Abstract Distributed model predictive control (MPC), having been proven to be efficient for large-scale control systems, is essentially enabled by communication network connections among involved subsystems (agents). This paper studies the distributed MPC problem for a class of continuous-time decoupled nonlinear systems subject to communication delays. By using a robustness constraint and designing a waiting mechanism, a delay-involved distributed MPC scheme is proposed. Furthermore, the iterative feasibility and stability properties are analyzed. It is shown that, if the communication delays are bounded by an upper bound, and the cooperation weights and the sampling period are designed appropriately, the overall system state converges to the equilibrium point. The theoretical results are verified by a simulation study.