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Saudi Arabia Eases Licensing for Beneficiaries of ‘Commercial Concealment’ Correction

Saudi Arabia Eases Licensing for Beneficiaries of ‘Commercial Concealment’ Correction

Tuesday, 20 July, 2021 - 09:30
Saudi Arabia continues broad reforms in the labor market and initiatives to correct commercial concealment. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Saudi Arabia’s National Program for Combating Commercial Concealment affirmed that it would continue correcting the status of enterprises involved in commercial concealment (tasattur), with the provision of some concessions and exemptions during the corrective period, which will end on Aug. 23.

The move, which applies to all enterprises regardless of their size, income and commercial activities, allows non-Saudis who are holders of premium residency visas to take advantage of the opportunity to correct the status of their establishments if they do not meet the required conditions.

The program announced relaxations in the requirements for the beneficiaries during the corrective period. This includes reducing the need for establishments to achieve annual revenues from SAR40 million to SAR10 million and increasing the deadline for completing the capital required for restricted activities from three to five years.

The concessions include the exemption from penalties prescribed in the law and the consequences from other fines and exemption from paying income tax retroactively to ensure the regular practice of economic activities. Corrective steps need to be carried out using multiple options on the website of the Ministry of Commerce.

Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih has approved for applying these requirements effective from last Sunday by issuing investment licenses to establishments registered in the name of non-Saudis if there is an agreement between Saudi and non-Saudi partners.

The program confirmed the continuation of the correction process with all other options suitable for establishments of all sizes and sectors. These include practicing economic activities of Saudis by introducing a new partner in the firm and Saudis running the facility, allowing non-Saudis to obtain premium residency to run the firm, and the non-Saudis involved in tasattur leaving the Kingdom permanently.

According to the updated requirements for correcting the status, the beneficiaries will be exempted from the provision of the Ministry of Investment to have an international franchisee for the establishment. This will be with the condition that the number of employees of the firm shall be 50 and above or the firm’s revenues for the last year would be SR10 million or more.

The conditions also include that the firm’s registration in the commercial register would be before the start of the corrective campaign and that the foreign partner would be residing in the Kingdom before starting the correction period. Moreover, the foreign partner’s employer should not have any objections to the correction process.

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