14 steps to incorporating in Kuwait
Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC assists our Clients with the A to Z of business setup in Kuwait including i) company incorporation ii) corporate bank account opening iii) regulatory licensing (when required) and iv) virtual office services.
See below further information on the steps to register a new business in Kuwait.
- Consultation phase: Healy Consultants and our Client discuss our Client’s business plan in Kuwait. Our Firm then determines the optimal corporate structure for the same;
- Know your Customer procedure: Our Client then i) settles the fees applicable for the engagement (payable by instalments if needed) ii) signs and returns our client engagement letter along with the requested “Know your Customer” documentation;
- Planning phase: All Kuwait entities must appoint i) a 51% local shareholder and ii) a local general manager. If required, Healy Consultants Group PLC supplies professional passive Kuwaiti nominees for these two roles; Healy Consultants provides our Client with a detailed project plan for the Kuwait business setup, outlining each step towards completion of the engagement;
- Name reservation: Client indicates his preferred company names. Healy Consultants Group PLC submits a unique company name reservation application to the Commercial Registry and, all going well, confirms the company name is available;
- Application submission: After receipt of all signed documents from our Client, Healy Consultants Group PLC files a quality company registration application with the Department of Companies at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI). The application includes the following information: i) names of the founding shareholders ii) the capital of the company iii) the percentage ownership of the capital by each shareholder iv) the business of the company, and v) the identity of the managers of the company;
- Letter retrieval: Healy Consultants secures three letters from the Department of Companies addressed to i) the Criminal Investigation Department ii) our Client’s preferred bank and iii) the Kuwaiti Municipality. These letters are necessary to advance the company registration process;
- Capital injection (if required): Since 2018, there is no minimum capital immediately payable to register a Kuwaiti company. If our Client still wants to declare some of the company capital as paid up, our Firm assists the Client to i) open a corporate bank account with a local bank then ii) inject the share capital into such account. The bank issues a certificate of deposit, to be included in the company registration application;
- M&AA approval: Healy Consultants obtains approval of the draft memorandum of association from the Department of Companies then requests the Ministry of Justice to certify multiple documents including i) a letter from DOC ii) bank capital deposit certificate (if applicable) and iii) the memorandum of association;
- Registration and licensing: Our team thereafter files copies of all aforementioned documents with the Department of Companies and secures a certificate of incorporation (COI) and a commercial license from the DOC.
- Business premises: Healy Consultants assists our Client to locate a city centre business premises in their preferred Kuwaiti Municipality and, if needed, to recruit local staff;
- Premises inspection: Healy Consultants submits a request to the Municipality and the Fire Department to conduct an inspection of the business premises to check for compliance with municipal health, fire and safety regulations. The Municipality then issues a certificate of no objection to authorize the use of premises;
- Chamber of commerce registration: Our Firm submits copies of i) the commercial license, ii) notarized memorandum of association and iii) authorized signatories-filled specimen signature form and applies for membership with the Kuwaiti Chamber of Commerce and Industry;
- Additional registrations: The new company will then register with and obtain a civil number from the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI), a mandatory requirement when dealing with other Kuwaiti government departments. Additionally, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs conducts an inspection of the business premises;
- Engagement completion: Following the receipt of all necessary inspection approvals and company documents, Healy Consultants couriers a full company kit to our Client, including original corporate documents, unopened bank correspondence and a Client feedback survey.
Documents required to form a company in Kuwait:
Foreign entrepreneurs will be required to present:
- Legalized copies of passport and a recent proof of address for all non-Kuwaiti directors and shareholders;
- A police clearance certificate for all shareholders confirming there are no past criminal records; and
- A signed lease agreement for office premises, a receipt confirming rent payment and certificate of registration of the office with the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI). These documents must also be translated to Arabic.
Frequently asked questions
- When incorporating a Kuwaiti company, is it mandatory to register all the details in the public register?
Yes. If our Client wishes to incorporate a Kuwait company, they will be expected to publish the company details for public record.
- How much capital will I be required to deposit when incorporating a company in Kuwait?
There is no more immediate paid-up capital requirement to register a company in Kuwait. Shareholders are only required to inject the paid up capital of the entity within 1 year after Kuwait company incorporation (minimum capital of US$300 (KWD100)).
- Will there be any restrictions for non-resident entrepreneurs when they incorporate in Kuwait?
While foreign entrepreneurs will be allowed to pursue business activities of their choice, they will be required to appoint a Kuwaiti national with at least 51% shareholding in the company.