Egypt's president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi issued a law on Sunday which authorises the ministry of defence, interior ministry, and the General Intelligence Agency to found security companies which provide services of protection of facilities and/or money transport.
The new law, which was published in the Official Gazette on Sunday, stipulates that the minister of interior is the only authority which can issue licenses and revoke them to private security companies.
According to the new law, all security companies must be fully owned by Egyptian citizens with no previous criminal record, and must operate only in the homeland.
The law imposes a maximum of one-year-jail sentence jail and/or a monetary fine of $LE30 - 50,000 on individuals who operate security businesses without prior licensing by the interior ministry, or use army or police fatigues to carry out their operation.
It also bans licensed companies from venturing in any business activities beyond their certification of protection of establishments and/or money transport.
Last year, the government hired the privately-owned Falcon security company, one of many Egypt-based companies providing security and money transport services in the country, to secure entrance procedures for several demonstrations-ridden Egyptian universities.
The Egyptian government has been using Law 68 of 1990 to regulate the work of private bodyguards in the country.
The president's decree comes two days after the Islamic State group bombed the Italian consulate in Cairo and ten days after the Islamist militant organisation carried out multiple attacks on army posts in North Sinai, amid a two year Islamist insurgency that has left hundreds of army and police personnel killed, and saw militants attack economic infrastructure.
The government has been preparing a new anti-terror law it says would aid it in its efforts to combat terrorism.