Oman, also known as the Sultanate of Oman, is a strategically located growing business centre. It is one of the growing GCC nations that is also an established home to foreign ex-pats with a lot of business opportunities. The Omani Government has been continuously proceeding towards the nation’s development and has initiated multiple steps to give comfort to the foreign ex-pats and grab more foreign investors. If you are planning to diversify your business at an international level, Oman is a location that you can count on. We give you an overview as to why choose Oman as an investment location. Let’s start with the different business structure that can be incorporated.
Why Start a Business in Oman?
Oman has made a phenomenal transformation in Oman’s social and economic structure. It receives vast revenues from oil production which fuel the economy. Diversification is now a government priority with a major emphasis being placed on tourism which is the main source of revenue. Apart from this, Oman has created several free zones to increase international business to the country, and to diversify the economy, beyond the oil industry. The free trade zones are located in Al Mazunah, Sohar, Salalah, and Duqm SEZ. Industries allowed to operate in the free trade zones include manufacturing, import and export, warehousing and storage, and assembling and manufacturing.
Types of Business Entities in Oman
The location of Oman is well-suited for the following business structures:
A sole proprietorship or a one-person company can be opened with a sole director and no minimum paid-up share capital requirements. A one-person company is expected to become the most commonly used entity for foreigners wishing to do business in Oman via a simple corporate structure.
Joint Stock Company
A joint-stock company can be formed by a minimum of three shareholders. JSCs that trade their shares publicly are known as Public JSC and those who do not offer shares to the public are known as Private JSCs. These companies can be opened by businesses who want to involve in the large investment of funds or raising capital.
Limited Liability Company
An LLC includes having –
- Having an Omani, GCC or USA shareholder
An Omani LLC is the most commonly used entity for foreigners that wish to do business in Oman
A Joint Venture is an internal agreement between two or more parties whereby one party performs business in his/her personal name while the profits/losses of the proceeds are shared. A JV is not a legal entity and therefore does not require any form of registration with, nor has protection from, the local authorities.
A holding company is an entity that owns at least 51% of the shares in one or more joint-stock or limited liability companies. We recommend registering a holding company for projects, involving large investments of funds or raising capital.
Benefits of Business Setup in Oman
Doing business in Oman turns out to be a good opportunity for foreign ex-pats. There are several reasons to start a business in Oman. The ground provides the following benefits:
- A strategic business location
- Availability of natural resources
- Fast developing economy
- Government support to boost new business
- No personal tax
- Emerging business in the non-oil sector
How to Start a Business in Oman?
Just like the other GCC countries, the Oman company registration process requires the involvement of a few steps that need to be cleared accordingly. Before we move towards the concrete process, let’s have a look at the basic requirements that turns out to be a must.
Oman Company Registration Process
Company registration in Oman is a process wherein the business entity is given a physical platform. To start the process, there are certain steps that need to be followed accordingly. Below mentioned are the steps related to the incorporation as well as post incorporation process that you need to follow once you have decided to open company in Oman.
Incorporation Process in Oman
1.Decide on a Trade Name
A trade name must be unique and related to the business. Decide on a name and submit the application to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI).
2.Submit Documents of Incorporation
This is the initial stage where all the necessary documents need to be submitted to initiate the incorporation process. The essential documents required are:
- Memorandum and Articles of Association
- Shareholders’ Visas and Passports
- Tax Registration Certificate
- Identity Card of Shareholders
- Certificate of Initial Deposit
- Filed Company Registration Form
- Chamber of Commerce and Industry Affiliation Certificate
3.Capital Account Opening
Once the documents have been submitted, a capital account needs to be opened to deposit the initial incorporation fee.
4.Register with Chamber of Commerce
Register with the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) for compliance with the commercial rules and regulation required of a corporate in Oman.
5.Register the Business
This step involves the submission of the essentials:
- Legalized Opening Forms
- Municipality Approval
- Share Capital Certificate
Post-Incorporation Process in Oman
1. Apply for Visa
The next step after the incorporation process is to apply for visa services for all your employees. You can have a word with visa consultants to avail the visa services at a faster pace.
2. Employee Registration
The employees must be acknowledged as a part of the business entity and for that registration of the employees under the company name is mandatory.
3. Conversion of Bank Account
The business capital account needs to be converted to the current account so as to ease the business transactions successfully.
Our Business Setup Services in Oman
Commitbiz comes with a business setup solution package that includes:
- Company Incorporation and Registration
- Local Sponsorship
- Public Relations Officer (PRO) Services
- Accounting and Bookkeeping
- Tax Consulting
- VAT Registration
- Intellectual Property Services
Commitbiz has been one of the best business consultants in Dubai, helping out various clients to establish and grab business opportunities in Oman. Our experts are well-versed with the Omani business framework and will help you to deal with it in a hassle-free way. To proceed towards starting a business in Oman today, do contact us. We’d be happy to assist.
1. Can a foreigner own majority shares in an Omani company?
The Sultanate of Oman encourages foreign capital that will enhance the overall development of the country.
2. What are the prerequisites to start an LLC company in Oman?
To start an LLC company in Oman, at least two shareholders, one director and minimum share capital of OR 150,000 is required.
3. What are the investment incentives offered in Oman?
Investment incentives include providing plots for nominal lease charges in specified areas and reducing utility charges and exemption from taxes.
4. Is a foreign company allowed to open a branch and representative office in Oman?
Companies conducting business through special contracts or agreements with the government can establish a branch in Oman.
5. How many industrial estates, free zones, special economic zones are in Oman?
There are six industrial estates in Oman managed by the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates.
6. Is there any restriction on repatriation?
Oman is a free economy and does not restrict the remittance abroad of equity, debt, capital, interest, dividends, profits and personal savings.
7. What are the criteria for getting a residential and investors' visa?
An investor visa is granted to a foreigner who intends to invest his money in Oman according to certification in this respect from the authority concerned.
8. What is the corporate tax rate in Oman?
A uniform 12% tax rate is applicable for all companies irrespective of nationality and size, and profit up to OMR 30,000 is exempt from tax.
9. Is it mandatory to have a resident shareholder or director for a business setup in Oman?
No. resident shareholder or director is not needed to establish a company in Oman. However, many companies require at least one Omani or GCC citizen or corporation to hold 35% of the company's shares.
10. How long does it take to form a company in Oman?
If all documents and other prerequisites are in order, company formation in Oman takes about 8 to 10 days.
11. Is Value Added Tax applicable in Oman?
A Value Added Tax (VAT) shall probably be introduced in Oman from 2019.