E-commerce business in Saudi Arabia in 2021
Setting up an e-commerce business in Saudi Arabia is time consuming and challenging. However, the January 2020 enactment of a new e-commerce Law should improve regulation for entrants into this new market.
Summary of setting up an e-commerce business in Saudi Arabia
- A licence to conduct e-commerce activities must be obtained from the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA);
- SAGIA is inefficient and unfortunately licensing procedures are tedious and long, with multiple in-person visits to SAGIA offices required;
- Healy Consultants Group PLC’s step by step process for Saudi Arabia company incorporation ensures our Clients are shielded from many of the day-to-day challenges of e-commerce business set up and licensing.
Saudi Arabia e-commerce business setup requirements
- To setup a 100% foreign-owned enterprise in Saudi Arabia, it is necessary first to obtain an Investor Licence from SAGIA;
- Though the Investor Licence, a foreign investor does not need a local partner and can operate anywhere within the kingdom;
- Investors must also obtain a Commercial Registration Certificate (CR) from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry;
- Registration with the Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the appointment of a General Manager is also mandatory;
- Companies must secure an office space and sign a lease agreement;
- The company must also register with i) Ministry of Labour ii) General Organisation for Social Insurance and iii) the Tax Authority.
E-commerce business operation considerations
- The business must disclose the contact details and all identifying information relating to the e-commerce business and any online store;
- The company is obliged to protect customers’ personal data from third-party access;
- The operator can only retainer the consumer’s details during the period of the e-commerce transaction;
- Service providers must report to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry within three days if their online platform has been hacked;
- All e-advertisements sent to consumers must have a mode to request cessation;
- A consumer’s right to terminate a purchase and seven-day return policy must be included on the online store;
- Non-compliant platforms can be suspended indefinitely or fined up to SAR1million (approximately US$270,000).
Request a Saudi Arabia e-commerce company setup quotation here.