2018 comes with very excellent news, after years of hard work, for the young community of startups in Tunisia, the Startup Act bill has been approved by the parliament. This success is the result of perseverance and efforts of all actors in the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

This “Startup Act” is part of a proactive national strategy “Startup Tunisia” aims at making Tunisia a Startup-Nation at the crossroads of the southern shore of the Mediterranean, the MENA region and Africa.

Its main aim is to simplify administrative procedures, facilitate access to finance, encourage entrepreneurship and create the necessary conditions for an international breakthrough of Startups from Tunisia.

The Startup Act has 20 measures, the majority of which are stipulated in the approved bill. These measures are divided into the following five major components:

1- Label and Governance:
This component defines a startup and defines what agency should attribute labels to startups and how it’s governed highlighting transparency and independence and participation/representation of public and private sectors.

2- Dare to start a business:
This component lists the privileges people can benefit from including the following:
-a 1 year paid vacation to develop a startup company
-startup grant for a maximum of 3 co-founders of every startup
-start-uppers will still benefit from government employment programs
-government takes in charge procedures and costs of any patent registration

3- Create, develop and liquidate:
-startup portal to facilitate relations with public administrations
-tax exemptions
-exemptions from social security payments contribution for a small period of time

4- Financing:
-Investments in startups are tax deductible
-facilitation of shares exchanges
-30% warranty for grouped investors
-privilege in public procurement

5- International reach:
-facilitation on international money transfers and currency exchanges
-facilitation on imports and exports with government agencies and especially the customs and border control.

It seems like Tunisia now is the startup heaven, however, government is yet to provide and work more on the mechanisms and procedures to make this bill a ground reality.