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Foreign Ownership in Oman

Oman has always been a business-friendly destination for many foreign investors, entrepreneurs, and business owners. Oman has amended its business laws to make it more viable for foreign investors, and in most cases, the laws have treated foreign investors on par with local Omani investors, including in tax, localization rules, permits, and company registration licenses in Oman. 

As per the previous law, which was in force until 2019, a foreign investor could invest primarily in most sectors in Oman but with two important conditions.

  • The company needed to have a minimum share capital of OMR 150,000
  • The investor was allowed to invest in any of the sectors; however, he can only own 70% of the business. The remaining 30% of the business has to be owned by an Omani national.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry can allow a foreigner to own 100% of an Omani company only in exceptional cases. It was primarily applicable to Industries or multinational companies that are making a significant impact on the betterment of the Oman economy and result in employment for the locals. These laws are similar to current GCC regulations prevailing in the region.

Starting from 2020, Oman has opened the doors for 100% foreign ownership in Oman for most sectors. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has taken significant modernizing steps to make Oman an investor-friendly and regulatory regime by allowing 100% foreign ownership in all sectors except for the activities mentioned in the exclusion list, resulting in increased foreign investment inflows and company registration in Oman.

There have been many changes in the laws to make it more viable for investors. For example, the authorities now permit investment projects to import products through the Oman border without registering with the registry of importers. It is a key benefit and will improve the current regime. The process will streamline the complexities associated with licensing and approval required with other ministerial bodies.
 

There are various other guarantees and benefits for foreign investors, which are as follows:

  • Freedom to remit proceeds of the investment projects, proceeds for sale or liquidation and court settlements.
  • Foreign Investment Projects may not be confiscated upon payment of fair compensation. It may also not be confiscated or assets frozen. The license of a foreign investment project will not be cancelled without a valid cause.
  • A foreign investor has the freedom to transfer ownership in the form of shares or assets of the company to another foreign investor or an Omani national. The foreign investor may also assign the foreign investment project to its investment partner in case of partnership, merger, acquisition, or change of any legal form. In any of these scenarios, the new investor must own up to the obligation and liability of any of the outgoing investors.
  • In case of disputes, the Omani court will have the responsibility to resolve any dispute between a foreign investor and a third party unless they have agreed to resolve the dispute outside of the court through arbitration.
  • Foreign Investors are required to submit an annual report to the Ministry of Commerce containing various statements regarding foreign investment projects.

These are broadly the points a foreign investor should be aware of if they are planning to register a company in Oman. The Omani market would be in a stronger position to provide foreign investors with a more flexible and robust regulatory framework within which to conduct business. Gryffin Capitalist has successfully opened many companies with bank account assistance in Oman. We would be more than happy to assist you in your company incorporation journey in Oman.

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Jenny Doe

Jenny is an award-winning SEO consultant who specializes in using branded PR to maximize SEO results for clients by building E-A-T and has an extensive background in niche affiliate and technical SEO.