1. When was the US-Iran Chamber of Commerce established?
The US-Iran Chamber of Commerce (the Chamber) is an independent, nonpartisan entity established in 2014, incorporated in Washington, D.C., and registered as a 501(c)(6) tax-exempt nonprofit organization under the Internal Revenue Code. As an independent organization, the Chamber is neither affiliated with, nor does it receive any benefit from, any government.
2. What does it mean to be a 501(c)(6) organization?
Under the Internal Revenue Code, section 501(c)(6) applies to business leagues, chambers of commerce, boards of trade, and other similar organizations. A 501(c)(6) organization must consist of members sharing a common business interest. The members may be individuals or companies, even if these companies operate on a for-profit basis. The Chamber is registered with the IRS as a tax-exempt, non-profit organization under section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code.
3. What services does the US-Iran Chamber of Commerce provide?
The Chamber provides a range of services through its two divisions, the US-Iran Chamber of Commerce and the Iranian-American Chamber of Commerce. Each division offers its own membership tiers. The Chamber also may develop a specific services package depending on a member’s needs. The list of services that are currently offered can be found here. The services provided by the Chamber are subject to licensing requirements and shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
4. What is the role of the Iranian-American Chamber of Commerce?
The thinking behind this division is that many other ethnic groups and minorities have their own dedicated chambers of commerce. Chambers of commerce allow these communities to generate a stronger voice and greater positive recognition in society, which is essential to their continued success. Iranian-Americans are high-achieving in business and commerce, and commerce is a generally neutral field that almost everyone is comfortable working with. The goal is to develop and foster a strong chamber with thousands of Iranian-American members who have access to business development opportunities, referral networks, legal counsel, visa/travel support, assistance making constituent requests to local and government representatives, and much more.
5. What is the relationship between the United States-Iran Chamber of Commerce and the Iranian-American Chamber of Commerce?
The “United States-Iran Chamber of Commerce” is the umbrella organization. It is styled this way because the Chamber was founded in 2014 and its existence coincided with the JCPOA initiative. The Chamber’s work has involved working with companies, compliance officers and legal counsel to ensure sanctions-compliant Iran-related business. The Chamber has remained neutral on trade promotion/demotion and political affairs, and has maintained a policy of assisting its members with staying compliant with U.S. sanctions laws regarding Iran, whatever those laws may be, particularly when it comes to sanctions compliance and due diligence. The “Iranian-American Chamber of Commerce” is a separate division of the United States-Iran Chamber of Commerce. It is separate because of its distinct mission and purpose to focus on the Iranian-American business and professional community, and because the goals of the Iranian-American Chamber of Commerce are best achieved with a tailored and specific approach.
6. How do I become a member of the US-Iran Chamber of Commerce?
It is easy for businesses, associations, and other entities to join the Chamber and receive the services and benefits of membership, consistent with legal and regulatory rules. The Chamber conducts a mandatory compliance review of all entities that apply for membership with the US-Iran Chamber of Commerce, and may request certain documentation concordant with its review. To discuss the Chamber’s membership tiers and service options in more detail, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. What services and benefits do I receive as a member of the US-Iran Chamber of Commerce?
A description of the membership benefits, discounts, and services is included in the membership packages for the US-Iran Chamber of Commerce and Iranian-American Chamber of Commerce, and vary depending upon the membership tier. Benefits and services vary among the tiers of membership, as well as member type (i.e., law firm, business, association, individual), consistent with applicable laws and regulations. Please contact us at email@example.com for additional details.
8. Can you share whether a certain company is a member of the US-Iran Chamber of Commerce?
As a matter of Chamber policy, the US-Iran Chamber of Commerce does not make any statements regarding the membership status of any entity. Membership in the Chamber is open to any entity, subject to compliance review and any applicable laws and regulations. Membership with the Chamber does not imply the Chamber’s endorsement of any entity or its activities. Questions regarding membership should be directed to the entity directly.
9. How can I work with the US-Iran Chamber of Commerce to market my product/service?
If you are interested in working with the US-Iran Chamber of Commerce to market your product or service, you may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
10. How can I advertise my product/service to Chamber members?
The Chamber provides entities the opportunity to offer our members special discounts, sponsor the Chamber’s print publications and web-based media, and have a presence at Chamber events. For more information, please contact us at email@example.com.
11. Can the US-Iran Chamber of Commerce tell me whether a certain company is legitimate?
Aside from the Chamber’s business vetting assistance services, note that the Chamber is not a federal government agency, has no relation to the U.S. or Iranian governments, and therefore, has no authority to conduct investigations on specific companies. In the U.S., the Better Business Bureau is one source for gathering information about a company, as well as state and local consumer protection agencies. With respect to foreign and/or Iranian entities, the Chamber provides its members with advisory services, which include business vetting assistance, within the scope of applicable laws and regulations.
12. Is my contribution to the US-Iran Chamber of Commerce tax-deductible?
Contributions to section 501(c)(6) organizations are deductible as trade or business expenses if ordinary and necessary in the conduct of the taxpayer’s business. The donee organization may be required to make certain disclosures and pay a proxy in connection with the dues payment. However, they are not deductible as charitable contributions on the donor’s federal income tax return. For additional guidance, please consult with the appropriate legal and accounting professionals or obtain further information through the IRS.
13. Are there career opportunities at the Chamber?
Specific openings, as they become available, will be advertised accordingly. There are internship and legal fellowship opportunities available on a rolling basis. Interested applicants should submit their resume, cover letter and writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Internship/fellowship application.