7 Steps for Starting an e-commerce Business from Scratch in Saudi Arabia

Step 1Choose an e-Commerce Business Model

There are 2 main types of eCommerce business models that you can opt for. You can go with either a single vendor or a multi-vendor eCommerce store. You can also choose either a single product line or have multiple product lines based on your business budget.

Choosing a single-vendor marketplace only involves 2 entities— a single seller who is selling products/services to multiple customers. By using this e-commerce model you’ll be having more control over the inventory.

On the other side, a multi-vendor marketplace enables multiple vendors to sell their products/services to various customers. This model gives you security in terms of making a sale. It also helps you deal with demand fluctuations and helps prevent a disruption in the supply process.

Step 2Build your Brand

Once you’ve chosen your business model and the product or products you want to sell, as well as the target audience you want to reach, the next big step is to come up with the perfect name for your brand.

Your brand name should be:

ü     Unique

ü     Easy-to-remember

ü     Short

ü  Reflect your brand personality

Moreover, you should come up with a finalized design for your store design and business logo.

Step 3Register your e-Commerce Online Business

It is one of the most critical parts of building your e-Commerce business from scratch in KSA. You need to register and complete all the legal formalities as below steps:

  1. Obtain a Trade Name Clearance Certificate
  2. Obtain a certificate from an authorised bank 
    1. Submit documents to the Companies Establishment Department, under the General Authority for Investments (GAFI) https://www.misa.gov.sa/ar/
    2. Notarize the company’s contract
    3. Obtain Chamber of Commerce Certificate (done by the General Authority for Investments)
    4. Issuance of the notification of incorporation (done by the General Authority for Investments)
    5. Commercial Registry Certification (https://www.chamber.sa/en/Home/AboutUs/Pages/default.aspx)
    6. Register for taxes (https://zatca.gov.sa/ar/pages/default.aspx)
    7. Register employees with the National Authority of Social Insurance (https://hrsd.gov.sa/en/node )

Step 4Open a Bank Account

Once your company is officially registered, you will need to open up a bank account in the official name of your company

 Step 5Build your online store!

           Your two options to proceed:

  1. Building an Online Store from Scratch: You can develop your e-Commerce website step by step exactly the way you’d imagined it in your mind.


2.     Subscribe with GS1 Pre-built Online Platform. These platforms offer you readymade, easy-to-use templates designed according to your brand.

 Step 6Product Branding with GS1 Barcodes

This step is essential to carrying out a successful e-Commerce business in Saudi Arabia. You need to set up a barcode for your product.

GS1 barcodes combine various data to create a prefix that's unique to your company. This includes your company name, the country your number was licensed, and the product. This prefix guarantees authenticity, that the number you're using is licensed to your brand

GS1 ensure that your products can be sold through traditional retailers and online marketplaces, correct product identification is key. Universal Product Codes, or UPCs, are a prime example of GS1 standards — standardized global identifiers which enable products to be sold, reordered, and tracked through complicated supply chains.

“ Top 3 Benefits of Adopting GS1 Standards”

ü  Standardized Supply Chain Communication

ü  Transparency and Traceability

ü  Visibility to Meet Supply Chain Demand

Step 7Promoting your Online Store

It’s time to promote your online store and attract customers to make purchases. With the help of GS1 Consultants your product is Marketplace ready!