Open a Trading Company in Oman

The Sultanate of Oman provides a nourishing environment for traders ready to grab the opportunities. Oman’s business environment supports a wide range of businesses.

Although petroleum and natural gas have boosted Oman’s economy for a long time, a new era is dawning now. 

Oman is now welcoming various trading companies by expanding its infrastructure, providing pro-business policies, lowering tax rates, etc.

Due to these developments, individuals seek to open a trading company in Oman. This is your one-stop solution as it includes the benefits, business structure, steps, etc, to register a company in Oman. 

How Do You Select a Location for a Trading Company in Oman?

Oman offers two jurisdictions, a mainland and a free zone for starting a trading company in Oman. These zones are located in Oman and have specific requirements, regulations, and benefits. Read below to understand them -

  1. A Mainland Company Formation in Oman is also known as an onshore company formation. These businesses can operate regionally and internationally. 
  2. A Free Zone Company Formation in Oman allows businesses to trade within its borders.

Below is the difference between the mainland and the free zone in Oman.



Free Zone 

Company Structure

  • Requires at least two shareholders and one director.
  • A local sponsor with 30% ownership is necessary
  • Minimum initial capital required
  • Simple incorporation process
  • Complete foreign ownership


It can operate anywhere in Oman except the free zones.

Can operate in the following freezones:

  • Sohar Free Zone
  • Al Mazunah Free Zone
  • Salalah Free Zone
  • Duqm SEZ


Can access local and international markets.

Can conduct business only within the free zone.


Must follow Oman’s commercial laws, such as -

  • Taxes
  • Labor regulations
  • Foreign ownership
  • Commercial activities

Companies must follow the rules the governing authority sets in the selected free zone.


Setup and operational costs are comparatively higher.

Low setup and operational costs.


There are three tax structures in Oman

  1. Conditions required to fall under the 0 % category are -
  • Complete ownership of the company by an Omani.
  • All employees are Omani.
  • 100% locally made product.
  1. For small and medium enterprises, conditions to fall under the 3% category are -
  • Share capital should not exceed OMR 60,000
  • Annual turnover must be less than OMR 150,000
  • Companies should have a maximum of 25 employees.
  1.  Companies that do not fulfil the conditions of the 3% category will fall under the 15% tax category.

Free zone companies are exempt from all taxes.

Types of Business Structures for a Mainland Trading Company in Oman

An entrepreneur can choose to establish a company through various business structures in Oman. These structures are given below - 

  1. Limited Liability Company (LLC)

An LLC is the most used form of business structure in Oman. It has very basic requirements for foreign investors. The requirements and benefits of an LLC are -

  • Minimum two shareholders 
  • A Local sponsor is required
  • LLCs are subject to taxation
  • Protects assets of shareholders
  • Shareholders must appoint managers
  • Shareholders can be individuals or business entities
  • Must keep accounting records and financial statements
  • Initial capital is a must and can vary based on business activity
  1. Simple Partnership

A Simple partnership is also known as a general partnership. This structure is best for small businesses and is controlled by the Commercial Companies Law.

The characteristics of a simple partnership are -

  • Partners in the company can be individuals or corporations
  • Each partner is liable for debts faced by the company
  • Usually, they share equal rights and duties
  • Must have a minimum of two partners
  1. Private Shareholding Company

A private shareholding company is a legal structure selected by businesses that want to work as a corporate structure. The features of this company are -

  • Requires a minimum of two shareholders
  • Must hold annual general meetings (AGM)
  • Shareholders are liable only for their shares.
  • Shareholders can be individuals or business entities.
  • Minimum initial capital is set by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI)
  • The company is operated by a board of directors appointed by the shareholders.
  1. Public Shareholding Company

The Bahrain public shareholding company is commonly known as a joint stock company. In this structure, ownership and capital is divided into equal shares. Characteristics of this structure are as follows - 

  • Shares of the company are presented to the public as Initial Public Offerings (IPO).
  • Shareholders must appoint a board of directors to manage the company.
  • The Commercial companies Law sets minimum capital.
  • Yearly general assembly meetings are compulsory. 
  • Minimum one shareholder.
  1. Branch Office

A branch office is an extension of a foreign company that follows the rules of the country it is established in. The features of a branch office in Oman include -

  • Must hire a local agent.
  • Should maintain an individual's financial records.
  • Has to conduct the same business activity as the parent company.
  • Functions with the same name and legal structure as the head office.
  1. Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is a business owned and operated by a single person. The aspects of a sole proprietorship in Oman are -

  • Personal income tax and corporate tax are applicable to sole proprietors.
  • The Proprietor is responsible for debts, legalities and responsibilities.
  • Full ownership of the company

How Do You Register a Trading Company in Oman?

Now that you have come this far, you must be looking for steps to take to register a trade company in Oman. The detailed registration procedure is as follows -

  1. Select an Appropriate Business Structure

Pick a business entity or structure most fitting for your trading company. LLCs are the most selected legal structure in Oman.

Keep in mind the factors listed below while choosing a company structure.

  • Asset protection
  • Ownership
  • Taxes, etc
  1. Register Your General Trading Company in Oman

Firstly, choose a business name for your trading company. Ensure the selected name follows Oman’s naming rules.

  1. Submit the Documents

File and submit the necessary documents to the MOCI. Documents are listed below -

  • Work visa 
  • Application form
  • Articles of Association
  • Memorandum of Association
  • Identity proof of shareholders
  • Office’s rental/lease agreement
  1. Acquire Licenses and Sanctions

Based on the trade activity, businesses will have to apply for appropriate licenses. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) is responsible for the approval of trading licenses.

Some of the common licenses are -

  • Industry related permits
  • Import-export licenses
  • Commercial license
  1. Lease an Office Space

Renting or buying an office space for your trading company in Oman is essential. The office space helps in facilitating legal and business activities. It is an official address where authorities can issue necessary certificates, licenses, notices, etc.

  1. Open a Bank Account for Your Trading Company

Oman has a variety of international and local banks. Entrepreneurs must choose a bank based on the benefits it offers their company. 

Once your corporate bank account is open, you can start operations worldwide.

  1. Enroll with Tax Authorities

Lastly, Every trading company in Oman has to register with the Oman Tax Authority (OTA) and secure a Tax Identification Number (TIN). The TIN is a special number allotted to taxpayers by the authorities to keep track of transactions associated with taxes. 

Now that you have reached the end of this guide, we hope you are confident and have all the information about opening a trading company in Oman.

Keep in mind that while obtaining licenses and following the regulations can be challenging, the rewards are ample. Oman’s prime location, growing economy and backing by the government provide a helpful atmosphere for your general trading company in Oman.

Use this information as your guide to fulfil your goals and the Omani trade sector. Although the sector comes with its immense benefits and scope of growth, it also comes with its own set of challenges. It is ideal to hire legal, financial and business experts to deal with these challenges effortlessly.
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