Obtaining the necessary business permits and licenses in Tanzania is a crucial step when starting and operating a business. The specific permits and licenses you need can vary depending on the type of business, its location, and the industry it operates in. Here’s a general overview of the process for obtaining business permits and licenses in Tanzania:

Business Registration:

Before applying for permits and licenses, you must register your business entity with the relevant authorities. The registration process varies based on your chosen legal structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company).

Obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN):

You’ll need to obtain a TIN from the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA). This number is essential for tax purposes and is often required when applying for permits and licenses.

Identify the Required Permits and Licenses:

Determine the specific permits and licenses applicable to your business based on its nature and location. Common types of permits and licenses include:

  • Business License: Required for all businesses and obtained from the local government authorities.
  • Health and Safety Permits: If your business deals with food, health, or safety, you may need permits from relevant regulatory bodies.
  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA): Certain businesses, particularly those with environmental impact, may require an EIA certificate.
  • Sector-Specific Licenses: Depending on your industry (e.g., construction, banking, tourism), there may be industry-specific licenses and permits required.

Application Process:

  • Contact the respective government agencies or local authorities responsible for issuing the permits and licenses you need.
  • Obtain application forms and guidelines for each permit or license.
  • Complete the required application forms and attach any necessary documents, such as business registration certificates, site plans, and other supporting materials.
  • Pay the prescribed application fees and taxes.

 Inspection and Compliance:

  • Some permits may require an inspection of your business premises to ensure compliance with health, safety, and environmental standards.
  • Address any deficiencies or issues identified during inspections.

Approval and Issuance:

Once your application is reviewed and found to be in compliance with all requirements, the relevant authorities will issue the permits and licenses.

Renewal and Compliance:

  • Keep track of the expiration dates of your permits and licenses to ensure timely renewal.
  • Maintain compliance with all applicable regulations and standards to avoid penalties or revocation of licenses.

 Display of Licenses:

Most licenses and permits must be prominently displayed at your business premises as required by law.

Seek Legal Advice:

It’s advisable to consult with legal professionals or business advisors who are knowledgeable about Tanzanian regulations and licensing requirements. They can provide guidance and assistance throughout the process.


In conclusion, navigating the process of obtaining business permits and licenses in Tanzania is a critical aspect of establishing and running a successful business. Compliance with regulatory requirements ensures that your business operates legally and upholds the necessary standards for safety, health, and environmental responsibility. Remember that compliance with licensing and permit requirements is not a one-time task but an ongoing commitment to maintaining the legal and operational integrity of your business. This commitment will not only keep your business in good standing but also contribute to its long-term success in Tanzania’s dynamic business environment.

By CPA. Dr. Seraphia Mgembe