Rules & Regulations - Regulatory Environment for Foreign Investment in Oman

Foreign ownership of Omani companies is permitted up to 70%, with further exemptions under certain conditions.

Companies We Register

  • Joint Partnership
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Individual Firm / Merchant
  • Closed Joint Stock Company
  • Public Joint Stock Company
Joint Partnership type of Commercial Registration is meant for a group of individuals who want to start business activities. There must be at least two partners, each have to be either an Omani citizen, a GCC citizen, a citizen of a privileged country or a citizen of a non-privileged country. The minimum capital required for a Joint Partnership is 3000 OMR If the company will be subject to foreign investment rules, the Omani capital share ratio will be applied:
  • Minimal capital of the company should be 150,000 OMR
  • Minimal share of the Omani citizen should be at least 30%.
Required documents for registering a Joint partnership are:
  • Legal Guardian consent for underage Omani citizens
  • Non-objection letter from sponsor for residents of Oman
  • Passport copy for foreign persons
  • Criminal record clearance certificate for foreign persons
  • Criminal record clearance certificate for foreign persons
  • Proof of Financial Stability for foreign persons
  • Minutes of board meeting for an Omani entity
  • Foreign company registration certificate for foreign company
  • Authorized Signatures Sample for foreign company
  • Minutes of Board Meeting for foreign company
  • Passport Copy for foreign person as signatory
Joint Partnership will be subject to foreign investment rules in the following cases:
  • any of the Partners is a foreign person (not citizen of a privileged country)
  • company has no foreign persons as partners, but has
    • partners from more than 1 privileged country at the same time.
    • partners of Omani citizens, GCC citizens and any privileged country citizens at the same time.
If the company is subject to foreign investment rules, additional documents will be required:
  • Proof of Financial Stability – bank statement for the last 6 months with funds sufficient to cover the partner share. Required for all investors including citizens of Oman.
  • Criminal record clearance certificate. Can be obtained from country of citizenship or ROP in case person has been resident for more than 5 years. Required for all investors including citizens of Oman.
Limited Liability Company type is meant for a group of individuals who want to start business activities. There must be at least two investors. The minimum capital required for Limited Liability Company is 20,000.000 OMR. If the company will be subject to foreign investment rules, Omani capital share ratio will be applied:
  • Minimal capital of the company should be 150,000 OMR
  • Minimal share of the Omani citizen or company should be 30%.
Required documents for registering the Joint partnership are:
  • Legal Guardian consent for underage Omani citizens
  • Non-objection letter from sponsor for residents of Oman
  • Passport Copy for foreign persons
  • Criminal record clearance certificate for foreign persons
  • Proof of Financial stability for foreign persons
  • Proof of Financial stability for foreign persons
  • Minutes of board meeting for Omani entity
  • Foreign CR registration certificate for foreign company
  • Articles of Association for foreign company
  • Authorized Signatures Sample for foreign company
  • Minutes of Board Meeting for foreign company
  • Authorized Signatories Form, individual for each Signatory
  • Passport Copy for foreign person as signatory
Limited Liability Company will be subject to foreign investment rules in the following cases:
  • any of the Partners is a foreign person (not citizen of a privileged country)
  • Minimal share of the Omani citizen or company should be 30%.
    • partners from more than 1 privileged country at the same time.
    • partners of Omani citizens, GCC citizens and any privileged country citizens at the same time.
If the company is subject to foreign investment rules, additional documents will be required:
  • Proof of Financial Stability – bank statement for the last 6 months with funds sufficient to cover the partner share. Required for all investors including citizens of Oman.
  • Criminal record clearance certificate. Can be obtained from country of citizenship or ROP in case person has been resident for more than 5 years. Required for all investors including citizens of Oman.
Individual Firm / Merchant type of Commercial Registration is meant for individuals who want to start a business. There can be only one single owner, who has to be Omani, GCC National or citizen of a privileged country. List of preferred countries can be found here. Only the investor himself can apply for an Individual Firm / Merchant company. The owner should have a PKI enabled ID card or a PKI enabled Resident card. The minimum capital required for an Individual Firm / Merchant is 3000 OMR. Individual Firm / Merchant owned by a GCC citizen cannot have any other authorized signatories except the owner. Required documents for registering the Individual Firm / Merchant are:
  • Authorized Signatories Form
Closed Joint Stock Company type is meant for a group of individuals who want to start business activities. At least 3 founding committee members should represent at least 60% of the company capital. If a company will be subject to foreign investment rules, Omani capital share ratio will be applied:
  • Minimal share of the Omani citizen should be 30%.
  • The minimum capital required for Closed Joint Stock Company is 150,000.000 OMR.
Required documents for registering the Joint partnership are:
  • Legal Guardian consent for underage Omani citizens
  • Non-objection letter from sponsor for residents of Oman
  • Passport Copy for foreign persons
  • Criminal record clearance certificate for foreign persons
  • Proof of Financial stability for foreign persons
  • Minutes of board meeting for Omani entity
  • Foreign CR registration certificate for foreign company
  • Articles of Association for foreign company
  • Authorized Signatures Sample for foreign company
  • Minutes of Board Meeting for foreign company
  • Authorized Signatories Form, individual for each Signatory
  • Passport Copy for foreign person as signatory
Closed Joint Stock Company will be subject to foreign investment rules in the following cases:
  • any of the Partners is a foreign person (not citizen of a privileged country)
  • Minimal share of the Omani citizen or company should be 30%.
    • partners from more than 1 privileged country at the same time.
    • partners of Omani citizens, GCC citizens and any privileged country citizens at the same time.
If the company is subject to foreign investment rules, additional documents will be required:
  • Proof of Financial Stability – bank statement for the last 6 months with funds sufficient to cover the partner share. Required for all investors including citizens of Oman.
  • Criminal record clearance certificate. Can be obtained from country of citizenship or ROP in case person has been resident for more than 5 years. Required for all investors including citizens of Oman.
Public Joint Stock Company type is meant for a group of individuals who want to start business activities. At least 3 founding committee members should represent at least 60% of the company capital. If a company will be subject to foreign investment rules, Omani capital share ratio will be applied:
  • Minimal share of the Omani citizen should be 30%.
  • The minimum capital required for Closed Joint Stock Company is 500,000.000 OMR.
Required documents for registering the Joint partnership are:
  • Legal Guardian consent for underage Omani citizens
  • Non-objection letter from sponsor for residents of Oman
  • Passport Copy for foreign persons
  • Criminal record clearance certificate for foreign persons
  • Proof of Financial stability for foreign persons
  • Minutes of board meeting for Omani entity
  • Foreign CR registration certificate for foreign company
  • Articles of Association for foreign company
  • Authorized Signatures Sample for foreign company
  • Minutes of Board Meeting for foreign company
  • Authorized Signatories Form, individual for each Signatory
  • Passport Copy for foreign person as signatory
Public Joint Stock Company will be subject to foreign investment rules in the following cases:
  • any of the Partners is a foreign person (not citizen of a privileged country)
  • Minimal share of the Omani citizen or company should be 30%.
    • partners from more than 1 privileged country at the same time.
    • partners of Omani citizens, GCC citizens and any privileged country citizens at the same time.
If the company is subject to foreign investment rules, additional documents will be required:
  • Proof of Financial Stability – bank statement for the last 6 months with funds sufficient to cover the partner share. Required for all investors including citizens of Oman.
  • Criminal record clearance certificate. Can be obtained from country of citizenship or ROP in case person has been resident for more than 5 years. Required for all investors including citizens of Oman.

