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Importing & Distributing

Import Procedures
According to the Royal Oman Police Customs Directorate (ROP Customs), the following are required for clearance of imported goods:

-    An accredited copy of commercial registration and an activity form or permission for importing if such a form doesn’t exist.
-    A valid copy of the affiliation certificate to Oman Chamber of Industry and Commerce (OCIC).
-    A valid certificate from the manufacturer.
-    A valid quotation list.
-    Packing lists.
-    Bill of lading at sea and air custom offices only.
-    A manifest of the shipment (a document which contains a detailed description of the cargo).
-    A permission of deliverance from the shipping agent.
-    A comprehensive valid written authorization from the person in charge for custom clearance.
-    Paying the required taxes and custom fees for the total value of the shipment including cargo and insurance (CIF).

All imports into Oman above RO 1,000 must be accompanied by: an accredited copy of commercial registration, a copy of the affiliation certificate to the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), a commercial invoice, a bill of lading or airway bill, the relevant certificate or permit for restricted imports (section 3.2.6), and a certificate of origin for preferential imports.
Distribution market players
There are several retailers and wholersalers all over the Omani's territory, shared between national and international companies:
- French Carrefour, in joint venture with his local partner Majid Al Futtaim Group
- SPAR, which owns around 24 franchises in the Sultanate

In parrallel, the traditionnal retail is still present with independant convenience and mini market stores.

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Operating a Business

Type of companies

Limited liability company
Number of partners: Minimum: Two partners, Maximum: 40 shareholders
One of the two partners must be citizen of Oman, a GCC member state or the USA and hold at least 30% of shares.
No share restrictions apply when all partners are citizen of Oman, a GCC member state or the USA
Capital (max/min): Minimum: OMR 150,000 (for LLCs with foreign participation)
Minimum: OMR 20,000 (for LLCs that are 100% owned by Omani and GCC nationals, and US citizens
Shareholders and liability: Liability for each shareholder is limited to the portion of their own capital contributions
Wholly foreign-owned limited liability company
Number of partners: Minimum: Two shareholders, two directors (foreign nationals must seek special authorisation from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry with a detailed business plan to set up such a company)
Capital (max/min): Minimum: OMR 1 million
Shareholders and liability: Liability for each shareholder is limited to the portion of their own capital contributions
Free zone company
Number of partners: Minimum: One shareholder, one director
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital requirement
Shareholders and liability: Liability for each shareholder is limited to the portion of their own capital contributions
Joint stock company
Number of partners: Minimum: Three shareholders
A board of directors is also required
Capital (max/min): Minimum capital: OMD 500,000 (for privately held joint stock companies (SAOC)
Minimum capital: OMD 2 million (for publicly held joint stock companies (SAOG)
At least half of issued capital to be paid-up on subscription
Shareholders and liability: Liability for each shareholder is limited to the portion of their own capital contributions
Partnership (General or limited)
Number of partners: Minimum: Two partners (two full partners or one general and one limited partner)
Capital (max/min): Not applicable
Shareholders and liability: Full liability for general partner(s)
Liability for limited partner(s) is limited to the portion of their own capital contributions
 
Setting Up a Company Oman Middle East & North Africa
Procedures (number) 4.0 6.3
Time (days) 4.3 19.5

Source: Doing Business - Latest available data.

 

Cost of Labour

Minimum Wage
OMR 325 (OMR 225 minimum basic salary, OMR 100 minimum allowance) (Omani Ministry of Manpower)
Average Wage
OMR 820 (PayLab Survey)
Social Contributions
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers: 10.5%
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employees: The employee pays a contribution of 7% of salary.
 

Intellectual Property

National Organisations
Intellectual Property Department, within the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Regional Organisations
Oman is a member of the Patent Office of Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC).
 

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Tax Rates

Consumption Taxes

Nature of the Tax
Oman recently introduced a value-added tax (VAT), along with other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries. The implementation date was April 2021.
Tax Rate
5%
Reduced Tax Rate
Zero-rated items include exports of goods and services; supply of certain foodstuffs, to be confirmed by Regulation; supply of medicine and medical equipment, to be confirmed by Regulation; supply of investment gold, silver and platinum; supply of international transport of goods and passengers and related services; supply of sea, air and land means of transport for transport of goods and passengers for commercial purposes, and related goods and services; supply of rescue aircraft, rescue boats and auxiliary ships; and supply of crude oil and its oil derivatives and natural gas.

The categories of exempt supplies of goods and services are financial services; provision of healthcare and associated goods and services; provision of education and associated goods and services; supply of local passenger transport; supply of bare land; resale of residential real estate; the renting of real estate for residential purposes.

Other Consumption Taxes
Starting from June 2019, Oman levies excise duties on tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, and energy drinks (at 100%) as well as on carbonated drinks (50%).
 

Corporate Taxes

Company Tax
15%
Capital Gains Taxation
Capital gains are taxed at the same rate as ordinary income. Gains from the sale of locally listed shares are exempt from tax.
Main Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
Depreciation is provided on a straight-line basis on a wide range of assets at rates varying between 4% and 100%. A "pooling" concept is allowed, whereby assets subject to the same rate of depreciation may be pooled together for purposes of depreciation. Goodwill is also amortizable for tax purposes.
Start-up expenses are allowed as a deduction in the first taxable year. Interest expense is allowed for loans from unrelated parties or on loans from banks, as well as on expenses incurred for the purpose of earning income.
Charitable contributions are deductible up to 5% of gross income. Bad debts can be deducted at the time of write-off.
All expenses incurred for the generation of gross total income are allowed, including entertainment costs (without any limits). Social security contributions are also deductible.
Fines, penalties and taxes are not tax-deductible.
Net operating losses can be carried forward and set off against taxable income for five years. Carryback of losses is not permitted.
Other Corporate Taxes
The total monthly social security and insurance contributions to be made by the employer equal to 11.5% of the salary (10.5% social security, 1% insurance for work-related injuries). This contribution system applies only to Omani citizens and other employees from the Gulf Cooperation Council area.
Municipal taxes apply to various services at the following rates: 3% on property rents, 5% on hotel occupancy, 10% on leisure and cinema houses.
Stamp duty of 3% is applicable to the transfer of land and property.
Other Domestic Resources
Tax Authority
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the taxes and mandatory contributions.
 

Double Taxation Treaties

Countries With Whom a Double Taxation Treaty Have Been Signed
List of double tax agreements signed by the Sultanate of Oman
Withholding Taxes
Dividends: 0%, Interests: 0%, Royalties: 0% (residents)/10% (non-residents, suspended for a period of three years starting from 6 May 2019)

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