Investing in Oman

There are a number of ways to invest in Oman, through a number of different business vehicle.

The key kinds of vehicle are as follows. Each relates to the specific type of business activity being contemplated.

Joint Ventures

The key points to keep in mind are: first, that because joint ventures are not deemed to be “juristic persons” under Omani law, and joint venture agreements are considered to be private arrangements, there is no requirement to register a joint venture in any public registry. The second thing to keep in mind, is that Omani law provides that a joint venture between an Omani and a non-Omani party is subject to certain restrictions as to the ownership share of the foreign party.

Commercial Agencies

These are a popular vehicle for the promotion and/or importation and distribution of products or services into Oman, where the products or services are provided by a foreign party, through an Omani agent. The key points to keep in mind include, first that the commercial agency does not establish a business presence in Oman.

It is noteworthy that the commercial agent must be an Omani citizen, with an appropriate registration with the Oman Chamber of Commerce, or a majority-owned Omani company.

It is also noteworthy that the arrangement between the commercial agent and their principal need not be an exclusive one.

Unlike the joint venture, a commercial agency must be registered with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in order to be an enforceable agreement.

Public Tenders

It is noteworthy that all government procurement and public works contracts are awarded through a process of public tendering, the regulations for which are set out in Oman’s Tenders Law.

That said, certain sorts of contract, including defence contracts, and contracts awarded by government Ministries who have their own internal tendering procedures in place, are not subject to the procedures and requirements of the Tenders Law.

Inarak Consultants

Inarak is a UK-based consultancy, with an affiliate arrangement with a leading Omani commercial law firm.

The consultancy and its affiliate has a breadth of experience in all three of the above areas of enterprise, joint ventures, agency arrangements, and public tenders.

Our consultants have represented parties in a number of industry sectors, including engineering construction (for example, industrial plant), building construction (for example, roads, hotels and resorts facilities, and ports), technology, and oil and gas procurement.

This post is for information purposes only. It is not intended to provide the reader with legal advice. Should the reader require specific legal advice on the requirements for new market entry to Oman, please contact the author of the post.

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