Are you on the lookout for small business ideas in Turkey? By choosing Turkey, you have chosen to start a business in the 6th largest economy in Europe. Turkey has attracted large foreign investments over the last few years because of its location. In addition to that, it is also a producer of many goods including automotive, electronics, and petrochemicals. For instance, 80% of the global hazelnut exports come from Turkey.
With an economy driven largely by the export sector, there are a lot of business opportunities that Turkey has to offer. So how to open a business in Turkey?
What are the most profitable business ideas?
What is the best business in Turkey with low investment?
Questions like these are what we will attempt to answer next.
Ease of doing business in Turkey
Before we start talking about small business ideas in Turkey, we must go over how easy is it to do business in Turkey.
In addition to that, you must also know what the requirements are to start a business.
- A few factors that help you to easily start a business in Turkey include:
- Company registration is easy. LLC registration takes a week. You need at least 1 shareholder from any nation. Further, a foreigner can be the 100% owner.
- The Paid-up capital share requirement is just €300. Also, traveling to the county is not mandatory.
- Free zones allow companies to do business without paying taxes.
- Well- developed infrastructure and transport across Turkey.
- Turkey’s location between Europe and Asia presents an advantage.
These are just a few of the factors that make Turkey the choice of many entrepreneurs and business owners.
In addition to these factors, you must also know the requirements to start a business in Turkey.
A brief list of the things that you must do as you work to begin a business in Turkey are:
- Get your visa/permit for the business.
- Secure funding for your business if not self-funded.
- Decide on the type of legal entity- Capital Company, Joint Venture, LLC, Cooperative, or Public Enterprise.
- Understand the tax structure and various laws you need to abide by. For instance, Income Tax, Corporate Tax, Tax on Wealth and Expenditure, etc.
- Register your business following all the related laws and regulations.
This is just a brief of some of the things that you need to do while starting your business in Turkey.
Another important thing is to know about the best small business ideas in Turkey.
This is exactly what we will cover next.
Small business ideas in Turkey
Starting a cleaning service is among the best small business opportunities in Turkey for foreigners.
The required capital is not as high.
Further, you can easily find staff for a cleaning service.
With a huge influx of tourists, the demand for cleaning services is on the rise domestically and in commercial establishments as well.
Several companies in Turkey employ a professional cleaning service for maintaining their offices in Turkey.
You can also provide cleaning and housekeeping services to individual houses as well as hotels and guesthouses.
The business contracts for a cleaning company are long-term and you have steady cash flow as this is a necessary service.
Keep in mind that Turkey’s minimum monthly wage is €440.3.
This figure will help you decide your operating costs and how much should you charge your customers.
Turkey ranks at number 15 globally in terms of Salt Production.
It is responsible for producing over 4,000,000 metric tonnes of salt each year.
As a nation that has sea on 3 sides, it has a distinct advantage when it comes to producing salt.
This process can be carried out at a smaller scale as well, giving you the time to increase production as your business grows.
If the production of salt is too capital-intensive for you, you can also import salt and supply it to other countries.
You can either purchase salt directly from the manufacturers or check out wholesalers who will supply the required quantity for your business.
As businesses move towards the home-delivery model, Turkey is also catching up on this trend.
The demand for home delivery from goods is rising.
Many local stores have not set up delivery yet.
While there are a few local delivery services in Turkey, most of these are only for food delivery.
This presents an interesting business opportunity in areas like hyperlocal delivery, sending packages locally, and grocery delivery too.
For setting up this online business in Turkey, you should have a website and a mobile application.
Apart from meeting the legal requirements, you will also have to partner with local stores, shops, wholesalers, and grocery stores for this.
The team that develops and maintains your mobile application does not have to be in the country- you can have them anywhere in the world as long as the product and business are registered in Turkey.
Medical Equipment Production
The government in Turkey has been operating the universal healthcare system.
With that, the demand in all segments of the sector is high.
Construction and equipment supply to hospitals is among the areas where even small investments can be turned to profits quickly.
At present, the majority of the medical equipment that is used in Turkey is imported.
Thus, the opportunity to produce and sell medical equipment is a profitable business.
To start with the medical equipment manufacturing business, you will need to understand the laws and regulations in the sector.
You do not have to invest too much capital here.
For instance, you can start with the production of PPEs or Personal Protective Equipment in Turkey.
These are comparatively easy to set up and scale.
In the coming years, due to the Covid-19 crisis, the demand for PPEs will be high not just in hospitals but also in other places.
It is the most profitable business to start with right now.
