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Business Licenses in Saudi ArabiaLearn More About the Requirements for Different MISA Licenses

There are 9 types of licenses issued by the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA - previously SAGIA).

Nine Types of Business Licenses


The Saudi Arabian government offers nine types of business licenses to foreign companies and individuals: service license, entrepreneurial license, industrial license, agricultural license, real estate license, trading license, mining license, and professional license. Each license has its own requirements and benefits.

Service license

A service license allows foreign companies to provide a wide range of services in Saudi Arabia, including restaurants, marketing agencies, IT services, Web or App development, and other general services. Foreign companies can own 100% of a service company in Saudi Arabia.

Requirements:

  • Business established outside of KSA for more than 1 year (not a sole proprietorship)
  • Minimum capital of SAR 25,000

Entrepreneurial license

An entrepreneurial license is specifically for startups and offers a number of benefits, such as streamlined regulations, reduced fees, and access to government support programs.

Requirements:

  • Either a patented idea, VC-backed, or support letter from a government entity (MISA, PIF, CODE, KAUST, TDF)
  • Endorsement letter & MISA pre-approval

Industrial license

An industrial license allows foreign companies to establish manufacturing facilities in Saudi Arabia. Foreign companies can own 100% of an industrial company in Saudi Arabia.

Requirements:

  • Business established outside of KSA for more than 1 year (not a sole proprietorship)
  • Minimum capital of SAR 25,000

Agricultural license

An agricultural license allows foreign companies to engage in agricultural activities in Saudi Arabia, such as farming and livestock production. Foreign companies can own 100% of an agricultural company in Saudi Arabia.

Requirements:

  • Business established outside of KSA for more than 1 year (not a sole proprietorship)
  • Minimum capital of SAR 25,000

Real estate license

This service is provided to foreign real estate development companies in case the total cost of the project, in terms of both land and construction is not less than 30 million Saudi riyals in terms of land and construction, and the investment is established outside the borders of the cities of Mecca and Medina. We recommend contacting MISA directly for details about this license requirement.

Trading license (Commercial license)

A trading license allows foreign companies to import and export goods in Saudi Arabia. Foreign companies can own 100% of a trading company in Saudi Arabia.

Requirements for Foreign Investment
As for operating a trading company in the Kingdom, there are a few possible options we can proceed with, their conditions are listed below:

100% foreign ownership

  • The company should have three branches in different countries outside Saudi Arabia
  • SAR 30m capital needs to be injected/invested in the first year
  • SAR 170m capital needs to be invested in the next 5 years in the Saudi company

25% Saudi partner

  • No need for branches
  • SAR 26,666,666 capital needs to be injected/invested in the first year and foreign capital shareholding cannot be less than SAR 20 million
  • No need to invest 170,000,000 SAR in the entity in 5 years


For 100% GCC-National Owned Companies:
GCC nationals are treated like Saudis and don't require any of the above! -> 100% ownership of Saudi entity

  • Minimum capital of SAR 50,000

Mining license

A mining license allows foreign companies to engage in mining activities in Saudi Arabia. Foreign companies can own 100% of a mining company in Saudi Arabia.

Requirements:

  • Business established outside of KSA for more than 1 year (not a sole proprietorship)
  • Minimum capital of SAR 25,000

Professional license

A professional license allows foreign professionals to practice their profession (law, taxation, consultancy, engineering, architecture, and other advisory services) in Saudi Arabia. Foreign professionals can own 100% of a professional company in Saudi Arabia.

Requirements:

A MISA Professional License is for specific activities usually around specific consulting activities such as engineering consulting, marine consulting, and mining consulting. Must have a minimum of a 25% local partner with years of experience in the field.

Alternatively, your company (Only Engineering Firms) needs to meet the following requirements for 100% Foreign Ownership.

  • Four Branches
  • Share capital of one branch should be equal to 10 Million SAR
  • 7+ Years of Experience

You can search in the business activities directory to find the right license for your business. We also always recommend consulting your case with a qualified setup consultant.


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