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Small Businesses Stuck

Its becoming more and more difficult to open a business in Kuwait and get the right paperwork done. I remember one time taking over a year to get everything sorted with the company and we knew the right people to help out. An individual would get lost in the process between all the government entities and these people would run in your circles, I remember one time getting stuck for a month about the name of the company.

One major problem we have is that they don’t define small business and have a different rules and applications for them. They make it impossible for you to operate and very difficult to move forward. Now if you want hire labor for your company or need qualified staff you can’t hire from outside the country, you can only choose from inside of Kuwait. So you have a very limited pool of talented people that you can work with or you have a high cost to hire qualified people. And I have yet to see the government make a move on those people trading work permits and bringing people and treating them as slaves, what is sad is that a lot of these people are not educated so they don’t know who to complain to or what to do. To hire people from outside of the country you need at least 1 Million KD as the capital of the company or a government contract.

The new labor laws make it nearly impossible for a company to operate and limiting its capabilities. The main problem is that they don’t take a perspective of the businesses and choose a direction which is more efficient, I remember reading a paper of a student talking about the 10 rules which can be efficiently brought down to one rule with no exceptions so people can get their work done. But they love exceptions in Kuwait so that people can be owed favors, its really a vicious circle we are stuck in at this time.

With all that is going on it is really crushing small businesses in Kuwait and making it very difficult for them to prosper. Someone might have a good product or service but at this point there are so many hurdles that make it nearly impossible to operate a profitable business. Lately there are a lot of desert start ups and I’m happy that people are trying, there is always hope, and there are way to get your business off the ground but right now there is no real support from the government or the tools in place to help. I’m just frustrated with all this.