Starting part-time tutoring/cake decorating business in Riyadh?

Hi there

I will most likely be moving to Riyadh with my husband in the next few months. (He has a job offer there) I have heard about the difficulty women face with regards to starting a business there or getting a job, but being a fully qualified primary teacher, will it be possible for me to make a bit of money by offering tuition at my home rather than working for a school? I have a baby so I would prefer to work hours that are convenient for me. Other things I would love to consider are a cake decorating business or kids party planning business which I would also only do part time, so perhaps I would only offer services to people within the compound we move into. Is this possible? Thank you!

Welcome soon to Riyadh @CouldBExpat.

It's good that you have been exploring the possibilities to open a business. Is it possible you could share a few of what hurdles you've heard about?

All options you have mentioned are possible with one condition. They have to stay inside the boundary walls of your compound. You can't go commercial. This is because of the simple fact that expats are not allowed to have or run any business unless they are employees of the business owner (usually locals).

Hope this helps.

Thank you for your quick reply LegalLeads! The hurdles I was referring to are related to commercial ventures but I wasn't sure if the same rules apply if I plan to conduct all business purely within my compound. I am aware that females are allowed to teach but wasn't clear on whether tuition at my home only would be acceptable as opposed to being hired by a school. As I am keen to work part-time and only offer services within my compound, I am hopeful that it will be possible to proceed with a tutoring or other business once there. Do you know if I would need to register as self-employed, as I would have to do here in the UK? If so, is this a straight forward process?

I would love to hear from other members who have ventured into something similar as a means of making a bit of extra cash.

There is no such registration process. Moreover, Your residency ID (Iqama) will have written in Red in Arabic: "Not allowed to work".

What I suggest is to advertise your services in your compound (and probably other similar also) through whatever means and channels they have to offer.

All the best,

Thanks TheLegendLeads. So when they say "Not allowed to work" is this purely in reference to work outside the compound? I don't want to inadvertently break any laws. Thanks again! Cheers!

Work means anything that would generate revenue.

The point is: No one comes inside compounds to check if running things are legal or not.

Thanks for clarifying that. I think perhaps I should err on the side of caution and stick to finding part-time employment at a school. I appreciate all your help. Thanks again!

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