Saudi Arabia company registration


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

Summary table of Saudi Arabia company registration

Summary100% SAGIA LLC51% LLCNational LLCFast business setup solutionCommercial Agency Agreement
Also known asدة مسؤولية ذات شدة مسؤولية ذات شN/AN/Aتفاقية وكالة
Best use of company?All products and servicesAll products and servicesAll products and servicesClose a customer deal nowManufacturing and export trading
How soon can you invoice Clients/sign sales contracts?9 months9 months2 months2 months2 months
How soon can you hire staff?9 months9 months2 months2 months2 months
How soon can you sign a lease agreement?2 months2 months1 month1 month2 months
How long to supply company registration / tax numbers?9 months9 months2 months2 months2 months
How long to supply corporate bank account numbers?10 months10 months3 months2 months3 months
Corporate tax rate on annual net profits?20%20%0%20%0%
Limited liability entity?YesYesYesYesNo

See full table

Government grants available?YesYesYesYesYes
Government approval required for foreign owners?YesYesN/AYesN/A
Resident director/partner/manager/ legal representative required?NoYesYesYesYes
Minimum paid up share capital?At SAGIA's discretionAt SAGIA's discretionUS$50,000minimum US$50,000none
Can bid for Government contracts?YesYesYesYesNo
Corporate bank account location?Emirates NDBBNP ParibasAlimna BankSAABDeutsche Bank
Can secure trade finance?YesYesYesYesYes
VAT payable on sales to local customers?5%5%5%5%5%
Average total business set up engagement costs?US$75,190US$75,190US$56,540US$128,453US$16,200
Average total engagement period?10 months10 months3 months12 months3 months
Accounting and tax considerations100% SAGIA LLC51% LLCNational LLCFast business setup solutionCommercial Agency Agreement
Statutory corporate tax payable?20%20%0%20%0%
Annual Zakat rate payable by GCC residents only?0%2.5%2.5%2.5%2.5%
Legally tax exempt if properly structured?NoNoNoNoNo
Group HQ tax incentives?NoYes, if KSA/GCC ownedYesYes, if KSA/GCC ownedYes
Must file an annual tax return?YesYesYesYesYes
Must file annual financial statements?YesYesYesYesYes
Must appoint an auditor?NoNoNoNoNo
Access to double taxation treaties?YesYesYesYesNo
Withholding tax on payments to foreign shareholders?5%5%0%5%0%
Company registration100% SAGIA LLC51% LLCNational LLCFast business setup solutionCommercial Agency Agreement
Resident director/partner/manager/ legal representative required?NoYesYesYesYes
Minimum number of shareholders/partners?22111
Maximum shareholding for foreigners?100%49%0%At SAGIA's discretion0%
Can be wholly foreign owned?YesNoNoYesNo
Sponsorship by a local citizen required?NoYesYesNoYes
Minimum statutory paid up share capital?At SAGIA's discretionAt SAGIA's discretionUS$50,000minimum US$50,000none
Security deposit to be kept with Government?NoNoNoNoNo
Shelf companies available?YesYesYesYesYes
Time to incorporate a new entity?9 months9 months2 months2 months2 months
Can easily convert to a PLC?YesYesYesYesYes
Public register of shareholders and directors?YesYesYesYesYes
Can have preference shareholders?YesYesYesYesYes
Business considerations100% SAGIA LLC51% LLCNational LLCFast business setup solutionCommercial Agency Agreement
Good entity for trademark registration?YesYesYesYesNo
Can secure an import and export license?YesYesYesYesYes

Our Client needs to travel to Saudi Arabia for business set up?No
Temporary physical office solutions available?Yes
You need a local resident as bank signatory?Yes
The entity will likely be regulated by?SAGIA and Ministry of Commerce and Investment
Minimum number of directors/managers?1
Monthly VAT reporting to the Government?Yes
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?No
Foreign bank signatories need a residence visa?Yes
Maximum number of staff allowed?No maximum number for any entity
Expatriate to local staff ratio?2 - 1
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
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)35
Minimum statutory monthly US$ salary?800
Average monthly US$ salary for local skilled employees?1,580
US$ deposit interest rate? (1 year average)2.89%
Overseas remittance currency controls?None
Banking considerations
Multi-currency bank accounts available?Yes
Corporate visa debit cards available?Yes
Quality of e-banking platform?Satisfactory
Crowd funding available in this country?Yes

Saudi Arabia business setup summary

Press the link headings below to read detailed, relevant, up to date information.

  • Advantages and disadvantages

    Advantages of Saudi Arabia company registration

    Saudi Arabia business registration advantages

    1. Our Clients will enjoy the following benefits, as Saudi Arabia looks to diversify from an oil dependent economy:
      • The Saudi Government is now welcoming foreign businesses, offering non-oil related services including: i) labour saving equipment and services ii) staff training services iii) all areas of health, personnel, and services iv) food industries utilizing locally abundant agricultural products v) metals manufacturing vi) vehicle manufacturing and vii) solar technologies;
      • Saudi Arabia has increased the period of renewability of foreign investment license from 1 year to 5 years. Additionally, the Saudi authorities to reduce the processing time for license issuance. Consequently, Clients will now save maintenance costs and time on their Saudi companies;
      • Foreign companies enjoy exemption from customs duties on the import of machinery, equipment, tools, and spare parts for industrial projects. Additionally, foreign companies are allowed to bid for government contracts and operate in the Kingdom without a Saudi agent or partner;
      • The Saudi Industrial Development Fund makes interest-free loans to industrial companies of up to 50% of the total cost of the project, including pre-operating costs, investment in fixed assets, and working capital. However, a 50% loan requires Saudi participation which is not less than 50%. If Saudi participation is lower, the loan is reduced proportionally;
      • The Kingdom remains by far the largest Arab market and is one of the world’s main trading nations in terms of goods and services. Saudi Arabia still depends on imports for most of its manufactured items, and many of its food stuffs. Consequently, local residents are hungry for international products and services and are willing to spend on quality;
      • Saudi Arabia has the largest Public Investment Fund in the Middle East, the proceeds from which will be invested in Saudi Arabia and increase the general standard of living in the country. As a result, demand for our customers’ goods and services is likely to increase over the coming years;

