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Introduction to Licensing

Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Sultanate of Oman has undertaken a major initiative to introduce a holistic approach to licensing of business activities and streamline the procedures how licensing is conducted in Oman.

Constant work is being done to improve the ease of starting and doing business and to simplify the licensing process. The image illustrates the aspects of the optimization process, ongoing between different government entities.

Although the simplification has already shown considerable progress, there are many details the investor must know before starting a business activity.

To start a business activity, you have to be familiar with the rules of the chosen activity.

  • Are you starting a new Commercial Registration or adding an activity to existing one?
  • Does the activity need licensing?
  • Is the license defined in Invest Easy system or it has to be applied elsewhere?
  • Do you need additional permits?

It may be confusing, but our staff are always willing to help clarify these questions.

Aspect of The Optimisation Process

 

Choosing an activity and Knowing it's requirements!

Before starting a new activity, you have to review the rules and requirements of the activity. To do that, the "License Simulator" service can be used. The simulator will specify if the activity requires a license or not, and if the license is issued by Invest Easy system or other government entity.

 

How does License Simulator work?

  1. User can select business activities, places of activities, the legal type and other information.
  2. The simulator will collect the entered data, process it and display the results.
  3. The Results will be as instructions on:​​
    1. ​​​How to license.
    2. The documents and requirements needed to apply for the license.
    3. The processing time and required fees.

Detailed information will be output only for Invest Easy Licensed Business Activities. For activities that need licenses from other entities, you need to contact the corresponding government entity.

 

Definitions of Licensing

License

Upfront legal authorization used to allow practicing a restricted business activity.

(License is issued by a responsible authority and it is forbidden to start activities without it)

         

Notification

Used for business activities which don't require a license but still pose a risk and requires government  supervision.

(Notification is sent to corresponding authority and it is forbidden to start activities without it)

Notifications help public authorities to collect information and support the government supervision of a particular economic sector at any time.

 

Permit

Upfront legal authorization to use certain restricted rights or privileges (e.g. limited resources, place of activity, emit waste etc.).

(Permit is issued by a responsible authority and it is forbidden to use the restricted rights or privileges without it)

 

Approval

Upfront legal authorization on a particular issue within the licensing or permitting process.

(Approval is granted by a responsible co-operating authority and its status (i.e. how critical the issue is for that process) is fixed by relevant regulation of that domain)

 

Licensing process

 

What is License?

License is a contract between the government and a company. The licensing process has three aims:

  • Limiting certain activities.
  • Restricting certain activities.
  • Establishing standards of performance and monitoring the compliance to these standards. 

 

Why are Licenses needed?

Licenses are needed to guarantee that a company knows its business well and is conducting it in a sustainable, honest and safe manner.

 

Who are issuing the Licenses?

Each license has only one issuer. However other government entities can be involved in the licensing process to provide approvals.

 

Two types of regulations

Ex-ante: license must be acquired before starting business activities.

example: 

  1. Invest Easy Licensed Business Activities (The case of activity needs license).
  2. Manual Licensed Business Activities.

Ex-post: You can start a business activity right away, but you may need to send a notification to register your activities or you need to upload your rental contract to start doing business.

example: 
  1. Invest Easy Licensed Business Activities (The case of activity needs notification only).
  2. License-Free Business Activities.

 

Business Activities Licensing Types

There are 3 types of Business Activities Licensing:

  1. License-Free Business Activities.
  2. Invest Easy Licensed Business Activities.
  3. Manual Licensed Business Activities.

infographic explains what you should do before starting practicing the Business Activity

For more details about the business activities licensing types, we are providing separate descriptions for each in separate sections.