Saudi Arabia

Starting a Business in

Saudi Arabia

Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Saudi Arabia. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with up to 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 189 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2013.

Compare Saudi Arabia to 188 other economies.

  • Standardized Company

  • Legal Form: Limited Liability Company
  • Paid in Minimum Capital Requirement: None
  • City: Riyadh
No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
1 Reserve a company name

An entrepreneur uses the online option to check whether a company name is available: if a name is not reserved, the website will hold it for the entrepreneur who needs (i) to print a confirmation and (ii) take it to the Unified Center (UC) to officially reserve the name. The name reservation can also be done online through the website of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Less than one day (online procedure) no charge
2 Submit the required documents to the Unified Center (UC)

The required documents must be submitted to the Unified Center:
• Articles of Association (AOA), in line with a standard template provided by the UC
• The AOA must also be submitted in a soft copy on a CD (in practice)
• Confirmation of the reservation of the company name

The following documents may also be requested:
• Identification card
• Application form
• Cover letter
1 day no charge
3 Pay the registration fee at the Bank window within the same building of the Unified Center

The registration fee can be paid at the bank that is set up at the UC.
1 day SAR 1,200 registration fee + SAR 650 publication of summary AOA
4 Notarize the Articles of Association with a Notary public

The notary public is located in the same building of the UC. The notary public reviews all the documents to make sure they are complete. Currently, the notary public reviews up to 15 companies per day. The notary’s office (consisting of 5-6 employees) is moving towards computerization and electronic notarization as opposed to handwriting a summary of the AOA.
1 week no charge
5 Open bank account

The entrepreneur applies for opening a company bank account at a bank of choice.
4 days no charge
6 Submit the approved documentation, certificate of deposit and AoA at the Unified Center, as well as 2 applications and one undertaking

All notarized documents must be submitted at another window at the UC in order to be entered into the database.
2 days no charge
7 Pay the Chamber of Commerce membership fee at the Unified Center

This fee can be paid in the same building of the UC.
1 day SAR 2,100 Chamber of Commerce fee
* 8 Register with the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI)

To register for social security insurance, the employer must open a file with the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI). This action will register the employer and the employee with the organization’s two branches: the Pension Fund and the Industrial and illness Fund (Occupational Hazards Fund). Employers must contribute 11% of employee salary (Saudi employees), whereas the employees must contribute 9%.
3 days, simultaneous with previous procedure no charge
* 9 Register with the Department of Zakat

Zakat, a religious wealth tax, is assessed based on taxable income and certain assets.
3 days, simultaneous with previous procedure no charge
* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.

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