Sudan - Country Commercial Guide
Licensing Requirements for Professional Services

Includes license requirements for key professional services that are open to U.S. service providers.

Last published date: 2022-07-30

The general license allows U.S. academic institutions to establish and operate exchange programs with academic institutions in Sudan, as set forth in the general license.  The general license also authorizes, for the benefit of persons in Sudan, the administration by U.S. persons for professional certificates and university entrance examinations and the conduct by U.S. persons of professional training seminars in multiple subject areas on a not-for-profit basis.  In addition, the general license permits certain U.S. persons to conduct research in Sudan for noncommercial studies.  Finally, the general license also authorizes certain financial transactions and, subject to specified restrictions, the release of technology and software to Sudanese students attending school in the United States.

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Sudan has put in place a relatively open investment legislative framework and many laws are in line with international good practices.  However, their implementation is often impeded by the absence of secondary legislation, insufficient institutional capacity, and lack of coordination between different levels of government.  Sudan’s investment authority lists the process by which businesses must register to operate in Sudan at: http://www.sudaninvest.org/English/Default.htm.

The website outlines procedures for companies that seek to invest, including forming and ending business relationships and license applications.  There is no online business registration process.  A foreign company seeking to start a business must:

  • Apply for registration with the Commercial Registrar and reserve a company name
  • Notarize the memorandum and articles of association
  • Notify the taxation chambers
  • Register with the Commercial Registrar
  • Apply for a tax identification number with the taxation chambers
  • Register for VAT with the taxation chambers
  • Register with the labor authorities
  • Enroll employees in social security with the Social Insurance Fund
  • Obtain a company seal from the Sudan Currency Printing Press Company.

Sudanese Legal Requirements

Despite the legal protections guaranteed under the National Investment Encouragement Act of 2013, there are foreign investment restrictions in the transportation sector, specifically in railway, freight transportation, inland waterways barge service, and airport operations.  Most telecommunications and media, including television broadcasting and newspaper publishing, are closed to foreign capital participation.  Foreign ownership is also restricted in the electrical power generation and financial services sectors.  In addition to those overt statutory ownership restrictions, a comparatively large number of sectors are dominated by government monopolies, including those mentioned above.  Such monopolies, together with a high perceived difficulty of obtaining required operating licenses, make it more difficult for foreign companies to invest.  During the CLTG, authorities were reviewing these regulations, signaling a desire toward commercial legal reform to better attract foreign direct investment.  However, these reforms efforts have stalled under military authorities.