Is the Saudi market right for your business?

In line with the Vision 2030, the Saudi Arabian government has opened up many opportunities for foreign investors to invest in the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia is the largest economy in the GCC, and one that an increasing number of companies are looking to for their next expansion plans. A move to the Kingdom could have huge growth potential for your business.

However, expanding your business into Saudi Arabia has many implications. It’s crucial to undergo a thorough risk analysis and strategy before beginning the process.  

The questions below are to give you an idea of some of the implications of moving to Saudi, and will help you determine if your business can survive the change in environment.

Do the economic benefits of expanding into the Saudi market outweigh the risks?

Exporting your goods or services to the Saudi market poses many opportunities for financial growth. However, do the perceived benefits outweigh the risk? Expanding to a new territory has financial risks, with initial investment and the startup period being crucial times for good cash flow management. Businesses need to prepare for this period, ensuring that they have enough to cover the daily running costs of the business.

A long-term financial plan should be undertaken, to examine the growth potential over a number of years. This will allow for financial projections and seasonal changes to revenue to be prepared for amongst other things.

Saudi has many opportunities currently for foreign investors, however, businesses must justify how the move, start-up costs, transition, legal fees, and risk of failure weigh against the benefits.

Do you have the staff or support to effectively expand?

When moving to Saudi Arabia, it is more effective for businesses to have a partner based in the country who can support them with set up. Outsourcing your team in the startup phase reduces the risk on the company and is a cost effective way of getting expert knowledge for your company.

An outsourcing provider supports your business in making the move to Saudi smoother. Foreign companies often use a partner that will help them with government relations, legal documents, and compliance and a number of other support services.

Will your business be appropriate to the local culture?

Before moving to Saudi Arabia, it is important to consider whether your business, your branding and company culture can fit into the local culture. If your business is not suitable or adaptable to Saudi culture, then expanding to Saudi may not be the best option.

Will I find the talent I need in another country?

Saudi Arabia has a large job-seeking market, a large number of well educated, young nationals and a large expat base. Your business may decide to move current employees to Saudi, or to hire new employees in the Saudi office.

Saudization is another aspect to consider when looking at hiring your team. Saudization is a requirement for businesses to employ a percentage of Saudi nationals. It differs depending on the industry your business operates in and the size of your company.


Before beginning the process of moving your business to Saudi Arabia, consider the implications. The Saudi government is welcoming foreign investment and making changes to licenses and processes in order to make it easier for foreign companies to set up in the Kingdom. However, it is vital that you choose the right Saudi partner to support you and ensure that you are prepared for a realistic setup time and cost.

For support in exporting to Saudi Arabia, contact Proven on +966 11 411 1127, or email

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