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Can expat women start a business in Saudi Arabia?

Until recently, women in Saudi Arabia had a limited role in the workplace and workforce. However, thanks to Saudi Vision 2030, the business culture in the Kingdom is evolving to the new working landscape. Women now make up almost one in four of the jobs in Saudi Arabia, and the government wants this figure to rise to 30% by 2030.

While Saudi Arabia may not have the United Arab Emirates business-friendly tag just yet, the country does offer a wealth of options to expat women who want to start a business. By the end of this article, you will have a good overview of what Saudi Arabia has to offer and how you can begin the process of launching your business in the country.

We will cover the following:

    • Benefits of starting a business in Saudi Arabia
    • Cost of starting a business in Saudi Arabia
    • Steps to start a business in Saudi Arabia
    • Working with Creative Zone

Benefits of starting a business in Saudi Arabia

As the Middle East and North Africa’s largest economy, it is the focal point for international investors and a hub for key commerce routes. Saudi Arabia offers endless possibilities and opportunities for new businesses:

2030 Vision: To achieve its ambitious economic diversification goals and foster a dynamic social environment, Saudi Arabia has developed a strategic framework known as Vision 2030. Due to this significant economic and social change, there are several commercial prospects for all types of investors.

Easy Company Incorporation: Another factor encouraging corporate investors to establish a presence in Saudi Arabia is the straightforward company establishment process. According to statistics, most business owners prefer to work with a company formation specialist to help them with the legal proceedings and paperwork.

Large Presence of Women Entrepreneurs: There is already a strong community of women entrepreneurs operating successful businesses in the Kingdom. Saudi women make up over 40% of all entrepreneurs, which has increased by 35% in the last decade.

Double Tax Treaties:
The purpose of double-tax treaties is to provide exemptions to both parties on the import and export of products. Currently, Saudi Arabia has more than 50 double-tax treaties in place.

Emerging Business Opportunities: Even though Saudi Arabia is moving away from oil and gas, the petrochemical industry is still a great place to invest. Another big area of opportunity is education, as there is a big push to improve education, especially higher education, by the Saudi government. You can also invest in tourism because the country is actively pushing to grow this industry.

Cost of starting a business in Saudi Arabia

The cost of registering your company in Saudi Arabia ranges from SAR 15,000 to 25,000. However, the fees vary depending on the industry type and services.

You can contact Creative Zone for an exact quote based on your individual needs. This way, you can be sure you are getting precisely the price that matches the activities you want to carry out.

Steps to start a business in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has been a burgeoning investment field, allowing corporate investors to establish a business entity. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) is responsible for commercial registration and can approve the process. To establish a business in Saudi Arabia, an investor must undertake the following steps:

1. Choose an industry and a business structure
The first step is to be clear on the type of business you wish to start. Additionally, you decide on the corporate structure based on the total number of shareholders and available beginning capital.

2. Choose a business name
Deciding on a business or trade name is critical as it serves as the organisation’s face and must be selected carefully.

3. Submit the required documents
Commercial registration in Saudi Arabia requires submitting required documents to the registry. The documents need to be translated into Arabic before submission. The following is a partial list:

    • Copy of trade name confirmation
    • Memorandum of association (MOA)
    • Identity and address proofs of shareholders
    • Articles of association (AOA)
    • Blueprint of the business
    • Power of attorney appointing a third party to represent the parent company
    • Bank account reference letter
    • Approvals by third parties (if any)

4. Obtaining the necessary approvals from MOCI
The government officials conduct a thorough examination to determine the legitimacy of the papers given. Any investor interested in establishing a business in Saudi Arabia must obtain authorization from the following authorities:

    • Ministry of Commerce – to obtain a certificate of incorporation
    • The Commerce Chamber
    • The Labor Department
    • Municipalities
    • The General Social Insurance Organization (GOSI)

5. Getting approvals from government departments
Incorporating a company in Saudi Arabia is possible only with the approval of the relevant government agencies. For example, if you wish to start a firm in the healthcare area, you must receive the necessary approvals from the Ministry of Health (Saudi Arabia). On the other hand, authorization from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Tourism is required if it is a tourism enterprise.

Working with Creative Zone

These are the key points around setting up a business in Saudi Arabia. While starting a business in Saudi appears simple enough, it does require qualified and expert professionals to handle all government-related work. They ensure a smooth setup of your new business.

Creative Zone is UAE’s oldest and most trusted business setup expert, having assisted over 44,000 entrepreneurs in successfully establishing their businesses since our inception in 2010.

We specialise in delivering solutions that best fit your needs when starting a business by providing quick, dependable, hassle-free, and experienced assistance.

In addition to Saudi Arabia, we also provide assistance in business setup in Dubai and Qatar. We furthermore offer assistance in other services ranging from tax preparations, legal counsel, HR services, and more.

The benefits don’t end there. When you become a client of Creative Zone, through our networking tool, CZ Connect, every client gets access to a thriving community of fellow entrepreneurs. This allows you to interact, network, and develop significant relationships with the region’s larger business community.

Take advantage of our free consultations today and get unbiased advice on UAE business formation, with the sole goal of finding the best possible fit for your needs.

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