Setting up a business

The Industrial Clusters program is responsible for developing some targeted industrial sectors, all chosen for their high potential growth in the natural resources- and energy-rich Saudi Arabia.


Industrial Clusters Program is organised by two government departments, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry (MCI) and the Ministry of Petroleum and Minerals (MinPet). The program also liaises with other government departments and agencies, and private-sector suppliers, to provide top-quality advice and support.

Industrial Clusters Program can advise investors on:

  • Types of company in Saudi Arabia, and their legal status, structure and organisation.
  • Choosing a company name & branding.
  • Applying for an investment licence (carried out through the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, SAGIA).
  • Commercial registration (through the MCI office at SAGIA).
  • Upgrading visit visas to residency cards (Iqama).
  • Registering with the Department of Zakat and Income Tax.
  • Opening a bank account at one of Saudi Arabia commercial bank.
  • Registering with the Ministry of Labor.
  • Eligibility for incentives and subsequent applications.
  • Registering investor's employees with the General Organization for Social Insurance.
  • Saudi Industrial Development Fund loans and any other public funding.
  • Applying for land (for example through Modon, the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu or Economic cities)


Most foreign entities in Saudi Arabia are established as Limited Liability Companies. The other options are Joint Stock Company, Joint Venture, General Partnership and Limited Partnership.

According to the World Bank's Doing Business Report 2010, Saudi Arabia performs well in terms of starting and running a business. Comparing 183 countries, Saudi Arabia is the:

  • Best country for registering a property
  • Sixth best for tax
  • 11th best for overall ease of doing business
  • 13th best for starting a business
  • 14th best for dealing with construction permits
  • 16th best for protecting investors
  • 18th best for trading across borders

© Copyright 2012 National Industrial Clusters Development Program. All rights reserved.