Foreign Capital Investment



70%
In practice, foreign ownership is allowed up to 70% as per Oman's WTO commitments and implementing regulations.
As a General Rule
Investment is considered as contributing to the economic development of Oman if it is located outside the capital area; transfers technology; applies new technology; and contributes to improving existing infrastructure.

Common Modes of Entry for Foreign Companies



Limited Liability Company (LLC)

  • This is the most common form of entry for foreign companies
  • At least one of the parties must be an Omani national
  • Omani shareholder must own minimum 30% stake


Joint Venture (JV)

  • Not a separate legal entity
  • At least one of the parties must be an Omani company
  • Omani partner must hold 51% ownership of JV


Oman - US FTA Investor Exemption

  • US companies can set up a subsidiary without a local partner.

Common Modes of Entry for Foreign Companies



Commercial Agent

  • Foreign entities engaged in retail or wholesale trade.


Foreign Branch

  • Requires Omani sponsor, and special agreement - set up by Royal Decree.
  • Taxed up to 30% of annual profit made in Oman


Representative Office

  • The company should be 10 years old in the country of origin
  • Requires commercial registration; set up to introduce a product
  • It cannot import, export, sell or promote its products
  • It cannot communicate directly with consumers

Commercial Legal Forms

Foreign investors can set up a company organized in any of Oman’s recognized legal forms except for sole proprietorships.


Company Legal Form 

  • Sole Proprietorships
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Joint Stock Company
  • Joint Venture (JV)
  • General & Limited Partnership
  • Holding Company

* Restrictions on foreign ownership do not apply to GCC nationals

Company Legal Form 

  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Joint Stock Company
  • Joint Venture (JV)
  • General & Limited Partnership
  • Holding Company

Company Legal Form 

  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Joint Stock Company
  • Joint Venture (JV)
  • General & Limited Partnership
  • Representative Office
  • Branch Office
  • Commercial Agent

Investment Incentives 



Liberal Taxation

  • Oman has a liberal taxation regime with low corporate tax and 10 year tax holidays.


Customs Exemptions

  • Exemptions on import of plant machinery and raw material for 5 years from commencement of production (renewable once).


Capital Profit & Repatriation

  • There are no restrictions on capital or profit repatriation, currency exchange and transfer of dividends.

Investment Restrictions

Foreign Ownership & Investment in Real Estate
Land ownership and investment in real estate by foreigners is restricted to designated tourist areas.

RESTRICTIONS ON FOREIGN COMPANIES COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES

Companies seeking to conduct insurance, banking, investment or funds for third parties or commercial air transportation businesses must be organized in the form of joint stock companies.

Real estate brokerage services are reserved only for Omani nationals (pursuant to the Law Organizing Brokerage Profession in Real Estate Activities).

Real estate brokerage services are reserved only for Omani nationals (pursuant to the Law Organizing Brokerage Profession in Real Estate Activities).

Other restricted activities regulated by specific laws include:

  • Radio and television transmission
  • Printing and publishing
  • Investigation and security
  • Employment placement