Information for Doing Business in Oman – IMC Group Oman
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Business in Oman

OMAN – A BUSINESS DESTINATION

The Sultanate of Oman was formed in 1970 upon the accession of Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who has ruled ever since. The current estimated population is 4.1 million, of which almost 46 percent are expatriates employed in a range of industries. As an oil rich state, Oman has sought to diversify its economy, particularly in tourism, logistics and industrial manufacturing. Located in the south- eastern quarter of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman is the only member of the GCC situated outside the gulf. As a historical trading nation Oman benefited from its strategic location, and now has the goal of becoming a global logistics hub. Arabic is the first language, with English widely spoken and used in business.

Advantages of investing in Oman

  • Political stability.
  • Liberalforeignownershipincompanies permitted.
  • Oman is rich in oil and gas.
  • Capital and profits of a business entity is fully repatriable.
  • No personal income-tax. All individuals can fully repatriate their savings.
  • Committed to privatization, industrialization, economic diversification and development.
  • Free trade and open market policy.
  • Low income tax rate structure for companies and double taxation relief treaties available with many countries.
  • English is used widely in day to day business commerce.

Types of Companies

The Limited Liability Company is a commercial company with a certain capital which is divided into equal shares. The company consists of two or more ordinary persons or body corporate whose liability is limited to the nominal value of their shares in the company’s capital. Here foreign shareholders may own up to 70%. The Limited Liability Company cannot resort directly or indirectly to public subscription to gather its capital, increase it or to borrow money.

Under Free Zone, foreigners can have 100% ownership.

The Individual Corporation, as the name implies, is a commercial corporation established by one person. Its owner is personally responsible for any obligation with regard to the corporation. The minimum capital of the individual corporation in order for it to be registered is OMR 3000. Any person should have one individual corporation to be registered under his/her name. This type of registration is limited to Omani nationals and those who belong to the GCC States. Some commercial activities are allocated for Omani nationals only.

The General Partnership Company is a commercial company which is composed between two or more ordinary persons or body corporate to practice business under a certain commercial name. The partners in the General Partnership Company are complementarily and by way of solidarity responsible in all their funds for the company’s debts.

Free Zones

There are currently three free zones (Sohar, Salalah and Al Mazunah) in Oman, as well as a special economic zone in Duqm. Each zone has its own features. Oman free zones are suitable for foreign companies intending to use Oman as a regional manufacturing or distribution base. Free zones are mainly for import and export oriented companies who only require an office in Oman.

Advantages of Free Zone (FZ) company formation

  • FZ companies may be 100% foreign owned
  • There are no minimum share capital requirements for free zone business
  • There are no corporate taxes on free zone companies for ten years thanks to a tax holiday incentive
  • No duties are imposed on goods imported andexported from free zone
  • Oman free trade zone companies are allowed to trade within Oman without local agent.
    A custom duty of 5% applies in these cases.

Licensing

  • All business entities have to be registered at the Commercial Registry of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI)
  • An LLC cannot participate in banking, financial guarantees, or commercial aviation activities

Accounting and Tax

  • No personal Income Tax or Wealth Tax
  • Capital Gains are considered as normal business income and Tax rate for Foreign and local entities are flat 12%

Auditors and Accountants

Financial statements must be prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards. The first accounting period of an entity begins on the date of its registration and may cover any length of time up to eighteen months, after which a fixed twelve-month period must be chosen. If an entity wishes to change its accounting period subsequently, it must first obtain approval from the Secretary General for Taxation at the Ministry of Finance.

IMC Advantage

IMC is a cross border advisory firm focusing on the AMEA (Asia, Middle East and Africa) markets. We specialize in corporate advisory services, global mobility services, private client and family advisory, international tax, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, investment advisory and business support and outsourcing solutions. IMC has been operating in GCC for over 10 years. With a partnership in Oman, IMC is closer to the customer with a better understanding of the Oman Company Laws and Practices.