Offering increasing opportunity for foreign investors to expand within the Middle East, Oman provides an attractive business hub for those looking for an alternative to other, perhaps better-known options, such as Dubai. But, while Oman does provide opportunity for overseas investors to establish themselves, there are certain factors to keep in mind.
If you plan to establish your business outside of Oman’s free trade zones, you will need to decide on the correct company structure for your business. While there are various options to choose from based on the business activities being carried out – such as a branch office or representative trade office – the most common option for foreign investors tends to be the Limited Liability Company or LLC structure.
Within Oman, there is what is known as the Omani LLC and the wholly foreign-owned LLC. Here’s how they differ.
- With the Omani LLC, the business must have a minimum paid up capital of OMR150,000, a local address, and at least two shareholders and one director. One of those shareholders must be a national of Oman, of a GCC State, or of the USA, and must own 30% of the company’s shares. Taking advantage of Oman’s 2009 Free Trade Agreement with the USA, US citizens can form an LLC without a local partner, as long as all shareholders are American. The minimum share capital is set much lower in these cases, at only OMR20,000.
- With the wholly foreign-owned LLC, foreign investors must seek approval of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) to allow for 100% foreign ownership. To do this, they must submit a detailed business plan, and have a minimum of two shareholders and two directors, with a minimum capital of OMR1 million. Seeking approval is challenging, and obviously the capital requirements are higher, as are the requirements for employing local Omanis, so this may not be an option for many foreign investors.
Establishing a Business with a Local Partner
If you opt for the LLC structure and require a local partner, there will be a lot to consider before making your decision. Not only will that partner hold a 30% share in your business, they may also determine how your business operates. Choosing the wrong local partner could provide an unwanted intrusion into the running of your business. Alternatively, your partner could promise guidance and assistance, to then provide neither.
As experts in company formation, Fusion could be the local partner your business needs. Calling on years of experience throughout Qatar, the UAE and Oman, Fusion knows what your business needs to succeed, and will provide all the services required of an effective local partner. Allowing you full control over the day-to-day operation of your business, Fusion will hold the necessary 30% share in your company, while providing essential assistance and advice, including PRO services.
Offering access to contacts within an extensive network in both Oman and the Middle East, Fusion can put you in touch with who you need to know, while opening doors that may otherwise remain closed. Providing a service you can trust, backed by the confidentiality you want within the relatively small business environment in Oman, Fusion is available whenever you need them, making doing business in an unfamiliar environment all the easier.
Your Local Partners in Oman
We know you prioritise safety and security when choosing a local partner, making sure the local partner you choose has a proven track record within the region. At Fusion, we specialise in offering local partner services, with a strong focus on each one of those factors. With that in mind, we thought you might want to know more about your local partners in Oman should you choose Fusion.
Faleh Mohammed Al Abri
Faleh is the Executive Vice-Chairman of Dhofar Global, a Dubai based company that operates across the GCC, specialising in the provision of high-quality hygiene care and lifestyle solutions for the Away From Home segment. Faleh is also CEO of Themar Group LLC, which is a consortium of diverse SMEs working in sectors such as landscaping, real estate, trading, and agriculture.
Prior to this, Faleh was both the senior audit executive at Oman Mobile Telecommunication Company, and administrator to the company’s Management Team. Providing unparalleled experience in the world of business, these roles allowed him to gain exposure to leadership, decision making, and business strategy.
In terms of further education, Faleh holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting from the Sultan Qaboos University Muscat, Oman, and is also a graduate of the National CEO Program, which was delivered by the International Institute for Management Development IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Dr Amer Awadh Al-Rawas
As the founding partner of Paradigms Consulting, Dr Rawas has held an impressive career, having served as CEO of Tasneea Oil & Gas Technology Group, CEO of Oman Telecommunications Company, and Managing Director for Oman Mobile Telecommunications Company.
Before joining the Telecom Sector, Dr Rawas served in various academic and leadership positions at the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), the flagship university in Oman. Here, he served as the Dean of Educational Services, and Director of the Centre for Information System, where he led the transformation of the role of ICT in the university.
Currently, Dr Rawas serves as Chairman of the Middle East Leadership Academy (MELA), a non-government organisation that provides leadership, training and networking skills to young leaders across the Middle East. Dr Rawas also serves in various educational and technological policy forums in Oman and the region, as Chairman of Oman Society for Petroleum Services, Member of the Education Council, and Member of Oman Academic Accreditation Authority.
Interested to find out more about what Fusion could offer you as your local partner in Oman? Simply contact us today to arrange a no-obligation consultation.