Tech start-ups in Kuwait

Attorney Fajer Ahmed

Most of you have probably heard the great success story of Talabat, and how a group of Kuwaiti students in Egypt decided to get together and start one of the biggest online platforms for restaurants in the region. They then sold Talabat for KD 80,000, and it was resold again after five years for KD 50 million. We also saw Carriage successfully emerge from Kuwait and compete with Talabat, which was also sold to a German VC firm for an estimated $100-200 million.

We have seen other apps in Kuwait that have the potential to be as successful, like Yallawain, also from the food and beverage industry. Yallawain is an app that has features such as locating a restaurant near you, sharing menus and favorite dishes with friends, and contacting restaurants to pick up food or to book tables. Masbagti is a laundry app that allows you to manage your laundry, with pickup and drop off services.

I am really proud of this young generation that is extremely creative with establishing businesses, and I am really proud to have many tech start-up clients.

Legal services
Question: I would like to establish a tech startup, and I would like to know what legal services would a tech start-up usually require?
Fajer: I get this question a lot, especially since I deal with tech startups, but there is no straight answer. It depends on what your requirements are. Some startups require lawyers on retainer, while others only need terms and conditions drafted, along with shareholder/partnership agreements. Some tech startups on the other hand would like to register their application as an offshore company, or register intellectual property rights locally, regionally, or worldwide. It is always important to budget legal fees for any business model, so I suggest you get an initial consultation from a lawyer as well as a quote or proposal with fees suggested.

Home business license
Questions: Can we run an app with a home business license?
Fajer: I would think so, yes. Home business licenses were supposed to launch in August, but are not yet available to the public when I checked on Thursday at the Kuwait Business Center (a one-stop business center at Ishbelia Co-op that I highly recommend for SMEs). Once I have more information, I will share it with you.

Intellectual property
Question: Can I get intellectual property rights for my source code?
Fajer: Although you can register applications through the Kuwait National Library, if you would like to run a business with your application, I suggest you register your application internationally and locally.

Question: How long do I need to register my app?
Fajer: Although this is not a legal question, Google/Android needs one day for approval, while the Apple Store needs two weeks usually.

Should you have any questions or concerns, or you require a consultation, please email me at ask@fajerthelawyer.com.

By Attorney Fajer Ahmed

 

This article was published on 06/08/2017