In order to improve the efficiency and transparency of Iranian administration and make Iran’s business environment friendlier to international businesses, the Iranian government is implementing an electronic and IT-based system. For this purpose, on September 2014, Iranian government, Iran’s Cyberspace Supreme Council and Iran’s Administrative Supreme Council have defined an E-Government project (the “Project”) to be implemented in different phases in order to create an electronic platform through which the clients could have access to governmental services on a non-discriminatory and transparent manner.
The first phase of the Project, which was launched in August 2017 by the Minister of Communication and Information Technology, offers 440 electronic services from 51 different governmental agencies and organizations which include in particular services from Iran’s Ministry of Economy, Iranian National Tax administration, Iran’s Post Company, Iran’s Ministry of Health, Social Security Organization and National Organization for Civil Registration.
The Project, the second phase of which is expected to be launched by February 2018, facilitates the offering of certain business-related services to international companies and foreign investors in Iran.
Set out below are some of the most useful electronically services now offered to international companies in Iran.
Online Requesting of Investment License
In accordance with FIPPA, foreign investors in Iran are offered the possibility to apply for an Investment License which provides them with numerous advantages, protects them from possible expropriations and enables them to benefit from the supports and facilities available for domestic investors. The system, which is available in English, has been set up by the Organization for Investment, Economic and Technical Assistance (OIETA) which is now the official body responsible for handling the foreign investment affairs and issuing Investment Licenses. The whole process, from the filing the application to the issue of the Investment License, can now be conducted online, through the Foreign Investment Single Window System available on www.iisw.ir.
Although this system has been set up recently and the required connections with other organizations are not yet fully operational, it is estimated that foreign investors will be able to benefit from this e-service in the near future.
Online Company Registration
Online registrations of companies before the Company Registration Office of Iran are now possible through a single dedicated website: http://irsherkat.ssaa.ir. The system shall provide the applicant with a tracking code enabling a centralized treatment of the application and avoiding to refer the matter to different company registration institutes.
However, this online service is only available for the time being in Persian. In addition, the online platform has added certain new steps and new documents are now necessary in order to establish a legal entity in Iran.
The government has set up an application known as “Mobile Government” to be made available shortly, the purpose of which is to offer an integrated 24-hour assistance service from different governmental organizations. Activation of this application allows, the holder of a mobile phone to have access to an e-government system providing different types of services such as integrated insurance services, services related to Iran Standard Organization, Free Trade Zones Organization, National Organization for Civil Registration, etc. The trial version of this application was launched in early September 2017 providing access to 27 different governmental services.
An eProcurement System for Iranian government, known as SETAD is launched, which is an online means of procuring necessary goods and services by Iran’s public and governmental organizations (sales, auctions and tenders).
According to Article 50 of the Iran’s Permanent Mandates of Development Plans Act 2017, all Iranian organizations which are subject to the Law on Holding Tenders 2005, and all other public agencies and organization shall mandatorily perform and execute the entire process of a transaction (from inquiry, calling for tender, distribution and receipt of documents, the opening of offers, concluding contracts and receiving payments and guarantees to other probable stages of modification, amendment, cancellation or termination) electronically and through the SETAD system.
Following Iran’s Council of Ministers’ decision, all executive organizations subject to the Law on Holding Tenders 2005 (including public and non-governmental organizations), shall make sure, in accordance with timetable advised by the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade, that all their small (up to approximately 5500 EUR), medium (more than approximately 5500 EUR up to 55000 EUR) and large (more than 55000 EUR) transactions, including sales, auctions and tenders occur through SETAD.
In order to maintain the safety and security of these type of transactions, the applicants shall first obtain an Attestation of Electronic Signature, for the purpose of which, applicants shall first download the application form from https://www.setadiran.ir and then submit the application form along with the required documents to Electronic Signature Attestation offices.