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Kuwait is an amazing place for so many reasons, but it is also still stuck in the 1950s.

Legit businesses here are licensed by the government , partly to control how many businesses there are in any given niche.

And the process is extremely challenging.

Also, every business is owned by a Kuwaiti, at least 51% (but profits are not necessarily split the same).

Kuwait does a marvelous job of protecting its own, unlike the USA!

There are no specific franchise laws here and there's no one government agency in charge of overseeing franchising.

Since most everything is in Arabic, I have managed to stay clear of most government offices.

Franchising is booming in Kuwait, but it occurs in one of two ways:

1. The best way is to get Mr. Alshaya to buy your franchise -- he is probably the world's largest holder of franchise licenses (70 some say).

But Mr. Alshaya is very private and operates only within his close circle of Wharton friends .

For example, I have been pleading for an interview for 4 years-- no luck.

2. The second way is that a Kuwaiti, or a group of Kuwaitis (often a family), decides they want a certain type of franchise and they find the largest brand in the USA and bring it to Kuwait.

It's extremely difficult to market franchises any other way in Kuwait.

Most of the franchises here are controlled by the same families or groups.

And very few concepts are sub-franchised within Kuwait -- Mr. Alshaya owns it all no matter where he goes, it appears. Other families will sub-franchise outside of Kuwait, but even then it's to a "cousin".

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