Is freelancing or home-based business legal in KSA?

Ever wondered if it is legal to run a home-based or online freelancing business in Saudi Arabia as many expats are doing it.

Generally, expats are running the following home-based or freelancing businesses and promoting them online through social media.

6 Home Based Business Ideas in Saudi Arabia

Home School Coaching

The most common home-based business adopted by women in Saudi Arabia is a home coaching center. In this business, children from the neighborhood come to your house to learn different school subjects.

6 Home Based Business Ideas in Saudi Arabia

Beauty Parlours

There are many women who are running home-based beauty parlors. These parlors are not registered anywhere and these women charge a lower amount as compared to the registered parlors. 

Selling Online

Many housewives bring something from their home countries and then start selling it online in Saudi Arabia as a home-based business. The hot products are clothing and beauty products not available in KSA.

Home Cooking Service

A large workforce living in Saudi Arabia are male bachelors who are generally not good cooks. Many women have established a system where they prepare fresh food and get it delivered to their homes against a monthly subscription.

Event Planners

Women who are good at fine arts and decorating a birthday party have started their own home-based business in Saudi Arabia. If you want to decorate a restaurant for your son’s birthday, you can contact them.


Women who know some basics of photography have started their photography business where they offer their services for wedding and birthday parties.

Is home-based business legal in KSA?

Unfortunately, none of the home-based businesses listed above is legal in Saudi Arabia. These businesses require certain licenses to be obtained from the Ministry of Commerce which obviously expats are not taking. 

Is vlogging/blogging legal in Saudi Arabia?

There are many expats who are making money with vlogging and blogging through YouTube or their websites. Although there is no explicit guideline on this from the Ministry of Commerce, I believe vlogging/blogging is legal in Saudi Arabia because;

  • the money is paid by YouTube, Facebook, and Adsense from outside KSA.
  • it is an export of service.
  • No country in the world has imposed any ban on this it in world.
  • You are not selling anything locally, hence not eating from the plate of Saudis.

What is the punishment?

Any expat who is doing home-based business shall be subject to the following penalties;

  1. SR 50,000 fine.
  2. 6 months Jail.
  3. Deportation.

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.