Baghdad, Iraq – September 26 – Entrepreneurs in Baghdad can now register their businesses with ease thanks to a new "single-window” system launched by the Iraq government, the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) and the United Nations.
The online portal – business.mot.gov.iq – was developed to allow entrepreneurs to register a business, get a tax and social security number, pay fees, and collect registration certificates using one single contactless administrative window. Previously, dozens of separate steps, multiple in-person visits, and a variety of fees were required for business registration. The portal was built using methodologies developed from creating similar platforms in 30 countries.
“Iraq’s achievement is historic,” said Jonathan Ortmans, President of the Global Entrepreneurship Network. “This project has proved that government agencies can collaborate to make it quick and easy for entrepreneurs to start businesses that will drive the post-pandemic economy. This is no easy feat – and one where even advanced economies can easily fail.”
The “single-window” portal is a result of a multi-year collaboration between GEN and UNCTAD and the secretariat general of the council of ministers (COMSEC) that involves various Iraqi government agencies including the Ministry of Trade, the Baghdad Chamber of Commerce, the Iraqi Federation of Chambers of Commerce, the Company Registry bureau, and the Central Bank of Iraq. The project was made possible through the generous support of the U.S. government.
“With this platform, Iraq is joining a still select group of 30 to 40 countries where entrepreneurs can create companies entirely online,” said Frank Grozel, Coordinator of UNCTAD’s Business Facilitation Program. “As of today, entrepreneurs will no longer have to join long queues, fill out multiple paper forms or make multiple cash payments.”
The portal was launched during a demonstration attended by senior government officials including Iraq’s Minister of Trade, Dr. Ala’a Al-Jeburi, the Ambassador of the United States to Iraq, Matthew Tueller and the Head of the Iraq Government Procedures Simplification Committee, Ihsan Al Hakeem.
“Our support of the Online Single Window is also a measure of the support for the Iraqi government’s fight against corruption,” said Ambassador Tueller. “Streamlining business registration practices reduces the opportunities for graft in the registration process, which in turn will help to make Iraq a more competitive environment for attracting business investment.”
“(This is an) important and influential stage in the Iraqi economy to motivate national and foreign investors to participate in the promising Iraqi market,” said Al Hakeem.
GEN runs multiple programs in Iraq through partnerships with local entrepreneurship ecosystem leaders including Global Entrepreneurship Week (November 8-14, 2021), the Entrepreneurship World Cup Iraq and GEN’s signature startup community program – Startup Huddle – at “The Station” in Baghdad.