Golden Licenses for Investors

President Abdelfattah El Sisi recently ordered the competent Egyptian authorities to issue golden licenses to investors for a three-month period, in light of the government’s prioritization of investment projects.

What is the golden license?

The golden license is a one-step approval that includes the right to establish, operate, and manage an investment project, as well as a construction permit for the real estate necessary to execute the project.

Who is eligible for the golden license?

Originally, the golden license was only granted to investors executing national strategic projects or public-private partnerships (PPP), in accordance with Article 20 of Investment Law no. 72/2017. Such strategic projects were previously limited to five sectors:

  1. Public utilities and infrastructure
  2. Renewable energy
  3. Roads and transportation
  4. Ports
  5. Communications

Eligibility has now been expanded to include all investment projects for the next three months. If the initiative is successful, the Egyptian government may decide to make the decision permanent. To be eligible for the golden license, the investor must establish a joint stock company in accordance with Investment Law no. 72/2017, and the capital must be at least 50% of the project’s anticipated expenses.

How can you apply for the golden license?

Joint stock companies must submit the following documents to the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) to qualify for a golden license:

  1. A general investment plan prepared by a licensed Egyptian or international expert.
  2. A timeframe for the execution of the project.
  3. An affidavit agreeing to provide all utilities necessary for the project (water, sewage, electricity, communications, roads) and remove any construction violations that may occur
  4. An affidavit affirming compliance with all laws, regulations, and rules governing the company’s activities.

The Investment Authority reviews all applications and refers them to the Egyptian Cabinet for a final decision. Once the Egyptian Cabinet issues the golden license, it cannot be revoked by any other government entity.