Egypt Commercial Law

Business Forms and Structures

Companies Law

Investors interested in establishing businesses in Egypt are subject to four laws: Corporate Law No. 159 of 1981; Investment Law No. 8 of 1997; New Communities Law No. 59 of 1979; and the Desert Land Law No. 143 of 1981. All companies established in Egypt are governed by the Corporate Law No. 159 of 1981 and the Commercial Law of 1883. Foreign companies may receive incentives and guarantees granted by other laws provided that they will be working in one of the fields prescribed therein.

Investment Law No. 8 of 1997

The Investment Law No. 8 of 1997 specifies those fields in which a company may receive the incentives and guarantees. These fields include: reclamation and cultivation of barren and desert lands; animal, poultry and fish production; industry and mining; hotels, motels, boarding houses, tourist villages, tourist travel and transport; transport of goods in cooling vans, cold stores for preservation of agricultural products, industrial products, food stuffs, containers stations and grain silos; aviation transportation and the services directly connected therewith; overseas maritime transport; all service for jigging and exploration operations, transport and delivery of gas; housing projects, the units of which are leased wholly empty for non-administrative housing purposes; the infrastructure comprising drinking water, drainage water, electricity, roads and communications; hospitals and medical treatment centers which offer 10 percent of their capacity free of charge; financial leasing; guaranteeing subscription to securities; risk capital; production of computer software systems; and projects funded by the social funds for development.

Corporate Law No. 159 of 1981

The principal forms of companies under the Corporate Law No. 159 of 1981 are: the joint stock company and the limited liability company. These two forms of companies are the preferred form of incorporation for foreign investors.

Joint stock companies working under the umbrella of the Investment Law No. 8 of 1997, may be wholly controlled by a foreigner. Also, limited liability companies may be 100 percent foreign owned provided that at least one of the general managers is an Egypt National.