Apr 23, 2020 21 min read

Turkey Payroll Outsourcing & HR Insights

Turkey Payroll Outsourcing and PEO/GEO Services Leader Publishes Payroll & HR Insights for Turkey
Mercans, a leading Turkey payroll outsourcingPEO/GEOemployee leasingrecruitment and BPO services provider, has published its most recent Payroll & HR Insights for Turkey. These insights provide an invaluable overview of the information every Payroll & HR specialist should know before setting up their HR and payroll functions in Turkey or signing up with a payroll outsourcing or PEO/GEO services provider. Mercans’ summary of labor laws, tax and social security regulations in Turkey allow you to navigate the local complexities and avoid pitfalls.

Mercans’ Turkey Payroll Outsourcing Solutions

While this summary will serve you as a great guide, you should still get in touch with Mercans’ Turkey payroll outsourcing, compliance, PEO/GEO and BPO specialists for a free consultation on setting up fully compliant payroll and HR functions. Better yet, outsource your payroll and HR activities in Turkey to Mercans and our Turkey payroll outsourcing experts will ensure that your employees will always be paid on time and in accordance with the Turkey regulations.

Mercans’ Turkey payroll outsourcing solutions are unique and revolutionary:

Mercans’ Turkey PEO/GEO Services

If you are already too busy to deal with another country or do not have a local legal entity in Turkey and need to hire staff there, then Mercans’ PEO/GEO services in Turkey are the right solution for you. We will employ the staff on your behalf in Turkey and will ensure the full compliance with the local regulations throughout the hire-to-retire cycle in Turkey. Mercans’ recruitment and immigration specialists will even help you to find the right staff and complete their immigration process in the matter of days.

Mercans does not use any subcontractor’s to deliver Turkey PEO/GEO Services. This ensures that your employees receive the highest quality support in Turkey and our service fees are unbeatable.

Turkey– One of the World’s Newly Industrialized Countries

Turkey is defined by economists and political scientists as one of the world’s newly industrialized countries.

Having a strategic geographical location that allows it to be a regional hub between Europe, Asia and the MENA economic zone. A natural bridge between both East-West and North-South axes, thus creating an efficient and cost-effective outlet to major markets.

The country is among the world’s leading producers of agricultural products; textiles; motor vehicles, transportation equipment; construction materials; consumer electronics and home appliances.

Turkey has the world’s 19th-largest nominal GDP, and 13th-largest GDP by PPP.

Beside this; Turkey has the largest youth population compared with the EU and half of the population in Turkey is under the age of 31.7. Because of its demographic vitality, Turkey has a developing young middle-class population with increased purchasing power and orientation towards consumption.

Doing Business in Turkey

Entity Registration & Incorporation Requirements

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ A legal entity must be established before a payroll can be run in Turkey.

The main goal of the New Turkish Commercial Code (TCC) is to develop a corporate governance approach that meets international standards; to foster private equity and public offering activities; to create transparency in managing operations; and to align the Turkish business environment with EU legislation, as well as for the accession process. It is possible to establish a company in a single day by applying to the relevant trade registry office with the required documents.

The TCC provides several company structures in Turkey:

The Joint Stock Company (Anonim Sirket, A.Ş.) and the Limited Liability Company (Limited Şirket, Ltd.) are the most common forms of companies under Turkish Commercial Law. Both have same establishment procedures in Turkey before the relevant authorities. However, these companies slightly differ in terms of their main characteristics;

Comparison of the Two Most Common Types of Legal Presence.

Turkey Payroll Outsourcing


Join Stock Company

The Company’s stock capital is divided into shares and the liability of the shareholders is limited to the subscribed capital and paid by the shareholder.  At least one shareholder (real person or legal entity) and a minimum capital of TRY 50,000 are mandatory.  The mandatory company shall include a general assembly and a board of directors.

Limited Liability Company

It is a company established with at least one shareholder (real person or legal entity) and the liability of the shareholders is limited to the subscribed capital and paid by the shareholder.  A minimum capital of TRY 10,000 is mandatory.

Commandite Company

It is the company established to operate a commercial enterprise under a trade name.  Whereas the liability of some shareholders is limited to the capital subscribed and paid by the shareholder (commanditer), for some shareholders there is no limitation of liability. Legal entities can only be commanditer.  No minimum capital is required. The rights and obligations of the shareholders are determined by the articles of association.

