Obtain A Business License Obtain A Business License

The Business Licensing Act No. 25 of 1972 is the Main Act for Business Licensing Processes in Tanzania. The Act requires that No Entity is required to operate a Business in Tanzania without being a Holder of a Valid Business License issued by the Respective Authority. In Tanzania, Business Licenses are issued by two Authorities namely Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment for Class “A” Business Licenses and Local Government Authorities (LGAs) for Class B Licenses.

Pre-requisite for Obtaining a Business License.

For Any Entity to Obtain a Business License, it should have:-

  1. Acquired a Business Premise by Renting or Owning a Premise
  2. Register a Company or a Business Name to the Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA)
  3. Register for Tax Identification Number (TIN) to Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) (Link to TRA website be provided)
  4. Register to the Sector Ministry/ Agency for the Permit to operate in the sector
  5. Apply for a Business License at Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment (MITI) of Local Government Authorities (LGAS) (Link to the Sector and Business License type Schedule)
  6. Pay for the Business License Fee depending on the type of Business (Link to The Business License Fee Schedule) Fees is paid through Bank


Application Requirements for Business License Issued under Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment and Local Government Authorities (District, Town/Municipal or City Councils):


  1. Fill the Business License Application Form (TFN 211) (Online Link be Provided and/ or Downloadable PDF Form)
  2. Attach photocopy of Certificate of incorporation (in case of a Company) or Certificate of Registration and Extract in case of Business Names,
  3. Attach a Photocopy of Memorandum and Articles of Association showing among other things that objects of the company allows it to do the business which is being applied, Directors and Shareholders of the Company;
  4. Proof of Tanzania citizenship by attaching -Photocopy of passport, birth certificate or Affidavit, and in case of non-citizens attach a photocopy of Residence Permit Class A" -showing the holder to be investor in that company/business,
  5. In case the shareholders of the company are non-residents, Powers of Attorney to citizen/Residence should be submitted/attached,
  6. Proof by the applicant having a suitable business premises for the business applied. The following can be submitted as a proof, a copy of title deed, Tenancy agreement etc,
  7. Proof of Registration for Tax Payment from TRA by attaching a copy of TIN Certificate and Business License Tax Clearance Certificates;
  8. Proof of Registration and/ or Permit from the Sector Regulating Authority such as


  1. Tourist Agency License (TAL) from the Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources for Businesses of Tourist Hotels and Lodges, Tourist Agents, Tour Operators, Car Rental, Car hire, Hunting Safaris, Photographic Safaris, Tourist Camp sites, Travel Agents/ Air ticketing, Tour Guides, Mountain Climbing, Balloon Safaris, Handling Agents, Curio shops, Air charter services (check with TCAA)
  2. Insurance Licenses from Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA) for businesses of Insurance and Assurance, Insurance Brokers, Insurance Agents, Underwriting and Loss Assessment,  
  3. Banking License from Bank of Tanzania (BOT) for businesses of Banking, Bureau De Change and Microfinance Institutions.
  4. Capital Exchange and Stock Licenses from Capital Market and  Security Authority (CMSA) for businesses of Stock Exchange Broker,
  5. Telecommunication and Broadcasting Licenses from Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) for the Businesses of Telecommunication equipments and Services,  Postal and Courier Services, Radio and Television Broadcasting (Frequency User Licenses) , Internet Service Providers, Internet cafe, Network facilities, Network services, Application Services, Content Services, Installation and Maintenance of Telecoms, Import and Distribution of Telecom equipments and Numbering Resources.
  6. Mining Licenses from the Ministry of Minerals and Energy for the Businesses of Minerals Legislation, Reconnaissance or Mineral Inspection, Mineral Prospecting, Mining
  7. Explosive Dealers License from the Ministry of Minerals and Energy for the Businesses of Provision of Explosive services to Mining sites and Mining Companies  
  8. Customs Agency License (CAL) from Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) for the businesses of Clearing and Forwarding, Bonded Warehouses, Inland Container Depots (ICDs),
  9. Food and Drugs Permit from Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) for the Businesses of Foods, Drugs/ Medicines, Beverages, Cosmetics, Medical devices, Pharmaceuticals and Narcotic products
  10. Industrial License from Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA) for the Businesses of Processing, Manufacturing in Heavy and Light Industries.
  11. Shipping License from Surface and Marine Transportation Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA) for the Businesses of Shipping, Shipping Agents, Port and Harbour Operators, Cargo Tallying and Evaluation, Cargo Handling and Water Sport Facilities;
  12. Land Transport License from Surface and Marine Transportation Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA) for the Businesses of Railway Operators, Freight Forwarders, Cargo Consolidation and De-consolidation, Railway transportation, Transportation of Goods by Road and Transportation of Passengers by Road.
  13. Air Worthiness Certificate and Permits  from Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) for the Businesses of Air Transportation services, Air Charter, Aerial Work services, Air Balloon Services and Ground Handling Services
  14. Merchant License from Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) for the Businesses of Ship Chandlers, Miscellaneous Port Services and Stevedoring and Lighterage;
  15. Electricity License from Energy and Water Utility Regulatory Authority (EWURA) for the Businesses of Electricity production and Supply, Electrical Contractors, Electricity Standby generators provision.
  16. Petroleum Dealers License from Energy and Water Utility Regulatory Authority (EWURA) for the Businesses of Refining Crude oil, Import and Sale of Petroleum Products, Wholesale of Petroleum Products and Retail sale of Petroleum Products;
  17. Water Dealers License from Energy and Water Utility Regulatory Authority (EWURA) for the Businesses of Water Production and Supply, Water sewerage services, Water sales and Marketing, Sewerage Transmission and Disposal.
  18. Water Drilling Permit from Ministry of Water and Irrigation for Businesses of Water Drilling and Supply;
  19. Gaming License from the Gaming Board of Tanzania for the Businesses of Casino, Slot Machines, Lotteries and Betting Games, Manufacture of Gaming equipments, Sale and Distribution of Gaming Equipment and Accessories;
  20. Social Security Permit from Social Security Regulatory Authority (SSRA) for the Business of Social Security Provider
  21. Ammunition Dealers License from Tanzania Policy and Defence Force (TPDF) for the Business of Dealing or Selling of Arms and Ammunition;
  22. Crop Board Permits from the respective Crop Boards for the businesses of dealing with Agricultural Crops Such as Cashew, Cotton, Sisal, Tea, Coffee, Pyrethrum
  23. Export permits From the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries for the business of exporting such products.
  24. Professional Certificates from the Respective Professional Boards for businesses of providing Professional works such as Contractors  (Contractors Registration Board), Engineering (Engineers Registration Board),  running hospitals, dispensaries; advocates, engineers, pilots, ship captains etc.



