Opening Bank Account in Saudi Arabia: Complete Guide2024

Opening a bank account in Saudi Arabia may take some time, so new expats should prepare by setting aside enough cash to cover their expenses for the first few weeks after their arrival. Employers typically offer a cash advance to help staff during this transition period.

This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the bank account opening process and business setup in Saudi Arabia. It covers the necessary documentation and procedures. 

Saudi Arabian banking

Saudi Arabia is home to more than thirty domestic and foreign banks, so foreigners looking to open a bank account have a lot of options. The National Commercial Bank (NCB), Al Rajhi Bank, Samba Bank, and Riyadh Bank are the four domestic banks in the Kingdom that made up roughly 57% of all sector assets in 2019. A number of foreign banks are also present in Saudi Arabia, including Emirates NBD, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, BNP Paribas, and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. 

Why is a Local Bank Account a Must-Have for Business Setup in Saudi Arabia?

Having a Saudi Arabian bank account is crucial for entrepreneurs in the Kingdom. It helps with the following:

  1. Business Transactions: You need a local account to receive payments from clients, manage expenses, and pay salaries (if you have employees).
  2. Credibility: A local account shows your commitment to the Saudi market and makes you look more professional when dealing with clients and partners.
  3. Compliance: Many government regulations require businesses to have a local bank account.

Choosing the Right Bank

When selecting a bank, consider the following factors:

  1. Account Features: Look for banks that offer online and mobile banking, international transaction capabilities, and merchant services.
  2. Fees: Compare monthly maintenance charges, transaction fees, and minimum balance requirements to find the most cost-effective option.
  3. Customer Service: Ensure the bank provides excellent customer support and has conveniently located branches.

For a hassle-free and efficient banking experience, thoroughly research various banks and their offerings before making a choice. This investment of time will pay off in the long run, allowing you to focus on growing your business.

Guide to Opening a Bank Account in Saudi Arabia

Establishing a bank account in Saudi Arabia may involve a time-consuming procedure that typically spans a few weeks. Success in this endeavor hinges on ensuring that you possess all necessary documentation. Fortunately, the process is expat-friendly, and you can trust an established method of operation.

The timeline for opening an account varies depending on the type of account desired and necessitates the submission of distinct document sets.

Opening an Account

To open an account, gather the necessary documents:

  1. Your passport and visa.
  2. A copy of your iqama or visa page.
  3. A letter of no objection from your employer or sponsor (NOC).
  4. A copy of your tenancy agreement (if applicable).
  5. Passport-sized photographs in a specified format.
  6. A completed and signed bank account application form.

How to Open a Business Bank Account as an Entrepreneur in Saudi Arabia

Opening a business bank account in Saudi Arabia can be a daunting task, but it’s an essential part of running your business smoothly. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process:

  1. Gather required documents: You’ll need your company’s trade license, certificate of registration, share certificates, memorandum and articles of association, and a board resolution empowering a company officer to open the account. Don’t forget to bring your passport and residence visa copies as well.
  2. Find a local business consultancy: Many expat entrepreneurs find it helpful to work with a local consultancy to assist them with the bank account opening process. They can help you prepare the documents and navigate the local regulations.
  3. Choose a bank: There are several banks operating in Saudi Arabia, each with their own requirements and procedures. Research and choose a bank that best suits your business needs.
  4. Meet with the bank representative: Once you’ve selected a bank, schedule an appointment with a bank representative. They will review your documents and discuss your banking needs.
  5. Complete the account opening process: The bank will guide you through the process of filling out the necessary forms and providing any additional information they require. This typically takes 8-12 weeks.
  6. Fund your account: After your account is opened, you’ll need to deposit the required paid-up share capital into your account. Make sure you have the necessary funds available before proceeding.

We’re Here to Assist You

We at Business Link can assist you in navigating the complexities of opening a bank account in Saudi Arabia. Our experts are well-versed in the top banks and services available, ensuring you get the best possible service for your business setup. Let us help you save time and effort by guiding you through the process of opening an online bank account in Saudi Arabia.

Karla Hall
the authorKarla Hall