The left-wing politician will be competing against former army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, who officially announced his candidacy earlier in April.
Currently Sabahi offers the only alternative to Al-Sisi who has been widely accepted as the favourite to win.
Sabahi came third in the 2012 elections that brought former president Mohammed Mursi to power.
He was then seen as the more liberal alternative to either an Islamist candidate or someone with links to the former Mubarak regime. He could attract support from the more secular sections of Egyptian society who may not want to support a former member of the military in the forthcoming elections.
Upon arriving at the Presidential Elections Commission headquarters in Cairo, Sabahi called for the elections to be fair and transparent, saying we are fighting a vicious battle for social justice and freedom, according to local press.
Egypts presidential elections are planned to take place on 26 to 27 May.