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Guide to starting a Business in Kuwait

Formal registration of companies has many immediate benefits for the companies and for business owners and employees. Legal entities can outlive their founders. Resources are pooled as several shareholders join forces to start a company. Formally registered companies have access to services and institutions from courts to banks as well as to new markets. And their employees can benefit from protections provided by the law. An additional benefit comes with limited liability companies. These limit the financial liability of company owners to their investments, so personal assets of the owners are not put at risk. Where governments make registration easy, more entrepreneurs start businesses in the formal sector, creating more good jobs and generating more revenue for the government.

Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Kuwait. 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 from World Bank: Doing Business 
No.ProcedureTime to CompleteAssociated Costs
1File with the Department of Partnerships (DOP) at the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) an application to set up the company, obtain background clearance1 dayno charge
2Pick a name for the company and file an application with the Commercial Register1 dayno charge
3Retrieve from the Department of Partnerships the notes addressed to the bank and to the municipality.1 dayno charge
4Deposit the legally required initial capital in a bank and obtain deposit evidence1 dayno charge
5The Municipality Inspects the company’s premises and issues a certificate5 daysno charge
6Obtain a memorandum of association form from the Department of Partnership1 dayno charge
7Sign and notarize the memorandum of association before a public notary2 daysKWD 15 for a 10 page Memorandum (KWD 1.5 per page)
8Obtain from the Department of Partnerships a license to start activity2 daysKWD 37
9Register with the Commercial Registry1 dayno charge
10Register with the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry1 dayKWD 82 initial registration, then yearly KWD 80 for renewal of membership
11Register with the Civil Data Department15 daysKWD 5
* 12Open a company’s labor file at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs15 days (simultaneous with procedure 11)no charge
* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.
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