Expansion to Saudi Arabia: A Complete Guide

If you’re looking to expand your business to a new market, Saudi Arabia is an attractive destination. With a strong and growing economy, as well as a business-friendly environment, Saudi Arabia presents a range of opportunities for businesses across different sectors.

However, expanding to a new country can be challenging, particularly when it comes to navigating legal, financial, and administrative requirements. In this guide, we’ll take you through the steps involved in expanding to Saudi Arabia, including using a Global PEO, which can help make the process smoother and more efficient.

Why You Need to be Interested in Expanding to Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is one of the largest economies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with a GDP of over $793 billion in 2020. The country has a strategic location, connecting Asia, Europe, and Africa, and is home to some of the world’s largest oil reserves. In recent years, the Saudi Arabian government has been working to diversify the economy and reduce its reliance on oil, making it an attractive destination for businesses across different sectors.

PEO Saudi Arabia: The Process Step by Step

A Global PEO is a company that hires employees on your behalf in a new country, and then leases these employees back to your business. This allows you to expand your business to a new country without the need to set up a legal entity or establish a physical presence in that country.

Here are the steps involved in using a Global PEO in Saudi Arabia:

  1. Choose a Global PEO: There are many Global PEO providers to choose from, so it’s important to do your research and find a provider that meets your needs and budget.
  2. Sign an agreement: Once you’ve chosen a Global PEO, you’ll need to sign an agreement that outlines the services you’ll receive and the fees you’ll pay.
  3. Identify your needs: The Global PEO will work with you to understand your business needs, including the roles you need to fill, the skills required, and any other specific requirements you may have.
  4. Recruitment: The Global PEO will handle the recruitment process, including advertising the role, screening candidates, and conducting interviews.
  5. Hiring: Once you’ve selected the right candidate, the Global PEO will hire the employee on your behalf.
  6. Employment contract: The Global PEO will provide the employee with an employment contract, which outlines their terms of employment, including their salary, benefits, and working hours.
  7. Payroll and benefits: The Global PEO will handle payroll and benefits for your employees, including taxes, social security contributions, and any other statutory deductions.

Why Use a Global PEO Instead of a Recruitment Agency?

While a recruitment agency can help you find the right candidates for your business, they typically only provide recruitment services. By contrast, a Global PEO can provide a range of services beyond recruitment, including legal compliance, payroll, benefits, and more.

Using a Global PEO can help you mitigate the risks associated with international expansion, such as compliance with local laws and regulations. Additionally, a Global PEO can provide you with the scalability to expand your business to multiple countries, without the need for a large in-house team.

The incorporation process in Saudi Arabia

When expanding your business to Saudi Arabia, the process of incorporation can be quite complex and time-consuming. However, it is important to understand the steps involved in order to successfully establish your business in the country.

  1. Choose the Right Legal Structure The first step in the process of incorporation is to choose the right legal structure for your business. In Saudi Arabia, there are several types of legal structures available, including a limited liability company (LLC), a joint stock company (JSC), a branch office, and a representative office.
  2. Register Your Company Name Once you have chosen your legal structure, you will need to register your company name with the Ministry of Commerce and Investment (MCI). This involves conducting a name search to ensure that your chosen name is available and not already in use by another company.
  3. Obtain a Commercial Registration Certificate After registering your company name, the next step is to obtain a commercial registration certificate from the MCI. This certificate is required for all businesses operating in Saudi Arabia and is issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Investment.
  4. Obtain a Foreign Investment License If your business is owned by foreign investors, you will need to obtain a foreign investment license from the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA). This license is required for all foreign-owned businesses and is issued by SAGIA.
  5. Register for Taxation All businesses operating in Saudi Arabia are required to register for taxation with the General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT). This involves obtaining a taxpayer identification number (TIN) and registering for VAT if your business is required to do so.
  6. Obtain Other Licenses and Permits Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain additional licenses and permits from other government agencies in Saudi Arabia. For example, if your business involves importing or exporting goods, you will need to obtain an import/export license from the Saudi Customs Authority.
  7. Open a Bank Account Once you have completed the above steps, you will need to open a bank account in Saudi Arabia. This will allow you to conduct financial transactions in the country and pay taxes and other fees.

In conclusion, the process of incorporation in Saudi Arabia can be complex and time-consuming, but with the right guidance, it can be successfully navigated. It is important to work with experienced professionals who can guide you through the process and ensure that your business is established in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.


Expanding your business to Saudi Arabia can be a challenging process, but the potential benefits of entering this rapidly growing market make it an attractive option for businesses looking to expand their reach. By following the steps outlined in this guide and working with experienced professionals who can guide you through the process, you can successfully establish your business in Saudi Arabia and take advantage of the many opportunities available in this dynamic and diverse country. Whether you choose to use a Global PEO or take on the process of incorporation yourself, careful planning and execution can ensure a successful entry into the Saudi Arabian market.

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