Salt & Associates > Baghdad, Iraq > Firm Profile

Salt & Associates
Al Yarmouk, Fakhry 2 Building
6th Floor, Office no. 17

Who We Are

Salt & Associates “Salt for Legal Services LLC” (“Salt”), established as Baitulhikma in Abu Dhabi in 1981 and later rebranded, is a full-service law firm headquartered in Abu Dhabi. Our team comprises legal professionals with diverse educational backgrounds, including credentials from the UK and the US, ensuring a broad understanding of both local and international law. Our lawyers are licensed with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in the UK, the New York Bar in the USA, and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), providing comprehensive legal services across the Middle East with offices in Baghdad, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Muscat, Salalah, and Istanbul.

Our Vision

Salt is committed to supporting the growth and success of our clients in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. We tackle legal challenges with professionalism and clarity, making it easier for both local and international companies to navigate the region’s complex legal environment.

Practice Areas

At Salt & Associates Law Firm, we offer a wide range of legal services:

  • Corporate Commercial: Advising on mergers, acquisitions, corporate restructurings, joint ventures, general corporate governance, and corporate structure. Our team assists with the formation of companies, compliance with regulatory requirements, and strategic advice to support businesses in navigating commercial landscapes efficiently.
  • Oil & Gas: Guiding exploration, production, distribution agreements, and regulatory compliance for clients within the oil and gas sector.
  • Banking & Finance: Specializing in regulatory advice, loan agreements, compliance issues, and financial transactions for banks, financial institutions, and corporate clients.
  • Investment: Advising on investment strategies, securities, private equity, and regulatory compliance, helping investors and companies maximize their returns and mitigate risks.
  • Employment & Labour Issues: Advising on employment contracts, workplace policies, employee benefits, labor disputes, and compliance with local labor laws.
  • Intellectual Property & TMT (Technology, Media, and Telecom): Assisting with the protection of intellectual property, licensing, enforcement, and managing issues related to technology, media, and telecommunications.
  • Taxation: Offering expert advice on tax planning, compliance, and litigation, as well as navigating the complexities of local and international tax laws.
  • Healthcare & Pharmaceutical: Addressing regulatory approvals, patient confidentiality issues, medical malpractice, and other legal needs specific to the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.
  • Media & Telecommunication: Providing counsel on broadcast and digital media law, regulatory compliance, content licensing, and distribution agreements.
  • Sports Law: Providing legal services related to sports contracts, endorsement deals, sports injuries, arbitration in sports disputes, and regulatory compliance for sporting events and organizations.
  • Insurance Law: Offering expertise in policy analysis, claim disputes, regulatory compliance, and risk management for insurance companies and insured entities.
  • FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods): Advising FMCG companies on regulatory compliance, supply chain agreements, brand protection, and consumer rights issues.
  • Fund Management: Providing legal advice on the establishment, operation, and regulation of investment funds, including compliance with financial regulations, structuring of investments, and transactions.
  • Real Estate and Property Law: Handling matters related to commercial and residential real estate transactions, leasing, property management, and real estate financing.
  • Maritime and Admiralty Law: Offering services related to maritime operations, shipping disputes, maritime insurance, and international maritime compliance.
  • Corporate Litigation and Arbitration: Handling dispute resolution through arbitration, mediation, and litigation, focusing on commercial disputes and contractual disagreements.
  • Cyber Security: Pioneering in Iraq, we provide the first dedicated legal advice on cybersecurity frameworks, helping organizations to establish robust protections for digital assets and comply with international and local cybersecurity laws.
  • Immigration Law: Assisting businesses and individuals with visas, work permits, residency issues, and compliance with local immigration laws.
  • Construction: Offering legal support for contract negotiations, risk management, and dispute resolution in construction projects.

Our understanding of the local and regional legal frameworks helps us effectively manage the needs of foreign and domestic companies, providing essential guidance in legal proceedings and business strategies.

