Setting up a business in Jeddah, SA
The Middle East is slowly but surely becoming a rich business hub for all kinds of new startups. In particular, Saudi Arabia’s busiest seaport is the kingdom’s second largest city
Jeddah. Among other things, it’s also a strategically important international shipping route connecting east and west. With so many investors and expatriates flocking to this growing city, no wonder it has become the country’s main commercial center. If you’re also aspiring to move here with the hopes of setting up a business in Jeddah, we understand the appeal. However, in order to set up your office, you’ll need to learn a few things about Saudi Arabia’s rules and regulations. Read through the steps and get ready!
Research the region
First off, you need to keep in mind that before setting up a business in Jeddah, you need to possess a thorough understanding of their culture. It’s an Islamic country, which to a Westerner can be quite conservative. That’s exactly why your extensive research is needed before you venture onto the territory. And it’s not just about learning about business etiquette and practices in terms of socialization with local partners. Your research should also include the analysis of the business sector as well. For example, let’s say you want to launch a successful freelance business with an office in Jeddah. This will mean studying the market conditions, the competition as well as forecast results. It’s all about having a good business plan, but, remember, it has to be up to Middle Eastern standards too.
Only once you feel you got a good sense of how the whole process of conducting business functions should you proceed with actual steps towards your goal.
Get help deciphering the paperwork
While you’re learning all you can about the business procedures, it’s easy to get discouraged by the paperwork. Namely, it’s almost exclusively in Arabic, but you can always find a translator to help you out. When it comes to meetings with potential business partners or investors, everyone speaks English. Still, just a translator simply won’t do. But that’s where in-depth knowledge of a local lawyer can be of immense help. This way, you can have a guide to explain to you all the logistics activities you might need to complete before you start your business. The type of help will mostly depend on the type of business you’re setting up. However, remember that following up on legal procedures is extremely important.
Once you’re following the legal framework, you might even be encouraged by the government. In fact, setting up a business in the free trade zone might strip you of import and export duties, commercial taxes and even various types of fees. Sounds promising, right?
Choosing a local partner
Before you call a moving company like fourwinds-ksa.com and set the relocation date, you need to establish a business network. Essentially, this means finding an individual or a company that is already working in Jeddah the same field as you. It’s usually a Saudi national who has a legal entity in the city. Now, of course, you don’t want just about anyone to be linked with your startup, so pick wisely. Check their expertise and qualifications before signing the dotted line. Although this isn’t your only option and you can go it alone, it’s generally nor recommended for first-time investors. In fact, a trustworthy local partner can be even more valuable than a lawyer. After all, they are in the same field as you, right? That means the information they have should be narrowed down and more detailed.
All in all, setting up a business in Jeddah can be a bit complicated in the beginning, but is worth it in the end. Doing business in the UAE is, overall, very profitable, so the legalities are worth the extra effort. It’s really one of the best ways to start money investment.
Popular business ideas in Jeddah
As you get to know the market, you’ll see that there is a bigger need for certain businesses than for the others. This is another topic worth analyzing, as it’s quite important you know where you stand before you even set foot in Jeddah. After all, you want to spend time reading tips on planning startup parties and not regretting your decision. So, to save you some precious time, let’s look at the highest-demand jobs you can’t go wrong with in this city:
- Construction firms – a viable business for natives and foreigners alike
- Healthcare business – this is another safe bet if you’re thinking of setting up a business in Jeddah.
- Real estate management – If you’re good in the art of negotiation, here’s your chance to prove yourself
- Food business – whether it’s just a simple store or a restaurant of sorts, Saudis know how to appreciate food
- Fashion – This field is becoming all the more trendy for both males and females and is surely going to be a successful
Setting up an office
If you feel the bureaucracy in Saudi Arabia is too much for you, then you should’ve seen it before 2018. Up until then, it was even more complicated to set a business if you’re a foreigner, so now it’s actually easy. While you were previously bound to start with a local partner, today it’s just optional. That’s right, you can now own 100% of your company as an expat. By simplifying the rules and regulations, Jeddah has declared that it’s thriving and is open for business. And while the documentation can be handled with the lawyer and done from your home country, it’s advisable you be present upon completion. If nothing else, you’ll need to visit the Notary for attestation, soy you have to be there at the grand opening. Even if it’s just a branch office, it’s still worth celebrating
After all, it’s a whole new start for your company! Good luck on your journey of setting up a business in Jeddah, and may it be a successful endeavor!