I know that you have various business interests. You have harbored many of them in your heart and now you feel it is time you actualized them. If you are planning to invest in Iran, allow me to highlight a few things about the country so that you may not be disappointed in the end. Iran is a major oil producer that has been rated as one of the biggest oil and gas producers in the world. I want you to know that you are now entering a country that has had a number of sanctions, some of which are still standing while others have been lifted. Regardless of the business venture that you want to engage in while in Iran, make sure that you read through this so that you do not find yourself in not so pleasant circumstances. I have been in Iran before and I have also done a bit of business in the nation. I have interacted with the government’s policies in business as well as been affected by the outstanding sanctions.
I need you to know that the financial year in Iran starts on 21st March and ends on the 20th March of the year that follows. The country has gradually developed the International Financial Reporting Standards even though this differs slightly with the national standards of the country. For any business that you are doing, I know you must have a balance sheet, a report from the auditor, and a profit and loss account. If you do not have these, I advise you to get a trained person to help you prepare them since the Iranian government does not compromise on this. You will be required to submit correctly audited financial statements every year. I was once a victim of failing to submit this and it did not go well for me. My company was fined heavily with threats to withdraw our license. I highly recommend that submit your financial statements to the authorities so as to avoid altercations. My company is among the ones that are supposed to be audited by Iranian certified Public Accountants. If yours is one of them, ensure that you are completely compliant.
The nature of tax in Iran is Value Added Tax (VAT). It is charged at 8%. I will refer you to the VAT Law so that you may get to know the products that are exempted from this tax. There are several of them and I do not want you to guess. There are other consumption taxes that are charged on products. For instance, petrol and tobacco products are taxed at 20 percent and 12 percent in that order. Any local company pays company taxes of 25 percent, similar to any foreign company.
If you are planning to trade in shares, real estate, and immovable properties, I advise you to consult the authorities so that you know how much to pay in taxes. I can confirm that you are coming to a country that has a different tax system than yours and the authorities may be harsher than those in your country. Do not attempt to cover up any business in the name of evading tax. I tell you that you will be deported just like some friends of mine who attempted to go that route. Before they were deported, my friends had their fingerprints taken so that that they may never step into the country again in the name of business.
However, I am not trying to instill fear in you. I am only trying to tell you what you may not read or hear someone telling you. Be that as it may, your choice to invest in Iran deserves applause. I urge you to be among the foreign companies that are eyeing the newly found freedom to do business in Iran. The previous sanctions that existed sent most of the companies away and I was also among them. With the lifting of the sanctions, I can tell that the country is now investment-friendly and many more businesses are coming to Iran. There are immense opportunities which I would like to pass along to you.
Do you have the capital? Seize the moment. Come and invest in Iran the fourth largest producer of oil. I can highlight some of the businesses you may try. Try electronics, pharmaceuticals, or transport. I have friends who have tried these and they are doing well. Why not you?