Registering a Kuwait LLC and securing KDIPA license

The Limited Liability Company (LLC) is the most common type of entity used by global Clients;

Whereas most of our Clients initially prefer to register a wholly foreign-owned Kuwait LLC, it is highly restricted under Kuwaiti law and therefore only recommended for big multinational corporations. Consequently, most of our Clients decide to register a Kuwait Joint Venture LLC;

Refer to the text below for a more detailed explanation;

  • Registering a Kuwait Joint Venture LLC (also referred to as JV LLC)

    • Registering a joint venture LLC in Kuwait is the simplest business entity recognized under the Kuwaiti law. It is governed by the Kuwait Ministry of Commerce and Industry (also referred to as MOCI);
    • This entity can be set up within 2 months and requires a local Kuwaiti partner holding 51% of the shares. Foreign ownership is therefore limited to 49%;
    • For those Clients that do not have a local partner, Healy Consultants Group is pleased to supply a professional passive nominee shareholder for an annual fee. Our passive nominees are not involved in daily business activities nor the bank accounts and are appointed “on papers” only to comply with the law;
    • A JV LLC also requires the appointment of at least 1 director. While the directors can be of any nationality, they must hold a Kuwaiti residency permit. Healy Consultants Group will help secure the same immediately after the company is set up;
    • This type of entity only requires a paid up share capital of as low as US$1,000 (although it is recommended to deposit at least US$3,300) and a legal registered address;
  • Registering a wholly foreign-owned Kuwait LLC (also referred to as WLL or KDIPA LLC)

    • Registering a 100% foreign owned entity (WLL) in Kuwait is challenging, expensive and time consuming when our Client is not a GCC national/company;
    • A WLL is regulated by the Kuwaiti Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA). On average, it takes approximately 6 months to have the company registered. That said, the total engagement timeframe is 9 months as follows;
      No.StepsTimeframe
      1.Preparation of documents, including the investment and Kuwaitization plan1 month
      2.KDIPA pre-approval application2 months
      3.Company registration2 months
      4.Corporate bank account opening and deposit of paid up share capital2 months
      5.Issuance of KDIPA foreign investment license1 month
      6.Securing a Kuwait employment visa for the director1 month
      TOTAL estimated timeframe9 months

    • Before the pre-approval application to KDIPA is submitted, Healy Consultants Group will assist our Client to prepare the business, investment and Kuwaitization plan. This is one of the most important documents for KDIPA;
    • The business, investment and Kuwaitization plan must contain i) a description of the business activities ii) the professional experience our Client has in other countries, including other subsidiaries iii) the nature and size of the investment activity in Kuwait iv) 7 year financial projection v) Manpower requirements, training provided and Kuwaitization levels and vi) benefits and advantages of the proposed business activity to the Kuwait economy;
    • KDIPA prioritizes the registration of large corporations. Therefore the bigger our Client is and the more our Client contributes to the Kuwait economy, the higher the chances of foreign business license approval. The lower the probability KDIPA will request i) a paid up share capital level higher than the one stated below and ii) the appointment of a local joint venture partner;
    • The paid up share capital levels usually varies between US$75,000 to US$200,000 for most business activities;
    • In 2015 KDIPA announced the Negative Investment list. This is the list of business activities closed to foreign investment. This Negative list includes the following activities: i) extraction of crude petroleum (ISIC Class 0610) ii) extraction of natural gas (ISIC Class 0620) iii) Manufacture of coke oven products (ISIC Class 1910) iv) Manufacture of fertilizers and nitrogen compounds (ISIC Class 2012) v) Manufacture of gas: distribution of gaseous fuels (ISIC Class 3520) vi) Real Estate, level L, excluding privately operated building development projects vii) Security and investigation activities (Division 80) viii) Public administration and defence ix) Activities of membership organizations and x) recruitment of labor, including domestic labor;
  • Our fees

    A breakdown of our Kuwait JV LLC fees can be viewed here.

    Refer to this link for breakdown of our KDIPA LLC fees

Contact us

For additional information on our business setup 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!