Legal forms of philanthropic organizations included in the law: Association, Endowment, Foundation, Society
Main social issues addressed by these organizations: Basic Needs, Early Childhood Education through High School, Workers’ Rights, Students’ Associations, Women's Rights, Arts and Culture
Average time established by law to register a philanthropic organization: More than 90 days
The law remains unclear about the time frame required to establish a philanthropic organization (PO). According to the NGO’s Executive Bylaw of Iran, Oversight Boards decide about operation license applications without any defined/expected timeframe (Article 8, Clause 5). According to the available data, it will take a minimum of 10-12 months to establish a PO in Iran.
Oversight Boards operate in national, provincial and county levels. On the provincial and county levels, the board is composed of the governor, a representative of the city or province’s Islamic Council and a representative of the city or province’s POs. On the national level, the Oversight Board is composed of relevant aid to the Minister of Interior, a representative of the province’s Islamic Council and a representative of the POs. The law does not define who is the representative of POs, what are the criteria for this representative, or who appoints this person.
Once the application is submitted, it will take 30 days for the National, Provincial or County Oversight Boards to issue the PO’s establishment permit. This is the only time frame defined in the Executive Bylaw. However, this does not mean that the PO can start its operations.
Please note that there are multiple organizations that issue POs’ operation permit, including:
- Interior Ministry issues operation permits in all areas and all national, provincial and county levels;
- Law Enforcement Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran issues operation permits for charities;
- State Welfare Organization of Iran (there is no explicit and clear information on the type of POs’ to whom the State Welfare Organization of Iran issues operation permit);
- Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance issues operation permit for cultural and religious POs; and
- Ministry of Sports and Youth issues operation permit to youth POs.
There is no information available on the average time established by law to register a PO through these organizations.
Average cost for registering a philanthropic organization: USD 60
The average cost for registering a PO varies due to the fact that no nominal cost is specified in the NGO’s Executive Bylaw. Registration cost may be lower in smaller and marginalized provinces and cities than in big cities. The registration cost also depends on which body is processing the PO’s registration, as each organization set their own internal registration cost. For example, the registration through the Ministry of Youth and Sports cost USD 6.5 in 2018. However, it was reported that a PO needed at least USD 120 to complete the registration process in 2020.
Government levels primarily regulating the incorporation of philanthropic organizations: Central/Federal Government, Local Government
As mentioned before, the Oversight Board that is composed of government officials at the national, provincial, and county levels primarily regulates incorporation of POs.