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Survey of Registration Options and Costs

In order to establish a legal presence in Iraq, you have the following options:

  • Establishing an LLC;
  • Purchasing an existing Iraqi LLC (Shelf Company) that has never conducted business;
  • Purchasing an LLC registered which owns a local LLC in Iraq;
  • Establishing a branch for your company; or
  • Establishing a representative office for your company.

Establishment of LLC

  • All Activities for doing business is possible.
  • The establishment procedures usually take between 2 to 3 months in
  • Baghdad due to security check requirement, and 1 month in Erbil.
  • Costs: Baghdad USD 16,000 and Erbil USD 10,000
  • Payment of the Minimum Capital of the LLC in the amount of USD 840.

Acquisition of a “Shelf Company”

  • All Activities for doing business is possible.
  • The establishment and transfer of shares procedures usually take between 1 to 3 months in Baghdad due to security check requirement, and 1 month in Erbil.
  • Costs: Baghdad USD20,000 and Erbil USD 15,000

Acquisition of a Company Holding a Subsidiary

  • All Activities for doing business is possible.
  • Your company has the option to acquire an existing registered shelf holding company with an existing 100% owned Iraqi registered shelf company. While the procedures for the previous two options are lengthy due to the requirements of legalization and security clearance, the transfer of the holding entity (with its Iraqi subsidiary) can be implemented in few days.
  • Costs: Baghdad USD40,000 and Erbil USD 20,000

Opening a Branch in Baghdad or Erbil

  • All Activities for doing business is possible.
  • To open a branch in Iraq, your company must have a valid contract with the Iraqi government, which may be any public entity or a company wholly owned by the Iraqi government. Unlike the LLC, the branch’s activities and existence would be limited to the scope and term of the government contract, and the branch must be resolved within 40 days of the contract expiry.
  • If the branch office is to be opened in Erbil, the government contract is not required, but a Contract with an oil company will be required if the branch’s activities are in specific oilfield services sector.
  • The establishment Procedures usually take between 4 to 8 weeks
  • Costs: USD 12,000

Opening a Representative Office

  • It should be noted that while this establishment does not require a contract with the government, the representative office will not be allowed to carry out any business activities in Iraq.
  • The establishment Procedures usually take between 4 to 8 weeks
  • Costs: USD 10,000

General New regulations

  • The Registrar of Companies, in case of an application for establishment of an oil service company, requires the approval of the Ministry of Oil
  • The Ministry of Oil only grants this approval if the capital of the company is not less than IQD 2 billion. However, this isn’t general legal requirement for all Ministry of Oil companies to have this minimum capital.
  • Residency in Erbil will, as a general rule, not allow stays in Central Iraq.
  • Residencies are not easy to get in Baghdad even if you are appointed as manager of the company.
  • Doing business in the Kurdistan Region on the basis of a company or branch in Baghdad is easier than vice versa; a Baghdad company might register a branch in Erbil, and a Baghdad branch might register an office in Erbil.

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