A man building his startup in Saudi Arabia

Build your Startup in Saudi Arabia

by Jayati Gadamsetty 05, Mar 2024

Saudi Arabia is much more than a land known for petroleum. The country is becoming a hub for business and innovation.

Saudi Arabia is facing a major shift in terms of entrepreneurship and innovation. Whether you are an entrepreneur or aspiring to become one, Saudi Arabia is leaving no stone unturned to help you build your startup.

Vision 2030 plays a major role in giving a boost to startups in Saudi Arabia. This is a big move by the government to grow the economy and promote startup culture.

Building a startup in Saudi Arabia can be challenging and daunting. This guide will run you through the requirements and steps for building your startup in KSA. 

Prerequisites for Building Your Saudi Arabia Startup

You must check the following boxes for your company formation in Saudi Arabia:

  1. 8+ years of work experience.
  2. Valid passport of Saudi Arabia.
  3. Minimum capital of USD 50,000.
  4. Trade license from your home country.
  5. Existing business in your home country.
  6. Government-registered business with an official seal.
  7. Must be a Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, Yemen or the UAE citizen.

Steps for Incorporating your Startup in Saudi Arabia

To incorporate your Saudi startup, you must register with the Ministry of Commerce. Follow these steps for a successful startup incorporation in Saudi Arabia.

  1. Selecting a Business Activity and Jurisdiction

Choose a jurisdiction based on your business activity. Saudi Arabia offers the mainland and 5 economic zones to choose from. Your license will depend on the chosen jurisdiction. 

  1. Picking a Trade Name and Structure

Choose a trade name suiting your business activity. The name must be unique and should follow the naming rules of the country. Post name selection, reserve it with the authority. Once the naming process is complete, select a business structure, that aligns with your business needs. 

Speak with business consultants from Commitbiz to understand which structure best suits your needs.

  1. Following the Rules

For your startup to be successful in any country, it must follow the rules and regulations. The rules for startups in KSA are -

  • Taxes such as Zakat and Income tax
  • Intellectual Property Laws
  • Industry Specific Rules
  • Banking Rules
  • Labor Laws
  • Local Laws
  1. Preparation and Submission of Documents

File and submit the required documents to the MOC for setting up a company in Saudi Arabia -

  • Business Plan
  • Articles of Association
  • Company Registration form
  • Memorandum of Association
  • Extra Approvals (if required)
  • Identity Proof of Shareholders
  • Address Proof of Shareholders
  • Power of Attorney (if required)
  • Bank Account Letter from the bank
  • Trade Name Confirmation Certificate
  • NOC from the Parent Company (letter from the parent company allowing the KSA business incorporation)
  1. Translation of Official Documents

A strict rule for startups in Saudi Arabia is that all official documents must be translated into Arabic. This translation needs to be carried out by professionals or certified companies. The precise translation is essential for compliance and incorporation reasons.

  1. Securing Important Approvals

Before establishing your startup in KSA, you must secure the necessary approvals from the different government bodies. These approvals will allow startups to conduct business. Understand the process and requirements of getting the approvals and trade licenses.

These are the authorities which will assist you with the approvals -

  1. Renting/ Leasing an Office Space

Select the right-fit location for your company. Make sure it's in close proximity to its clientele. The rent of the office space depends on the location, size, etc. Follow the building’s compliance rules and regulations.

Authorities can conduct inspections anytime. So, ensure all permissions and approvals are up to date.

  1. Creating a Bank Account

A bank account is important for conducting business transactions. KSA offers many local and international banks to entrepreneurs to choose from. Submit the personal and company-related documents for creating your bank account.

The government plans to accommodate and provide world-class facilities to Saudi Arabian startups. From supportive rules and incentives to growth opportunities, Saudi Arabia offers everything. The business environment in the country is to die for.

Building a startup in KSA is a great idea. But you must research and comply with the laws. To understand the complex rules and regulations, it is advised to seek help from trustworthy business consultants. Commitbiz consultants have a great body of work to boast about


What are the legal requirements for starting a startup in Saudi Arabia?

To establish a startup in Saudi Arabia, you need to adhere to several legal requirements. These include registering your business with the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) or the Ministry of Commerce and Investment (MCI), obtaining necessary licenses and permits, and ensuring compliance with local labour laws. Additionally, you'll need to decide on your business structure, whether it's a sole proprietorship, partnership, or company, and fulfil any specific industry regulations.

What funding options are available for startups in Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia has been actively encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation through various funding initiatives. One of the prominent options is the Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC), which provides funding to startups at different stages of growth. Additionally, there are government-backed initiatives like the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) that offer support to startups through investment incentives and grants. Furthermore, angel investors, venture capital firms, and incubators/accelerators play significant roles in the startup ecosystem, providing funding, mentorship, and networking opportunities.

How can I navigate the cultural and societal norms while starting a startup in Saudi Arabia?

Understanding and respecting cultural and societal norms is crucial when starting a startup in Saudi Arabia. It's essential to establish relationships and networks within the local community, as personal connections often play a significant role in business dealings. Moreover, being mindful of Islamic principles and customs regarding business practices, such as respecting gender segregation and adhering to halal business standards, can enhance your credibility and reputation. Additionally, learning Arabic or hiring local talent who can assist in navigating cultural nuances can be beneficial for effective communication and relationship-building.

You should get in touch with us now to book a consultation call.

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