Legal Expertise and Representation

With over thirty years of practical experience, our legal team brings a wealth of knowledge to our practice. We handle a variety of complex legal issues for a diverse clientele, including government entities, financial institutions, and major corporations in various industries.

Coherence is Our Key

Our approach is defined by a commitment to professional integrity and a detailed understanding of our clients’ industries. This dedication has earned us long-standing relationships with numerous clients who trust us to handle their legal matters effectively.

Commitment to Excellence

From its inception, Salt has strived to provide high-quality, efficient legal services. Whether working with clients in Dubai, Baghdad, or elsewhere in our international network, our clients can rely on our informed and respectful legal representation.



Department Name Email Telephone
Partner; Head of Baghdad Office Mohammed Koperly M.Koperly@saltandassociates.Net +964 773733 9916
Partner; Head of Abu Dhabi & Iraq Offices Ahmad Subhi +971 50 106 3471
Partner; Head of Dubai Office Mohammed Ahmad +971 566 440 580
Photo Name Position Profile
Mohammed  Ahmad photo Mr Mohammed Ahmad Partner & Head of Dubai Office
Aqeel Hameed photo Mr Aqeel Hameed As a Partner and the Head of Legal Operations at Salt &…
Saif Khaleel photo Mr Saif Khaleel Senior Associate – Head of Corporate Structure
Mohammed  Koperly photo Mr Mohammed Koperly Mohammed Koperly is the Managing Partner at Salt & Associates Law Firm…
Ahmad Subhi photo Mr Ahmad Subhi Partner & Head of Abu Dhabi & Iraq Offices
Lawyers : 8
Admin : 3


While doing business in Iraq comes with its own variety of unique and variable obstacles, the country has enormous economic potential. Iraq is ranked towards the bottom of the World Bank’s ease of doing business report. Nonetheless, it is still regarded as one of the world’s wealthiest countries, with substantial hydrocarbon reserves, a dense population, a younger demographic, and huge promise for the future.

Business Environment

The economy in Iraq is mixed and cash-based. The public sector dominates some sectors, while the private sector dominates others. Banking and healthcare are two industries that are impacted by both sectors. The oil industry dominates their economy, accounting for the majority of the country’s GDP. It does, however, also feature various other developing industries like e-commerce.

There is a positive attitude toward foreign investment in Iraq. Their gas industry will undoubtedly generate significant additional earnings as well as the nation’s proven oil reserves. Iraq also has yet to begin mining the immense mineral wealth that lies beneath the country’s deserts and mountains, such as gold and platinum.

Additionally, UK Export Finance is underwriting significant projects in the electricity sector. Telecommunications and agriculture, as well as health care, construction, and professional services, all have untapped prospects and will remain so for many years.

Recent Developments

In March 2021, Iraq’s parliament voted to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958. Iraq joins the Convention as the 169th State Party. The Convention took effect for Iraq earlier this year. In the same month, their government waived pre-arrival visa restrictions for 37 countries, including the UK, the US, China, Canada, Australia, and more.

Furthermore, Iraqi company legislation was revised in September 2019 to require at least 51% Iraqi ownership for prospective joint-stock or limited liability firms to be registered. They also provided statutory provisions to COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing companies in March 2021.

Legal System

The Iraqi legal system is civil law-based. Their Civil Code was based on the Egyptian Civil Code and has some Sharia Law features. However, Sharia Law only has a minor impact on Iraqi law. This includes crucial aspects of business, such as Islamic banking, which aren’t impacted in Iraq. They are governed under a federal system. Kurdistan, however, is the sole semi-autonomous territory. Many of Kurdistan’s laws are shared with the remainder of Iraq.

Even if certain products are allowed to be imported and supplied, firms will have to comply with regulatory regulations that may appear strange. Almost every industry is extensively regulated, meaning investors will need to secure licenses and then sub-licenses from a slew of government agencies.

