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Doing Business in Oman


Foreign participation in Omani enterprises is governed by the Foreign Business and Investment Law of 1974 as well as the Commercial Companies Code of 1974, the Commercial Register Law and the Commercial Agencies Law as amended by Royal Decree 73/96.

The Foreign Business and Investment Law allows foreign companies to:

• incorporate a local company;
• establish a branch office;
• establish a consultancy; or
• appoint a commercial agent, provided the foreign company is engaged only in providing goods or services to be imported into Oman.

Such enterprises must be approved by the Foreign Capital Investment Committee in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Ordinarily at least one member of the enterprise must be an Omani national and at least 35% of the profits and capital of the enterprise have to be owned by Omani nationals. In the public transportation, utilities and real estate sectors, at least 51% of the shareholdings must be held by Omani nationals.

Foreign persons or companies may participate in four types of business associations defined under the Commercial Companies Law, as follows:

• General Partnership;
• Limited Partnership;
• Joint Stock Company; and
• Limited Liability Company.

The Commercial Companies Law also defines a Joint Venture.

Forms of Business Organisation

General Partnership

A general partnership is an association of at least two persons and whose members are jointly and severally liable to the obligations of the association to the full extent of their personal wealth. There is no maximum limit to participation. All general partnerships must be registered in the Commercial Registrar. The agreement that sets out the relationship among the partners, as well as any subsequent agreements must be filed with the Commercial Registrar. The name of the partnership must consist of the name of one or more of the partners together with an indication that the partnership exists. Management devolves upon all partners, unless otherwise is indicated in the partnership agreement. Managers may perform all acts necessary to accomplish the objectives of the partnership, subject to limitations arising under the partnership agreement and limitation arising by operation of law. Dissolution may take place where the term of the partnership expires, the partnership accomplishes its objects, all interests are transferred to one person, bankruptcy, loss of all or most of the capital, and the creation of a members contract to dissolve the partnership. In addition, the partnership may be dissolved upon the death, insanity, bankruptcy or withdrawal of a general partner, unless the partnership contract indicates otherwise.

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