Foreign investment in Iran

Foreign investment is very important in international trade and Iran encouragements, support and concessions have been considered to encourage foreign investors. The "Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act" (FIPPA) approved in 2002 and its executive regulations which consider various encouragements for foreign investment, including equal treatment between foreign investors and Domestic investors. In the light of FIPPA, there is no discrimination against foreign investors and all facilities, benefits and exemptions will be given equally to foreign and domestic investors.
 
Definition of Foreign investment
in any case, the complete action can also be applied to investors who the Iranian government has entered into a two-sided investment agreement with their respective government, which provides them with a more favorable dealing. Also, in relation to other aspects of investment in Iran such as property ownership, employment and residence special facilities have been considered for investors.
All individuals, either foreigners or Iranians with foreign capital, can be benefited from FIPPA if they obtain an investment license from competent authorities.
According to FIPPA regulations, there is no difference between new investment and investment in an existing economic unit, all foreign investors can invest in a new project or an existing economic enterprise at any time. This investment may be done directly, in all areas allowed for the Iranian private sector or indirectly in the form of contractual arrangements such as civil partnership, buy back, construction, operation and transfer (BOT), etc.

Rules and regulation of foreign investment
Advantages and facilities provided by FIPPA are the following:
1: Assurance of compensation in case of nationalization or seize of capital
2: Free transfer of capital and profit from investment outside of Iran in the form of currency or goods
3: Possibility of complete foreign investment in investment plans
4: Possibility of referring investment disputes to international dispute resolution authorities
5: Providing of three years residence visas in Iran for foreign investors, managers, experts and their immediate family members with the possibility of extension 
6:  Organization for investment Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran
7: Necessary planning and preparation for holding meetings with different organizations 

Another organization that has taken many measures to attract foreign investment is the Tehran Stock Exchange. In the past few years, this organization has carried out many reform measures in order to make it compatible with international procedures and approaches in order to meet the diverse needs of investors. Tehran Stock Exchange Organization works to progress towards liberalization and internationalization. This organization with actions, such as list of single stock futures (SSF), reducing restrictions on foreign investment, simplifying foreign registration procedures and adjusting various trading systems and mechanisms so that they comply with international standards.

Rules and regulations for foreign investment 
after nearly forty-eight years, the new foreign investment law in Iran under the title of "Foreign Investment Encouragement and Support Law" was approved by the Islamic Council in 2002. This law replaced the "Law on Attracting and Supporting Foreign Investments" which was approved in 1955. Compared to the previous law, the Foreign Investment Promotion and Support Law has developed the legal framework and operating environment for foreign investors in Iran. 

Foreign investment License 
Issuing of investment license is short and simple, which starts with the official request of the foreign investor to the Organization for investment Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran, after that the request of the foreign investor is submitted within 15 working days by the organization to the Foreign Investment Board and If the legal conditions are met, the FIPPA license will be issued.

Documents and procedures for issuing a foreign investment license
Application form 
Establishment license/initial agreement/ primary agreement with the relevant organization in Iran
Official letter of the foreign investor to be sent to Organization for investment Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran
Background of foreign investors including a brief history of the company, year of establishment, field and scope of activity, or (if the foreign investor is present) photocopy of passport and resume
List of machines, equipment and parts that may be imported into the country as part of the capital of foreign investors (if any)
If part of the contribution of the foreign investor is in the form of technical knowledge, the draft contract explains the terms of technology transfer.