Kuwait company registration


Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has been efficiently and effectively assisting our Clients with i) Kuwait business registration ii) business licensing iii) Kuwait business banking solutions iv) visa options and staff recruitment strategies and v) workspace rental solutions.

Summary table of Kuwait company registration

SummaryJoint venture (JV) LLCWholly foreign owned LLCFast solution LLCAgency agreementRepresentative officeBranch office
Also known as51% LLC100% LLCFast solutionAgency agreementROBranch
Best use of company?All products and servicesBig corporationsClose a customer deal nowAll products and servicesMarketing & researchSpecific projects
How soon can you invoice Clients/sign sales contracts?2 months6 months1 month2 monthsNo6 months
How soon can you hire staff?2 months6 months1 month2 months6 months6 months
How soon can you sign a lease agreement?2 weeks3 months1 week1 month3 months3 months
How long to supply corporate bank account numbers?3 months7 months2 months2 months7 months7 months
How long to supply company registration/tax numbers?2 months6 months1 month2 months6 months6 months
Corporate tax rate on annual net profits?15%15%15%15%0%15%
Limited liability entity?YesYesYesYesNoNo
Government grants available?YesYesYesYesNoYes
Government approval required for foreign owners?YesYesYesNoYesYes
GCC resident director/manager required?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Minimum paid up share capital?US$1,000US$75,000US$1,0000N/AN/A
Can bid for government contracts?YesYesYesYesNoYes
Corporate bank account location?HSBC KuwaitCitibank KuwaitABKKFHKIBAhli UnitedBank
Can secure trade finance?YesYesYesYesNoYes
Average total business set up engagement costs?US$39,970US$76,390US$129,653US$15,200US$44,825US$53,875
Average total engagement period?4 months8 months3 months3 months8 months8 months

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Accounting and tax considerationsJoint venture (JV) LLCWholly foreign owned LLCFast solution LLCAgency agreementRepresentative officeBranch office
Statutory corporate tax payable?15%15%15%15%0%15%
Legally tax exempt if properly structured?NoNoNoNoYesNo
Group HQ tax incentives?YesYesYesNoNoYes
Must file an annual tax return?YesYesYesYesNoYes
Must file annual financial statements?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Must appoint an auditor?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Access to double taxation treaties?YesYesYesNoNoYes
Company RegistrationLLCWholly foreign owned LLCFast solution LLCAgency agreementRepresentative officeBranch office
GCC resident director/manager required?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Minimum number of shareholders/partners?2110Parent companyParent company
Maximum shareholding for foreigners?49%100%100%0100%100%
Minimum statutory paid up share capital?US$1,000US$75,000US$1,0000N/AN/A
Security deposit to be kept with government?NoNoNoNoNoNo
Shelf companies available?YesYesYesNoNoNo
Time to incorporate/register a new entity?2 months6 months1 month2 months6 months6 months
Can easily convert to a PLC?YesYesYesNoNoNo
Public register of shareholders and directors?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Can have preference shareholders?YesYesYesNoNoNo
Business ConsiderationsLLCWholly foreign owned LLCFast solution LLCAgency agreementRepresentative officeBranch office
Good entity for trademark registration?YesYesYesNoNoYes
Can secure an import and export license?YesYesYesthrough the agentNoYes
Sponsorship by a local citizen required?YesNoYesYesYesYes

Our Client needs to travel to Kuwait for business set up?No
Temporary physical office solutions available?Yes
You need a local resident as bank signatory?No
Withholding tax on payments to foreign shareholders?0%
VAT payable on sales to local customers?N/A
The entity will likely be regulated by?Ministry of Commerce and Industry
Minimum number of directors/managers?1
Monthly VAT reporting to the government?No
Must sign an office lease agreement during incorporation?Yes
Shareholders & directors documents to be attested/translated?Yes
Each foreign director needs a personal income tax number?No
Foreign director needs a residence visa?Yes
Maximum number of staff allowed?No maximum number for any entity
Expatriate to local staff ratio?Yes, ratio depends on business sector
Can secure residence visa for business owner?Yes
Other useful information
What will be included in my customer sales invoice?Click link
This country has signed free trade agreements?Yes
This country is a member of WIPO/TRIPS?Yes, WIPO only
This country is a member of the ICSID?Yes
Average custom duties suffered?5%
Government foreign investment approval required?Yes
Average monthly office rental? (US$ per sq m)24
Minimum statutory monthly salary?US$216
Average monthly US$ salary for local skilled employees?US$3,500
US$ deposit interest rate? (1 year average)1.75%
Overseas remittance currency controls?None
Banking considerations
Multi-currency bank accounts available?Yes
Corporate visa debit cards available?Yes
Quality of e-banking platform?Good
Crowd funding available in this country?Yes

Kuwait business setup summary

  • In Kuwait, the most popular business entities are the LLC and the branch (of foreign company). An LLC will be 51% owned by a local shareholder, unless it is setup in a free zone or approved by the Kuwaiti Investment Agency;
  • A 51% LLC will be subject to annual corporate tax of 15%. A Free Zone company, on the other hand, will be completely corporate tax exempt;
  • Some of our Clients prefer to simply conclude an agency agreement with a local Kuwaiti agreement to reduce their business setup costs. However, income earn through an agency agreement will still be subject to corporate income tax;
  • Lastly, there is no withholding tax levied on payments from Kuwaiti entities to their non-Kuwaiti shareholders.

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Contact us

For additional information on our company registration services in Kuwait, please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Evgeniya Salamonava, directly:
Consultant at HC - Evgeniya
  • Ms. Evgeniya Salamonava
  • Client Engagements Manager
  • Contact me!