Jersey Finance's director - Middle East, Africa and India, Faizal Bhana, has outlined the opportunities to build businesses in Saudi Arabia, in particular following recent legislation around corporate law intended to facilitate investments into the country.

Writing in an opinion piece published by Arab News, and co-authored by Lama Homaidan AlTurki, director at the Council of Corporate Health, Bhana notes that "it is essential to understand the different corporate legal structures available and how these structures differ from other jurisdictions."

"New Companies Law, recently enacted on June 28, 2022, provides an improved regulatory environment that incubates investments by facilitating new statutory procedures and corporate structures, specifically among small and medium enterprises. The new law will come into force 180 days from July 22, 2022, the date upon which it was published in the Official Gazette."

Additional insights required involve understanding family corporate governance and acknowledging the importance of generational control, he notes.

"Additionally, the new law has allowed flexibility that empowers investment in SMEs and diversifies the market with new forms of corporate entities."

Understanding these structures is important, say, for those who intend to exit through an IPO in future. 

"The law offers greater flexibility at all stages of a venture, including its establishment, business operations and exits through a sale or IPO."

"Given the numerous options available for regional investors, locally and abroad, it is prudent to seek expert advice when deciding upon the proper jurisdiction and structure for your needs. The adviser ought to have a long-standing history of providing bespoke guidance to Middle Eastern clients and be aware of the unique challenges clients face in the region."