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Company Formation in Saudi Arabia

Introduction to Formation and Company Setup in Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with its strategic location connecting Asia, Europe, and Africa, has emerged as a promising destination for businesses. The Saudi government actively encourages economic growth through streamlined company formation processes. Various legal structures, such as Limited Liability Companies and Joint Stock Companies, offer flexibility to investors. Additionally, initiatives like tax considerations for underdeveloped regions, property ownership rights, and reduced income tax contribute to a favorable business environment

Overview of the Saudi Arabian Business Environment

Saudi Arabia’s business environment revolves around a strong oil-driven economy, undergoing diversification efforts through Vision 2030. While oil remains pivotal, the agenda aims to boost sectors like tourism, entertainment, and technology, attracting foreign investment. The government is streamlining regulations and fostering a more business-friendly climate. Despite strategic advantages and a youthful population, businesses must navigate cultural intricacies and geopolitical considerations.

Benefits of Company Setup in Saudi Arabia

  • Vision 2030 Opportunities: Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 serves as a transformative agenda, creating diverse opportunities for businesses through economic diversification, infrastructure development, and the promotion of non-oil sectors.
  • Investment Incentives: The Saudi government’s provision of attractive incentives, such as tax breaks, encourages foreign investment, fostering economic growth and creating a favorable environment for businesses.
  • Strategic Location: Situated in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia’s central location offers businesses a strategic advantage, providing easy access to regional markets and global trade routes.
  • Young and Skilled Workforce: The Kingdom’s youthful and increasingly skilled workforce presents a valuable asset for businesses, offering a diverse pool of talent across various industries.
  • Government Support: The active support of the government, manifested through regulatory reforms and a commitment to a business-friendly ecosystem, contributes significantly to the success and sustainability of businesses in Saudi Arabia

Step-by-Step Guide to the Saudi Arabia Company Formation Process

  1. Begin by reserving a trade name for the intended company.
  2. Submit an investment license application to the Ministry of Investment, specifying the type of license required (professional, industrial, commercial, or service). Ensure adherence to specific and general requirements for each license.
  3. Provide essential documents for the investment license, such as a certified establishment contract of the owning company by the Saudi embassy, commercial registration certified by the Saudi embassy, and financial statements of the last fiscal year authenticated by the Saudi embassy.
  4. Submit the required documents and complete the license application form.
  5. Proceed with the payment of the fees for issuing the investment license.
  6. After obtaining the license, submit the company establishment application to the Ministry of Commerce. Clearly specify the business activities based on the ISIC4 national classification.
  7. Once the application is approved, an invoice for company incorporation is issued. After payment, notarize the establishment contract before a notary public, either through the authorized agent or in the presence of the company’s general manager.

Forms of Business Legal Entities in Saudi Arabia

  • LLC (Limited Liability Company)
  • Foreign Company Branch
  • JSC (Joint Stock Company)
  • Partnership
  • Technical and Scientific Services Office
  • The Setup
  • RHQ (Regional Headquarters)

The shareholding structure and paid-up capital requirements vary based on the nature of the business activity and legal structure.

Company Registration Process in Saudi Arabia

  1. Issue the commercial registration immediately after the founding contract is issued, valid for one year and extendable up to five years.
  2. Register for membership with the Chamber of Commerce.
  3. Register the establishment file at the labor office, specifying that the file manager must be a Saudi citizen under an agency or an employee working for the company.
  4. Apply for the General Manager’s residency at the Ministry of Investment after paying the government visa fees.
  5. Register with social insurance.
  6. Enroll in tax and zakat.
  7. Register with the Saudi Post and establish a national address for the company.
  8. Create an account on the Qiwa platform for employee contracts, work permits, and visa issuance.
  9. Create an account on the Muqeem platform for foreign workers, including issuing and renewing their permits and exit and re-entry visas.
  10. Open the company’s bank account.
  11. Establish an account on the Mudad and Wajb platforms for transferring employee salaries, approved by the Ministry of Labor.

Be aware of other steps following up on your company setup

Emerging Sectors in Saudi Arabia ’s Economy

The most important emerging sectors in Saudi Arabia’s economy include:

  • Renewable Energy: Saudi Arabia is strategically investing in renewable energy, particularly solar power, as part of its commitment to sustainable development and reducing reliance on oil.
  • Technology and Innovation: With a focus on digital transformation, technology, and innovation, Saudi Arabia is actively fostering a digital economy, supporting startups, and encouraging technological advancements.
  • Tourism and Hospitality: The Vision 2030 initiative places a significant emphasis on developing the tourism sector, aiming to attract international visitors through cultural events, entertainment, and the creation of new tourist destinations.

Legal Requirements and Documentation for Setting up a company in Saudi Arabia

For an established business, the required documents typically include:

  • Commercial Registration / Certificate of Incorporation / Trade License
  • Articles of Association / Memorandum of Association
  • Audited Financial Statement

For startups, in addition to the above, the required documents may include:

  • Commercial Registration / Certificate of Incorporation / Trade License
  • Articles of Association / Memorandum of Association
  • Support Letter from a Licensed Incubator
  • Financial Backing from a VC (Venture Capital) / Establishment
  • Startup Brief, Letter of Intent, and Pitch Deck

These documents are essential for the legal and financial aspects of establishing and operating a business. Specific requirements may vary based on the industry, company structure, and regulatory changes.

We offer you citizenship by investment programs, company formation services, and an array of options that allow you to secure citizenship and obtain additional passports without residency obligations.

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      1. Company Formation Services:
      • Collaborative Business Structure Consultation.
      • Name Reservation and Initial Approval Support.
      • Facilitating Investment License Application (MISA).
      • Expert Drafting of Articles of Association.
      • Seamless Commercial Registration (CR) Process.
      1. Visa and Immigration Services:
      • Efficient Work Visa Processing.
      • Iqama Services (Residency Permit) Management.
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      1. Government Registrations and Compliance:
      • Chamber of Commerce Registration Guidance.
      • Tax and VAT Registration: Assistance with registration for taxes and VAT with the General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT).
      • Labor Law Compliance: Expert advice on Saudization requirements and other labor law compliance, including registration with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD).
      • Municipality License: Assistance in obtaining necessary municipality licenses for your business premises.
      1. Additional Business Support Services:
      • Streamlined Bank Account Opening.
      • Dedicated Legal and Regulatory Advisory.
      • Personalized Business Setup Consulting: Strategic advice on market entry, business setup, and expansion in Saudi Arabia.


      • Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI)
      • Ministry of Investment Saudi Arabia (MISA)

      Yes, foreigners have the opportunity to apply for business setup, allowing 100% ownership. The Ministry of Investment Saudi Arabia (MISA) is responsible for issuing business licenses to foreign investors. However, certain business activities may mandate the involvement of a local partner from Saudi Arabia.

      Yes, there are 4 Economic Cities, 5 Special Economic Zones, and 36 Industrial Cities in the country. These zones provide foreign investors with flexibility in regulations and incentives based on the type of business and license.


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