Private Security Legislation in Iraq

Hussein Najm - Associate - Litigation

Mohammed Taher Baghdad, Iraq

Private security legislation in Iraq is becoming increasingly important in Iraq for commercial purposes to create a safe business environment  for local and foreign investors. In 2017, the Iraqi President signed the Private Security Services Companies Law No. 54 of 2017 (the “Private Security Law”) into law. The Private Security Law gives priority to local companies and local personnel and places a larger barrier of entry into the private security market for foreign companies.

This article provides an overview of the Private Security Law, including but not limited to what constitutes a Security Service Company, licensing requirements, employment rules, and sanctions for failing to comply with the said law.

What are Security Services Companies?

Pursuant to the Private Security Law, Security Service Companies are local or foreign companies that provide guarding services to customers in Iraq. Contracts for security services must be approved and legalized by the Ministry of Interior.

Licensing Requirements for Security Service Companies

The Ministry of Interior is responsible for licensing and regulating Security Service Companies in Iraq. The Private Security Law provides priority to local applicants. Foreign and local applicants are generally required to provide (non-exahustive list):

  1. Corporate documents of the applicant;
  2. Address of the Company headquarters;
  3. Details of their intended security activities;
  4. Details of any weapons/armoury/arsenal possessed;
  5. Details of any wireless devices possessed;
  6. A Bank guarantee issued by an Iraqi governmental bank amounting to (two-hundred fifty thousand) 250,000,000 Iraqi Dinars (IQD) for local companies and (one-billion)  1,000,000,000 IQD for foreign companies.

In addition to the above, it is important to note Foreign Branches are required to obtain the approval of the Prime Minister’s office in order to be eligible to apply for the license.

Employees who are working in Security Service Companies

Pursuant to the Private Security Law, Security Service Companies are subject to strict employment rules. In general, all employees must be screened and approved by the Ministry of Interior. Foreign employees are subject to further approval by the Ministry of Defense and the National Security Agency. In addition, employment pre-requisites include (but are not limited to):

  1. His/her age must not be less than (18) years and not more than (55) years;
  2. He/she must be literate;
  3. He/she shall meet health and physical fitness standards certitied by a competent medical authority;
  4. He/she must pass a weapons exams;
  5. He/she must possess good morals and reputations;
  6. He/she must not have any previous convications for immoral acts, political felonies, or misdemeanors;
  7. He/she must submit a personal gurantee to the Ministry of Interior with a fixed value of 3,000,000 IQD (three-million).


Pursuant to the Private Security Law, entities that provide security services without holding the required licensing are liable to imprisonment and a fine of no less than (one-hundred million) 100,000,000 IQD.

For further information, please contact Mohammed Taher.