Expand Business in Iraq

Global Upside helps businesses expand into Iraq by providing talent acquisition, human resources, accounting, payroll, tax, incorporation, and professional employer organization (PEO)/employer of record (EOR) services. Our comprehensive offerings create an end-to-end solution that helps you establish your business and optimize your operations, all while maintaining compliance with Iraqi laws and regulations.

The hiring and incorporation processes in Iraq are often complex, time-consuming, and involve numerous legal and compliance challenges. Global Upside simplifies these processes and lifts the compliance burden from your business. Our teams have the experience and expertise required to help you establish a legal entity in Iraq. We also offer PEO/EOR solutions to companies interested in hiring employees quickly, without setting up a legal entity in the country.

Capital City

Baghdad

Currency

Iraqi Dinar (IQD)

Language

Arabic, Kurdish

Government

Federal Parliamentary Republic

Country Overview

Iraq, known as Mesopotamia in ancient times was the world’s earliest civilizations. The modern nation-state of Iraq was formed following World War I.  Petroleum is Iraq’s most valued mineral and the top exports are crude petroleum, refined petroleum, petroleum coke, tropical fruits, and gold.

  • Iraq ranks 51 in the world economy in terms of nominal GDP.
  • Iraq ranks as the 19th largest economy in Asia.
  • Iraq ranks as 3rd largest crude oil exporter.

Legal Entity Setup

Options for setting up a legal entity in Iraq include:

Limited Liability Company (LLC

Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a form of establishment that requires 1 director and 1 shareholder both of whom can be foreign nationals. The shareholders enjoy the right of pre-emption with respect to the share transfer.

Branch office (BO)

A foreign parent organization may form a branch office in Iraq which acts as an expansion of the parent organization given the parent organization has secured an agreement from the Iraqi Government, or an agreement with a prime contractual worker who is contracted with the Iraqi Government. A branch office may only administer the commercial activities allowed by its parent organization and is further bound by the tasks regarded by the agreement upon which it relies to establish its presence in Iraq.

Representative Office (RO)

Representative office (RO) is a kind of establishment that may simply participate in business developments and marketing activities, and hence cannot enlist in business activity in Iraq. A representative office may be transformed into a branch office if an administration contract, or an agreement with a prime contractual worker of the Iraqi Government, is secured.

Joint Stock Company (JSC)

Joint Stock Company (JSC) is a form of establishment that needs a minimum of 5 investors and 5 directors, regardless of their nationality. Mandatorily all directors need to hold at least 1,000 shares in their company.

Joint Venture Company (JV)

Joint Venture Company (JV) can be established by incorporating a JSC or an LLC with another foreign or local organization. All the parties that are involved need to determine a stockholder agreement before the incorporation.

It takes approximately five to six weeks to establish a legal entity set up in Iraq, depending on the kind of establishment required.

Human Resources

The fundamental medium that administers employment in the private sector in Iraq is the Labor Law (37/2015), which replaced its antecedent, Law 71/1987, in 2016.

According to the Labor Law in Iraq, employment agreements may either be in written or oral, however, the written format is common. Employment contracts can be indefinite or fixed-term in duration. The employment agreement should contain the following details:

  • Name of the employer
  • Type and address of the organization
  • Name, date of birth, qualifications, profession, nationality, and residence of the employee
  • Nature, type, date of commencement, and duration of employment
  • Remuneration, increments, allowances, payroll frequency
  • Working hours

Payroll

Salaries, in Iraq, are to be paid in Iraqi dinars, unless otherwise stated in the employment agreement. Employers can pay salaries via checks, bank transfers, or payment orders.

Accounting

Financial reporting requirements in Iraq is established by the Iraqi Company Law No. 21 of 1997. As per the law, all organizations must exercise IFRS for small and mid-sized businesses. Complete IFRS are needed to be utilized by organizations whose protections are traded on an open market, private banks, private shared organizations; and consultancy organizations.

Tax & Compliance

Corporate Tax

The corporate tax rate in Iraq is 15%.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

Iraq does not have any VAT. However, a 10% allowance can be made against the rental salary from equipment, property, and plant regarding deflation and perpetuation costs. The balance of 90% is subject to a 10% income tax.

Data Privacy

Iraq does not have any systematized law which regulates data protection; however, data protection is governed under different laws. These include the Iraqi Penal Code No. 111 of 1969, the Iraqi Constitution, the Iraqi Civil Code, and various other laws that are sector-specific. Whilst a data protection law has been recently passed, it is only applicable to government organizations and the private sector remains largely ungoverned and contingent to partial rules.

Anti-Bribery & Anti-Corruption Law

There are three major anti-corruption laws in Iraq and they are the –

  • Inspectors General
  • Commission of Integrity
  • Board of Supreme Audit

Criminal acts such as active and passive bribery, extortion, and abuse of office are regulated under the Accountability Act.