If you're pondering your next business move, consider Saudi Arabia. With recent regulatory changes facilitating easier business setup and a youthful, technology-driven demographic, the kingdom emerges as a prime destination for expansion. Saudi Arabia's forward-looking vision emphasizes innovation, underscored by significant investments in technology and infrastructure. Dive into our blog to uncover essential insights for expanding your business to Saudi Arabia with confidence.


  1. Charting New Frontiers: Unveiling Saudi Arabia's 100% Foreign Ownership Landscape

Stay abreast of global business dynamics as Saudi Arabia spearheads transformative initiatives. The recent groundbreaking development allows foreign enterprises an unparalleled opportunity for 100% ownership in the Kingdom. Since its establishment, BMS Auditing has been instrumental in supporting numerous foreign businesses in setting up fully-owned branches in Saudi Arabia.


In a strategic move following the permission for foreign property ownership, Saudi Arabia now extends the privilege to fully own companies in special economic zones. Before embarking on this promising journey, it's crucial to consider key factors:



Securing 100% ownership demands an established company with over a year of operational history in the home country, boasting a positive financial track record verified by an audited report from the previous business year.



While service-related ventures enjoy open foreign ownership, trading activities entail a substantial share capital requirement of SAR 30,000,000. Professional activities often require a 25% Saudi ownership.



Some sectors, such as defense equipment manufacturing, real estate in Medinah and Makkah, and oil and gas exploration, are off-limits for foreign investors. 


  1. Swift Business Setup in Saudi Arabia: Your Path to Success in 3 Months

Establishing a business in a new country can be a daunting prospect, but not in Saudi Arabia. With the right assistance, your business can be up and running in just three months. The process involves three stages:


  1. Foundation Building (2-3 weeks): Obtain a MISA Investor License and register with the Chamber of Commerce to establish your legal entity.
  2. Staff Authorization (2-3 weeks): Secure permissions to hire staff by registering with the Ministry of Labor and obtaining essential documents.
  3. Residency and Banking (1-2 weeks): Settle in by acquiring residency for your General Manager and opening a local bank account.


Partner with BMS Auditing for a seamless journey through these stages. Your business will be well-established, compliant, and ready for growth in no time.


  1. Establishing Your Regional Headquarters (RHQ)

For those eyeing government contracts in Saudi Arabia, setting up an RHQ is essential. The Regional Headquarters Program, developed by the Ministry of Investment Saudi Arabia and the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, encourages global companies to establish their regional headquarters in the heart of Saudi Arabia, aligning with the 'Vision 2030' initiative.


Setting up an RHQ in Saudi Arabia not only ensures compliance but also brings numerous benefits for foreign-owned businesses. Enjoy enhanced visa limits, tax exemptions, and Saudization benefits. RHQs are income tax-free, and special economic zones offer additional advantages, including exemptions from withholding tax. Ensure a seamless process by securing your RHQ license with BMS and our team of Saudi specialists before the deadline.


  1. Expanding into Saudi Arabia's Special Economic Zones (SEZs)

Saudi Arabia's SEZs, designed to accelerate economic diversification and attract investors, offer distinct commercial regulations. These zones cover diverse sectors, including biopharmaceuticals, car assembly, cloud computing, and logistics, providing investors with a platform for regional and international growth.


What were the incentives for expanding into Saudi Arabia's SEZs?

Expanding into SEZs offered incentives to streamline business operations and enhance profitability, including:


  • A 5% Corporate Income Tax rate for up to two decades.
  • No withholding tax on profit transfers from SEZs to foreign countries.
  • Customs duties deferral or complete waiver on capital equipment and inputs within SEZs.
  • Supportive Saudization regulations, particularly in the initial 5 years.
  • No VAT on goods exchanged within and between SEZs.
  • Avoidance of double taxation through special tax treatments aligned with OECD principles.
  • Competitive utility rates, notably for electricity.
  • Exemption from operational fees within SEZs for employees and their families.


  1. Complying with Saudization Quota (Nitaqat)

Nitaqat, initiated by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, focuses on empowering Saudi nationals, ensuring their active participation in the nation's economic growth. The objective is to reduce unemployment among Saudis and decrease dependence on foreign labor. In essence, all businesses in Saudi Arabia, including foreign-owned companies, must maintain a specific number of Saudi nationals in their workforce.


The regulations are intricate and subject to variation. Industry type, company size, classification, and geographical location within the country are factors influencing Saudization quotas.


Why does it matter?

Saudization benefits Saudi citizens by creating more job opportunities, fostering skill development, and offering involvement in diverse industries. This initiative is mutually advantageous, as businesses, particularly growing startups and SMEs, gain access to a talent pool well-acquainted with the Saudi market. Leveraging local expertise can significantly enhance product localization and elevate customer service quality.


Ready to Take the Leap?

Entering a new market comes with its share of complexities, and having the correct collaborator can be a game-changer.


Equipped with extensive knowledge of the Saudi business landscape and a proven history of steering companies toward triumph, BMS Auditing stands as the ideal ally for you. Serving as your local companion on the ground, they will navigate your path, ensuring your venture into the Saudi market is seamless, adherent to regulations, and prosperous.

If you're aspiring to turn the vision of expanding into the heart of the Middle East into reality, choose BMS Auditing with confidence!


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