Business Licenses Issued by Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment

Apart from the above Requirements, below is a list of licenses whose application for Licenses registration should also be sent to the Licensing Officer/Committee at the Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment:


Installation and Maintenance of Telecommunication Equipments


Transportation of Goods/ Passengers by Road


         Manufacturing and Processing

Transportation of goods/Passengers by air


         Refining of Crude oil

Marine Transportation


         Tour Operators

Railway transportation


         Tourist Agents

Transport Logistics


         Air Ticketing



         Tourist Hotels

Shipping Agency


         Tourist Lodges

Cargo Tallying


         Camping and Camps

Cargo Handling


         Car Renting and Car Hires

Cargo Valuation


         Photographic Safaris

Cargo Superintendence


         Hunting Safaris

Pre-Shipment Inspection


         Tourism Promotion Activities

Ship Chandlers


         Commercial Banking

Miscellaneous Port Services


         Cooperative Banking

Stevedoring and Lightering


         Banking Agents

Harbor and Airport Management


         Banking Brokers

Bagging Services


         Bureau De Change

Clearing and Forwarding


         Microfinance Institutions

Freight Forwarders


         Micro Credits

Customs Bonded Warehouses


         Capital Markets

Post Offices


         Mortgage and Hire Purchases

Courier services


         Credit Reference Bureau

Mailing Agents


         Credit Card Management

Radio Stations


         Stock Exchange

Radio Broadcasting


         Stock Exchange Broker

TV Stations


         Social Security Providers

TV Broad casting


         Social Security Agents

Production of Arms and Ammunition Equipments


         Social Security Broker

Dealers in Explosives


         Insurance and Assurance

Night Clubs


         Insurance Broker



Underwriting and Loss Assessment

Betting Slot Machines


Re- Assurance and Endowment



         Real Estate Development

Manufacturer Representatives


         Real Estate Agents

Commission Agents


Real Estate Management

         Motor Vehicle Dealers


         Property Development



Property Management



         Minerals/ Gas explorations

         Services to Mining and Drilling Companies


Mining and Gas Drilling

         Supply of Marine and Aviation fuel


Mineral and Gas Survey/ Prospecting

         Water Drilling and Supply


         Electrical Generation Stations

         Urban Water Supply


Electrical Production and Distribution

         Telecommunication Service Providers


         Mineral/ Gemstone Dealer

         Internet Service Providers


Gold and Silver smith

         Internet Surfing


Internet cafe (Fax, Emails and Telefax)



         Sales of Telecommunication Equipments

         Attended Telephone Services




Business Licenses Issued under District, Town/Municipal or City Council

Apart from the above Requirements, below is a list of licenses whose application for Licenses  registration should be sent to the Licensing Office of the respective  District, Town/Municipal or City Council:

Commercial Farming/ Animal/ Fishery Husbandry

Entertainment Halls

Sale of Agricultural Products within the Country

Recreational areas/ grounds

Insurance Agent,

Itinerate Trade

Restaurants and Ordinary Hotels and Guest House,

Super Markets


Departmental Stores

Itinerant trade,

Professional Consultants

Buying and Selling Motor Vehicles,

Sales of Spare parts and Machine tools

Regional Trading Companies,

Bookshop and Stationeries

Co-operative Societies,

Beauty Salons and SPAs

Wholesale trade,


Building Contractors

Barber Shops

Electrical Contractors

Hand crafts and Works of Arts

Mechanical Contractors

 Stores and Provisional Shops

Civil Contractors

Printing and Publishing of Books and Newspapers,

Transportation Offices/Agents



Car Parks


Waste Management,

Health Centres


Sale of Pharmaceuticals

Private Schools


Day care Centres

Bars and Pubs

Public Toilets and Bathrooms


Organised Exhibition, Concerts and Events


 Installation and Maintenance services


Research and Development services

Ordinary Hotels/ Guest Houses

Small Scale Manufacturing and Selling,

Specified professionals,

Attended Telephone Services,



Any other Business, which is not of National/International nature or Governed/Preceded by Policy



For further information please contact:


Business Licensing Office

Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA)

P. O. Box 9393

Tel: +255 (0) 739 335 618 / 

+255 (0) 22 2181344

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania