Kuwait business setup is a tax efficient way for international businesses to legally conduct business in oil rich Kuwait and throughout the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC):
Advantages of Kuwait company registration
- A Kuwaiti company is sometimes given preference when bidding for some government tenders;
- A Kuwaiti company is legally tax exempt if properly structured;
- Kuwait incorporation allows 100% foreign ownership. However, a minimum of two shareholders is required;
- Some businessmen and contractors choose to incorporate a company in Kuwait as the ideal gateway into neighbouring Iraq;
- Kuwait is a key member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Oil accounts for around 50% of Kuwait’s gross domestic product (GDP). Many investors choose Kuwait company incorporation to tap opportunities in the booming oil sector;
- Arabic is the official language of Kuwait, but English is widely spoken. It is used in business and is a compulsory second language in schools. Therefore, foreign investors find it easier in communicating with employees, customers and suppliers;
- Healy Consultants can open a corporate bank account in Kuwait with one of the world’s leading retail banks, including HSBC and Citibank, or internationally to support Kuwait incorporation.
Kuwait has a reputation for political stability and a relatively efficient, transparent government. Thus, relatively a better place to do the business.
Kuwait is exempt of taxes including: i) personal taxation; ii) interest; iii) royalties; iv) VAT; v) stamp and transfer duties and vi) property taxes.
Kuwait has a number of industrial areas, the largest being located in Shuwaikh, Sabhan and Shuaiba. Kuwait has its Free Trade Zone located at Shuwaikh port, under the supervision of Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The zone provides facilities for the storage and processing of goods, materials and other related activities, with companies operating there enjoying exemptions from all custom duties as well as streamlined visa procedures.
Disadvantages of Kuwait company registration
- Kuwait business incorporation is challenging because of inconsistent regulations and slow moving bureaucracy. Kuwait is the 69th least corrupt country in the world, according to the 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International, a global measure of corruption amongst public officials and politicians;
- The minimum capital requirement for Kuwait business incorporation is 7000 Kuwait Dinars (US$26,000). Kuwait is ranked as the world’s 76th freest economy by the Heritage Foundation’s 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, a measure of freedom enjoyed in business, trade, monetary, financial, investment, and labour markets;
- A 100% foreign owned Kuwaiti company cannot import goods for commercial purposes;
- According to the 2013 Doing Business Surveyby the World Bank, Kuwait is the world’s 104th easiest place to do business. The survey measures factors including business start up procedures, time, cost, and minimum capital required to start a business;
- Kuwait is ranked as the world’s 36th most competitive economy in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2013 – 2014.
Though a large number of people speak English business documents are written in Arabic, therefore foreign investors have to face the translation costs.
Accounting and tax considerations
- Corporate tax Kuwait is levied at 15%. However companies are offered tax holiday of up to 10 years under the Foreign Direct Investment Law;
- Kuwait is exempt of taxes including: i) personal taxation; ii) interest; iii) royalties; iv) VAT; v) stamp and transfer duties and vi) property taxes;
- Losses may be carried forward for up to three years and cannot be carried back;
- Capital gains are treated as business profit and suffer fDividends, paid to nonresidents suffer 15% withholding tax, unless the rate is reduced under double taxation treaty (DTA). Kuwait has signed 40 DTA’s;
- There is no thin capitalization requirements on both resident and non-resident companies;
- Tax returns must be filed within three and a half months from the end of the tax year. Late payments result in a monthly penalties of 1% of the tax payable;
- Social security payments of 11,5% and 8% are due by both employer and employee, respectively.
Did you know about Kuwait?
- Kuwait is a constitutional emirate with a parliamentary government. The ruler of Kuwait is known as an Emir;
- Kuwait is home to the world’s fifth largest oil reserves and petroleum products make up approximately 95% of the country’s export and 80% of the government’s income;
- Kuwait has the largest oil field, the Burgan field, which reach the capacity of approximately 70 billion barrels of oil reserves;
- The official language of Kuwait is Arabic, but English is also widely spoken and understood;
- Kuwaiti men usually wear the national dress of long white dishdashes and white head cloths, while women wear yashmaks;
- Most of Kuwait is covered by the Arabian Desert. It is a low lying country with the highest point reaching only 306 m (1,004 ft) above sea level;
- Approximately 75% of the Kuwait population over the age of 15 are overweight, making it the eighth fattest country in the world;
- Falcon is the national bird of Kuwait. The image of falcon appears on stamps and even on currency of Kuwait.
- Kuwait company setup procedures
- Kuwait corporate bank account
- Investing in Kuwait
- Migration to Kuwait
- Kuwait FAQs
- Kuwait Tax Authority
- Kuwait Company Registrar
- Central Bank of Kuwait
- Kuwait Stock Exchange
- Investment Authority
- Kuwait airport
- Visiting Kuwait
- Kuwait Government Online
- Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Kuwait Yellow Pages