The Kingdom of Bahrain in the Middle East has become a popular destination for investment over the past years, ever since the Bahrain government approved a new law that allows a foreign investor with 100 percent ownership in a wide array of business sectors. The investment into the Kingdom from all over the world has enhanced the business infrastructure in real estate, manufacturing, health & social work, administrative services, arts, entertainment, mining, and investments offering a rewarding environment your business to grow and flourish.
With an excellent infrastructure, stable government, and favorable policies legalizing the businesses through commercial registration in Bahrain is an essential part of starting your business.
The Process of Registering your Business in Bahrain
The process of starting and registering your business in Bahrain is a streamlined process that involves acquiring permits from different government and regulatory agencies following requirements laid down by the authorities.
1.Selection of Legal structure
Selection of the legal structure of the business is the first decision a business owner should make. It is a crucial decision as the type of the legal structure has an effect on the operations of the business in Bahrain.
- Bahrain Shareholding Company (B.S.C) – Public
- Bahrain Shareholding Company (B.S.C) – Closed
- With Limited Liability Company (W.L.L)
- Partnership Company
- Simple Commandite
2.Choosing a Company name
Company name of the business organization must be set up by following the guidelines given by the Ministry of Industry & Commerce (MOIC) to assist business owners in selecting a company name.
Company owners/investors are allowed to propose four company names and the names which violate the guidelines will be rejected. In case all four names are rejected, investors will have to propose another alternative four names from the beginning.
Guidelines for choosing winning company names:
- The chosen name can't be registered in the name of third parties
- The selected names should stay away from any violations of public morals, customs, traditions or religious beliefs.
- Names should not imply any activity that contradicts with the company's activity.
- Novel names that are not similar to any other brand or company names or any other commercial names registered at the Ministry.
- A name that hasn't been already registered at the Directorate of Industrial Property (except for names that got special permissions)
- It shall not be composed of any political connotations (in whole or in part) or related to the regime of any country
- The name should be consistent with the company's activity (unless authorization from the concerned authority is obtained)
- 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
3.Commercial Registration Papers
The third step of registering a business in submitting registration papers, the process is different for companies and individual investors
- For individual establishments, the commercial registration papers are made available at the Bahrain Investors Center (BIC)
- For Companies/organizations, the commercial registration papers are made available at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Registration Directorate (MOIC)
4.Licensing and Approval
While commercial business registrations are permitted to start operations right away after getting commercial registration from MOIC, however, the certain specially mentioned businesses are required to obtain permits and authorization from multiple government authorities and regulatory agencies.
Advantages of Company Registration in Bahrain
The Kingdom of Bahrain is recognized worldwide for its liberal business environment with tremendous investment opportunities for investors & businesses and outstanding infrastructure.
- Bahrain has a well-deserved reputation as an easy place to do business, underpinned by the low operating costs, competitive market, and global reach
- Starting a business in Bahrain acts as a gateway for expanding your company in the GCC region
- With transparent rules and regulations, Bahrain offers increased stability
- Business-friendly tax-laws with zero percent corporate tax encouraging environment for growth
- 100 percent foreign ownership permitted in most sectors
- Lower operating costs compared to other regions in GCC
- Businesses and investors have access to modern financial services
- Bahrain’s conductive government policies do not interfere with foreign investment. However, the government authorities work closely with the companies and regulators to explore and enhance opportunities across various business sectors
- Lower Tariffs on imports and exports for companies operating from Bahrain
Challenges to Overcome while Starting a Business in Bahrain
- The workforce/labor/immigration ministries are disconnected, and the legal system can be biased at certain times
- You are required to have a permanent business address in Bahrain for your operations
- Considering if you are not speaking Arabic (it can make it hard to decipher the consumer culture, interests)
- The Government tendering procedures are not always entirely transparent as the contracts are not mostly awarded based on merit
Business Opportunities in the Kingdom of Bahrain
Financial Services Industry
Bahrain is the GCC’s most established financial center offering banking & financial services across all major spheres of finance, from banking, asset management, FinTech, insurance, and Islamic finance. The financial market caters to wide range of services while the regional market is expected to grow and valued at $ 2 trillion by 2020. Bahrain financial industry is a global leader in designing solutions that comply with the Islamic world thereby creating a new sector called Islamic finance that is actively offering FinTech services with deep customization.
Manufacturing industries in face challenges in the starting phases of their operations in finance and logistical sectors, however, the manufacturers operating from Bahrain can easily avoid most of these challenges because of Bahrain’s spectacular infrastructure and connectivity that support the businesses extremely well. Altogether with the low lease costs, government grants (Tamkeen), moderate cost of living and subsidized interest rates.
Bahrain has provided manufacturing industries with a favorable business environment without imposing restrictions in operations, expansions, and custom duty exemptions. The availability of skilled & affordable local workforce in Bahrain across a wide range of industries makes it easier to hire employs to run your manufacturing operations.
Bahrain enjoys a strategic position in the Persian Gulf offering a wide array of business opportunities for logistics businesses and companies that are looking to start their base of operations in the GCC region. With unprecedented access to Saudi Arabia and connectivity through air & sea to other Gulf countries, Bahrain is a unique location with unparalleled cost benefits for logistics operations, minimum regulations, and low taxes to start your logistics company.
Tourism and Hospitality Industry
Bahrain has grown into a substantial tourist destination across the GCC & beyond as the people are keen to experience what Bahrain has to offer in terms of tourist destinations and unique resort experiences. The Kingdom of Bahrain is known for its distinctive island setting with a cosmopolitan population, relaxed way of life, rich culture & history, with wide-variety of traditional cuisines.
The flourishing tourism industry in Bahrain with its steady influx of tourists from around the world, the opportunities in the hospitality industry expands rapidly. The hospitality industry is picking up the pace by developing food & beverage services, luxury segment hotels, leisure activities services, and resort destinations.
ICT (Information, Communications, and Technology)
Bahrain is a leader in ICT readiness in the MENA region offering unprecedented market access to the Middle East, with its availability of talent, low cost of operations that is competitive, 100 percent foreign ownership structure, and remarkable market policies making Bahrain one of the easiest places to do business in the ICT sector.
Bahrain’s market hosts a range of small to large Information technology companies with areas of operation ranging from IT services, distribution, consultancy, data management, software developers, and customer support centers. Being the first country in the region Bahrain completely deregulated its telecom market. Furthermore, the country endures being a pioneer by becoming the first economy in GCC to adapt to cloud-first policy with Bahrain’s government committed to accelerating the transition to cloud-enabling ground-breaking IT infrastructure and forward-thinking approach to data management, cloud-based services.
Who We Are
Our team at Commitbiz can offer beneficial support and strategic guidance at every stage of your business right from analyzing the scope of business to getting your company started in Bahrain, registration and post-setting support services. Our professionals provide world-class management advisory services to enterprises in the private, government, non-government and academic sectors. Over the years, we have developed comprehensive capabilities in several functional and specialty segments and have emerged as the chosen partner in several innovative and path-breaking initiatives undertaken by various businessmen across the world. If you are looking for company registration services, do contact us-we’d be glad to assist.