Attorney Fajer Ahmed

In the past year, we have seen a positive change in legislations in Kuwait for conducting business, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). One of the most positive changes was establishing a one-stop business center in Kuwait to obtain a license – the Kuwait Business Center (KBC). Although the idea of the center is great and has been successful, there has been an impressive demand for the center’s services and therefore the process is still taking longer than it should, which I believe defeats the purpose of the center.
Kuwait ranked low over ease of business internationally and the government reacted by not only amending the laws positively, but also by introducing support for the youth in many different forms. Although this is highly appreciated by the Kuwaiti youth, there are still a few issues to be addressed when establishing a company in Kuwait. I am sure though the government will continue to improve and make the necessary amendments.

Source code
Question: I am currently working on a mobile application and I want to know if I can copyright my source code in Kuwait? Is it possible even if I am not using the app for commercial purposes?
Fajer: Yes, you can copyright your mobile application creation at the National Library of Kuwait. You will need to submit the full and complete source code, as well as a form. I believe the KD 10 fee that was previously applied has now been waived. The process takes up to 60 days but may take as little as two weeks.

Registering a logo
Question: I am starting an e-commerce business and although I do not want to currently get a license for my online platform, I would like to know if I should register my logo or not for the time being?
Fajer: For the most part, I think that it is important to register your logo before establishing your company, and this is because you will be able to protect your logo while still being able to discuss work collaborations with third parties. Copyrighting your logo is an initial step as you will have to in the future trademark your logo. The copyright is also done through the National Library and does not require a commercial license. This takes up to 60 days as well and the fee has been waived.
As for trademarking for the future, it will be under the ministry of commerce on the 21st floor of KIPCO tower. The process takes more than six months, as the logos are manually compared to other images and are printed in the local newspaper, giving people the opportunity to claim that the logos are infringed upon should they wish so. There are costs for doing this and requirements for the submission of the trademark, like the size of trademark, the slogan accompanying the logo and so on. I won’t get into this here, but you can check for more information.

One-person company
Question: I own a company by myself, and when I obtained the license, I was told that it was for a one-person company. I am wondering if I can now add partners and also hire people. Surely I can, because I do not understand how a company can only have one employee.
Fajer: You can always hire employees if you have a one-person company and they can also be registered for social security payments through the Public Institution for Public Security. As for bringing in a partner, this should not be an issue, as you can always add a partner and your company will automatically become a WLL (with limited liability) one. This cannot be done at Kuwait Business Center but instead it is best to visit the Ministry of Commerce at the ministry’s complex.

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By Attorney Fajer Ahmed

This article was published on 11/12/2017