Turkey’s Electronic Signature Regulations

Author: Berk Çektir  Emailberk.cektir@cektirlaw.com  Full Profile here

October 2016

Like many other institutions around the world, such as the various chambers of commerce or trade registries, the İstanbul Trade Registry has started using a new electronic system called “Mersis.” Under this new system, most registration applications from companies registered with the İstanbul Trade Registry should be filed electronically online via the Mersis system.
A company should be registered with the Mersis system and a Mersis number should be given to each company to be able to carry out all kinds of registration processes of a company, especially after its incorporation to the İstanbul Trade Registry. In addition to this step, one of the authorized signatories of the company in this application process should be registered with the Mersis system. This person will be called the “registration representative” and an electronic signature (elektronik imza) must be obtained for him or her so that he or she can represent the company before the İstanbul Trade Registry in the various registration processes.

What documents are required for this application?

To file an application to obtain an electronic signature for the registration representative, the following documents will be required:

a) Application letter and letter of undertaking to be signed by the registration representative (If the registration representative is a foreigner, the details of the registration representative should be filled out and both documents will then have to be signed by the registration representative before the Turkish consulate. In case you are abroad you may use the services of the Turkish consulate. Consulate officials will then confirm the identity of the registration representative. However, if a Turkish citizen is to be appointed as the registration representative, only the application letter should be completed and signed before a Turkish public notary, which, relatively speaking, is an easier process.)

b) A bank receipt evidencing payment of the electronic signature fee (The fees change depending on the company so please check this with the service provider you are planning to work with)

c) A copy of the passport/Turkish ID card of the registration representative.

Once the application is filed, an electronic signature will be produced in 1-2 days and will be couriered to the address of the registration representative.
It is very important to note that the registration representative should be present at his or her address to take receipt of the courier bearing the envelope of the electronic signature as it is confidential and it cannot be delivered to any other person.

As a delivery option, it is also possible to deliver the electronic signature of the registration representative in person by visiting the premises of the electronic signature provider with an authorization certificate issued by the registration representative.

Following completion of this step on how to obtain an electronic signature, the registration representative should be registered with the Mersis system to complete the process. Since the Mersis system is in Turkish, the registration representative will not be able to carry out post incorporation registration transactions without the assistance of a Turkish speaking person. To solve this problem, the system permits the authorization of a person, i.e. attorney of the company by the registration representative, to do this. The authorization will be defined in the system by the instruction that will be given via the electronic signature of the registration representative.

Please let me know via e-mail if you have any questions regarding this matter and how to establish or register a company in Turkey.

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