KSA Company Setup & Registration
Sovereign PPG provide professional consultancy and step-by-step guidance on the incorporation process in Saudi. Ensuring good corporate governance from the outset and providing advice on the common pitfalls to be avoided.
The main steps to consider are primary and secondary registrations, residency (Iqama) for the General Manager, authorisation to hire employees and bank account opening. We can support with the entire process including the initial legalisation and attestation of the required documents at the Saudi Embassy in the foreign investor’s country, right through to the issuance of the Commercial Registration and entity portal registrations in-Kingdom.
Obtaining Iqama Residence Visa in KSA
The processes following company incorporation in Saudi Arabia will be for the entity to obtain Iqama residence visas for its employees and begin the onboarding process. There are several different government portals that companies in Saudi Arabia will need to become familiar with and register the business and/or its employees to fulfil Labour Law, Immigration, and employee management requirements. Read more
Why Incorporate in Saudi Arabia with us?
Our physical presence in the Kingdom, together with our strong regional presence across the Gulf region – in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Doha and Muscat – and our global office network spanning Europe, Asia and Africa, has enabled us to assist businesses from five continents to set up and deliver on their commercial plans in the Saudi market.
What are the Company Types possible in Saudi Arabia?
Commercial registration (and supporting licences) is issued by the Ministry of Investment Saudi Arabia (MISA) and the Ministry of Commerce (MoC). MISA, which was formerly
Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), facilitates investment opportunities for foreign and local businesses and individuals in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As MISA is the registration authority, business licenses in Saudi Arabia can often be referred to as a MISA license or a SAGIA license.
Registration through MISA (SAGIA) is the first step in setting up a business in Saudi Arabia. Essentially, MISA is the gateway to recognition and permission to operate in the Kingdom. MISA’s primary goal is to facilitate and encourage both foreign and local investment.
The principal business entities in the Kingdom include Limited Liability Company (LLC), Joint Stock Company (JSC) and Branch of a foreign entity. However, the most common is the Limited Liability Company (LLC) for which 100% Foreign Ownership is permissible through MISA.
It is the most popular form of legal entity and attracts the most interest and traction from foreign investors. Why? Because 100% Foreign Ownership is applicable from day one. This makes it appealing to foreign investors, benchmarked against other 100% Foreign Owned initiatives in the wider GCC region. However, some activities e.g. Engineering & Consultancy do require a Saudi National Shareholder to be active in the business and become a true 25% Shareholder.
MISA recognises the following legal entities:
5 KSA Entity Types
Saudi Arabia is the largest economy in the Gulf region and is becoming an increasing viable destination for foreign investors and companies to expand into to take advantage of the growing Saudi market.
Recent regulatory changes in the Kingdom have also significantly increased the attractiveness for companies to set up - allowing 100% foreign ownership through the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA) platform.
This process, however, can be arduous and time consuming and using a Corporate Service Provider based in the Kingdom that can oversee the formation from initial registration to full operation will save time and money whilst the business concentrates on its expansion objectives and strategy. PRO Partner Group have their own on the ground PRO and Operations support service team to assist with all critical government registrations and industry sector specific regulatory approvals and well versed to assist fully in the KSA company formation process.
Limited Liability Co (LLC) - 100% foreign ownership permissible through MISA
A limited liability company (LLC) is popular among foreign investors into Saudi Arabia (KSA), individual personal liability for each shareholder is limited to their contribution to the share capital.
A LLC is one of the most common forms of legal entity opted for by foreign investors when making market entry to the Kingdom and is well regarded and widely used.
The Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA) offers foreign ownership of a company in the KSA without a local partner and minimal government restriction. MISA registration/license is required for a business to establish with 100% foreign ownership in Saudi Arabia. Read more
Limited liability One-Person Company
It is now possible to setup a Single Shareholder Limited Liability Company in Saudi Arabia (KSA) – meaning that a limited liability company (LLC) can be formed by a single shareholder who holds 100% of the shares, has the rights and powers of the General Manager, Board of Directors and Shareholders General Assembly. This also means that the liability of the company lies with the individual shareholder, limited to their contribution to the share capital – assuming their intentions and practices are appropriate. Read more
Joint Stock Company in KSA
A Joint Stock Company (JSC) is likely the most regulated company type in Saudi Arabia (KSA). Through regulatory requirements for incorporation and the degree of control/involvement of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI). The liability of a JSC lies with each shareholder, limited to their contribution to the share capital. Read more
Foreign company branch set up in KSA
These branches are considered to be an extension of their parent company. Branches can be established relatively quickly in comparison to LLCs and JSCs.
A branch can be permitted by MISA licensing to perform a full range of activities. The branch can engage in both public and private sector projects and can promote/solicit its MISA licensed activity throughout the Kingdom. Otherwise, branches are not allowed to conduct promotion, marketing or trading activity. Read more
Solidarity professional company / Sole Establishment in KSA
A sole establishment/proprietorship in Saudi Arabia (KSA) is referred to as an establishment.
This company type is suitable for small businesses. An establishment has an individual/sole trader, who has unlimited personal liability for the business and the licence is issued in their name – a company or corporate body cannot own the business. The sole proprietorship is not a legal entity and refers to the business owner who is personally liable. Read more
Download our below free guide on setting up and Doing Business in Saudi Arabia: