Business in Erbil

Erbil (Arbil, Hawler) has been a melting pot since time immemorial. Today, several different nationalities live and work together in harmony here. The composition and style of the local working population reflects this. They are multilingual, multicultural, tolerant, consensus-oriented, and politically and culturally neutral. The Erbil metropolitan Area stands out from the crowd as a centre of international trade. The region combines transport and logistics expertise with an in-depth knowledge of all the relevant middle-East and European markets.

Recommend Print

Expanding a business

Saturday, 22 May 2010

It is an established fact that foreign companies with an office in Erbil grow faster than anywhere else. A popular part of the service offered by iErbil is to support companies as they expand and develop.

As companies grow, a shortage of the space they require for their developing needs is a serious threat. A new, bigger location becomes a priority. Whether this means a move to a new or existing premises, iErbil can help. We know the real estate market in Erbil city. We can help with the right connections, and with making a business plan for your next move in the region.

But, we can also help you grow. And when it comes to nurturing growth, we can provide the most added value.
Erbil city is one of the most growing knowledge-intensive economic regions in the Middle-East. Measured by the number of active businesses, it has more knowledge institutions, business services and creative companies than anywhere else.

The gap, however, between knowledge acquisition and creation, and its application in products, services and processes, stills leaves something to be desired. And that certainly applies to companies with non-Kurdisch owners.

This is why we take an active ‘knowledge broker’ role among the various centres of excellence in Erbil city, and foreign companies that can benefit from them -- and add something towards knowledge creation. We are doing this through knowledge auctions, for example, and organising knowledge excursions for foreign entrepreneurs.

iErbil also plays a leading role in identifying promising initiatives and bringing them to this region. A case in point is the idea of setting up of pools of highly specialised (and expensive) employees or expatriates, to be shared by several companies. And we also bring organisations together. We challenge them to look beyond their own disciplinary borders, and to develop innovative new ideas or concepts.

Access to knowledge and creativity is a prerequisite for successful growth. Attracting the right staff, with the right skills, is just as important. In this area too, the advisers of iErbil can help.

The labour market in Erbil city has been stretched in recent years. To succeed as a relative newcomer in this competitive environment, you need an awareness of the current working conditions, and how to make the most of them. We can provide you with the necessary information. We can also put you in touch with established and respected employment mediators.

They can then bring your company employment package in line with market norms. They can also develop a training and education programme for your employees that focuses on the skills you need.



Foreign companies wishing to register a branch in the Kurdistan Region

Most of the procedures outlined below can be undertaken by a local lawyer and accountant. The following documents and forms can be provided in either English, Kurdish or Arabic:

  1. Certified copy of company's registered name.
  2. Company registration certificate, authorised by the company's country of origin, and certified by the nearest Iraqi embassy or official KRG representation abroad.
  3. Letter from the main company, on company letterhead, authorising the opening of a branch office in Kurdistan. This letter should identify the branch office's lawyer and accountant (both must be Iraqi), and the authorised branch manager (can be any nationality). At least three residents of the Kurdistan Region as company employees and their positions stated. This letter should also be certified by the nearest Iraqi embassy or an official KRG representation abroad.
  4. Deposit of funds (exact amount depends on the type of company) to be held in escrow by the Kurdistan Regional Government during the period the company operates in the Kurdistan Region. The funds will be returned when the company leaves the Region.
  5. A copy of the main company's financial statements covering the previous year.
  6. A branch registration fee of 200,000 Iraqi Dinars (approximately 175 US Dollar).
  7. Certified rental contract for the branch premises in the Kurdistan Region.
  8. Certified copies of work contracts (if any) that the company has signed in the Kurdistan Region.
  9. The completion of the Foreign Branch or Trade Office Registration Form at http://www.briraq. com/English/formsandinstructs.htm (please note the website is currently unavailable), to reserve and register the branch office.
  10. Certified copies of the passports of foreign partners/employees, and ID cards of Iraqi employees.
  11. Letter from an Iraqi lawyer affirming the validity and legality of all the above documents.
  12. The KRG Ministry of Trade General (Company Registration Directorate) is responsible for company and branch registration.