For example, they will need a license from the Ministry of Trade to work in the security industry, but they won’t be registered as a firm until they have the green light from the Ministry of Interior. A license for firearms, a license from the telecoms regulating body for radio frequencies, and a license for vehicular GPS trackers are all required before you are allowed to operate.

All of the licenses must be obtained at different times, putting a huge administrative strain on the investor because they’ll have to keep track of which ones are about to expire and which ones are still valid.


Iraqi labor law extends to all employees in Iraq regardless of their nationality and does not extend beyond the borders of Iraq. Irrespective of the legislation choice in their work contracts, Iraqi labor law applies to all foreign and domestic employees who work in Iraq. Iraqi courts have sole authority over all labor laws.

Furthermore, contracts of employment are not required to have any minimum terms. It is also not necessary to have written agreements. The business relationship is governed and defined by law. Unless extra rights are provided under contract, all minimal rights under employment law are assumed into contractual arrangements by default.

Iraqi Labor Law prohibits the termination of work contracts by imposing restrictions on the manner in which a business relationship can be ended. When an employer terminates an employee, they must give notice to the employee. In some limited circumstances, the employer has the right to terminate the contract. This is conditional on the employee receiving at least 30 days of written notice prior to the date of termination.

Unfair dismissal is defined as any termination that does not strictly follow the statute’s reasons for termination. In such cases, the worker is eligible to double the standard severance pay and can also request reinstatement to their previous post.

In Iraq, all workers must register with the Ministry of Social Security. The proportion of monthly social security contribution is 5% of the worker’s basic salary to be deducted from the worker and 12% of the basic salary to be paid by the employer, which form a combined monthly payment of 17%. The oil and gas sector has its own social security payment rates, which vary based on the type of activity performed by the employer.

Foreign Investment

Iraqi tax exemptions are available with an investment license from the local investment commission, but it is not required to operate a business in Iraq. Even if the businesses are entirely controlled by foreigners, foreign companies can open subsidiaries in Iraq and conduct business. A minimum of 51% Iraqi ownership is necessary to form a limited liability firm and joint stock firm. There are a few industry-specific rules that necessitate complete or partial national ownership to obtain specific types of licenses and approvals, such as pharmaceutical companies.

The Investment Law No.13 of 2006 was enacted and published in the Official Gazette in 2007. In 2009, the Investment Law was amended by issuing Investment Law No. 2 of 2010 to include foreign land ownership rights concerning a foreign company’s investment. In 2015 it was amended again by issuing the Investment Law No.50 of 2015. In the latest amendment of the law, the investors were given many benefits and legal protection to be encouraged to invest in Iraq.

This law aims to encourage investments and transfer modern technologies to contribute to the process of improving and developing Iraq and extending backgrounds and attracting foreign investments to the country and diversifying them, as well as for the advancement of the private sector by providing facilities to establish investment projects and the competitiveness of projects by the virtue of this law. Among a large number of leverages that the Investment Law grants to the investors, the main benefits are the duration of the investment is set to be for a period of up to (50) renewable years.

In addition, the Investment Law, prohibited the expropriation or nationalization of an investment project or the revocation of its ownership, whether in part or whole, except for public interest, and in which case, the investor shall be entitled to fair compensation. The law also offers an exemption from customs duties, liberty to market investors’ products, the right to establish branches and commercial offices in Iraq, the right to establish a joint commercial entity with an Iraqi or foreign investor, and lifting restrictions on transferring funds to and from Iraq, including the invested funds and the profits.

Further, the Investment Law facilities for the entry and exit visas, residence, and permits for expatriates by obtaining supporting official letters from the competent Investment Commission. The law authorized and granted the right of ownership of the Iraqi or the foreign investor over lands allocated for residential and industrial projects belonging to the state or the public sector solely or in partnership with the public sector provided that the use of the same shall not conflict with the principally intended purpose.

The Iraqi or foreign investor may purchase land belonging to the private or mixed sector to establish housing projects exclusively. In terms of dispute resolution, The law contains several provisions on dispute resolution mechanisms and the applicable law. These include disputes between the investor and the Investment Authority, the investor and its employees, and with different authorities involved in the licensing process. In many instances, the Investment Law expressly allows for Iraqi and international arbitration.


