Do you want to start a business in Pakistan as a foreigner? If YES, here is a complete guide plus legal requirements for starting a profitable business in Pakistan with no money.

Okay, having provided an in-depth analysis of the 50 best small business opportunities in Pakistan and a series of industry-specific sample business plan templates; we will now analyze in detail the legal requirements, market feasibility and every other thing it takes to start a business in Pakistan. So put on your entrepreneurial hat and let’s proceed.

Setting up a business is not a very difficult undertaking these days. You don’t need to have a degree in business administration, a ton of money in your bank account or even any business experience. You just need to have a good business idea and strong plan to start the best business in Pakistan. Here are some steps you can take in order to start a business in Pakistan.

Starting a Profitable Business in Pakistan as a Foreigner – A Complete Guide

1. Make sure you have what it takes: you should ask yourself why you want to start a business in the first instance. Maybe it could be to fulfill a lifelong yearning or to make more money for yourself and your family. If you want to get freedom from 9 to 5 schedule, then maybe it’s time to leave your office job and turn your startup idea into business empire.

Once you are clear on why you want to start a business in Pakistan, try to ask yourself more questions so that you can find out what is the right business for you? For instance, you can ask yourself:

  • What are your skills and area of expertise?
  • Where does your passion lie?
  • How much funds do you have to start the business?
  • What is the best place to launch your startup?
  • Do you need any assistance in financing, business incubation or just need a business partner?

You should answer all these questions in a very honest and practical manner.

2. Brainstorm for viable Business Ideas: the next step will be for you to come up with a business idea that has the potential to be profitable. It may or may not be innovative. If you don’t have any startup idea, then there are some ways through which you can come up with an awesome business idea.

Explore future business and tech trends that may change the business landscape. Find out the opportunities and start your business today. There are a lot of problems and issues in Pakistan that be can capitalized on to make a business around. If you have solution to the problems, then it maybe your next successful business.

There are even more ways to find excellent startup ideas like researching ideas online, introducing technology in traditional businesses or using advance skills in the existing business models. At the same, you should attend entrepreneurial events in Pakistan, meet like-minded people and seek advice.

3. Do Your Research: it is very important that before you sink your efforts and funds into any business, you should first carry out a market research. This will help you to determine whether the bossiness idea is viable or not. Try to find similar businesses and see how they started.

Do not rely on secondary resources i.e. online resources or surveying from people you already know. Come out from your circle, conduct interviews, both face to face and telephone.

At the same time, you should also conduct surveys from customers’ perspective. For example, if you’re going to start eCommerce store in Pakistan then you may ask “what are the issues customers face while online shopping in Pakistan?” Market research will help you to improve your business idea.

4. Draft a business plan: when you are done with your market research, you would have been able to gather information that will be vital for writing a well-informed business plan. Crafting a business plan is not very difficult. You just need to enlist following things on your business plan.

  • Title page
  • Executive Summary
  • Business Description
  • Vision and Mission Statement
  • Marketing and Development Plan
  • Operational and Management Plan
  • Financial Plan

These are the basic points you should cover in your business plan to quickly start your business. Avoid jargon and irrelevant things

5. Register Your Business: next, you will have to make your business official. Register your business to fulfill all legal requirements. Business registration is very important to avoid issues like copyrights and legal suits et al. here are the steps you should follow in order to get your business registered.

  • Approval of Company Name: The first step of company registration in Pakistan is choosing the company’s name. It is important to devise a unique company name that would set you apart from the rest in the industry. You must follow the restrictions and guidelines. For instance, you must make sure that your company’s name does not include any prohibited words.
  • Submission of Documents: Once the company name gets the approval, you need to submit the incorporation documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).
  • Certificate of Incorporation: After submitting the documents, the SECP evaluates them. They check their validity. A digital signature is granted by the National Institutional Facilitation Technologies (NIFT) and can be acquired through the SECP. Also, they issue the certificate of incorporation. Presentation of the company may be needed. However, this depends on where the business started.
  • Deposit of Shares: After the registration, shareholders must deposit their corresponding amount of shares to the company’s bank account.
  • Registration of Income, Sales, and Professional Taxes: the last step of company registration in Pakistan is the registration with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and issuance of a national tax number (NTN). A sales tax registration number may be registered if applicable.

If you are not familiar with legal things, try to consult with a lawyer or charter accountant consultancy firms in Pakistan.

6. Finance Your Business: This is a very important step to start your business in Pakistan. If you have enough money to start a business in Pakistan, then you should go ahead and do so, however, if you do not have enough money, you will have to seek for alternative means of financing your busyness. For instance, you can raise funds from;

  • Friends and Family
  • Business Partners
  • Crowdfunding
  • business loans
  • business incubators in Pakistan

7. Develop your Product and Service: Once you successfully raise funds for your small business, the next step is to develop your product and service. For example, if you are going to start an online business, you should hire a web/app developer to make a website application for you. Here are some general steps that may help you while developing your products/services process:

  • Learn about your product and service
  • Note down requirements
  • Find specialists and ask about rates
  • Hire the best one that can develop your commodity in your budget without compromising on quality

8. Find a Business Location: After developing your product/service, you should then find the best business location in Pakistan to start your business. This is a very important aspect for most businesses and it can make or mar your business.

9. Increase your Sales: To expand your business, sales are very important. Use innovating marketing strategies to spread your business word. You should do local as well online business marketing so that you can attract potential customers.

10. Build your Team: Once your business grows, increase your office team to manage work.