101 Guide to Business Setup in Saudi Arabia

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Business Setup in Saudi Arabia

The bustling economy in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is estimated to be $2.288 trillion by the end of 2023.

Being one of the most populated, stable socio-political and emergy business hubs in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia offers investors and startup entrepreneurs a multitude of business opportunities across multiple sectors.

Through careful research and planning with the help of an expert business setup consultant, you can start a business in Saudi Arabia as a foreign investor and obtain 100% ownership of your company.

This guide to business setup in Saudi Arabia is written to get you on the right track if you are keen to leverage the vibrant business environment in KSA.

Why Start a Business in Saudi Arabia?

  • Expo 2030 Coming to KSA: With the Expo 2030 in KSA, your business stands a chance to get more visibility, connect with a multi-national audience, and expand your business database.
  • Strategic Location for Global Connectivity: KSA is a crossroad of Asia, Europe and Africa. This makes it a perfect place for businesses looking to tap into the global market.
  • Strong Economy: KSA stands as the fastest-growing economy among G20 member states, and it’s expected to maintain its growth momentum in 2024 and beyond.
  • Young and Skilled Workforce: Saudi Arabia has a young and skilled workforce, with two-thirds of its total population being under 35 years old and highly educated.
  • 100 % Foreign Ownership: As a foreign investor, you can own 100% of your business in Saudi Arabia.
  • No Income Tax: There is absolutely 0% income tax in Saudi Arabia.

Types of Business Structures in Saudi Arabia (KSA)

Business Setup in Saudi Arabia offers different types of legal structures for investors. Below are some of the common types of business structures in KSA.

  • Limited Liability Company ( LLC):  LLC is the most common type of business structure in KSA. It requires a minimum of two shareholders, with each liable to their share capital.

LLC business setup in Saudi Arabia offers a flexible and suitable option for SMEs.

  • Joint Stock Company (JSC):  JSCs are suitable for large enterprises and require a minimum of two shareholders with the opportunity for shares to be offered to the public.

Starting a joint stock company in KSA provides shareholders with limited liability for their investments.

  • Join Liability Company: This is formed by two or more individuals who are both responsible for the company’s liability and debts.

Besides the above-defined business structured in Saudi Arabia, other legal entities available in KSA include:

  • Corporation
  • Branch of a Foreign Company
  • Partnership Limited by Shares
  • General Partnership Company
  • Joint Venture
  • Variable Capital Company
  • Technical and scientific services office 

How to Setup a Company in Saudi Arabia (KSA)

Business setup in Saudi Arabia is easy and does not require your physical presence in KSA. 

With the assistance of an expert business advisor in KSA, like International Corporate Business Services (ICBS), you can set up your business in KSA by following the below steps.

  • Choose your Business Structure and License Type: The first step to registering a business in Saudi Arabia is to choose your business’s local structure and license type. The type of license you select will determine your business activity, whether you want to sit in the Saudi mainland or any of the Freezones, also known as Economic Cities.
  • Choose a Trade Name for your Company: Before you register a company in KSA, you will need to come up with a unique and meaning name for your business following the Saudi rules and regulations.
  • Draft A Business Plan: Your business plan should outline your company goals and marketing strategy, financial projections, and other important details.
  • Submit Required Documents to MISA and MCI: Compile and submit all required documents to the Ministry of Investment in Saudi Arabia (MISA) and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI). The required documents will depend on your type of business activity, structure, and location.
  • Get Approvals from Relevant Authorities: After submitting all documents to the relevant authorities, you will have to wait for a few days to obtain initial approvals to register your business in KSA.
  • Pay Fees to Obtain Business License: After all initial approvals are done, you will need to pay the license fee, after which you will obtain your business license in Saudi Arabia.

Get Expert Help For Business Setup in KSA

No matter your business type and activity with respect to the rules and regulations for starting a business in Saudi Arabia, The Corporate Group can assist you with all the processes and requirements.

Our subsidiary, International Corporate Business Services (ICBS), based in Riyadh, KSA, is the perfect choice for you if you are planning to start a business in KSA. 

With years of experience and a proven track record, our expert business setup consultant in KSA has helped countless investors and entrepreneurs navigate the business landscape in Saudi Arabia.

Contact us today to book for a free consultation with one of our experts.

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