Location, branding and govt support for SMEs

Attorney Fajer Ahmed

After the success of my previous articles regarding starting a business in Kuwait, I decided to continue answering your questions regarding establishing a business in Kuwait. I have to say  I am really proud of the amount of talent in Kuwait and the GCC, we have really moved forward in the past 10 years, in different sectors.

I know that the legal process can be confusing at times, but it is becoming simpler by the day, so please don’t be discouraged. So many people have obtained licensing in Kuwait and have succeeded and we all have something special to offer and unique that we can share with the community. I have mentioned this before but I think it is important to get the information out there, since a lot of people still don’t know about it. Please visit Kuwait Business Center if you are thinking of starting a business they are there for your support.

Physical space
Question: If I am starting a business and the operations are going to be entirely online. Do I require a physical space to obtain a commercial license under Kuwaiti law? What do I need to know before renting a space?
Fajer: A physical location/space is a requirement to obtain a license under Kuwaiti law, even for noncommercial licenses a physical space is required. Like I said in my previous article, the Kuwaiti government is trying to encourage SMEs by possibly allowing them to start home businesses in Kuwait soon, with a draft law being discussed currently. I hope that in the future there will be a new law that allows companies that operate entirely from the world wide web to not need a physical location in order to obtain a commercial license.

Branding
Question: Can someone else own my branding? How do I ensure that other companies do not use my branding?
Fajer: If you have copyrighted your branding, i.e. your trademark, slogan and so on, then even if someone else does use your branding you can prevent them from continuing to do so and ask for compensation should any damages occur to your business. In May 2014, a new GCC Trade Mark law was promulgated so now you can trademark your logo in the GCC and not just Kuwait. You can also trademark your logo in different regions around the world but you should know that there will be a different cost for every region and it could get expensive for SMEs.
To register your trademark in Kuwait you can visit https://www.e.gov.kw/sites/kgoEnglish/Pages/HomePage.aspx for more information or the Ministry of Commerce.

Social Security
Question: As a Kuwaiti that owns a business, can I still get Social Security payments?
Fajer: Yes, you can register under section number five according to Public Institution for Public Security. You will have to pay your own social security insurance every month since you are the owner of the business but you can still receive monthly support through the  Manpower and Government Restructuring Program. There are different amounts for different specialization or degrees.

I hope the above has helped. If you have any further questions or you would like to know more please email me at ask@fajterhelawyer.com.

By Attorney Fajer Ahmed

This article was published on 19/03/2017