Starting business in Saudi Arabia: 5 steps for foreigners

Saudi arabia

Saudi Arabia Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia is a country in highlights for its large plans to invest money in next ten years. Tapping in on the great opportunities in store for foreigners who can start a business in kingdom, let’s go through a 5 step guide to help you through the process.

  1. Visit SAGIA’s website

The first step in the process is to obtain foreign investment license from SAGIA or Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority, that can be done by visiting the mentioned website. The license gives you legal permission to invest in the country. But if you need to buy or incorporate a company for operating a foreign branch of an existing company, you will also require a commercial registration certificate from the Ministry of Commerce and Investment.

It is advised that foreign investors must first verify the latest rules before attempting to incorporate or buy a KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) entity.

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  • Visit Ministry of Commerce website

It is required for foreign investors to visit Ministry of Commerce for obtaining Documents of Memorandum of Association. Requirements of these documents are:

  • Foreign company branches are required to submit a decision regarding opening of company’s branch in KSA, only for completing issuance of Commercial Register.
  • Obtain Issuance of Commercial Registration from Ministry of Commerce

The foreign investor now has to visit Ministry of Commerce to obtain Issuance of Commercial Registration. Foreign companies have to do following also:

  • Deliver the parent company’s Commercial Registration with decision of board of directors along with reason of opening a branch in Saudi Arabia
  • A new company will need to provide Memorandum of Association
  • Company has to appoint General Director, provide ID and proof of owner
  • Open the following files
  • File of General Authority of Zakat and Tax
  • File of Saudi Ministry of Labour and Social Development
  • File of General Organization of Social Insurance
  • Visit Ministry of Investment or submit documents online on their website

This is the final stage to obtain General Director’s Visa by visiting Ministry of Investment. Visa can be obtained by providing –

  • Letter of appointment of the general director
  • Proof of General Director’s ID

A regional headquarter presence is required in the kingdom for the smooth issuance of contracts. Hope the concise guide was helpful. Do comment below in the section.



Sulaiman keeps an important eye on domestic and international politics while he has mastered history.

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