If all documents and other prerequisites are in order, company formation in Oman takes about 8 to 10 days.
Oman, known officially as the Sultanate of Oman, is located on the mouth of the Persian Gulf, sharing borders with the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman is classified as a high-income economy by the World Bank. The country is a member of the United Nations and the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Although Oman has fairly decent oil reserves, a substantial fraction of its economy is driven by tourism, trade and agriculture. Since a dip in oil prices in late 20th century, Oman has been swiftly diversifying its economy and looking to develop other sectors of industry, especially real estate and infrastructure.
To start a company in Oman, one may choose from the following legal entity types:
A limited liability company (LLC) is one where each shareholder’s liability is limited to one’s share of the capital. An LLC company in Oman is required to have a minimum of 2 shareholders (at least one of whom must be a citizen of Oman, a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) state or the USA, and must own over 30% of the company’s shares) and 1 director. The minimum capital required to start an LLC company in Oman is OR 150,000 (approximately 390,000 USD). An Omani LLC is the most commonly preferred company type by foreigners wanting to set up a business in Oman.
A joint stock company is one the capital of which is distributed as stocks. The shares of a public joint stock company in Oman can be traded publicly. The minimum share capital required to start such a company is OR 150,000 (about 390,000 USD). A joint stock company may not be incorporated without the approval of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and issuance of a license testifying that.
A joint stock company the shares of which are not available for trading publicly is a private joint stock company. A private joint stock company in Oman requires a minimum of 3 shareholders (one of whom should be an Omani citizen holding at least 30% of the total shares) and a minimum share capital of OR 50,000 (about 130,000 USD).
A limited partnership in Oman can be formed by 2 or more members. It requires at least 1 general partner and 1 limited partner to be registered. The general partner, who must be an Omani national, is liable for the debts and obligations of the partnership without limitation in liability. The limited partner bears limited liability, and is liable for the company’s debts and obligations only to the extent of one’s capital contribution.
A commercial agency in Oman is a company which is assigned to promote or distribute products or services of a foreign entity in the Sultanate. The primary function of such a company is to export goods and services to Oman by a foreign business. In a commercial agency in Oman, the role of a commercial agent can be assigned only to an Omani national registered with the Omani Chamber of Commerce or a local entity having at least 51% local shareholding.
A branch office in Oman can be set up by a foreign company looking to open an establishment in the Sultanate. For forming a branch, a local agent to sponsor Omani visas and licenses is required. The branch is also required to obtain an approval from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI). Since a branch is not considered a legal entity separate from its parent company, the latter is liable for its activities and obligations.
A representative office can be started to purely for market research or promotion purposes. It is not allowed to carry out commercial or business-related activities. A representative office in Oman is required to have at least 1 appointed individual who is a resident of Oman.
Doing business in Oman has the following advantages:
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