Foreigners who wish to do business or be self-employed in Oman need to have a sponsor or a local partner who owns majority of the business. An individual or a legally registered company may be one's sponsor. This goes through a form of negotiation where the foreigner will offer to pay a fee to the sponsor. This fee payment can either be flat and paid in regular installments or a percentage of revenue. Rates differ and more than 10% of revenue is already high. One may consult a local lawyer regarding these matters.
It is very important to understand the culture of Oman when thinking about being self-employed or doing business in this country. The workweek starts on Saturday and ends on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday are meant for rest. Relationships with people are given more importance over schedules and punctuality so it is not unusual for Omani business counterparts to arrive late. Cancellation of business meetings with just a short notice is also common. Family and friends are given the highest importance over anything else so it is vital to develop friendship and a good relationship with Omani business counterparts. Hierarchy is practiced in Oman with levels of authority depending on age, wealth, family or tribal relations.
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