There are 4 operational free zones in Oman, one of them being Sohar free trade zone. Situated in the Sultanate of Oman and 220 km away from its capital Muscat, Sohar free zone is still in the developing stage. Once completed it will be 4,500 hectares on the Sohar Port. The Sohar Port and the free zone will mainly work into business activities like Steel Manufacturing and Processing, Trade and Logistics, Oil and Gas, Petrochemicals, Minerals, and Aggregate Industry, Ceramics, and Food logistics and processing.
Apart from this, Sohar free zone in Oman will also have a one-stop-shop which will act as a single window for its customers to obtain all they need to set up and operate their business effectively and efficiently.
Benefits of Setting Up a Company in Sohar
- 100 percent foreign ownership (minimum two shareholders)
- A 10-year exemption from corporate tax
- No customs duty
- No restrictions on sales within the GCC; a standard 5% GCC customs duty applies
- Minimum Omanization levels of 15%
- Single-window licensing procedure
Types of Licenses provided in Sohar
- Logistic License
- Industrial License
- Light Manufacturing and Assembly License
- General Trading License
- Service Provider License
How to Set Up a Business in Sohar Free Trade Zone?
Sohar in Oman is the upcoming gateway of the booming markets of the Gulf and sub-continent. Excellent road systems, international airports, and key rail links offer unlimited growth potential which is why this free zone has great potential in attracting investors to set up their business in Oman and preferably in Sohar that has already attracted 14 foreign companies, which have invested in Metals, Minerals, and Logistics. If you are interested in incorporating a company in free zone Sohar, here’s a guide for you to follow:
- Submit a completely filled Plot Application Form (PAF). Sohar free zone requires the PAF for several approvals, commercial purpose, and due diligence.
- Before Sohar free zones “One Stop Shop” department starts obtaining the required pre-contract clearances, they require an agreement on the Commercial terms, basically the land lease price and the contract term. The reason for this is to avoid unnecessary deployment of resources with all parties involved.
- A No Objection Letter from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA) must be obtained. It is a statement from MECA saying there is no principal objection to the project and that the project can be realized under good management and international best practices.
- Due diligence will be performed on the main shareholders/promoters of the proposed Free Zone Working Company. For stock listed companies it will be quite basic and therefore quick, for individual promoters, Sohar free zone looks for background, past projects, and clients.
- The last step includes the signing of the agreement. The Land Lease Agreement will be signed between the Sohar Free Trade Zone Authority and the new Free Zone Company. Incorporation of this new company prior to contract execution is, therefore, a must.
The complete incorporation process includes registration with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI), membership in the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the issuance of the Free Zone license.
Documents Required to Set Up a Business in Sohar
The following documents are required to form a Sohar free zone company:
- Filled and signed investor’s form by the shareholders
- Copy of shareholders’ passports
If a shareholder is an existing corporation outside Oman, the following documents are required:
- Commercial registration of the company
- Board resolution to form the free zone company signed by shareholders
- Articles of Association (AOA) for the shareholding company
The above documents must be attested by the Omani Embassy in the origin country. Upon completion of registration process, the following will be issued to the newly registered company:
- Commercial registration certificate
- Affiliation certificate to Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI)
- PO Box number valid for one year
Business Setup Worldwide is a platform to help you set up a business in Oman. If you are looking to establish your company in the Sohar free trade zone and would like further information and a consultation from one of our advisors in Oman, contact us – and we’ll be happy to discuss your establishment options.