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How can a foreigner open a company in Saudi Arabia?

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A: Opening a company in Saudi Arabia as a foreigner involves several steps, and here is a general guide:

  1. Choose foreign investment license type:
    • Choosing the right type of license depends on the economic activities you are willing to practice in Saudi Arabia. There are 19 types of foreign investment license offered by the ministry of investment (MISA), under each type of MISA license there is a variety of economic activities.
    • Choosing the economic activities can be done through the Ministry of Commerce (MOC).
    • Choosing the right type of license that suits the chosen economic activities can be done through the ministry of investment (MISA).
  2. Certify the required documents:
    • The foreign shareholder shall certify the documents required to establishing a foreign investment company in Saudi Arabia, those documents are shareholder company Article of association, Commercial registration, Financial Statements of the last financial year.
    • The required documents shall be certified by the Saudi Embassy and Saudi foreign affair ministry.
  3. Legal Structure:
    • Determine the legal structure for your business. Options include a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a Joint Stock Company (JSC), or a branch of a foreign company.
  4. Reserve a Company Name:
    • Choose and reserve a unique name for your company. This can be done through the Ministry of Commerce (MOC).
  5. Foreign Investment License:
    • Obtain a foreign investment license from the ministry of investment (MISA).
  6. Articles of Association:
    • Draft the Articles of Association outlining the company’s structure, objectives, and other pertinent details.
  7. Commercial Registration:
    • Apply for commercial registration with the Ministry of Commerce (MOC). This process involves submitting required documents, including the foreign investment license and Articles of Association.
  8. Tax Registration:
    • Register for taxation with the General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT). This includes obtaining a tax identification number.
  9. Employer Registration:
    • Register as an employer with the Ministry of Human resources.
    • Register as an employer with the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) to cover employees under the social insurance scheme.
    • Register as an employer on the Qiwa Platform.
    • Register as an employer on the Madad Platform.
    • Register as an employer on the Muqeem platform.
  10. Obtain Necessary Permits:
    • Depending on the nature of your business, you may need additional permits from relevant authorities. For example, health permits for healthcare businesses or licenses from municipal authorities.
  11. Open a Bank Account:
    • Open a corporate bank account in a local bank. This usually requires submitting the company’s documents, including the commercial registration.
  12. Rent Office Space:
    • Secure office space in accordance with local regulations. The location and type of premises might have specific requirements.
  13. Hiring Local Employees:
    • If needed, hire local employees, and ensure compliance with Saudi labor laws.
  14. Ongoing Compliance:
    • Comply with ongoing requirements, such as filing annual reports, renewing licenses, and fulfilling tax obligations.
    For a more detailed and personalized guide, as well as assistance with the entire process, feel free to reach out to Empowerment Gate. Our expertise in business startups in Saudi Arabia can provide invaluable support and guidance.
    Note: The information provided is subject to change based on regulatory updates, and it is advisable to consult with Empowerment Gate for the latest and most accurate details relevant to your business.
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