The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is one of the largest and fastest-developing business hubs in the MENA region. With a host of benefits and a seamless business setup process, individuals can set up their venture in KSA with Ascent Partners.

What are the main documents required when setting up a business in KSA?

The main documents include but are not limited to:

·       Power of Attorney: A power of attorney is required for the entity in charge. It should be certified by the Ministry of Justice (KSA), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Saudi Embassy.

·   Trade Name: You will then have to submit your trade name approval and check for its availability with the Ministry of Trade.

·      Office Rental: An official address will be required for the Ministry of Trade.

·     Company Registration: You will then be required to submit your company registration with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

·      MISA Documents: Along with the submission of the audited reports of the last fiscal year and commercial registrations, you will have to submit other MISA (The Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia) documents that should be certified by the Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saudi Embassy, Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Saudi Ministry of Justice.

·       Municipality Permits: The permits would include getting a rental contract and civil defense (ensuring the office building is certified) and police permits (installation of security cameras in the office).

What is the time frame expected for the preparation of the documents?

·       MISA: 2 Weeks

·     Office Rental Document: This would depend on the discretion of the company

·    Ministry of Trade Documents: 4 Weeks (The AoA will require the signature of an Authorised Representative or General Manager)

·     Ministry of Justice Documents: 1 Week

·    Municipality Permit(s) Documents: 4 Weeks including the issuance of the police permit

·     Chamber of Commerce and Industry Documents: 1 Week

·     Ministry of Labour Documents: 5 Weeks

·     Qiwa Platform Documents and Approval: 2 Weeks

The entire process must be carried out by an official representative.

Saudization Status

As you will be setting up a business in KSA, the Ministry of Labour will define the Saudization (Required Ratio for Saudi Employees) based on the size of the company (in terms of the number of employees).

What is the visa issuance process when setting up a business in KSA?

The visa-issuance process will ideally follow the below-mentioned steps:

·     Upon registration of the business, the Ministry of Labour will grant 3 visas for Managerial executives which will be valid for 2 years.

·       The Qiwa platform will be required to issue the visas; it is important to note that different rates may apply here as well.

·       After arriving in KSA, a residency permit will then be issued; it is important to note that taxes will be due for the same. For more information, get in touch with our experts. After the visas are issued, they will have to be submitted to Passport Control for approval, and the said approval will have to be submitted to the Saudi Embassy for passport stamping.

*It is highly advisable to hire a Government Relation Officer (A Saudi National) as it will help boost the Saudization ratio and will be required to conclude all official work. For more details, get in touch with us at Ascent Partners

**The Ministry of Labour’s online portal will have to be linked to a Saudi National’s ID; this step is mandatory as it is required for the issuance of visas and other employment procedures

What are the tax considerations when setting up a business in KSA?

When setting up a business in KSA, the following tax considerations should be noted:

·       All fees that will be due in the business setup process would be subject to VAT

·       Income tax charged will be at 20% while the withdrawal tax charged will be at 15%

·       VAT in KSA is set at 15% on all income-based invoices; however, this may change for certain items—such as tobacco—in which case, the VAT charged would be higher

·       An 11% Social Security (GOSI) cost is charged for all Saudi Nationals

What are the rules that would apply to businesses when setting up a business in KSA?

Different rules and regulations would apply to various businesses; some of the main ones include:

·    Services, Contractors/ and Industrial Licences would not require any specified capital or special requirements. Saudization levels would be issued as required by the Ministry of Labour according to the Nitaqat Platform limits.

·       Traders or dealerships (wholesale or retail) would require a minimum capital of SAR 30 million. The applicant who applies as a trader or for dealerships would need to have a similar trade licence in 3 different countries and abide by a business plan. The said business plan would require a specified number of Saudi nationals to be employed at the time of the company’s launch.

·       A business would need to have a Saudi National as its partner.

Initial and Maintenance Costs

When setting up a company in KSA, you will have to also take into account the government fees that could be levied during the setup process as well. Costs can vary depending on the type of business, its size, and the specific requirements of government agencies, like:

·       MISA: MISA, formerly known as SAGIA, is responsible for promoting and facilitating both local and foreign investments in the country. Its functions include creating a favorable regulatory environment, formulating investment policies, and providing support services to investors.

·   Ministry of Commerce: The Ministry of Commerce shapes fair trade policies, oversees domestic trade, and ensures consumer protection. It also handles business registration, Saudization requirements, and trade licenses, contributing to a competitive and thriving commerce sector in the Kingdom.

·       Chamber of Commerce & Industry: Saudi Chambers of Commerce & Industry advocate for business interests, facilitate networking, offer essential business services, promote trade, engage in policy discussions, and contribute to professional development through training programs.

However, it is important to note that in the case where the company line of work requires other special permits, other fees might be due as well. For further details on the costs, please get in touch with our team at Ascent Partners.

How can Ascent Partners help?

Setting up a business in KSA will require you to not only do your due diligence but also ensure compliance with the laws of the land. Here is where Ascent Partners can help you rest assured as we will work alongside you to strategise and startup while enabling you to scale your business in one of the largest business hubs in the MENA region.

To know more, get in touch with us at ask@ascentpartners.ae or at 04 422 7339.

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