Kuwait company registration

DOING BUSINESS IN KUWAIT IN 2020

pay fee by instalmentsbusiness setup without travel

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.

Compare different Kuwait entitiesJoint venture (JV) LLCWholly foreign owned LLCFast solution LLCAgency agreementRepresentative officeBranch office
Also known as51% LLC100% LLCFast solutionAgency agreementROBranch
Best use of company?All products/ svcsBig corporationsClose client deal nowAll products/ svcsMarketing/ researchSpecific projects
How soon to invoice Clients?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 a/c?3 months7 months2 months2 months7 months7 months
How long to supply co. reg / 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
Govt approval required for foreign owners?YesYesYesNoYesYes
GCC resident director/manager required?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Minimum paid up share capital?US$1,000US$75,000US$10,0000N/AN/A
Can bid for government contracts?YesYesYesYesNoYes
Recommended BankHSBC KuwaitCitibank KuwaitABKKFHKIBAhli UnitedBank
Can secure trade finance?YesYesYesYesNoYes
Average total business set up costs?US$39,970US$76,390US$129,653US$15,200US$46,825US$46,825
Average total engagement period?6 months7 months3 months3 months6 months6 months

See full table

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
Min. number of shareholders/partners?2110Parent companyParent company
Maximum shareholding for foreigners?49%100%100%0100%100%
Security deposit kept with government?NoNoNoNoNoNo
Time to incorporate/register a new entity?2 months6 months1 month2 months6 months6 months
Can easily convert to a PLC?YesYesYesNoNoNo
Public register of s/holders and directors?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Can have preference shareholders?YesYesYesNoNoNo
Business ConsiderationsLLCWholly foreign owned LLCFast solution LLCAgency agreementRepresentative officeBranch office
Can register for Trademark?YesYesYesNoNoYes
Can secure an import and export license?YesYesYesThrough the agentNoYes

Our Client must travel to Kuwait?No
Temp. physical office solutions available?Yes
You need a local resident as bank signatory?No
WH tax on payments to foreign s/holders?0%
VAT payable on sales to local customers?N/A
The entity will likely be regulated by?Ministry of Commerce and Industry
Min. number of directors/managers?1
Monthly VAT reporting to the government?No
Sign office lease during incorporation?Yes
S/holder/director docs attested/translated?Yes
Foreign director needs personal tax no.?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
Residence visa for business owner?Yes
Other useful information
What will be included in my customer sales invoice?Click link
Kuwait has signed free trade agreements?Yes
Kuwait is a member of WIPO/TRIPS?Yes, WIPO only
Kuwait is a member of the ICSID?Yes
Average custom duties suffered?5%
Govt. foreign investment approval required?Yes
Average monthly office rent? (US$/sq m)24
Minimum statutory monthly salary?US$216
Average monthly US$ salary for local staff?US$3,500
US$ deposit interest rate (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 for foreign investors are the LLC and branch;
  • Kuwait business set up is expensive and time-consuming due to i) high paid-up capital and other regulatory requirements ii) red tape;
  • A Kuwaiti national must own at least 51% of an LLC entity. The only exception to this is for foreign investments approved by Kuwaiti Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA);
  • All corporate entities trading in Kuwait will be subject to annual corporate taxation of 15%;
  • An option we offer our Clients is to simply negotiate an agreement with a local Kuwaiti agent to reduce their business setup costs. However, all income earned through an agency agreement is still subject to corporate income tax;
  • There is no withholding tax levied on payments from Kuwaiti entities to their non-Kuwaiti shareholders.

Healy Consultants’ video on Kuwait business setup
Contact the presenter: Henry James Beck, Client Engagements Manager, Healy Consultants Group PLC

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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
  • Senior Client Engagements Manager
  • Contact me!