How to Register a Company in Egypt: The Complete Process

Starting a business in Egypt? Want to register your company quickly? 

Look no further- this document has everything that you need to know in order to complete each stage of the process.

We are also looking to improve this document, which was created by Egypt's Competitiveness Project in an effort to standardize the registration process. Please send any feedback about these stages that you may have- including inaccuracies and corrections- to editor@wamda.com, or comment below.

 

ECP Version of Procedures for Starting a Capital Company in Egypt

Given the assumption of starting a limited liability company, the entrepreneur would register the company at General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), under law 159 (year 1981).

Procedure 1: Trade Name Clearance Certificate (done by client) 

Time to complete (days): 1

Cost to complete: no cost

Comment: Certificate is issued by the Commercial Registry. With the new CRA system by Sakhr the certificate will actually be issued. The current CRA system only checks the availability of the name but it does not reserve it. The new system will enable us to correctly implement the Trade Name law. The law says that the name should be unique so the CRA should be checking against all registered companies. They do not do that now, and they do not reserve a name. The new system will reserve the name for 30 days – time enough to register the company.

Procedure 2 Obtain a certificate from an authorized bank (done by client) 

Time to complete (days): 1

Cost to complete: EGP 300

Comment: The Bank of Alexandria branch at the General Authority for Free Zones and Investment (GAFI)

issues and delivers the certificate in 1–2 days. The bank certificate cost between EGP 200 to EGP

500, depending on the bank.

Procedure 3 Submit documents to the Companies Establishment Department, under GAFI (done by client)

Time to complete (days): 1

Cost to complete: see comment

Comment: Department of Companies is the old name. It is now the Companies Establishment Department under General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI)

The founder deposits the company documents at the reception desk, where they are reviewed immediately by a lawyer. The documents to be reviewed are:

1.     Trade Name Clearance Certificate

2.     Original  Bank Certificate

3.     Power of Attorney from all the founders

4.     Founders IDs

5.     Certified copy of auditor’s listing on Registry of Accountant and Auditors Association

6.     Application to GAFI

Notes:  Security Clearance for foreigners is now part of the WB assumption (100% local owners); WB report indicates “preliminary consent of General Authority of Manufacturing” this became Industrial Development Authority (IDA) via Presidential Decree in 2005. This consent is only required for manufacturers.   

The GAFI lawyer reviews the documents and issues an Articles of Association. This is the official contract of the company.

A GAFI employee calculates the fees associated with the company's establishment.

Fees for company establishment:

- Notary public fee: 0.25% of capital ( minimum of EGP 10 and a maximum of EGP 1,000).

- Establishment fees: 0.1% of capital (minimum of EGP 100 and maximum of EGP 1,000 according to Article 17 (d) of the Companies Law).

- Commercial Syndicate fee: EGP 125 (for capital less than or equal to EGP 500,000) or EGP 250

( for capital more than EGP 500,000).

- Publication fee: EGP 150 (for a limited liability company in Arabic) or EGP 300 (for a limited

Liability company in Arabic and English).

- Chamber of Commerce fees: 0.2% of capital (minimum of EGP 24 and maximum of EGP 2,000)

in addition to EGP 29 for the issuance of operation certificate.

- Commercial registration: EGP 51.

- Issuance of operation certificate: EGP 29.

You pay the amount on the receipt to Bank cashier. GAFI stamps the Articles of Association.


 

Procedure 4 Notarize company’s contract (done by client)

Time to complete(days): 1

Cost to complete: 0.25% of capital (minimum of EGP 10 and a maximum of EGP 1,000).

Comment: Public Notary reviews the documents again, particularly the Power of Attorney, then notarizes the Articles of Association.

Procedure 5 Obtain Chamber of Commerce Certificate (done by GAFI)

Time to complete(days): 1

Cost to complete: 0.2% of capital (minimum of EGP 24 and maximum of EGP 2,000)

Comment: GAFI employee will obtain the Chamber of Commerce Certificate (because the company is under Law 159) on behalf of the client and provide it to the client. The fee is collected in step 2.

Procedure 6 Issuance the notification of incorporation (done by GAFI)

Time to complete (days): 1

Cost to complete: no charge

Comment: When the articles of association are submitted, the competent authority must ratify them and issue a decree approving the establishment of the company. This decree is issued within 24 hours.

Procedure 7 Commercial Registry Certification (done by client)

Time to complete (days): 1

Cost to complete:

Comment: At the Commercial Registry office the lawyer (on behalf of the applicant) submits application to Commercial Registry along with the Chamber of Commerce certificate, the notification from GAFI and the original Article of Association. The Commercial Registry provides the original Commercial Registry certificate.

After the lapse of 15 days the company assumes legal responsibility and judicial personality. Within the 15 days if the competent authority has no objection, the Department of Companies is thereafter responsible for publishing the notice of incorporation in the Investment Gazette at the company's expense. (Note: This is true for companies under law 159. Under Law 8 the company acquires legal personality on the same day of registration.)

Procedure 8 Register for taxes (done by client)

Time to complete (days): 1-5 days (source website)

Cost to complete: no charge

Comment: Upon incorporation, the company can complete tax registration and obtain the tax cardat the one-stop shop’s tax counter. Upon obtaining the card, the company may choose to register for sales tax, provided that they have started production. Companies are obliged to register for sales tax only once they reach at least EGP 54,000 in sales for industrial activities and EGP 150,000 in sales for commercial activities.

The required documents include:

- the articles of association (this should not be required since the key document is now the commercial registry certificate)
- the powers of attorney
- the bank signature authentication to be issued to the appropriate person by the manager having the power to sign on behalf of the company
- the tax card
- an original extract from the company’s commercial register (certificate)
 and the original copy of the company’s lease agreement for its premises.

A new reform took place recently that will further reduce the time for this procedure a

result of automation of the tax office at the OSS and the tax authority.

Note: according to our research neither the bank signature authentication nor the company’s lease agreement is required. Source: Website of Sales Tax Authority. What source does the bank have? Also, the Tax Authority requires a list of branches of the company and their activities/purpose.

Procedure 9 Register employees with the National Authority of Social Insurance (done by client)

Time to complete (days): 1-5 days (source Customer Service Rep at NASI)

Cost to complete: no charge

Comment:  Social insurance provides compensation for disability, retirement (pension), unemployment, and work-related injuries. By law, employers are required to subscribe to the social insurance system.

Otherwise, they may be subject to sanctions. The employer must submit a fully completed, authority-issued application (Nos. 1 and 2) and the following documents to the competent authority’s office:

- Employer’s lease agreement for company premises
- Employer’s tax card
- Employee’s identification card and birth certificate (copy)
- Employee’s and employer’s graduation certificate
- A Commercial Registry certificate

National Authority of Social Insurance issues a social insurance ID number which is unique.

Note: NASI requires copy of Commercial Registry Certificate. This is not listed in the DB. Customer Service rep says the process takes 1 day to 1 week. And she says the applications are No. 1 and No. 7, not No. 2.

Source: Starting a Business in Egypt, Doing Business, World Bank Group (link)

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