of the Food Premises Regulation and obtain approval for the premises of the restaurant with the Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Livestock. It is important to note that the address of the restaurant must be registered with the Ministry and the approval will be issued based on an inspection from the control bodies.

The Ministry will issue a registration certificate and will assign a unique number to the Turkish restaurant.

Foreign investors who want to open restaurants in Turkey can obtain more information on this aspect from our local law firm.

Licenses for restaurants in Turkey

Once the Turkish company which will serve food and beverages is settled, the licensing phase begins. Frist of all, according to the Food Law in Turkey, the premises of the restaurant must be inspected by the General Directorate for Food and Control within the Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Livestock which will ensure the establishment respects all the norms related to the storage and cooking of the raw products.

Also, the staff hired by Turkish restaurants must have obtained certain qualifications which will be directly related to the job they perform.

Obtaining an operation permit when opening a restaurant in Turkey

Once the premises of the Turkish restaurant are registered, the owner can proceed to the licensing procedure. There are several aspects to consider when applying for certain licenses for setting up a restaurant in Turkey and the most important ones refer to:

  1. the operation permit is required only for Turkish restaurants with more than 50 employees;
  2. the operation permit will be issued for such restaurants by the directorate within the region where the restaurant is located;
  3. the operation license is issued for the main activity of the company which are found in the Articles of Association, however, the restaurant can also complete secondary activities;
  4. other permits must be obtained prior to the issuance of the operation permit issued by the directorate.


The other licenses to be obtained before applying for the operation permit for the Turkish restaurant are:

  • - the environmental license;
  • - the occupancy permit;
  • - the energy efficiency report;
  • - the emission permit;
  • - the fire safety license;
  • - the hazardous waste permit.


These licenses are obtained with the municipality in which the restaurant will operate.

The drink and tobacco licenses for a restaurant in Turkey

Those who want to establish a restaurant in Turkey must know that if they want to serve alcoholic beverages and sell tobacco products, the licensing procedures for these activities are separate. The restaurant must designate a company representative to apply for these licenses with the Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulatory Authority.

Once such licenses are obtained, the Turkish restaurant will need to comply with a few requirements, among which not selling alcoholic drinks and cigarettes to minors (persons under the age of 18). Bottles of alcoholic beverages must be kept in secured places.

Our law firm in Turkey can help foreign investors who want to open restaurants and need to know the legislation on alcohol and tobacco in this country.

What to consider when opening a restaurant in Turkey

On a general note, there are a few things to consider when deciding to set up a restaurant in Turkey. Among these, the most important one is related to applying for the necessary licenses and permits which can take up to a few months to be issued. The premises registration certificate, for example, can take up to 3 months before it is issued. The operation permit can be issued within 5 days from filing the necessary documents and reports. Additional time must be considered for the permits which need to be obtained with the municipality.

In case irregularities are found during the inspection from the Ministry for Agriculture, an extension of 15 days is given to the business owner to comply with the regulations.

For full information on the requirements related to opening a restaurant in Turkey, please contact us. Our law firm in Turkey can also assist with the registration of the company with the Trade Register.