    Disadvantages of Saudi Arabia company registration

    1. Our Clients must be aware of the business challenges of working in Saudi Arabia including:
      • One of the biggest business challenges is the extensive government bureaucracy. As a result, when there is ambiguity about Saudi law, it gives rise to corruption and unnecessary delays in executing deals in the country;
      • Saudi Arabia recently introduced value-added tax (VAT) of 5%, increasing the prices of everyday goods and services. Additionally, a Saudi company also suffers corporation tax of 20%;
      • Foreign companies cannot import goods for resale and direct commercial marketing within the Kingdom to Saudi nationals. A Saudi agent or distributor must be appointed. Only Saudi nationals and 100% Saudi-owned companies may import goods. Importers must be licensed by the Ministry of Commerce;
      • Saudi Arabian business practices and laws still favour Saudi citizens. Saudi litigants have an advantage over foreign parties in almost any investment dispute because of their first-hand knowledge of Saudi law and culture. The dispute settlement process favours local parties in a dispute;
      • Disputes with Saudi partners causes serious problems for foreign investors. Saudi partners have blocked foreigners’ access to exit visas, forcing them to remain in Saudi Arabia against their will. In cases of alleged fraud, foreign partners may also be jailed to prevent their departure from the country while awaiting police investigation or adjudication of the case;
      • During business registration and corporate bank account opening, the Saudi Government frequently requests documents to be attested by the Saudi Embassy in the country of origin of our Client. This is both a costly and time-consuming exercise and complicates the company incorporation process. Examples of documents include: i) passports copies of directors; ii) parent company certificate of incorporation and M&AA; iii) power of attorney issued by the parent company. To overcome this problem, our Clients’ appoint Mr. Aidan Healy as the temporary nominee shareholder, director and bank signatory.
  • Best uses for a Saudi Arabia company

    Non-oil export companies receive free promotion from the Saudi government, so manufacturing and processing companies are well advised to invest in the country to take advantage of this, as well as the duty-free access to the 17 countries of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area.

Company registration

  • Time to incorporate: Nine weeks
  • Cost to set up: US$75,590
  • Minimum capital: US$26,665
  • Physical office required: Yes

Required appointments

  • Shareholders: 2
  • Directors: 1
  • Company secretary: Yes
  • Resident director: Yes

Key facts

  • Corporate tax rate: 20%
  • Corporate tax base: Territorial
  • Shelf companies: Unavailable
  • Main company type: LLC

Select corporate structure
Business set up guide
Agents and sponsors
Business set up strategy
Accounting and tax
Withholding tax
Client case studies
Detailed business activity questionnaire

To recommend the optimum corporate structure strategy for your business, kindly complete the 5-minute questionnaire below. Your data remains confidential and will not be sold to third-parties.

Within 3 hours thereafter, one of our in-house senior Consultants will ring you to discuss the specific results you need from Healy Consultants PLC:

  • Tell us about your existing business?

    Specifically, what services do you require from Healy Consultants Group PLC?

    By what date does your Firm needs quality deliverables?

    Name and place of residence of your existing company?

    Business website address?

    What products and services does your existing company supply?

    Do you offer any regulated products/services?

    In what country are the majority of your customers?

    Which bank handles your current corporate banking needs?

    Are you representing a Client or your Firm?

    Do you need our help to legally minimize international tax?

    Do you need help with monthly, quarterly or annual accounting and tax reporting?
  • Tell us about your new business plan

    In what country do you require to register a company? Refer to this web page (click link) for ideas.

    What products and services do you plan to supply in the new market?

    When are you available to travel to meet the bank officer?

    Expected annual sales and net profits?

    Within 1 year, how many staff need to be on the ground?

    Do you need help finding office or warehouse space?

    Shall we help you secure a specific license (import/export, financial, other) ?

    If yes, clarify the type of license you require.

    In which bank/ financial service provider do you require a corporate bank account? Refer to this web page (click link) for ideas.

    Does your business require a merchant account?
  • Your preferences

    For now, do you prefer Healy Consultants PLC staff to phone you, or just email reply some global solutions?

    If a phone call, on what number can our senior staff call you?

    If an email, to what email address can our staff email you at?

    What is your name?

    What is your preferred date and time for a phone call?

    What is your Skype ID?

    What is your WhatsApp ID?

    In what language do you prefer Healy Consultants Group PLC to communicate with you?

    In what specific ways, can Healy Consultants PLC supply quality customer service to you?

    What is your budget for the service you need from Healy Consultants Group PLC?

    By what date do you need to be able to operate a new fully operational business?

Contact us

For additional information on our business registration services in Saudi Arabia, please email us at Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
client relationship officer - Chrissi
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