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Accountants, auditors, lawyers and legal consultants, engineers and engineering consultants, translators and translation bureaus must be licensed by the Ministry of Commerce. Individuals wishing to obtain a license should possess the prerequisite qualifications and experience and establish contact with the appropriate authorities. The following Ministerial Resolutions are available on the subject:

1- Ministerial Resolution No. 346 dated 1 Ramadan 1397 H. (1977) related to "Organization of Translation Profession". Following are the main points:

  • To practice translation, one should be on file with the Ministry of Commerce which keeps a register for this purpose.
  • A license is issued to non-Saudis under the following conditions:

-Applicant should have a recognized university degree in his chosen language and six years general experience as a translator.
-Applicant should establish residency in the country three months prior to acquiring a license to practice translation.

2- Ministerial Resolution No. 1190 dated 16 Safar 1401 H. (1982) pertaining to "Organization for Practicing Legal Consultancy". Following are the main points:

  • Only Saudi nationals are allowed to practice legal consultancy.
  • Licensed legal consultants may hire one or more foreign legal consultants as long as they accept supervisory responsibility for them. Foreign consultants should be confined to preparing memoranda in the name of the Saudi consultant, providing legal advice, and assisting in office work.
  • Previously licensed foreign legal consultants may temporarily continue practicing law provided they are working full time and available for at least nine months a year of uninterrupted service in the country.

3- Ministerial Resolution No. 264 dated 16 Ramadan 1402 H. (July 7,1982) which regulates the "Profession of Engineering Consultants". Following are the main points:

  • Licenses shall be issued to those who hold Bachelor of Science degrees in the following engineering areas: 1)Architecture and Planning, 2)Civil Engineering, 3)Electrical Engineering, 4)Mechanical Engineering, 5)Mining Engineering, 6)Petroleum Engineering (Exploration), 7)Chemical Engineering, 8)Agriculture Engineering, 9)Industrial Engineering, 10)Systems Engineering and 11)Project Management Engineering.
  • Licenses shall be granted to Saudi Engineers, general consulting bureaus, and Saudi professional general partnership (consulting engineers).
  • The bureau owner of the partners must be Saudi engineers.
  • License applications should be submitted to the Department of Internal Trade on a prescribed form accompanied by original documents which will be returned to the applicant after review.
  • The license shall be valid for three years and may be renewed at least two months before expiration.
  • Non-Saudi engineers may be licensed under certain specified conditions if Saudi engineers are not available in sufficient numbers.
  • A foreign bureau or company with prior experience shall be licensed to engage in consulting engineering in its field in the country subject to the following conditions:

-The head office, bureau, or company must be licensed in the same work.
-The bureau or company must have at least ten years of experience in its field.
-The head office, bureau or company must submit an endorsed certificate pledging to support the bureau or company to carry out work in its name in the Kingdom. It must also agree to assume all responsibilities and commitments as indicated in the relevant rules and instructions in the Kingdom.
-A certificate from a bank acceptable to the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency testifying to the company's capabilities, financial reputation, and commercial dealings must be submitted.
-A certified statement on work performed by the company outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the project area which the company proposes to undertake in the Kingdom should also be submitted.
-A photocopy of the company's balance sheet and profit and loss statement for the last two years duly certified by an accredited accountant must be submitted.
-Certificates showing the company's performance in relation to its operations inside or outside the Kingdom are also required.
-The license is valid for two years and may be renewed for an additional two years provided a request for renewal is received at least two months before expiration of the license.

4- Ministerial Resolution No. 595 dated 13 Thul Qa'dah 95 H.(1975) covering the practicing of Chartered Accountants. Following are the main points:

  • An individual wishing to register as a Chartered Accountant in Saudi Arabia must be a member of an internationally recognized chartered accountant's society.
  • Prescribed forms must be used and accompanied by the necessary documents.

For details:

Please contact Internal Trade Department, Ministry of Commerce (see here for address).

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 Sources: The Commercial office, Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Washington, D.C. and compiled by Saudia-Online staff

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Updated on:07 Apr 2000

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