Company Formation in Saudi Arabia Is a Smart Idea
Are you an entrepreneur who’s interested in starting a foreign-owned business in the Middle East? You’re certainly not alone. Business investors are entering the markets of Dubai and Abu Dhabi in droves, and they’re also enjoying some good returns on their investments. But while places like the UAE and Qatar have received much of the limelight in recent months, those aren’t the only places worth considering. Don’t forget about Saudi Arabia!
Opening a business in Saudi Arabia makes good sense, too. Why start a business in the KSA? For one thing, Saudi Arabia boasts the largest economy of any of the Arab states. And the necessary procedures for setting up a company in Saudi Arabia aren’t prohibitive for foreign investors, either. Keep reading to learn more!
Why Is Saudi Arabia a Good Place to Start a Business?
You know that Saudi Arabia has long been a world leader in oil production. But that’s not the only business in town – far from it! The KSA has also been rapidly expanding in terms of locally-based, non-oil industries. And since Saudi Arabia already has the largest free-market economy in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, it’s only poised for greater growth. Here are a few compelling reasons why you should consider starting a business in Saudi Arabia, too:
1. Growing Area, Great Location
Saudi Arabia represents nearly one-third of the entire Arab GDP, and continues to be one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. The local domestic population of consumers is young and wealthy, and Saudi Arabia’s strategic position between the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf means many easy export opportunities to Africa, Asia, and Europe.
2. Emerging Business Opportunities
As the general Saudi economy expands, new business opportunities continue to arise across many sectors. For example, the growing tourism industry has created opportunities for investors in hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions. Other industries that are seeing growth include steel manufacturing, engineering & technology, real estate, glass, plastics & lubricants, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and financial services.
3. Double Tax Treaties
Saudi Arabia has several double tax treaties in place with a number of other countries, which is particularly advantageous for international investors. These agreements help ensure that companies and individuals aren’t taxed twice for the same generated income, thus minimizing any unnecessary tax burdens for foreign investors.
4. Ease of Company Setup in Saudi Arabia
Company formation in the KSA is easier than you might think, and business setup cost in Saudi Arabia is also very reasonable. The government has taken steps to improve the process of registering a company here, making it faster and more straightforward than ever before. In addition, there are a number of government initiatives in place that aim to support and encourage small business growth, so there’s an opportunity for entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes.
5. National Vision 2030
The government has also laid out an ambitious Vision 2030 plan, with a central pillar of fueling economic growth and boosting a thriving economy in Saudi Arabia. The plan outlines a series of goals for diversifying the economy and creating new opportunities for both local and foreign investors alike.
6. Recent Major Reforms
Speaking of fueling a better business climate, here are some recent reforms instituted by Saudi government officials to help attract more foreign investments:
- Further simplification of the business startup process
- Added protection for minority investors
- Streamlined contract enforcement process
- Easier availability of credit through a new insolvency and secured transactions laws
- Online platform for obtaining construction permits
- More cross-border trading and investments
- Making affordable power more easily available to business investors
Some of the Top-Growing Business Sectors in the KSA
So, where do some of the better opportunities lie for foreign entrepreneurs and business investors in Saudi Arabia? There are several, but here are a few of the business sectors which are currently seeing significant growth across the country:
1. Travel and Tourism
Travel and tourism are growing rapidly in Saudi Arabia, thanks in no small part to the government’s commitment to increasing the number of visitors to the country. If you’re looking for an opportunity in tour guiding, adventure sports, or other areas of travel and tourism, then now is a perfect time to come to Saudi Arabia.
Thanks to the increasing number of tourists, the hospitality sector is another growing business opportunity in Saudi Arabia. This includes all sorts of hotels, resorts, and other types of accommodations.
3. Food and Beverage
A growing population and a thriving hospitality sector equate to greater food and beverage needs. From fine dining to fast food, you can find your niche here.
The construction sector in Saudi Arabia is currently booming, fueled both by a growing population and by the government’s commitment to investing in infrastructure. If you’re an entrepreneur looking to establish yourself with a local construction business – whether through architecture, engineering, or construction management – you can find success in Saudi Arabia.
5. Cleaning Businesses
Thanks to the construction boom and other thriving businesses in Saudi Arabia, there’s now a greater demand for cleaning services. This includes everything from commercial cleaning services to individual home cleaning services.
6. FinTech Businesses
The financial tech sector in Saudi Arabia is also seeing massive growth. If you’re an entrepreneur looking to set up a FinTech business around mobile banking, digital payments, or investment management, now’s a good time for you to set up a shop in Saudi Arabia.
An increasing population in Saudi Arabia means there’s also increasing demand for healthcare services. And local government officials are committed to making improvements to modernize the healthcare system in Saudi Arabia, as well.
The Saudi Arabia Company Setup Process
Creating a new company in Saudi Arabia can seem like a daunting process, if you’re a foreign national who’s unfamiliar with the local territory. Here’s a simple guide to help you navigate the process:
1. Choose Your Particular Business Structure
Decide on the industry in which you want to operate, and choose the business structure that makes the most sense. Some of the most common business structures in Saudi Arabia include a Limited Liability Company (LLC), Joint Stock Company (JSC), and Branch Offices.
2. Select a Trade Name
Once you choose your business structure, the next step is to select a trade name for your company. The name must not violate any laws or regulations, and must be approved by the Ministry of Commerce and Investment.
3. Learn the Corporate Rules of Saudi Arabia
Gaining a thorough understanding of the corporate rules and regulations in Saudi Arabia will help you to ensure compliance with all legal requirements and avoid any potential issues in the future.
4. Draft a Business Plan
A well-crafted business plan is crucial to the success of any new venture, and should outline your company’s goals, target market, marketing strategy, financial projections, and other critical details that will help you secure funding and build a strong foundation for your business.
5. Submit Essential Documents
Once your business plan is set, you must prepare and submit the necessary documentation for registering your company.
6. Obtain Required Approvals
Approvals from the Ministry of Commerce and Investment can take several weeks to obtain, so patience is essential during this period.
7. Secure Physical Office Space
To set up a company in Saudi Arabia, physical office space is required. Depending on your budget and requirements, you can choose to either rent or purchase a property.
8. Government Approvals
Government approval is the final step, including a commercial registration certificate, tax registration, and social insurance registration.
MSZ Consultancy Is Here to Help
You may not be an expert in setting up a business in Saudi Arabia, but our experts at MSZ Consultancy are! We’re headquartered right here in Dubai, and we know what it takes to get a business successfully launched in the Middle East, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia in particular.
Ready to get your new business started? Connect today to schedule your free consultation! You can give us a call directly at +971 52 544 1248, or you can also get the conversation started by shooting us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. There’s no need to wait; we can get started on making your dreams of opening a business in Saudi Arabia come true today!