The Iraqi Central Bank requires adherence to US sanctions imposed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control. The Central Bank maintains a black list, which also needs to be adhered to. Furthermore, Iraq participates in the boycott of Israel and executes three parts of the boycott:

  • Primary: This makes it illegal for Iraqis to buy from, sell to, or do business with the government, citizens, and residents of Israel, as well as any Israeli firm.
  • Secondary: This ban prevents Iraqi businesses from doing transactions with the government of Israel, an Israeli person, resident, or a corporation.
  • Tertiary: This bans Iraqi enterprises from doing business with any organizations that are part of the secondary boycott.


The transparency of Iraq’s market is one of the major obstacles for investors and firms. Companies usually lack clear examples of foreign arbitration in Iraq against a local corporation or national government, making it difficult to assess how robust the enforcement procedures are.

However, a structure of specialized commercial courts was launched in 2015 to assist in providing alternatives for resolving conflicts involving international investors, and it is one of several steps underway to help increase corporate confidence. Iraq’s commercial courts are as powerful as any other within the area.


Iraq has huge investment potential mainly because of its low starting point. Any amount or duration of stability can make a significant difference, and investors will witness substantial progress in a short amount of time. It’s difficult to put a time limit on when investors will see returns, but you can look at the growth of other post-conflict communities and compare.

While no investment subsidies are available, and investors must contribute capital or run the risk of losing investor status, there are investment incentives from Iraqi taxation reductions and customs exemptions. Land allocation is also sometimes available. Foreign investors receive a lot of the same benefits as domestic investors.

Although the country is currently disadvantaged, it has the potential to rapidly rise into the realms of middle-income nations and eventually become wealthy. The nation has been isolated from the rest of the world and lacks international connections as a result of this.

Opportunities for Investors

Iraq’s infrastructure is considerably inadequate and much of it is now in ruins, particularly in the western part of the country. The World Bank predicts that $88 billion will be needed for reconstruction, which many consider to be a modest estimate.

Attracting foreign direct investment is critical to Iraq’s reconstruction, especially given the absence of domestic financing. The country’s investment atmosphere, on the other hand, is only appealing to investors with a high-risk tolerance, a difficult proposition outside of the country’s rich oil industry that’s attracted large sums of money.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) announced a list of 157 projects for foreign investment a year after the victory declared by the Iraqi government in 2017. Since then, little private funding has been secured, leaving room for more opportunities.

Reconstruction in Western Iraq is also on the list, with projects including the repair and redevelopment of Mosul International Airport, as well as the reconstruction of trains, roadways, and ports throughout the country. A Baghdad subway project was also mentioned, and manufacturing, agriculture, and new technology are among the prospects emphasized by NIC in Iraq’s four economic zones.

Additionally, Iraq decided to establish 12 new residential communities in 2021, to address the country’s housing shortage, which has been exacerbated by war destruction and increasing population. The housing project aims to accommodate around 600,000 individuals and will include 100,000 homes.

Taxation in Iraq

Iraq’s current tax law is set out in Law No. 113 of 1982 (as amended) (the Income Tax Law). Under the GCT’s current interpretation and application of tax laws and instructions in Iraq, the factors that would create a taxable presence for a non-resident in Iraq can be summarized as follows, whereby meeting any one of the below factors causes a non-resident company to be ‘doing business in Iraq’ and, therefore, taxable in Iraq; whereas, avoiding all four factors means that a company is ‘doing business with Iraq’ and should, therefore, avoid taxation in Iraq:

  1. The place of signing the contract by the party executing work under the contract (vendor or service provider) is in Iraq;
  2. The place of execution of work is in Iraq;
  3. The place of delivery of goods or services is in Iraq; or
  4. The place of receiving the payment for the work is in Iraq.

