Legal and Regulatory Frameworks for Startups
Types of businesses
Before you launch your business there are several different structures you can choose to register your company under. The following are a list of business structures available to you. Each will have different benefits and it’s important you choose the one that suits you and your company.
One Person Companies
One person companies (OPC) are treated as limited companies, where a company can be incorporated with a single shareholder.
A structure where two or more partners will have unlimited liability, no capital required.
Limited Partnership (LP)
LP has two primary categories:
- General partners whose liability to the partnership is shared, i.e., joint liability.
- One partner is limited to a particular amount of liability respective to the capital contribution.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
LLC is a structure where one can appoint between two to fifty individuals. The liability is limited to the particular investment made by the shareholder. According to the new Companies Commercial Law (CCL), there are no minimum capital required, which is expected to be clarified by MOCI. Previously, minimum investments required were OMR 20,000 for Omani or GCC nationals, OMR 150,000 for a mixed shareholding with foreign shareholders.
Joint Venture (JV)
JV is considered as an agreement between two or more shareholders for a project. No minimum capital is required.
Joint Stock Companies (JSC)
JSC is a holding company having control over a subsidiary.
Branch office is an extension of a foreign company in Oman.
Representative Office (RO)
RO is an extension of a foreign parent company and cannot carry out profit making activities.
Foreign entity legal requirements
All companies in Oman must obey the Foreign Capital and Investment Law. The law requires non-GCC nationals to obtain a license from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The rule applies if the person wants to start a business in Oman or wants to make an investment. A license will be granted if both of the following applies:
- Non-GCC nationals carry out their business through a registered business type under the Companies Commercial Law
- And obtains a capital of OMR 150,000.