Collective Company

It is the company established to operate a commercial enterprise under a trade name and, the liability of none of the shareholders is limited only to the capital subscribed and paid by the shareholder.  No minimum capital is required.  It is mandatory that all the shareholders be real persons.  The rights and obligations of the shareholders are determined by the articles of association.

Company Establishment Procedures

Three copies of articles of association (one copy original) which are notarized are prepared. Following the notarization of articles of association, within 15 days at the latest and application to the relevant trade registry office with the documents set below is needed.

Documents for the Company Establishment;

  1. A company establishment petition and a notification form duly filled in and signed by persons authorized to represent the company. The list of the documents to be procured, and forms to be filled can be downloaded at www.sanayi.gov.tr and hazine.gov.tr
  2. Articles of association including notarized signatures of founders and notary certification proving that all shares constituting the registered capital have been subscribed by the founders in the articles of association
  3. Founders’ statement signed by the founders
  4. The bank letter proving that the share capital has been deposited
  5. The bank receipt indicating that 0.04% of the company capital has been deposited to the account of the Turkish Competition Authority at a state bank
  6. Permit or letter of compliance for companies whose corporation is subject to the permit or letter of compliance issued by the relevant ministry or other official institutions
  7. Notarized copy of signatures of persons with the authority to represent and bind the company
  8. Application number indicating that the trade name to be used has been checked and confirmed by the Trade Registry Office
  9. Company establishment statement form (3 original copies)
  10. Certificate of residence of founding partners
  11. Notarized translation of passport in the case of the foreign shareholder being a real person; apostilled and notarized translation of registry document issued by the competent authority in case the foreign shareholder is a legal entity.

Foreign Direct Investment in Turkey

The Turkish Government welcomes inward investment from foreign multinational corporations. Government policy including low levels of taxation and attractive incentives provides a welcoming environment for investors.  Turkey has a developed infrastructure and stable political environment that further supports investment opportunities.

Registration with the Tax Office

Please note that corporate entities require an office address to be registered with the tax office on the same day or before the registration date.  A tax registration number is received, and legal books are certified by a Public Notary.  The rent contract must be certified by the Notary Public as well as the notarized Circular of Signatory which should be submitted to the related Tax Office.

The registrations of the company for payroll purpose with the Tax and Social Security Institute are completed during the legal entity establishment process.

It is worth mentioning that having the “umbrella service” which some payroll provider’s offer can be a solution for processing payroll without a legal entity in Turkey.


According to Turkish Labor Law, wages, bonuses, premiums of employees in the workplaces employing 5 or more employee must be paid through banks as of 1st June 2016. Employees must open an account in Turkish Banks before starting to work.

Also, for employer starting with 01.01.2020 all tax payments have to be done only from government banks. Which means the employer have to open an account from one of the below government banks.

The banks work 5 days a week, taking the Saturday and Sunday as weekly rest days. Banks are open from 09:00 to 17:00 Monday to Friday.

Working Week

Office hours of companies are from Monday to Friday from 07:30 or 08:30 am to 17:30 or 18:30 pm Saturday and Sunday are the weekly holiday. Lunch breaks are usually one hour.

Government institutions do not have office hours on weekends. Banks are open till 5:00 pm from Monday to Friday.

According to Labor Law, weekly work hour is maximum 45 hours. However, it may change between 40 to 45 hours a week depending on the business needs.

Basic Facts

Turkey Basic Facts


Tax & Social Security

Corporate Income Tax

In accordance with Turkey’s tax legislation there are two main income taxes, corporate income tax and personal income tax

In Turkey, the corporate income tax rate levied on business profits is 20%. The rate for corporate income tax has been increased to 22% for the tax periods 2018, 2019, and 2020; however, the Council of Ministers is authorized to reduce the 22% rate to a rate as low as 20%.

Corporate taxpayers defined in the law are as follows:

Personal Income Tax

All person’s income is subject to personal income tax. Income is defined as the amount of all earnings and revenues derived by an individual within a single calendar year. An individual’s income may consist of one or more income elements listed as follows:  ​

Turkey Payroll Outsourcing


Social Security

Under the law, all employees of Turkish private entities are subject to a national social insurance system that covers work-related accidents and illness, general social security, disability and death. The law also provides retirement benefits.

