Foreign companies can establish representation in Egypt, liaison, or scientific offices. The object of such offices is limited to studying the Egyptian market and exploring the possibility for their companies to manufacture or carry out business in Egypt.
This is without actually performing any kind of commercial activity including commercial agency work, or performing any activity which may generate income.
Representation, liaison, or scientific offices should be registered at the Companies Department before they are allowed to work in Egypt.
The manager of the representation, liaison, or scientific office can be a foreigner. But the manager of a scientific office of a pharmaceutical company, which is registered at the Imports and Exports Authority, must be an Egyptian who is a licensed member of one of the medical professions in Egypt.
There is no minimum capital for a representation, liaison, or scientific office, but the funds required to establish any such office and to run it should be transferred from abroad in foreign convertible currency and deposited at one of the accredited banks in Egypt.
However, scientific offices of pharmaceutical companies are allowed to use the royalties and promotion allowances accruing thereto as indicated above in meeting their expenses or part thereof.
On the other hand, the managers and employees of these offices are subject to the salary tax on the salaries and other remunerations they receive.
To register a representative office, the concerned foreign company, or its attorney, should submit an application to this effect to the Companies Department (or the Imports and Exports Control Authority in the case of scientific offices of pharmaceutical companies) with the following documents:
1) A legalized copy of the memorandum and articles of association of the foreign company with a recognized translation, which must be certified.
2) A legalized copy of the company's board of directors' resolution to establish a representative office in Egypt to study the Egyptian market and explore production possibilities without being engaged in any trading or profit-oriented activities.
3) Appoint a manager for the representative office.
4) A certificate from one of the accredited banks in Egypt stating that the foreign company has a convertible foreign currency balance (no minimum amount is required) and that the currency has been transferred from abroad.
5) A certified check for L.E. 1000 as registration fees in the name of the Ministry of Foreign Trade.
6) A copy of the rental contract of the representative office in Egypt.
7) Registration of a representative office usually takes about one month to complete.