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How to Obtain an Event Management License in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is rapidly becoming a top destination for events, with the ambitious Vision 2030 and the recent success in securing Expo 2030. The country's entertainment industry is experiencing unprecedented growth, making it an opportune...

Saudi Arabia is rapidly becoming a top destination for events, with the ambitious Vision 2030 and the recent success in securing Expo 2030. The country's entertainment industry is experiencing unprecedented growth, making it an opportune time for event organizers to capitalize on this momentum. However, obtaining the right licenses is crucial in order to operate legally and take advantage of all the opportunities available.

Do You Need an Event Management License in Saudi Arabia?

Absolutely. Government regulations mandate obtaining a business license for any commercial activity. Undertaking events without proper licensing not only attracts hefty fines but also hinders essential aspects like opening a bank account, generating official invoices, and obtaining necessary permits for your events.

Factors to Consider Before Applying for a Business License in Saudi Arabia

Determine the Right License

The first step is to identify the appropriate license for your event management business. The Saudi government provides a comprehensive list of licenses, tailored to specific business activities. Some licenses allow 100% foreign ownership, while others require a percentage of Saudi ownership. It is essential to ascertain the minimum capital requirement, which varies depending on the license type.

Determine Company Structure

Choose the most suitable company structure for your event management business. Options include Limited Liability Co (LLC), Limited Liability One-Person Company, Joint Stock Company, Foreign Company Branch, and Solidarity Professional Company. The selection should align with your goals and ownership preferences.

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How to Get an Event Management License in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, business licenses are issued by the Ministry of Investment, also known as MISA. The first step to obtaining an event management license is to get a MISA license and Commercial Registration.

How to Get a MISA License and Commercial Registration

Step 1: Choose Company Structure

Decide on the company structure that best suits your event management business. The Saudi government allows you to choose from options such as Limited Liability Co (LLC), Limited Liability One-Person Company, Joint Stock Company, Foreign Company Branch, and Solidarity Professional Company.

Step 2: Documentation

Before applying for the MISA license, ensure all prerequisites are met. This includes documentation related to your chosen company structure, financial statements, and other essential paperwork.

Step 3: Name Reservation

Once the company structure and documentation have been finalized, choose and reserve a name for the business. The name should not be previously registered in the system.

Step 4: Drafting the Articles of Association and Memorandum of Association

Craft a robust Articles of Association (AoA) and Memorandum of Association (MoA) that will act as a blueprint for your company's operational rules and shareholder agreements.

Step 5: Commercial Registration (CR) Issuance

After the AoA and MoA have been approved, MISA will issue the company's Commercial Registration, which is one of the most important steps in obtaining a business license in Saudi Arabia.

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How to Get an Entertainment License from GEA in Saudi Arabia

The General Entertainment Authority (GEA) is the regulatory body responsible for issuing licenses for events and related activities in Saudi Arabia. To host live performances and events, businesses must apply for an entertainment license through GEA's online portal.

The entertainment license includes two types of activities:

  • Entertainment Events: Permits to organize entertainment events, hold entertainment shows, and conduct live shows in restaurants and cafes.
  • Support Activities: Licenses for managing artistic and entertainment talents, operating entertainment facilities, crowd management, organization accreditation, and entertainment activities ticketing accreditation.

GEA's Entertainment License Process

Step 1 - Submit Application

Once the commercial registration has been issued, the application for the entertainment license must be issued electronically through GEA's online portal.

Step 2 - No Violations

Ensure that the content of the entertainment or support activity does not violate the culture and values of the Kingdom.

Step 3 - Payment

Pay the full financial fees before the license is issued.

Step 4 - Meet All Conditions

Fulfill any other conditions specified in the Investor's Guide or required by the Authority.

Please note that compliance with GEA's guidelines and regulations is crucial. Violations may result in warnings, facility closures, or license withdrawal.

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Event Permit Request

Before hosting an event in Saudi Arabia, an Event Permit must be obtained from GEA through the online portal. Each event must have an individual permit issued under the business's management. The application process involves submitting a preliminary approval request, providing essential documentation, and obtaining necessary permits from relevant authorities.

Pre-Requisites

  • Submit a preliminary approval request 60 days in advance.
  • Possess a commercial register indicating the activity of organizing entertainment events.
  • Obtain site owner approval.
  • Provide necessary permits from relevant authorities.
  • Furnish a certificate of insurance for civil liability claims.
  • Submit conformity certificates for installation safety.
  • Present an operational plan for the event.
  • Be a registered organizer with GEA.

Process

  • Access the e-services portal.
  • Enter the entertainment event permit service.
  • Log in or register as a new user.
  • Input event and facility information.
  • Provide details about the event and activities.
  • Enter attendance information and attach the required documents.
  • Submit the request.
  • Receive a response via email indicating authorization or refusal.

Saudi Arabia holds immense promise as a prime destination for future events. To capitalize on the country's growth, event organizers can use this comprehensive guide as a step-by-step companion in the licensing process. For more information about hosting events in Saudi Arabia, get in touch with us.

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