New Jurisdiction: Iran (1,690,000 companies)


Hot on the heels of the US withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear deal and introduction of new sanctions, OpenCorporates is currently adding Iran to its database. The Iranian register adds over 1.6 million companies, which brings us that much closer to our next big milestone – 150 million companies! The data for Iran comes from the Legal Entities’ National ID Portal, which is published by the Company Registration General Office.

Previously, entities were registered in Iran by regional registration units using a mostly paper-based register, and they were allocated a local registration number. This number did not uniquely identify companies on a national basis, so the Central Registrar was created in order to automate company creation, along with use of a new country-wide company identification number, known as the National ID.

As a document published by the register explains, the decision to centralise was in response to the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ survey – Iran ranked 107 in 2014, requiring 8 stages and 16 days to register a company.

Centralising the register and making that data available to the public has a number of benefits for both businesses and societies, including streamlining registration processes and costs, reducing administrative corruption, improving tax receipts, reducing the number of unregistered businesses, and improving transparency by making all of this data publicly available.

Data Attributes

The following fields have been mapped:

  • Company Number
  • Company Type
  • Incorporation Date
  • Dissolution Date (if applicable)
  • Company Name
  • Current Status
  • Branch (if applicable)
  • Registered Company Address
  • Date Retrieved from the source

The entire dataset published in the public registry is in Persian. We have given the English translation (provided by our translators) along with the original Persian text for company types and company statuses.

Iran recently celebrated Nowruz (Persian New Year), and according to the Persian calendar the year is now 1397. During our initial analysis of the company register at this time, we found that the whole website was closed in celebration of Nowruz for up to three days – something we had not yet seen for any other jurisdiction. We have converted Persian dates to the Gregorian calendar (i.e. ISO 8601) using the Parsi date parser.

As part of our rigorous data testing processes, we noticed some data quality issues in the official register. Some incorporation and dissolution dates appeared to be very far in the future – up to the year 4000! For the time being, we have excluded those obviously inaccurate dates from the company data. We hope that if and when these dates are corrected in the official register, we will be able to display them confidently on our website.

We also found that a significant number of companies are registered with an address postal code of “1111111111” – this is a code used by Iran Post for addresses that have not yet been assigned new postal codes.

In addition to the companies register, the National ID Portal contains other registrations, including those of institutes, state organisations such as ministries and local municipalities, as well as health & education bodies. We will look at potentially including these entries in OpenCorporates in the near future.

With thanks to…

What we do at OpenCorporates would not be possible without the help and expertise of a wide network of collaborators and supporters.

So, we would like to say a big ممنون to all those that helped us with our research, provided translations (Google Translate was wildly inaccurate), and patiently answered all of our questions!

Photo by Farzad Mohsenvand on Unsplash

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