Sales Representative in Turkey

Overview by

Commercial Intermediaries

Trading Companies
  • Type of Organization
Intermediaries (wholesalers and importers) are commonly used for practical reasons (import procedures are complicated). This is particularly the case for foodstuffs, excluded from the Customs agreement with the EU.
The sector is made up of small structures, specialized in a particular type of product.
  • Main Actors
Many in the clothing sector
Link to a catalog
  • Type of Organization
Being listed with the big distributors is an obligatory step for breaking into the hypermarket sales market.
The larger the quantities negotiated, the more chance you have of negotiating directly with the buying groups.
Wholesalers are mostly active in the food sector (90% of products sold in hypermarkets).
  • Main Actors
Carrefour , Migros and Real ( Metro)
Useful Resources
Turkish Association of Marketing and Opinion Researchers

Using a Commercial Agent

The Advantages
A strategy which is profitable financially and at the marketing level for a foreign SME, in order to develop rapidly within a country without taking big financial risks, provided you find a trustworthy partner.
The form may vary: you can opt for exclusive agents for the whole country or not.
Where to Be Vigilant
- Try your utmost not to give exclusive sales rights immediately to your new agent. Give yourself a test period to be able to test your agent's know-how and motivation before giving him exclusivity in fine.
- Contrary to 5-6 years ago, because of the massive arrival of foreign actors in Turkey, Turkish businessmen have become very selective about the nature of the sales representations that they are offered.
- Discussions will be tough, especially about the amount of commission and exclusive sales rights. They can take months, if not years, before agreement is reached;
- Realize that nothing is certain even when you come out of a meeting you think was fruitful. Last minute reversals are frequent.
- Ask for his references and his sphere of influence in the country. Turkey is not limited to Istanbul. There is strong development in the provinces which should not be neglected.
- Support your agent, with supplementary commercial investments (catalogs, samples of products, etc.) or with advice: Turkish agents, who are very reactive, often complain about the lack of reaction and little support they get from the companies that give them sales representations. They have the impression of being left to themselves.
Elements of Motivation
The total amount of commission is an important element for motivation. Sometimes recourse is had to a system of contests and competition between agents. Supervision and close contact may be necessary for a good follow-up of the agent's activity.
The Average Amount of Commission
The agent on commission is paid according to the turnover he achieves. The amount of commission depends on a lot of factors: the sector, the competition's prices...etc.
Breach of Contract
The form and the content of the contract are not different from other countries. Each party has rights and obligations.
Finding a Commercial Agent
Turkish Economic Mission
CODA, Council for Business Development
Find Sales and Distribution Service Providers in Turkey on

Setting Up a Commercial Unit

The Advantages
Setting up business for one's own account can sometimes be advantageous for several reasons:
- A base for observation and study to prepare the setting up better
- Making commercial contacts
- Advertising the company
Contrary to generally accepted ideas, setting up business in Turkey can be relatively expensive and tedious because of very heavy bureaucracy. However, resorting to the formula of a business center (lodging/domiciling the company), coupled with an umbrella company can be a winning formula to develop your current business economically and in total security.
Where to Be Vigilant
- Because of the heavy bureaucracy, using a lawyer's services is far from being a luxury.
- Use the services of an authorized chartered accountant when starting up and for the follow up of your accounts (obligatory).
- For foreign workers, launch the formalities for residence and work permits 3-6 months ahead of time.
Different Possible Forms of Settlement
  • A Representative Office
A representative office may be necessary to obtain data about the market or other and to provide promotional support. However, as a representative office cannot be involved in commercial transactions or generate income, it cannot manage orders directly or issue an invoice.
  • A Branch Office
A branch office or a subsidiary can take and fill orders and carry out a marketing or advertising program, recruit the sales force and carry out promotional activities. Setting up a branch office or a subsidiary is considered as a direct investment and must be declared to the Ministry of Finance.
  • A Company
Setting up a subsidiary needs time and leads to considerable expense. However, it offers commercial credibility to your Turkish prospects and suppliers, a better guarantee of protection for the registered trade mark, of obtaining credit and of breaking into the market.


Evolution of the Sector
For 5-6 years now, with economic development helping, the rhythm of creating franchises has considerable increased in Turkey. Franchises are principally in the sectors of real estate, cars, clothing, food and catering.
Some Big Franchises
Remax , Real estate
Turyap , Real estate
Shaya, Kuwaiti master franchiser in several domains:
- Starbucks, Daily Bread (Foodstuffs)
- Claire's, Topshop, Topman, River Island, Next, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Jack Jones... (Clothing)
- Debenham's (Department stores)
- The Body Shop (Cosmetics)

Domino's Pizza , pizzeria
Gloria Jean's , Foodstuffs
Paul, Foodstuffs
For Further Information
Turkish franchise association

Finding Assistance

Export Trading Companies
Portal for international trade professionals
Recommended Resource
CODA, Business Development Consulting
Hosting SMEs; Studies, Consulting and Support Operations; Help for implantation.
Find more on about Selling to Turkey.

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