Where does your mind go when you think of business in the Middle East? If it’s the busy streets of Bahrain, bright lights of Dubai or the deal makers of Doha, you’re not alone.
These prestigious hubs take the plaudits for many reasons – thriving commercial environments, ease of doing business and strong economies. However, there is another business hub in the Middle East that is often overlooked by expatriates, despite offering these same benefits and more. I’m talking, of course, about Saudi Arabia.
Boasting the largest economy of the Arab states and among the top 20 largest in the world, it offers a host of opportunity to any entrepreneur with the drive and skills to succeed. From simple set up procedures to tax efficiency, there are many great reasons to launch your next enterprise in Saudi Arabia.
In this article, I’ll look at five of the best, including:
- Tax benefits
- Welcoming environment
- Broad economy
- Safety, security and standard of living
I’ll also cover how Creative Zone can help you make your Saudi enterprise a reality. So, let’s get started.
Why is Saudi Arabia good for business?
When relocating or starting a business in a new jurisdiction, you need to be sure that it works for you. And for many entrepreneurs that means ensuring tax efficiency. Saudi Arabia certainly scores highly in this regard.
Foreign investors have minimal liability for personal income tax while corporation tax sits at 15%. What’s more, while Saudi Arabia does apply VAT, many goods and services are exempt and therefore subject to a zero rate.
Right now, Saudi Arabia is opening its arms to the wider world. The country’s rulers are committed to looking outwards, welcoming both foreign travellers and investment to drive a cosmopolitan future for the kingdom.
This can be seen on both a business and personal level. Saudis are known to be incredibly friendly and welcoming to foreigners taking an interest in their country, so you can expect impeccable hospitality. Entrepreneurs will also find it easy to do business out here. So much so, that Saudi Arabia ranks 62nd out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s Doing Business Index.
Saudi Arabia is keen to position itself as a global technology hub in the future. To achieve this aim, it recently outlined a series of initiatives worth over USD 1bn. In the coming years, the kingdom is aiming to increase the tech contribution to GDP by around AED 50bn, boost the size of the emerging market sector by 50% and create over 25,000 jobs.
This direct investment in the tech sector is driving unparalleled innovation in the country, presenting incredible opportunities to its entrepreneurs. So, if you have an innovative business idea, there has never been a better time to bring it to life in Saudi Arabia.
Much like the UAE, Saudi Arabia is keen to diversify its economy away from oil and gas. And this diversification is set to take place at a lightning pace.
The country’s rulers are offering billions of dollars in support to businesses across a wide range of industries to create a broad, strong and futureproof economy. Growing industries include tourism, manufacturing, technology, financial services, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
But, whatever your industry, if your offering can boost the local economy, you can expect to find a supportive and encouraging business environment in Saudi Arabia.
Safety, security and standard of living
Saudi Arabia is widely regarded as one of the safest countries in the world. It scored 86 out of 100 in the Gallup Global Law and Order 2021, ranking just one place behind Canada and ahead of the UK, Japan and New Zealand. The kingdom was also recently rated as the safest of all G20 nations based on a range of key security indicators.
Expatriate compounds provide high standards of living and offer a great buffer against the initial culture shock that some experience when moving to such a conservative country. Saudi Arabia’s high standard of education and healthcare are also a bonus when relocating with family.
How to start a business in Saudi Arabia
Having answered the question, is Saudi Arabia a good place to start a business, you’ll need to know how to set up out here.
First things first, book in for a free consultation with Creative Zone. We will get to know your businesses and guide you through every step of the Saudi company formation process.
We’ll start by helping you determine whether your business is best suited to the Saudi mainland or a free economic zone. With this decision made, we’ll help you find and secure business premises should you need them.
Next, we’ll manage the applications and approvals process for you. This involves obtaining an investment license via the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and requesting memoranda from the Ministry of Commerce and Investment.
Finally, we’ll manage your visa application so you are free to live, work, and reside in Saudi Arabia.
Start your business in Saudi Arabia with Creative Zone
All businesses require a license to trade in Saudi Arabia. And while the steps required of overseas investors are not too complicated, a certain amount of prior knowledge is required. Specifically, it’s vital to ensure that your applications for your business visa/license are all completely free from mistakes.
This can be somewhat stressful, so as we have advised throughout this article, the fast-track to getting up and running is through working with a company formation specialist.
Here at Creative Zone, we offer you the best solutions to start your company in Saudi Arabia. You get fast, reliable and unbiased advice on your unique business setup requirements. We can help you choose the right kind of license for your business activity and take you through the entire process from start to finish.
You can let us deal with the hassle of registering a company while you focus on your business. And working with us means you get the best budget friendly and cost-effective solution to help make your business dream a reality.
Over 10 years, Creative Zone has helped more than 36,000 entrepreneurs set up their businesses. Whether it be a mainland business setup, offshore company setup, free zone company setup, or issuing of trade licenses and any related activity for registering a company, Creative Zone is your one-stop-shop.
Our customer-first focus and our staff who speak 22 languages means you get a tailored package to suit your specific needs. We have worked with clients from around the world, setting them up in over 200 different business activities.
Let Creative Zone make your journey into business ownership quick and hassle-free.