All employees must be declared to Social Security Institution before start to work. All employees, including foreign nationals, are subject to compulsory social security. Only the application of unemployment insurance is exceptional for a foreigner, depending on the existence of reciprocal provisions between his/her home country and Turkey. On the other hand, in the case where an assignee remains in the social security system in the home country and substantiates his/her social security coverage through a document received from the competent authority in his/her home country, he/she is not subject to social security in Turkey.

The payment and declaration of the social security has to be made electronically.


Tax is imposed on a calendar-year basis in Turkey. Employers must withhold income tax from salaries and wages paid to employees. All withholding taxes must be declared monthly on the 23rd day and paid on the 26th day of the month following the month of payment.

Annual income tax return due date is 25th of March of the following year.

Full amount declared to the Social Security Corporation is contributed every month;

Employers employing insured persons within the scope of the first paragraph of Article 4 (4) of the 4th Article of the Law No. 5510 shall deduct premium amount of premiums of insured persons to be calculated on the principal earnings of the insured employed by them within one month and add the premium amounts corresponding to their own shares to these amounts, month / period until the end of the period.

If the last day of the payment period encounters a formal holiday, the premium amounts will be paid to the Agency within the first business day following the latest day at the latest.

Example: Premiums for insurance premiums in a private sector workplace from 1 June 2020 to 30 June 2020 will be paid no later than 31/07/2020.

The insured and premium service declaration containing the insured ‘s basic income and service information for the current month shall be issued by the authorized tax office until 23:59 on the 23rd day of the following month at the latest.

The following notification must be made to SSI in time;

New Hires

When a new employee is hired, the employer must notify the authorities of new starters immediately by submitting a notice of employment. The declaration must be submitted online to the authorities one day before the start date at the latest.

The documents required to register the new starts are as follows:


When the employees who are working against wage under an employment contract leave the employment (termination of employment contract), SSI/SGK should be informed by filling the form online in its website within 10 days as of the leaving the date.

This procedure is also called deregistration of leavers. A leaver declaration should be filled in SSI website; stating the date of termination of employment contract, reason of termination and occupation code.

In case the last submission day of leaver declaration coincides with an official holiday, declaration can be submitted on the day following the official holiday


Payroll is a document that shows all earnings, deductions and all legal deductions.

Payroll is a document proving that the employer demonstrates the obligation to pay wages to the worker. For this reason, the arrangement and implementation of the payroll is very important for both the employer and the worker.

Requirements for Payroll

There are many issues to be considered when preparing payrolls. In the table below, there are matters that should be included in the payroll according to the Labor Law No. 4857, Social Insurance and General Health Insurance Law No. 5510, Tax Procedure Law No. 213:

Turkey Payroll Outsourcing


A sample standard payslip is provided below:

Turkey Payslip


Employment Law

Although there are several types of employment contracts owing to the nature of work, regular staff of a company is usually employed under an (open-ended) employment contract for an indefinite period which has a start date but no specified duration or an end date.

Authorized private employment agencies can establish a temporary employment relationship by transferring its employees to the employer with a temporary employment contract in the following circumstances;

Annual Leave

Each employee shall be entitled to annual leave with full pay for 14 days per year of service unless more than that period was agreed upon, provided that the annual leave shall be 21 days if the employee remains in the service of the employer 5 successive years.

Entitlement to Paid Annual Vacation Details;

1 – 5 years (inclusive) 14 days

5 – 15 years 20 days

15 years and longer 26 days

The public holidays, religious feasts and the weekly holidays shall not be calculated from the annual leave unless they took place during it. If the employee’s period of service is less than a year, then they shall be entitled to pro rata paid leave for the period which they have worked.

Maternity Leave

According to the relevant rules of the current Turkish Labor Law, female employees are

permitted to have a paid maternity leave period of eight weeks prior to and eight weeks after giving

birth (i.e. a total paid maternity leave period of 16 weeks). It is also possible to optionally take unpaid

maternity leave of up to six months in addition to the paid leave period of 16 weeks.

