Tips to set up a tech company in Saudi Arabia
Last Updated on November 9, 2023 by Ameer Hamza
Many sectors are utilizing technology and adopting it into corporate operations due to its benefits. With a high need for the most innovative solutions available in the market, Saudi Arabia entrepreneurs are exploring tech solutions. Similarly, given the increased demand for tech startups and digital jobs, Saudi Arabian tech companies have gained a spotlight in the technology world. Due to these vast opportunities for tech companies, you may have chosen to create your tech startup in Saudi Arabia. However, it would help if you considered certain factors before kickstarting this company.
Why is Saudi Arabia a good option for setting up a tech company?
The tech sector is a commercial sector like any other business. Hence before setting up any company in a country, one must consider the opportunities the state offers for businesses. Aiming to spend $24.7 billion on technology by 2025, Saudi Arabia is one of the major economies in the MENA region. The region has put together several partnerships over the previous several years. This shows that the kingdom has the biggest market for technology in the area, and considering Saudi Arabia as a spot for your tech company will be beneficial.
Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) has substantially improved the regulations and the process of setting up a tech company in Saudi Arabia by reducing the cost of licenses and foreign ownership. The country provides access to funding and government support. Furthermore, there is a large young audience, good purchasing power, and a high percentage of internet users. These attributes indicate it has excellent market dynamics for a tech company.
Tips for setting up a tech company in Saudi Arabia
Tech companies have become valuable brands in Saudi Arabia as the government views technology as an important area for investment. To set up a tech company or any business in Saudi Arabia, these tips below must be considered.
- Decide the business type you want to operate
You have several business structures that your company take. This ranges from a joint liability company, limited liability company, general partnership company and many more. The type of corporate structure selected will further impact your decision on shareholding, initial capital and document type required.
- Understand the options available to citizens and foreigners
Generally, to register a tech company, you are required to be a Saudi national or a citizen of one of the kingdom’s five permanent countries (Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, or Yemen). For foreigners, you must have an investment license issued by SAGIA. SAGIA provides permits to foreign companies that have operations in the country without partnering with a local company.
- Ensure to obtain necessary documentation
To register a tech company, some documents are essential. You would need to apply for a commercial registration certificate, Memorandum of Association (MOA) from the Ministry of Commerce and Investment, and Articles of Association (AOA). You must ensure the articles of association is notarized and show proof of it with copies of ID, passport, and proof of address for directors and shareholders to SAGIA.
- Obtain a Saudi Visa and a business premise
You must have a Saudi visa to operate a tech company in the country. You should note that from 2024, Saudi Arabia may not work with foreign companies with no regional headquarters in the country. This means that if you’re setting up a company, you may need to work with service agents or lease out business premises.
Tech companies in Saudi Arabia have several opportunities; however, setting up a tech company in Saudi Arabia may still be challenging due to the country’s business restrictions.