Kuwait is small but wealthy company with the highest valued unit of currency in the world. According to the Ease of Doing Business Index by the world Bank it is ranked number 83 among 190 different economies in the world. In this article you find a guideline aiming to help foreigners understand the key requirements and steps for setting up a business in Kuwait.
How Can Foreigners Incorporate a Local Company In Kuwait?
1-Choose your business structure:
Foreign individuals can establish three types of business entities in Kuwait:
- Limited Liability Company (WLL): it is considered as a Kuwaiti corporate body and do not pay tax.
- Closed Joint Stock Company (KSC Closed): the incorporation process is time consuming, it should pay profit tax as well as a 5% contribution for Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science.
- Joint Stock Company
For more details about each type of business Structure please visit this web page.
2-Make sure you fulfil all the necessary requirements:
- At least two business partners, one of them must be Kuwaiti.
- The Kuwaiti partner must own at least 51% of the shares
- All partners should not have criminal records or legal convictions
- As a foreign partner you must be holder of a valid residency visa, for more details about the available types and the E-visa process please visit this webpage.
- The managing partner should not be employed by the Kuwaiti government
3-Appoint a Kuwaiti Director:
The manager of your business must be Kuwaiti or from GCC countries which are The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain.
4-Choose your trade name:
In order to reserve a name for your company you must submit a name application to the Commercial Register.
5-Start the registration process with the Ministry of commerce and industry:
The application to the Department of companies at the ministry of commerce and industry must include the following documents:
- Civil IDs of the Founding shareholders and the director
- The percentage of ownership for each partner
- The activity of the company
6-Make sure to retrieve the necessary letters from the Department of Companies:
Three letters should be retrieved from the Department of Companies for:
- The criminal department in the Ministry of Interior to issue the certificate of police record for the partners.
- Kuwait municipality to check the company premises
- Your Bank to deposit the capital and take a proof for capital Injection
Apart from the letters a draft of memorandum should be retrieved from the department of companies; this document regulates the company’s external affairs.
7-Certify your documents:
Two documents should be certified in the Ministry of Justice:
- The memorandum of association already retrieved
- The bank deposit certificate
8-Obtain your business license from the department of companies to start your activities
9-Register your company with the commercial registry:
For the registration 3 documents are required:
- Business license
- Notarized memorandum of association
- Signature sample
10-Get your Civil Number:
You can get your Civil ID number on line from the Public Authority of Civil Information via this web page.
11-Register with the Ministry of labor and Social Affairs.
How Much Does It Cost to Incorporate a Company in Kuwait?
The fixed fees for incorporating a company in Kuwait are 30 KD, other variable fees will be incurred according to the business entity type.
Other important Notes:
- Limited Liability companies cannot be incorporated between husband and wife, they need a third partner.
- Offshore companies in Kuwait are incorporated for lower fees and taxes.