Significant amendments concerning maternity leave in Labor Law came into effect on 29 January 2016, providing flexible working choices for mothers. Working women will be offered a choice to work half time up to two months on her first childbirth, four months on her second and six months for the third child, without losing their full-time earnings after the expire of their statutory maternity leave.

Paternity Leave

An employee whose wife has given birth will be granted five days paid paternity leave and, in the case of adoption, employees will be granted three days paid leave.

Weekends and national holiday coinciding with leave period are not taken into consideration, so the leave may be over 5 days in these cases.

Addition to this, employed parents whose child has at least seventy percent disability or chronic disease based on medical report, shall be allowed to take up to 10 days leave of absence with pay in a year for attending the treatment of the child; on condition that leave may be taken only one of the parents and without interruption or with segments.”

Sick Leave

Employers are not obligated to provide sick pay to employees, but employees are entitled to sick pay through government disability programs.

If a sick employee has not been working for at least three days, the employee can receive sick pay from the Social Security Institution provided that the employee has a medical report.

The process is as follows;


Foreign national individuals to be employed in Turkey need a work visa and a work permit in order to be eligible to work and reside in Turkey.

The first step to obtain authorization to work in Turkey is applying for a work visa through the Turkish

representative (consulate/embassy) in the individual’s country of residence or citizenship. Within

10 days following the work visa application, a work permit application must be filed with the

Ministry of Labor by the Turkish employer (or the sponsoring entity).

After the work permit is issued, the employee should visit the Turkish Representative, with whom the work permit application was filed, and obtain the work visa. Authorities must be informed of the individual’s Turkish residence address within 20 days of entrance into Turkey.

The following evaluation criteria for the work permit applications have recently been determined by the Ministry of Labour as follows:

Turkey Payroll Outsourcing

Make sure your employees are always paid accurately and on time with real-time access to your HR and payroll data by allowing Mercans’ Turkey payroll outsourcing team to manage all aspects of your payroll function in Turkey. Mercans’ cutting-edge HRBlizzTM payroll suite is intuitive and transparent: save time, and let technology do the hard work. Mercans’ Business Intelligence and HRIS integration tools tie all of your systems into a single harmonious platform.

Mercans’ Turkey payroll outsourcing offering, leverages Mercans’ more than 20-year experience in delivering payroll outsourcing and PEO/GEO services in Turkey. HRBlizzTM SaaS Global Payroll Suite features, designed for Turkey payroll software and payroll outsourcing clients, include:

Turkey PEO/GEO Services

React quickly to the market demands and deploy staff anywhere in the world in just days: this is Mercans’ global employee outsourcing and employee leasing services. Mercans PEO/GEO and employee leasing services in Turkey provide you agility, increase your competitiveness and are easy to implement. There is no need for you to worry about setting up a local company, recruiting and payrolling staff. Enjoy the security of Mercans’ guaranteed compliance with the regulations in Turkey. Mobilize any number of resources quickly— and focus on building your business while we take care of the rest.

Turkey Talent Acquisition & Recruitment

Get access to a large pool of global and local talent in Turkey, reduce time-to-hire, and improve hire quality all in one. Our Mesaar recruitment suite uses innovative matching and psychometric assessment tools to identify the best candidates for your business at record speed. Our consultants have extensive experience placing candidates across industries and organizational levels, and we have led executive searches and outsourcing mobilization projects for large multinationals involving thousands of candidates in Turkey and other parts of the world.

Turkey HR Advisory

Tap into the experience of our seasoned HR advisory team in Turkey. Their expertise ranges from HR policies and procedures, salary benchmark studies, and HR due diligence to sophisticated HR transformation projects. Get a speedy and precise needs analysis, and have us design, implement, and monitor the execution of any project—carried out by subject-matter experts who understand your needs, and who know what it takes for your business to stay ahead of the competition.

Turkey BPO Services

Make your business thrive and concentrate on the essentials and let Mercans’ business process outsourcing services minimize your administrative and overhead costs. Fully outsource your back-office functions to a team of HR, finance, accounting, immigration, and administration specialists. Our BPO team will take care of it all while you have the time and freedom you need to nurture your business.

Get in touch with Mercans’ Turkey payroll outsourcing, compliance, PEO/GEO and BPO specialists for a free consultation!


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Turkey Payroll & HR Country Guide 2020

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