Doing Business in Libya

Libya offers a robust, business-friendly environment to reliably expand, trade, and invest. Under the Investment Promotion Libyan law, the property rights of foreign companies and individuals are fully protected. Furthermore, Libya offers a unique environment for non-nationals to do business – where foreign investment projects enjoy exemption from ALL taxes and customs duties.


Foreign Investors Enjoy Full Rights and Protections

After being closed to capitalism for half a century, Libya is now opening up to foreign investors. As a country ripe with opportunities and vast economic resources, Libya is in the midst of diversifying away from crude oil, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts 17.9% GDP growth in 2023. Making it the fastest-growing economy in the entire MENA region, just a year after its GDP grew over a 177% just in 2021.

Foreign companies are being given priority rights by the Libyan executive in order to open up the country to foreign investment.

You can expect the following benefits as a foreign company:

  • Recruiting Foreign Manpower
  • Opening Bank Accounts in Local or Foreign Currency
  • Re-exporting the Invested Foreign Capital
  • Exemption from Customs Duties Relating to Employees’ Personal Effects
  • The Right to Receive the Salaries Outside Libya
  • The Right to Transfer the Ownership of the Project

Additional Privileges and Exemptions are Possible

Libya currently has considerable flexibility regarding taxes, import tariffs, legislation, and current regulations. Libyan Executive is therefore willing and capable of re-evaluating the “rules of the game” whenever a project contributes to any of the following:

  • The Development of The Region
  • Fostering Food Security
  • The Abundance of Energy or Water
  • To Protect the Environment

This has resulted in the creation of business hubs under very favourable conditions in Libya, such as the Misrata Free Zone, which has no taxes or custom duties for established companies. You read that right:

  • 0% Personal Income Tax
  • 0% Corporate Tax
  • 0% Value Added Tax
  • 0% Custom Duties
  • 0% Rate on Any Other Government Obligation

Consequently, Misrata Free Zone is the option we recommend most to foreign companies wanting to establish in Libya.

However, as the Libyan executive is extremely committed to directing foreign investment into the country, we recommend that you examine your case individually as there may be additional benefits available to you

You are welcome to contact Euro-Libyan Trade Center for advice and to receive referrals to the institutions that can assist you with your particular situation.

Misrata Free Zone: A Leading Business Destination

Currently employing over 40,000 people, the Misrata Free Zone handles over 350,000 containers per year and has over 500 registered companies, making it Libya’s most important business hub.  The zone offers a variety of benefits for businesses, including tax-free status, full custom duties exemption, and full governmental fundraising immunity

Located in the country’s third largest city, the free zone offers many advantages for businesses, including:

  • 0% Personal or Corporate Income Tax
  • 0% Customs Duties or Import/Export Taxes
  • 0% Value-Added Tax
  • 100% Capital and Profit Repatriation Allowance
  • No Restrictions on Recruiting Labour
  • Reliable & Inexpensive Power
  • Possibility of Transferring Ownership
  • No Restrictions on Cargo Traffic

Furthermore, power is reliable and affordable, and land is widely available. Ground rents were $2.50 per sq metre for commercial and service sector companies, while rent for industrial firms stood at $1.50 per sq metre annually. Business licences are competitively priced and the minimum deposit to operate is $100,000 per company. These favourable conditions have helped attract many international businesses to the trade zone, including: international companies such as automotive heavyweights Toyota and Nissan, Turkish construction giant Albayrak Group and Malta’s Medserv Energy, as well as Libya’s Brega Petroleum Marketing Company. As a result, the Free Zone has become the most important hub for trade and investment in Libya.

The Misrata Free Zone is a key point for entering the Libyan market today. The city of Misrata is currently Libya’s most stable and secure city, making it an ideal location for businesses to set up operations.

As a representative of this business hub, the Euro-Libyan Trade Center can provide you with information regarding the zone and assist you with any related matters. Some examples include: benefits to businesses, tax incentives, infrastructure support and convenient location.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for more information and guidance.



Oxford Business Group’s Focus Reports on MFZ

Oxford Business Group (OBG) is a global publishing, research and consultancy firm, which publishes economic intelligence on the markets of the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. MFZ’s status as a major African transport and logistics destination is examined by OBG, in a four-part research series, along with recent developments in infrastructure and economic development.

Doing Business in Libya: FAQs

Below are some of the questions we are asked the most, and which will undoubtedly help eliminate any doubts you may have about doing business in Libya.

Which Businesses are the Best to Start in Libya?

Our understanding of the Libyan economy indicates that Libya is in need of economic development, not liquid economic resources. Contrary to prevailing misconceptions, the Libyan economy exhibits a significant level of financial liquidity – readily available for investment opportunities. Therefore, maximising productivity is of paramount importance to the economy, as it facilitates optimal utilisation of available resources

In order to enter the Libyan market successfully, we recommend foreign companies to capitalise on their “know-how” as well as their intellectual property when seeking to do business in Libya. Moreover, there is an easy availability of Libyan capitalist partners in the public and private sectors, as evidenced by the large-scale projects that are currently underway – further supporting such market entry.

Is Libya a Safe Place for Business?

In addressing this question, it is essential to consider Libya’s considerable size, with an area seven times that of the United Kingdom.

In general, businesses can operate safely in Libya as long as they contribute to enhancing the nation’s productivity. The alignment of interests among foreign companies, Libyan capitalist partners, and the local populace is conducive to achieving mutually beneficial outcomes.

However, given the vast expanse of the nation, generalisations regarding business operations can be challenging. Therefore, evaluating each case and project individually is necessary to ensure an optimal response.

How Can Foreign Companies Be Structured?

Owing to the Libyan executive’s flexibility, businesses have an array of options for establishing operations in the country. However, among the multitude of options available, the following seven are the most commonly preferred:

  • Representative Office
  • Branch Office
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Joint Stock Company
  • Investment Law Company
  • Free Zone Branch Office
  • Free Zone Company

Where Can I Find Libyan Legislation?

As of now, Libyan Law Society is the largest source of legislation in the nation. All Libyan legislation is collected, organized, classified, and presented electronically by this civil society institution devoted to legal affairs. 

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The ELTC is a non-political & non-profit trade promotion agency working in cooperation with the GUCC to strengthen bilateral relations between Europe and Libya.

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