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Guide to starting a Business in Saudi Arabia

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 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 from World Bank: Doing Business 
No.ProcedureTime to CompleteAssociated Costs
1Reserve a company name1 dayno charge
2Submit required documentation at the Unified Center (UC)1 dayno charge
3Pay registration fee at a Bank window, located in the same building as the Unified Center1 daySAR 1,200 registration fee + SAR 650 publication of summary AOA
4Meet with the Notary public who reviews documentation and notarizes the Articles of Association (AoA)1 weekno charge
5Open bank account4 daysno charge
6Submit the approved documentation, certificate of deposit and AoA at the Unified Center, as well as 2 applications and one undertaking2 daysno charge
7Pay Chamber of Commerce membership fee at Unified Center1 daySAR 2,100 Chamber of Commerce fee
* 8Register with GOSI3 days, simultaneous with previous procedureno charge
* 9Register with the Department of Zakat3 days, simultaneous withprevious procedureno charge
* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.
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