Understand the Jurisdictions Setup Requirement Before Proceed Your Company Registration in Timor-Leste

Company Registration in Timor-LesteTimor-Leste is a small island at the southern end of Maritime Southeast Asia, in the north of the Timor Sea. It is the Portuguese name for the word ‘east’ in English. It’s just a translation of its name in Portuguese and English. It may be a little more challenging than most to start-up a business in Timor-Leste but there are enough pros to balance out the scale. Only having been established as a country in 2002, it is still very young and is rapidly developing. In order to continuously grow, the Timorese government has provided various forms of businesses. The types and steps as to how to register a company in Timor-Leste will be further elaborated below.


Company Registration in Timor-Leste

There are various forms of businesses that are provided by the Timorese government to lure in foreign investment. The various forms of business in Timor-Leste will be introduced below.

Sole Proprietorship – A sole proprietorship is a non-incorporated entity. It is simple and doesn’t require much to establish. There aren’t many obligations or requirements to establish. The cons of this are the extent of the liability. The liability of this is not limited but covers the business owner’s assets.

Partnership – This is a company formed by two persons or more in which partners assume joint responsibilities. This type of entity is also not a limited liability. The liability is not limited and covers the personal assets of the partners.

Branch/Representative Office/Subsidiary – A foreign company can establish a Branch office, representative office or Subsidiary in Timor-Leste. This is one of the methods for the foreign entity to explore and develop the infrastructure and various resources of Timor-Leste. This is also one of the ways provided by the government to increase foreign investment.

Company – A company can be formed by the applicant, subject to compliance of regulatory framework. There are altogether three types of entities.

  • Single Shareholder Limited Liability: This requires at least one (1) shareholder and minimum share capital of USD 5,000 and a maximum of USD 5,000,000.
  • Limited Liability Company: This requires at least two (2) or a maximum of thirty (30) shareholders with a minimum capital of USD 5,000 to USD 5,000,000.
  • Joint Stock Company: A minimum of three (3) shareholders and a minimum share capital of USD 50,000 is required.

Basically, to incorporate any of the above in Timor-Leste, the applicant has to make sure they are in compliance with the requirements. Then submitting the documents to the Public Registry Department in the National Directorate for Registry and Notary under the Ministry of Justice.



Why Invest in Timor-Leste?

Timor-Leste is a country with an abundance of resources that have yet to be developed. Due to this, there are still many unexplored avenues. With the low labour cost, it is a good opportunity to invest in Timor-Leste. Also, with the government planning on investing in the infrastructure of the country, it is all the more important to consider investing in Timor-Leste. There are a few industries that are worth considering investing in. Timor-Leste’s economy is dependent upon the oil and gas industry. Its growing oil and gas industry which is one of the factors that contributes to why Timor-Leste is a sound investment.

In 2019, Timor-Leste entered into an agreement with Australia involving the Greater Sunrise Fields. This land is estimated to hold more than 5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 200 million barrels of a light crude oil known as condensate. This was discovered in 1974. However, development was delayed for decades due to the maritime boundary disputes that were only resolved last year. The Timor-Leste government has the intentions of using the gas obtained from those fields to underpin a new $12 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant as part of the industrial complex to be built over the next decade along the southern coast.

The second biggest industry in Timor-Leste is its agricultural sector. Agriculture is one of the industries you should consider if you plan to invest in Timor-Leste. Although agriculture is the main source of livelihood, the majority of farmers do not have access to the technologies and practices. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has implemented a program to assist the farmers by teaching them new and more advanced techniques. This is to help them increase their crop yield and reduce the number of crops lost after harvest. The most promising products are coffee, coconuts, beans, corn, sweet potatoes, peanuts, etc. Besides that, the fishing industry is also underdeveloped, despite its marine resources. Thus, there is a huge opportunity in terms of the fishing sector. Not forgetting the processing of marine products has huge market potential.

Finally, let’s take a look at its tourism sector. The huge and various natural resources available in Timor-Leste contributes greatly to the growth of their tourism sector.

Company Registration in Timor-Leste

The process to register a company in Timor-Leste is quite simple when broken down but it can also be tedious and complicated.  Should you require any assistance or services, we provide these services to ensure a smooth integration into the economy of Timor-Leste.