With each passing day, there are more and more people who are looking for opportunities to open their own companies in KSA or the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In order for businessmen to achieve this goal, they must investigate the procedure to start a company in this nation. Thus, they will realize how simple it can be, especially in 2023. The first thing to know is that there is an essential document, which they call the trade license Saudi Arabia. It is important to know that if you do not have this business license, you cannot carry out your commercial activities.

In this article, we are going to give you some tips that are key in the process of obtaining a trade license Saudi Arabia. Every businessman who wishes to create a new company in this nation or expand his business must be clear that this document is a top priority. The business license is a legal requirement that authorizes merchants to carry out any commercial activity. That is to say, without this permit, businessmen who carry out commercial operations will be done illegally

What are the eligibility criteria to Apply for The Trade License for Business?

trade license Saudi Arabia

If you want to know how to get a trade license in Saudi Arabia, it is important to know about business licenses and the criteria you need to meet. Criteria include the applicant’s age and criminal record. To apply for a business license, the applicant must be of legal age (18 years or more). On the other hand, if the person has a criminal record, they may not be eligible for the license.

It is very important to note that the Saudi government takes applicants’ criminal records very seriously. In this way, they get to perform a very thorough verification process as part of the process for your application. For this reason, if you have a criminal record, it is in your best interest to be honest throughout the entire process.

Even if you have committed a crime, there is a possibility that your application will be approved, depending on the seriousness and nature of the crime committed. Apart from your age and criminal record, you will find other requirements to obtain your business license. Among these requirements, you can find the necessary documentation, complete the training, and register your company in the corresponding commercial registry.

Meeting all of these requirements will be essential to obtaining your business license and making your business successful. In this way, your business will operate legally and will be within the parameters according to the law. It is important that you are honest throughout the application process and meet the requirements. With this, you can ensure that you always operate within the legal framework established by the country.

Process of obtaining a trade license in Saudi Arabia

Simply put, a trade license Saudi Arabia is a permit that authorizes a trader or company to conduct business. Of course, legally in a specific jurisdiction. Once you understand the importance of this document; You must know what the requirements are and how to apply for a trade license.

The first thing is to know that this entire process must happen using the Saudi Business Center online portal. The Ministry of Trade and Investment controls this center and is responsible for providing different services to companies in KSA. Among the most important are the issuance of corporate licenses and commercial registries. Next, you will see all the steps you must follow to carry out this procedure.

  • Step 1: In order to start the process, you need to register or create an account with Saudi Business Center. This step is very simple; the applicant only has to provide their basic information. For instance, full name, phone number, and others.
  • Step 2: Once you complete the registration, you can proceed to apply for the trade license Saudi Arabia. On this occasion, they will ask you for information about your company. For example, the type of business, the capital you have, basic documentation, and other data. When you apply, you will obtain a temporary business license, so that you can carry out your business activities.
  • Step 3: Depending on the type of business and the length of the license, you must pay the corresponding fees. This process is done through the portal.
  • Step 4: After making the corresponding payments, the relevant authorities will proceed to review and, if everything is correct, approve the application. This process usually takes approximately one week (business days). If they grant you the trade license, they will send you the official documentation.

Requirements to obtain a trade license in KSA

When you decide to go through the process of obtaining a trade license Saudi Arabia, there are some requirements that you must have. It is important that you know that, in order to be successful in obtaining this document, you must follow the Law on Stores and Establishments. Next, you will see all the papers you need to go through this process.

  • In principle, you need the commercial registration certificate issued by the Ministry of Commerce.
  • All foreign businessmen or shareholders who wish to open a branch office need a license from SAGIA.
  • The company must provide a certificate of registration or a business license. In addition, you must submit the Memorandum/Articles of Association.
  • Finally, it is important that you know that certain commercial activities require specific licenses. For instance, retail licenses or environmental licenses.

What type of business can I start?

trade license Saudi Arabia

The government in Saudi Arabia is giving the opportunity to investors and companies from different parts of the world. As visualized in the Saudi Vision 2030 announcement. KSA is a country that consists of one of a privileged geographical location to conduct business; especially for export. Any entrepreneur who is considering expanding his business and wants to take advantage of the opportunities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia must know the different types of businesses that exist.

