Algerian trade law permits individuals and legal entities, 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 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. These firms can have from two to 50 associates and are not required to be actively involved in the company. SARLs are headed by an Algerian or a foreign national manager, 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.”
- General Partnership Company (SNC): In an SNC, each partner must be actively involved in the business, and the partners are jointly and severally liable for partnership debts. The shares are registered and can be transferred only with the unanimous consent of all 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 a 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 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/