Bahrain enjoys remarkably favourable economic conditions. As the years rolled by, Bahrain made every exceptional effort in resuscitating the economy to bring it where it stands today. Bahrain has also adopted a new policy which welcomes and nurtures foreign investment by allowing 100% foreign ownership. With excellent scope for economic development, skilled labour and workforce, competitive costs, thriving industries and of course, the ease of doing business here, has led to a great rate of response by new and young entrepreneurs, organizations and business entities. 2024 brought on the implementation of all factors that make running a business effortlessly, the next obvious step was to harbour more business entities by making the procedures involving setting up a company in Bahrain reasonably easy as well. Here are the five stages of starting your business in Bahrain.
Step 1: Choose a Legal Structure and Set Foundations.
The first step of setting up a business in Bahrain is to have a firm picture in mind, and then to draw this picture to convert it into a fully-fledged business plan. Devising an appropriate legal structure and adapting your business idea into a firm business blueprint provides a meticulous and systematic design to frame your business around, and sets guidelines to abide by, thus ensuring your business with a sturdy structure.
Listed below are legal entities to implement onto your business.
- Sole Proprietorship
- Bahrain Limited Liability Company (WLL)
- Bahrain Free Zone Company (FZC)
- Bahrain Shareholding Company (BSC)
- Bahrain Representative Office
- Bahrain Branch Office
However, refrain from choosing a business structure at random. Instead, choose a business structure which represents the most suitable option for your company. The right structure adds on to the credibility and viability of your company.
Step 2: Name your Company.
Your company name is a label that will forever be associated with your company. Choosing a company name is a very thoughtful process. To make the hunt for a suitable business name for your company a tad bit easier, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC) set some guiding principles.
The guidelines are:
- The chosen name mustn't be registered in the name of third parties
- The potential names selected must not, in any way, violate public morals, customs, traditions and/or religious beliefs
- The names mustn't imply any activity that contradicts the company's operations
- Novel names must be unique from all the existing brand or company names or any other commercial names
- The company name cannot be a name that has already been registered at the Directorate of Industrial Property
- It must not be composed of any political implications (in whole or in part) or related to the regime of any country
- In case of foreign company branch or representative office, then the name must be identical to the original company name followed by the sentence ‘a branch of a foreign company/representative office’.
Step 3: Initial Permits and Approvals
To go ahead with the next procedure, you will require approvals on your current progress. Under this stage, the regulatory bodies will approve:
- The company name
- The shareholders, stakeholders, and owners
- The Board of Directors
- The structure of the business, or legal structure
The successful approval of the factors mentioned, your company will be entitled to receive the Commercial Registration papers.
Step 4: Gather all the Associated Documents.
You are required to procure and acquire all the necessary documents and statements to legally affirm the inception of your business. The required documents will include the Commercial Registration papers which you shall recieve after the initial approvals. You are also required to submit the following to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Commercial Registration Directorate:
- A description of the company, containing vital information about your business
- Appropriate information on owners and shareholders, and their respective nationalities.
- Copies of passport, attested
- A power of attorney of Bahraini nationality
- Local office address
- If the business entity is a branch or a franchise, a copy of the parent company's Certificate of Incorporation
- A copy of the company's latest audited financial report
- Memorandum and Articles of Association
The requirements mentioned above are constant to every industry and sector. However, some particular industries and lines of businesses require additional unique documents.
Step 5: Open a Corporate Bank Account
When you start a business in Bahrain or any other location or country for that matter, one of the essential part to have into place is a Corporate Bank Account. Opening a bank account in Bahrain would ensure clear documentation of all transactions of your business. A corporate bank account is extremely crucial when it comes to running or starting a business, and thus, opening a bank account must be one of the premier tasks you do. Keeping your personal account separate from your business account is a highly regarded ethical business practice.
The entire procedure will take about 12 weeks, from the procuring documents to registration and incorporation. Business setup in Bahrain is a fairly easier process than its sister countries of the GCC.
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What is the maximum number of partners for limited liability companies in Bahrain?
Maximum 50 shareholders.
Which are the top business industries to invest in Bahrain?
Finance and banking
Hospitality and tourism
Hospital and health services
How many free trade zones are there in Bahrain?
Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP)
Bahrain Logistics Zones (BLZ)
Bahrain International Airport (BIA)
What is the required capital for limited liability companies in Bahrain?
BD 20,000 (USD 53,036.32).