Roadside Assistance Business
Not only does Turkey have a huge population, but the tourist inflow is quite high.
With this comes the demand for a roadside assistance service.
This is one of the best small business with demand year-round.
As an increasing number of people use their vehicles, there will be a requirement for service that can help them in case they are stranded.
In this business, you will never lack for clients if you set up on a visible point on the main road.
Your aim with a roadside assistance service should be to scale up as quickly as you can.
Thus, to start with these profitable business ideas in Turkey, set up shop on a busy highway/road.
This will bring you enough customers so that you can turn a profit and invest it into more service points.
One of the most profitable business opportunities in Turkey is construction.
However, many people do not enter into this sector thinking that the initial investments are too high.
The government provides a lot of avenues and assistance to firms looking to enter into construction, which makes this the best small business for foreigners.
You can start your construction business by taking on a niche service.
Instead of aiming for large projects, you can begin by taking on apartment renovation, building small local shops, and so on.
These projects will help you get cash flow with little investment.
Also, it will give you time to establish a reputation in the market.
As you get small projects, you will get the capital and time to scale up operations into a profitable construction company.
Hazelnut Farming and Export
You already know that Turkey is responsible for 80% of the world’s Hazelnut export business.
Why not use that opportunity to start a business of farming and exporting Hazelnut?
Around 20% of the produced hazelnut is used domestically while the rest is exported.
This creates business opportunities both in Turkey and the rest of the world.
There are 18 major cultivars in Turkey, with Tombul, Fosa, and Palaz being the most important ones.
Giresun Melezi and Okay-28 are 2 new cultivars that came out recently.
These are yet to go into production.
You can either sell or export hazelnut directly from Turkey.
It finds uses in confectionery, bakeries, by chocolate producing companies and even to make a liqueur.
Hazelnut oil which is produced by pressing hazelnuts is also used as a cooking oil in many countries.
Products like Nutella are most famous for using the Hazelnut flavor.
The food business in Turkey has seen rapid growth over the past few years.
With changing consumer trends and an increase in disposable income, the demand for processed and frozen foods has increased.
Further, as more women continue to gain full-time employment, the demand is all set to increase in the coming years as well.
Thus, with this, you have a profitable business opportunity in the manufacturing and selling of frozen and processed food.
You can set up a business in the production of ready-to-eat frozen foods that people only have to heat before heating.
With a young increasing population base, you have a large set of potential customers.
The market is also open to new items and remains an untapped area.
The legal and regulatory requirements for manufacturing and selling food would be higher than other businesses.
The regulations, in this business, are similar to what is followed in the rest of the European Union.
Turkey ranks number 4 globally in the production of natural stone.
You will find more than a hundred natural stone variants in Turkey.
Marble, limestone, travertine, basalt, granite, and tuff are some of the most used varieties.
40% of the global marble reserves in the world are also present in Turkey.
This brings with itself business opportunities in natural stone mining.
The investment in mining of natural stone is not as high, so it is one of the most profitable small business ideas.
You will require someone with expertise in Turkish Mining Law to help you guide through the various laws and regulations that you must comply with.
The government of Turkey has also been looking to increase investment in its mining sector.
Thus, this is the right time to get into natural stone mining and start a profitable business.
Greenhouse Commercial Farming
As a nation inclined towards agriculture, there are many business opportunities in Turkey for foreigners.
Commercial greenhouse farming is an avenue that you can explore for starting your own business.
In this business, you have more control over the growing environment of your crops.
What makes this one of the best small business ideas in Turkey is that in this farming method, factors like arability of the land, growing season, and quality are all taken care of.
In a greenhouse, you have control over the temperature, irrigation, light and shade levels, the level of humidity, and the fertilizer application.
Thus, it is less labor-intensive as compared to commercial farming business and the yield is also better.
Greenhouses are used in desert areas as well for growing crops.
Thus, in a country like Turkey, you should be able to get a profitable yield using this farming method.
Over the last decade, the government in Turkey has been laying increasing emphasis on the environment.
With this comes a business opportunity in waste management.
There has been rapid population growth and industrialization.
All this led to the expansion of cities and many environmental problems, of which waste management is among the biggest.
There are several opportunities to explore in this area.
You can set up a waste-water treatment or sewage plant, get into solid waste management, recycling of paper, etc.
This is one of those areas where you will get a lot of support from the government.
In addition to that, there are also several incentives in businesses where environmental benefits.
Turkey has a lot of barriers to entry in the telecommunication sector.
The major barrier is the regulatory framework of each state.
