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Egypt – Self-Employment

Egypt is a land of opportunities for expats looking to start their own business or work as self-employed individuals. With a large population, growing economy, and favorable business climate, the country offers a wide range of opportunities for entrepreneurs. In this article, we will break down how self-employment works for expats in Egypt, provide a step-by-step guide on how to register as self-employed, discuss the possibility of working as a digital nomad in Egypt, breakdown how to start a company in Egypt, and explore incentives and programs to encourage expats to become self-employed or set up a company in Egypt.

How Self-Employment Works for Expats in Egypt

Expats looking to work as self-employed individuals in Egypt must obtain a work permit from the Ministry of Manpower and Immigration. This permit is required for any type of work, including self-employment. The process can be complex and time-consuming, involving various documents and procedures.

Self-employed individuals are responsible for their own taxes and social security contributions. They must register with the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) and obtain a tax identification number from the Tax Authority.

It is worth noting that Egypt has a relatively low cost of living, making it an attractive location for expats looking to work as self-employed individuals or start their own businesses.

Registering as Self-Employed in Egypt

Here is a detailed step-by-step guide on how an expat can register as self-employed in Egypt:

  1. Obtain a work permit – Expats must obtain a work permit from the Ministry of Manpower and Immigration.

  2. Register with the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) – Self-employed individuals must register with GAFI and obtain a tax identification number from the Tax Authority.

  3. Register with the Social Insurance Organization (SIO) – Register with the SIO for social security coverage.

  4. Obtain necessary permits and licenses – Depending on the type of business, self-employed individuals may need to obtain additional permits and licenses at the national or municipal level.

  5. Open a bank account – Self-employed individuals must open a business bank account in Egypt.

  6. Set up benefits – Self-employed individuals must set up benefits such as social security and pension contributions.

Can You Work as a Digital Nomad in Egypt?

Egypt is becoming an increasingly popular destination for digital nomads, thanks to its affordable cost of living, fast internet, and favorable business climate. However, digital nomads must obtain a work permit and register as self-employed individuals, as they would for any other type of work.


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How to Start a Company in Egypt

Starting a company in Egypt involves a similar process to registering as self-employed, but with additional steps. Here is a breakdown of the process:

  1. Determine your business structure – Decide on the legal structure of your business, which could be a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC).

  2. Reserve a company name – Reserve a company name with the Commercial Registry Office.

  3. Draft articles of association – Depending on the type of business, draft articles of association and have them notarized.

  4. Obtain a taxpayer identification number – Obtain a taxpayer identification number from the Tax Authority.

  5. Register your business – Register your business with the Commercial Registry Office, including obtaining a tax identification number and registering with the Social Insurance Organization (SIO).

  6. Obtain necessary permits and licenses – Depending on the type of business, you may need to obtain additional permits and licenses at the national or municipal level.

  7. Open a bank account – Open a business bank account in Egypt.

  8. Set up benefits for employees – If the company will have employees, set up benefits such as social security and pension contributions.

    Step-by-Step Guide on How an Expat Can Set Up a Company in Egypt

    Here is a detailed step-by-step guide on how an expat can set up a company in Egypt:

    1. Determine your business structure – Decide on the legal structure of your business, which could be a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC).

    2. Reserve a company name – Reserve a company name with the Commercial Registry Office.

    3. Draft articles of association – Depending on the type of business, draft articles of association and have them notarized.

    4. Obtain a taxpayer identification number – Obtain a taxpayer identification number from the Tax Authority.

    5. Register your business – Register your business with the Commercial Registry Office, including obtaining a tax identification number and registering with the Social Insurance Organization (SIO).

    6. Obtain necessary permits and licenses – Depending on the type of business, you may need to obtain additional permits and licenses at the national or municipal level.

    7. Open a bank account – Open a business bank account in Egypt.

    8. Set up benefits for employees – If the company will have employees, set up benefits such as social security and pension contributions.

    Incentives and Programs to Encourage Expats to Become Self-Employed or Set Up a Company in Egypt

    The Egyptian government has implemented various incentives and programs to encourage foreign investment and entrepreneurship in the country. These include:

    • Free zones – The government has established several free zones throughout the country, offering tax incentives and other benefits to businesses.

    • Investment promotion – The General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) offers various services to assist foreign investors in setting up their businesses in Egypt.

    • SME support – The government provides support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through various programs and initiatives.

    • Export support – The government provides support to companies looking to export their products and services, including financial assistance and trade missions.

    • Technology parks – The government has established technology parks in various locations throughout the country, offering support and resources to technology startups.

    Overall, Egypt offers a favorable business climate for expats looking to work as self-employed individuals or start their own businesses. With a large population and growing economy, the country presents many opportunities for entrepreneurship and investment. However, the registration process can be complex and time-consuming, and it is important to seek professional advice and assistance to ensure compliance with all legal requirements.


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