Includes license requirements for key professional services that are open to U.S. service providers.
Algerian trade law permits individuals and legal entities, both domestic and foreign, to establish themselves and have merchant status in Algeria. Service firms must either register with the Register of Commerce or open a representative office. Service companies must notarize their articles of incorporation before a notary and publish them in the Official Bulletin of Legal Announcements (BOAL) and two national newspapers. Notary fees are based on the company’s capital invested, and publication fees are fixed.
The legal forms that professional services firms may take in Algeria are very similar to those in Western countries:
- Joint Stock Company (SPA): SPAs may be either publicly or privately owned. The minimum capital base is five million dinars for publicly traded companies and is one million dinars (DZD 1,000,000) for privately held companies. SPA’s must have seven partners. The company must be governed by a board, including a President and Chief Executive Officer or only a Chief Executive Officer. The president and the CEO may be of foreign nationality.
- Limited Liability Company (SARL): SARL is the legal status of most small and medium-sized businesses. The minimum capital base for a SARL is 100,000 Dinars, divided into shares of equal nominal value of one 1,000 Dinars. There firm can have one to seven associates, and they are not required to be actively involved in the company. SARLs are headed by a manager who may be Algerian or a foreign national, a partner, or an employee.
- Limited Liability Sole Proprietorship Company (EURL): An EURL is an LLC consisting of a single person as the “sole associate.” The minimum capital base for a EURL is 100,000 dinars, divided into shares of equal nominal value of one 1,000 Dinars.
- General Partnership Company (SNC): In an SNC, each partner must be actively involved in the business. They are jointly and severally liable for partnership debts. The shares are registered and can be transferred only with the unanimous consent of the partners.
- Limited Partnership (SCS): SCSs resemble SNCs. In the SCS, partners are responsible for the company’s liabilities to the extent of their contributions.
- Publicly Traded Partnership Company (SCA): The SCA is a hybrid of a general partnership and joint-stock company.
In addition to the above, service companies may also choose to establish a representative office (a.k.a. liaison bureau). Several foreign companies opened representative offices because this legal structure allows for limited investment while ensuring a direct presence in Algeria. In this structure, the parent firm directly controls the representative office for market exploration, promotion, business development, and customer relationship management. The financing of a representative is exclusively in foreign currency since the office is not permitted to generate revenues or enter commercial contracts. Liaison bureaus are not required to register at the Register of Commerce and submit applications to the Ministry of Commerce instead. Representative offices must keep a reserve account with 100,000 dinars in a local bank.
For more information, please contact:
Ministry of Trade - HEAD OFFICE of Regulation and Organization of Activities – Phone: +213-(0) 21-89 00 74/ +213-(0) 21-89 00 75 à 85 Fax: +213-(0) 21-89 00 34. Web: https://www.commerce.gov.dz/