All registered entities inside of Iraq must register with the GCT, and obtain a tax identification number ‘TIN’

There are three different type of taxes applicable in Iraq.

Corporate income tax

In Iraq, corporate income tax (CIT) is imposed on taxable profits from all sources arising, or deemed to arise, at a flat rate of 15% (a 35% CIT rate is applicable only in Iraq for oil and gas companies).

Any revenues and expenses related to any services rendered in Iraq should be booked and reported locally by the Iraqi entity. The Iraqi entity would need to prepare local financial statements (prepared in Arabic under the Iraqi Unified Accounting System (local Iraqi GAAP) (IUAS) and CIT return, and file them with the GCT on an annual basis.

The net income reported in the locally prepared financial statements and CIT return would then become the basis for the GCT in assessing the due CIT on the Iraqi entity. It should be noted that the GCT reserves the right to reject a company’s reported net profits and instead impute a deemed profit if the actual profit, as reflected in the IUAS financial statements, is less than the deemed profit percentage as communicated in the GCT’s indicators. If the actual profit as reflected in the financial statements is more than the deemed profit percentage, the tax will most likely be based on actual profit.

Withholding tax

To the extent that the Iraqi entity is a customer under a contract for ‘doing business in Iraq’ (a taxable contract), the Iraqi entity would be required to act as a withholding agent and retain tax from payments made to its vendors/service providers who are undertaking work and generating income in Iraq and then remit the retentions to the GCT.

The retention rates vary and are dependent on the nature of activities carried out under each contract (which typically range from 1.8% to 10%, as per the GCT’s income tax law and indicators).

Employee income tax

Employee income tax in Iraq must be withheld by the Iraqi entity (employer) at rates that graduate from 3%-15%. The Iraqi entity must then remit the withheld amounts to the GCT’s Direct Deductions Department (DDD) by the 15th day of each month which follows the month of deduction.

An annual employee income tax filing is also required by 31 March of each year. After the annual employee income tax filing is made, the DDD would undertake an audit of the filing and assess the employer’s compliance with its employee income tax obligations and may impose an additional employee income tax liability if the DDD concludes that the employee income tax paid is less than the required minimum tax obligation.

In addition, the Iraqi entity would be obligated by law to operate payroll and maintain records of salaries, allowances, and wages for all of its employees (Iraqis and non-Iraqis) who are working in Iraq. By law, employees of the Iraqi entity must have local employment contracts that include details of basic salary and allowances. Salaries of foreign employees seconded to Iraq by a non-resident party are subject to income and social security taxes in Iraq in the same manner as Iraqi employees.


Furthermore, while the government of Iraq has huge purchasing power and attractive tenders, it has recognized that the nation needs to diversify its sources of finance and reduce its dependence on oil. With a surge in new franchisees coming into the country, there are already hints of change.

There is huge potential for franchise business operators. While some may be skeptical of establishing a potential franchise in Iraq, there is great scope for the possibility. Although retail is declining in most places around the world, Baghdad has seven malls with a remarkable number of visitors. Everyone wants to go out after times of hardship.

The responsibility to register a commercial agency is on the agent, not the principal, and any penalties to be imposed for failing to register a commercial agency fall on the agent. For a commercial agent/distributor to register agencies under its name, a commercial agent/distributor is generally required to submit a duly notarized and certified copy of the commercial agency/distribution agreement to the Registrar of Companies\Commercial Agencies Department.


Following a succession of high-profile departures, the Middle East private investment sector is booming. There is an emerging start-up sector in Iraq that is seeking to overcome the hurdles as investors hurry to uncover the country’s most promising initiatives.

The spotlight has shifted to the Middle East’s expanding technology sector. Following several success stories, there’s been a surge in curiosity among high-net-worth people, investment institutions, and middle-class experts, all of whom see fresh opportunities. A rising proportion of angel investors and regional firms putting up venture units have broadened finance sources available, enhancing these prospects — a significant development in the current investment climate.