Instead of directly getting into the telecom field, a lot of opportunity lies in providing services as an integrator.
As a telecom subcontractor, your company would take contracts from the major network operators and provide services to end-users.
As a country that sees a lot of tourism, the taxi business in Turkey has a lot of demand.
Uber has been gaining a lot of popularity in Turkey since its launch.
You can use this demand to your advantage to start a business.
There are 3 ways- you can either purchase cars and give them to drivers on rent; you can hire drivers on a fixed salary and have them drive your car or you can sign up for Uber and drive yourself.
How you want to get into the business depends on the effort and capital you put into it.
Uber can also be a starting point for your transport and taxi business.
The income also increases with the number of hours put into it.
Pilgrim Assistance Business
Even though Turkey is mainly a Muslim country, several thousand Christian pilgrims visit Turkey every year.
Turkey is home to the Ecumenical Patriarch. Located in Istanbul, it is the spiritual leader for over 300 million people.
The Hagia Sophia cathedral is also located in Istanbul, which now functions as a museum.
This makes assisting pilgrims one of the best small business ideas.
You can start a business in assisting pilgrims as they come to Turkey.
This can include planning their travel to and from Turkey.
Further, you can arrange their stay and tours to all the important religious destinations.
Turkey has a lot of pilgrim sites and your service can help pilgrims cover all of those on a trip.
A lot of tourists come to Turkey every year.
Thus, the demand for comfortable stays is high.
You can start a budget hotel or a BnB business for guests from other countries.
Good hotels and guest houses help draw tourists to a city.
You are likely to find a lot of support from the local government.
If building a hotel seems too expensive, you can start a small bed and breakfast.
This can be started even in a small property.
In addition to that, it does not require a large staff.
Ensuring good meals along with a comfortable stay can help you get repeat customers as well as word of mouth publicity.
Food Truck Business
If you want to start a food business or have the culinary skills yourself, Turkey offers you one of the best markets globally.
The food truck industry has seen exponential growth in Turkey.
Compared to a restaurant or café, the risk in a food truck is relatively less.
There is a low capital requirement for starting and maintenance.
In addition to that, the failure rate of food trucks is also exceptionally low in Turkey.
This makes it one of the least risky small business ideas.
You can start a food truck and specialize in cuisines from other countries.
Do note that you will still have to register a business.
You must comply with the regulations for a food business.
A spa service provides its customers with relaxation.
It also improves their beauty and health.
A variety of personal care treatments are offered as part of spa services.
You can provide services like hair care, manicures, aromatherapy, waxing, massages, and much more.
As the population of Turkey is young and has expendable income, a spa is among the most lucrative business options there.
You can open your spa/salon. Many spas in Turkey also have contacts with hotels and shopping centers.
Do include tourists in your target audience.
As they are already there to relax, a spa service is something that the majority of the tourists would look for.
Car Rental Service
A lot of tourists who come into Turkey like to drive around themselves.
This increases the demand for self-drive car rental services.
As the number of tourists coming to Turkey increase every year, so does the demand for such services.
You can also rent out 2-wheelers and bicycles.
You can start small by including just budget cars in your fleet.
There are rental service aggregators in Turkey.
In such aggregators, you provide your vehicle for rental.
You get paid a fixed amount from the earnings.
This can be a suitable way to start with low investment and learn about the market.
The largest contributor to the GDP of Turkey is its service sector.
The financial services sector is the largest single part of this segment.
If you have the expertise and qualifications, then your services have a lot of demand across Turkey.
You can start your own financial consulting business in Turkey.
You can target clients ranging from small companies to large conglomerates.
What makes this one of the best small business in Turkey is that you do not need to start with a large workforce in Turkey.
You just need people to meet and address clients’ concerns in Turkey.
The rest of your team can be anywhere in the world to get the job done.
Other small business ideas in Turkey to explore
With all these small business ideas, you will realize that most of the profitable business ideas in Turkey are either related to or directly in the field of tourism, agriculture, and food.
These are just a few of the business avenues that Turkey has.
If you have the skill and vision, there is a lot that you can do to start a business in Turkey.
Apart from the above small business ideas in Turkey, you can start your holiday rental service.
Or you can start a booking company, handyman services, currency exchange and a lot more.
In all other sectors- including retail, IT, and automotive, there are many opportunities.
Once you know the basic requirements of setting up your business, there is little that you cannot do in Turkey.
As one of the largest GDPs in Europe, the opportunities in Turkey are plenty.
Simply pick one of our best small business ideas and focus on it to start a profitable business in Turkey.