Commercial activities in Egypt

The Trade Code No. 17 of 1999 is the most important source of commercial laws in Egypt. The Trade Code governs trade in general, commercial obligations and contracts such as transfer of technology, commercial agency and brokerage, banking transactions in general, commercial documents, bankruptcy and composition. According to the Trade Code, if contracting parties choose specific law to govern their commercial relation, then such law shall be applicable law to their commercial relation. In case of absence of the choice of law, the provisions of the Trade Code shall govern their commercial relation, and then the rules of trading practices and customs shall be applicable to their commercial relation. However, if no trading practices or customs exist, then the provisions of the Civil Code shall be applicable.

If the contract is commercial with respect to one of its parties, then the provisions of the Trade Code shall be applicable only to the obligations of that party. However, the provisions of the Civil Code shall be applicable to the obligation of the other party.

According to the Commercial Registry Law No. 34 of 1976, companies and traders are prohibited from transacting any kind of commercial business in Egypt except after the registration in the Commercial Registry. The commercial register is the company’s identity card which shall indicates main data about the company such as company’s headquarters and branches (if any), duration, object, issued and authorized capital, authorized persons and their powers, boards of directors and commercial mortgage (if any).

Corporate governance

The Companies Law No. 159 of 1981 is the basic law of corporate governance in Egypt. The Companies Law governs incorporation requirements, legal forms, financial structure, management, shareholders rights, merger and acquisition, liquidation and dissolution of companies.