The Middle East only had three venture capital companies a few years ago and maybe a couple of corporate venture capital arms. There were a few notable exits involving area firms, but it couldn’t be described as a particularly productive or active ecosystem.

All of that changed once Amazon made headlines with its $580 million acquisition of Souq, the Dubai-based e-commerce site, in 2017. Then, Uber paid $3.1 billion for Dubai-based transportation service provider Careem in 2019, representing the Middle East’s biggest tech start-up exit to date. Now, money is pouring into this space, and the web is being stretched further to countries such as Syria, Egypt, and Iraq.

In terms of media and telecommunications, Order No. 65 established the Iraqi Communication and Media Commission (the CMC). According to the Iraqi constitution and Order No. 65, the CMC is an independent entity and non-profit administrative institution, and it has the sole authority to regulate and issue licenses for telecommunications, broadcasting, information services, and other media in Iraq, and shall be committed to the principles of objectivity, transparency, non-discrimination, proportionality and due process in carrying out its duties.

In contrast to the financial status under the previous regime, which was virtually nonexistent, and employment prospects were restricted to those made available by the Iraqi Telecommunication and Post Company (ITPC) – the only organization entrusted with managing and regulating the country’s communications infrastructure – Order No. 65 will place the communications industry as the growth driver of the Iraqi economy. It is hoped that this segment will be among the country’s growing employment prospects in Iraq.

The CMC and the Ministry of Communications (MoC) are the two governmental bodies with the authority to oversee telecommunications licenses in Iraq. The State Company for Internet Services (SCIS) and the ITPC are two state-owned businesses that are run by the MoC. While the SCIS manages internet subscribers and digital communication in Iraq by offering wireless connectivity for government agencies, DSL and Dial-up VOIP services, and internet protocol (IP) address registration, the ITPC is in charge of the fiber-optic network, the microwave backbone, and the limited Fixed Wireless Local Loop (WLL) CDMA network.

The official policy of spectrum management made by CMC in line with the national frequencies distribution table in Iraq, as well as ITU rulings and recommendations, governs all frequency allocations, service distribution, frequency bands applications, license granting for communications services and telecom systems, and quality approval certifications.

All government organizations, private and public sector businesses, and private individuals who would like to use spectrum, operate a communications system, or engage in the sale and purchase of telecommunications equipment used in the spectrum procedure must obtain the necessary fundamental authorization and licensing for their Iraqi operations. The main licenses granted by the CMC are as follows:

  1. Permits to Import Telecommunication Devices in the Republic of Iraq
  2. Satellite network operators and service providers’ licenses (GMPCS)
  3. License for using private mobile communications networks across satellites (GMPCS)
  4. Frequency license
  5. AES & GSM service license
  6. A permit to sell and trade communications equipment.
  7. VSAT License

Health & Pharmacuetical Sector

Iraq’s Ministry of Health is in charge of policing medical procedures. The Iraqi Pharmacist Syndicate and the State Company for Marketing Drugs and Medical Appliances (KIMADIA) are the two main organizations to work with when it comes to the commercial side of the pharmaceutical industry in Iraq.

Depending on the Federal Iraqi buyer, pharmaceutical products may adhere to several business models. The buyer may either be KIMADIA or a customer from Iraq’s private market, to name two options. In terms of government procurement, KIMADIA is the sole institution permitted to acquire pharmaceutical products for Iraq’s federal government.

Pharmaceutical goods must only be imported into Iraq via Iraqi registered third parties, or ‘scientific bureaus,’ under Pharmaceutical Law (Federal Law No. 40 of 1970) and associated instructions (Instructions No. 4 of 1998), which govern scientific bureaus engaged in the business of promoting pharmaceutical products.

The only exception to this is if KIMADIA determines that direct product importation is necessary. KIMADIA prefers to operate through Iraqi authorized scientific offices wherever possible even though it can deal with non-Iraqi suppliers or marketers directly (as agents for the exporting companies). The only option to market pharmaceutical items while working with the private sector in Iraq is by engaging with a scientific bureau.