Limited Liability Company

Foreign investors should know how easy it is to set up a company in KSA. To do this, the first thing you should know is what are the types of companies that exist. Generally, the most common business form chosen by expats is the Limited Liability Company.

An interesting fact about the Limited Liability Company (LLC) is that it only needs a single director and a single shareholder who can be a natural person. It is important to mention that one of the main advantages of the LLC in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is that; All the shareholders of the company are responsible for the debts contracted from the corresponding business, in the percentage that they participated in the capital of the company.

In Saudi Arabia, there are two types of LLCs, the first is the private one. This is considered to be the most requested by businessmen because the registration process is much simpler and faster. This registration is done at the House of Companies of Saudi Arabia. The second and less common is the public.

Joint Venture

Every good company tries to maintain an edge. This is in order to be able to progress in the current competitive scenario. That is why you must be futuristic and select a type of company that allows you to diversify the commercial sectors. In addition, it is crucial to try to create something innovative and enter it the market or improve a product with the consumer’s needs in mind.

The biggest limitation that a company thinking about expansion can present is financial. One way to overcome this obstacle is to have two or more business partners or join with other companies. This is done by making use of temporary agreements, in which it is established that resources must be shared. Among them, are technological tools or competitive skills.

These temporary agreements are called Joint Ventures. Generally, it is used by entrepreneurs with a long time in the market who are looking for a partnership with other companies. Another common case is for new entrepreneurs who want to create their new company in Saudi Arabia, but do not have enough capital.

A Joint Venture company is a strategic business alliance between two or more business parties. Those involved decided to form a partnership in order to share assets, knowledge, profits, losses, and other commercial aspects. Unlike other countries, the Joint Venture in Saudi Arabia is not a merger as there is no transfer of ownership in this agreement.

General Partnership Company

In case you want to establish a General Partnership Company type company, you should know its main characteristics. In this section, you will see the most important of the General Companies or Liability Companies.

A General Partnership Company is a company that has two or more partners; which, in a few words, assume responsibility for the debts that are generated when carrying out commercial activities. This type of business must include the name of all partners, this is what indicates that the company exists.

It is important to mention that everyone involved in the company is responsible for paying the debts, as agreed in the contract. If one of the shareholders wishes to resign from the company, they can do so, under one condition. Which is that the rest of the partners agree. Or failing that, there is a condition in the contract that allows this person to leave the company.

Another interesting feature is that all profits and losses are decided in the agreement signed by each of the partners at the start of the partnership.


Now that you know what are the criteria for obtaining a trade license Saudi Arabia and the steps to obtain it, it is important to make sure that you can make a successful application. For this reason, it is of the utmost importance that you comply with the laws and all regulations that are related to business activities. In this way, you will be able to facilitate the application process.

You will need to familiarize yourself with all the laws and requirements. In addition, you will need to include the necessary documents and information. On the other hand, you must be very clear about whether you are eligible to apply for a trade license Saudi Arabia. Due to this, it is important to be very clear about the requirements that are necessary to make the application. Some criteria are age and criminal record.

Due to the complexity that this process can be for many people, it is helpful to hire professionals in the area. This way, you will be able to avoid making mistakes or delays during your application process. It is important that you organize yourself in the best way and manage to keep track of everything to speed up the process. Having an organized application can increase your chances of a successful process.

Thanks to all this, we can conclude that obtaining a business license will be very useful for you. In this way, by following the steps described above, you stick to the regulations, etc. You will be able to guarantee that your application process is a success in the shortest possible time. Thus, your business can operate legally in the country.

How to get a trade license in Saudi Arabia with Company Formation Saudi?

Company Formation Saudi offers the best PRO services you can find in KSA. Our mission is to support all entrepreneurs who wish to open or expand their businesses. We have expert people in all commercial matters, especially in the application for the Saudi Arabia trade license. With us, you can be sure that you will be successful in opening the company you dream of in this nation.

If you are an entrepreneur and you make the decision to create your company or expand your business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it is important that you hire professional assistance on these issues. For this, the best solution is to hire our PRO services or any other. If you make the decision, do not hesitate to call us at +971 43 316 688. In case you find it easier, we have an email that you can write to which is contact@companyformationsaudi.com.

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