Doing business in Saudi Arabia in 2024 is a highly attractive option, due to a myriad of advantages. With its large and wealthy oil industry, strong industrial hubs, developed healthcare facilities and good business climate, you will be able to reap the benefits of this strong economy in the Middle East. However, before you begin doing business in Saudi Arabia, you will first have to fully understand the process to register company in Saudi Arabia so that you can complete it smoothly and begin conducting business activities in the region as soon as possible. Tetra Consultants has hence detailed the process and requirements of Saudi Arabia company formation, as seen below.
Steps to company registration for doing business in Saudi Arabia
Step 1: Choosing a suitable business structure for doing business in Saudi Arabia
- First, Tetra Consultants will seek to understand your business’ unique goals, needs and situation to recommend the optimal business structure for your company, as well as the recommended paid-up share capital and corporate structure.
- For international clients, a Limited Liability Company is the most commonly picked entity in Saudi Arabia as it can be easily registered by foreigners with only one shareholder.
Step 2: Applying for Investment License
- The next step is to apply for the Investment License for your business. This is necessary for foreign investors who are not from Gulf Cooperation Council nations and is only applicable to commercial activities other than those in the “Negative List”.
- Tetra Consultants will assist you to draft a detailed report for the license application, which will outline important information such as the nature and size of the investment activity and key financial information about the company’s operations. The SAGIA application forms will then have to be completed and be submitted to Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).
- After the application has been processed, you will be able to receive a pre-approval certificate, which confirms that the company can be registered as well as able to have 100% foreign ownership.
Step 3: Reserving a company name
- Next, you will have to select your preferred name for the business. Tetra Consultants will then proceed to reserve it with the Unified Centre and it will have to be approved before any other forms can be submitted.
Step 4: Preparing documents required for incorporation
- Tetra Consultants will then assist you to prepare the relevant documents needed for incorporation, including the Article of Incorporation, Business Plan, Company Constitution and Personal information of directors and shareholders.
- The prepared documents will be then submitted to the Ministry of Commerce and Investment. Once approved, the document must be signed in front of the notary public. After this, the name and the Articles of Association of the business have to be published in the newspaper.
Step 5: Registering with MERAS
- Tetra Consultants will then proceed to help our clients register with the MERAS, a government business services program under the Saudi Business Center.
- Tetra Consultants will help your business to obtain a commercial registration (CR) and tax number. Commercial Registration refers to an operating license (Certificate of Registration).
- Tetra Consultants will then submit the complete registration application to Saudi Arabia Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI). The commercial registration (CR) will then be issued approximately 6 weeks after submission.
Step 6: Issuing of SAGIA foreign business license
- Tetra Consultants will then apply for the SAGIA foreign business license for your company. Documents that need to be submitted to the SAGIA for approval include the CR, tax registration, municipality license and bank’s share capital deposit letter. SAGIA will subsequently issue the foreign business investment license which will allow your company to sign contracts, issue invoices and hire employees.
Step 7: Creating company seal for doing business in Saudi Arabia
- Next, Tetra Consultants will assist your company to design and create the company seal, which must include your company name and Commercial Registration number.
Step 8: Registering at the Chamber of Commerce
- After creating the company seal, Tetra Consultants will register your company with the Chamber of Commerce. Within 30 days of incorporation, all applicants must submit the Certificate of Membership obtained from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI).
Step 9: Opening a bank account
- After completing company registration, Tetra Consultants will proceed to assist you in opening a corporate bank account at your preferred bank. Once the Certificate of Registration is issued, you will be able to activate your bank account and proceed to unfreeze your initial capital deposit.
- Saudi Arabian companies are required to open a capital account to deposit the necessary paid-up share capital. This account will then be converted into an operating business account upon issuance of the company registration number. A certificate of share capital deposit may also be obtained.
Step 10: Staying compliant
- After opening the bank account, Tetra Consultants will continue to ensure that your business stays fully compliant with the local requirements for accounting and tax filing.
- Tetra Consultants will prepare your firm’s financial statements, corporate tax returns as well as bookkeeping on your behalf, so that you can focus your time and resources on running your business.
Curious about doing business in Saudi Arabia in 2023?
Saudi Arabia business registration may seem like a complicated and intimidating process with its many steps. In addition, despite the many benefits of doing business in Saudi Arabia’s thriving economy, there are also significant disadvantages, such as government restrictions on foreign investment in certain industries, deferred deal execution due to bureaucratic red tape, high corporate income taxes and high minimum paid-up share capital for foreign businesses.
However, with Tetra Consultants’ team of experienced professionals at the helm, you will be guided through every stage with no hassle, such that your incorporation can be completed smoothly and swiftly so you can begin conducting business in the jurisdiction as soon as possible.
Contact us to find out more about how to register company in Saudi Arabia. Our team will revert within the next 24 hours.