The rules and legislation governing the pharmaceutical industry in Iraq apply to the exchange of drugs and medical supplies as well as the importation of those products into Iraq through the private market. The following entities are permitted to do such business, within the bounds set for each firm by the applicable laws and regulations:

  1. Pharmacy: a facility that manufactures and retails drugs, prepared prescription drugs, chemicals, and other ready-made formulas approved for use in Iraq.
  2. Scientific Bureau: an authorized location where drugs, medical equipment, and raw materials can be advertised, imported, and sold to pharmacies. It is also authorized to represent five businesses that manufacture and distribute drugs and medical products before the Ministry of Health and to register those businesses with the ministry.
  3. Drug Store: a location with a license to store and distribute medications only to pharmacies and other authorized locations.

The Licensed Entities

Licensed Entities’ business practice is limited to Iraqi pharmacists who have been granted licenses by the Syndicate of Iraqi Pharmacists. Additionally, according to Iraqi legislation, a corporation cannot be granted a license to establish a pharmacy until all of its stakeholders are Iraqi pharmacists and the firm’s shares are intended to be sold solely to pharmacists.

Any arrangement of a different sort, such as the possession of a pharmacy’s stock, capital, or assets by a person who is not a pharmacist, shall be regarded as void. Even while all requirements are satisfied, no company has received a license to conduct the same as of yet.

A manufacturer or drug store may be granted a license under Article 9 (2) of the Practicing Pharmacy Profession Law No. 40 of 1970 (the Law), provided that Iraqis control at least 51% of the relevant organization’s shares. The permit is valid for as long as the aforementioned criterion is met (and vice versa). However, the incorporation of such firms has not been approved by the Registrar of Companies. Noting that passing on the license of the scientific bureau to another party is against the Law.


Iraq is one of the world’s biggest oil-dependent countries. Oil income has accounted for nearly 99% of the country’s exports, 85% of the government’s budget, and 42% of GDP over the last decade. After a steep drop of 11.3% in 2020, real GDP rose by 1.2% last year. As oil supply rises and domestic economic activity recovers, both oil and non-oil growth are on course to return to pre-pandemic levels.

With increasing oil prices, the non-oil economy increased by nearly 6% in 2021, and government income increased by 73%. The currency depreciation and attempts to mobilize non-oil domestic income, primarily from customs, aided these fiscal benefits.

The rebound in oil prices has greatly improved Iraq’s economic prospects. As oil output declines, overall growth at the end of this year is expected to be 8.9%. Growth and expansion in subsequent years are expected to be at 3.7% on average. Non-noil GDP growth is expected to consolidate its long-term potential growth trend, supported in part by increased investments funded by oil windfall. Iraq’s fiscal accounts are expected to be in surplus in 2022–2024 due to higher forecasted oil prices.

The World Bank

The World Bank collaborates closely with foreign partners to assist economic changes that enhance Iraq’s economy in the long run. In September 2020, it issued a Country Economic Memorandum. This report examines the barriers to and drivers of growth, as well as policy recommendations for more varied and accessible economic models.

Last August, the Board also adopted a Country Partnership Framework for 2022–2026. The framework outlines the primary development objectives in Iraq that it will promote. It recommends a range of strategic measures to aid the country’s response to the pandemic, economic change, and human capital rebuilding.

Procedure for Starting a Business

Here are all the steps of establish a local entity in Iraq.

1. Company Name

Lawyers usually ask for a list of ten different names from their clients. The name of the company must be in Arabic. Trade Names, which is a special department of the Chamber of Commerce, begins by checking the recommended name against their database to check if it has already been claimed or held by some other firm. When a title is available and has been agreed upon, it can be reserved for a small cost.

If the individual’s preferred business name is approved at the Baghdad Chamber of Commerce (BCC), the candidate will receive a notice verifying the availability of the name. The applicant must then take that letter to the Federal Chamber of Commerce (FCC) for a federal name search. Without the document from BCC, it is impossible to do a search at FCC.

