Operating a Business

flag Kuwait Kuwait: Operating a Business

In this page: Setting Up a Company | The Active Population in Figures | Working Conditions | Cost of Labour | Social Partners

 

Setting Up a Company

Shareholding company
Number of partners: Minimum 5 partners, with no maximum.
Capital (max/min): The minimum capital for a Closed Shareholding Company is KWD 10,000 and for a Public Shareholding Company KWD 25,000.
Shareholders and liability: Partners' liability is limited to the amount contributed.
Limited Liability Company
Number of partners: Minimum 2 partners.
Capital (max/min): KWD 1,000 minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: Partners' liability is limited to the amount contributed.
Joint Venture (majority owned by a Kuwaiti)
Number of partners: Minimum 2 partners. Maximum 30 partners.
Capital (max/min): Minimum capital of KWD 7,000. 51% of the capital must be Kuwaiti.
Shareholders and liability: Partners' liability is limited to the amount contributed.
General Partnership
Number of partners: Minimum 2 partners.
Capital (max/min): KWD 1,000 minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: Partners' liability is limited to the amount contributed.
Limited Partnership
Number of partners: Minimum 2 partners. Two types of partners: dormant partners and active partners.
Capital (max/min): KWD 1,000 minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: Liability of active partners is unlimited. The liability of dormant partners is limited to the amount contributed.
The Competent Organisation
The Ministry of Commerce (in Arabic) issues the commercial license required to perform any commercial activity.  For certain activities, a license must be obtained from other ministry departments as well such as health, communications, etc.
 
Setting Up a Company Kuwait Middle East & North Africa
Procedures (number) 5.0 6.3
Time (days) 19.4 19.5

Source: Doing Business.

 
Business Setup Procedures
Consult Doing Business Website, to know about procedures to start a Business in Kuwait.
Business in Kuwait

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The Active Population in Figures

201820192020
Labour Force 2,386,2692,428,5182,386,040

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 
201720182019
Total activity rate 74.54%74.80%74.97%
Men activity rate 88.57%88.68%88.72%
Women activity rate 51.79%51.69%51.58%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 

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Working Conditions

Legal Weekly Duration
8 hours per day, 48 hours per week.
Retirement Age
60 years old.
Working Contracts
The private sector has two types of contracts:  Contract for unlimited time and contract for limited time which cannot exceed five years.  It is mandatory that  all contracts have to be written in Arabic, but they can be translated if the employee does not speak Arabic.
Labour Laws
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the labor regulations that apply to local entreprises.

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Cost of Labour

Minimum Wage
According to the ILO, the minimum wage was KWD 75 per month in 2019 for the private and oil sector (latest available data).
Average Wage
In Kuwait, the average wage fluctuates significantly between different sectors of activity but also between workers of Kuwaiti nationality and expatriates.
The ILO does not have data on the average wage in Kuwait.
The average salary is estimated at 1,761 KWD per month in 2019 (according to surveys done by various companies, latest data available).
Social Contributions
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers: 11.5% of salaries. For the foreign labor, there is no obligation of employer contribution.
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employees: 10.5% of the gross wage for Kuwaiti workers.

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Social Partners

Social Dialogue and Involvement of Social Partners
Creation of syndicates (unions) is limited.  All syndicates (about 15) are regrouped under the Kuwaiti Federation of Syndicates.  Foreign domestic workers, who represent one third of the active population, do not have the right to be affiliated to a syndicate.
Unions
Kuwait Trade Union Federation
Unionisation Rate
5 % of the active population is affiliated to a syndicate (union).
Labour Regulation Bodies
Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs & Electricity and Water

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Latest Update: November 2022