If you have or are looking to set up an entity in Saudi Arabia, then a Government Relations Officer (GRO) is essential to your day to day business. For many businesses new to Saudi Arabia, the concept of a Saudi Arabia GRO service is something that they have not encountered before. However, if they have had experience in the Middle East, then they will have come across the service under the different name of PRO. This article covers why you need a GRO, what the requirements are for a GRO and what their role and responsibilities are within your company.
The Government Relations Officer role is to undertake all the activities for official submission of legal company document including visa processing, company licenses and employee official paperwork.
GROs ensure that all employees joining your organization comply with Saudi government regulations and employment laws. They work with your HR team and should have full responsibility for all labour law related matters. GROs should also work closely with your recruitment team, ensuring documents are completed and received on schedule, that visas are approved and that the company remains fully compliant. GROs will directly deal with government departments with regards to visas, licenses and sponsorship.
Managing your GRO needs can be time consuming and sometimes frustrating especially if you have limited in-house resources. A GRO needs to have adequate experience in the procedures and requirements of each government department to ensure deadlines are met and delays and fines are avoided. The GRO needs to remain up to date with changes to regulations and have the skills to implement them into the company.
Outsourcing to a GRO provider allows you to concentrate on your business.
There are many different parts to the GRO role and can include any of the following;
In addition to having the skills to successfully undertake the role requirements listed above, a Saudi GRO must also have the following;
The anti-concealment law has been a significant concern by foreign investors regarding their business future. It has been a part of the national program to combat commercial concealment by the Ministry of Commerce. Before, foreign entities used to partner with a Saudi national in concealed either to conduct business mutually or to benefit from his presence since non-Saudis were not allowed to engage in commercial activities solely. Lately, the Saudi government opened the country for international investors through the Ministry of Investment. The ministry offers several investment licenses to foreign companies, including those in the market earlier. In addition, the premium Iqama was introduced, giving non-Saudi individuals the privilege to operate their establishment or partner with a Saudi national. This article will provide some crucial tips on securing your investor license and complying with the anti-concealment law.