2. Article of Association

Lawyers are frequently responsible for completing the registration process as they are obliged to prepare the articles of association. The price varies depending on the law firm. The Company Registrar normally licenses the lawyers who prepare and sign the articles as Company Registrar Agents.

3. Initial Capital

The business deposits its initial capital and receives a confirmation letter, which needs to be presented to the Companies Registrar alongside the application for the company’s registration. The funds will be held in a checking account under the firm’s name. The capital can be withdrawn right after the Registrar issues the certificate of registration. The fee depends on the bank of your choice.

4. Registration

Next, you need to apply for registration at the Companies Registry. Payments are made straight to the Companies Registrar. The Companies Registrar at the Ministry has created a pricing schedule that incorporates several costs. The registration certificate is then circulated to all relevant third parties including banks, tax authorities, and ministries. A Tax Identification Number is issued by the Companies Registry together with the certificate of incorporation.

You must present all the following documents at the Registry:

  • Letter from the Chambers of Commerce Union
  • Letter from the bank certifying the capital deposit
  • Iraqi identification cards with documented proof of Iraqi citizenship.
  • Articles of Association
  • Power of attorney
  • Lease Agreement
  • Contact information for the company’s owner
  • Ministry of Trade cancellation of ration cards

Candidates can complete their registration application on the online portal. They may visit the Registry office after receiving confirmation of acceptance to produce hard copies of required papers and to have their identities verified.

The Companies Registrar certifies the registration and announces the news of the firm’s establishment in an institutional bulletin. The corporation acquires legal identity on the day of issuing the registration certificate. All interested entities will get a registration circular.

5. Company Seal

Seal makers frequently request a copy of the company’s registration certificate to create a company seal that accurately reflects the company’s name as recorded on the certificate of registration.


Iraq is ready for a fresh start following decades of misfortune. Dictatorship, repression, foreign invasion, terrorism, and civil war have left the nation in desperate need of capital and investment in nearly every industry. Investors also have an untapped market opportunity with 40 million customers looking for a fresh start.

Practical obstacles, including weak supply chains and acquiring insurance coverage, are very low on the list of problems, highlighting how undeveloped the marketplace is. The potential returns are significant for foreign businesses ready to take risks. However, doing business in Iraq is not easy, and anybody who has looked into the market knows that getting the correct legal and strategic guidance is crucial.

In essence, the agri-food and technology sectors are prime territories for investment and development in Iraq’s non-oil environment. For the time being, however, most investors are focused on Iraq’s reconstruction, as evidenced by the recent spate of contracts handed to international corporations — a very hopeful sign indeed.

Even for the most qualified and well-capitalized investors, doing business in post-conflict economies is a challenging prospect. Even the most enthusiastic investors are often discouraged by the underlying issues and inherent hazards. However, business people with a strong tolerance for risk can reap huge benefits. Iraq, on the other hand, is an economy where the costs and benefits are closely connected.

As the market improves, so will the economy, and if investors get in early, they can make huge profits. This does not come without significant hazards, though. The fact that it is a post-conflict country makes Iraq so appealing. There is a large peace dividend to be obtained as the country moves away from damaging and non-productive war and towards economic development.

Salt for Legal Services LLC

If your company is looking for investment options or doing business in Iraq and needs help with legal services, setting up a precense, compliance requirements, foreign judgment enforcement or taxation advisory, get in touch with SALT for Legal Services LLC. We are a reputable and reliable law firm in the Gulf region with over 40 years of business experience.

We are a full-service law practice based in Iraq trading under Salt for Legal Services LLC, and based in UAE trading under Salt & Associates dedicated to delivering the best legal advice and representation to clients in Iraq and the wider Middle East area, including international and local enterprises and high-profile individuals. Contact us to get started today.

Salt for Legal Services LLC
Mustafa Muayad
T: +964 780 5010 222