The Kingdom of Bahrain has become over the past years an attraction to investment opportunities from inside and outside of the kingdom where investors from all over the world are now convinced that Bahrain provides a rewarding investment environment, which brings us to the importance of legalzing investors buisnesses in Bahrain through commercial registration.

Ever since the Bahraini government approved a new law that allows foreign investor 100% ownership in a wide array of business sectors such as real estate, manufacturing, health and social work, administrative services, arts, entertainment, mining, and investments have been flocking towards the Kingdom.

However, some business activities are only allowed for Bahraini and GCC citizens and companies such as

– Book-keeping and accounting services (excluding auditing)

– Import, Export, and sale of racing car fuel

– Cargo clearing

– Fishing

To establish a business in Bahrain there are several requirements that need to be completed first in order to have a legal business in the country, and they are as follows:

1.  Selection of Legal Structure

Selection of Legal Structure

Choosing a legal structure for your business is considered one of the most important decisions you as a business owner will have to make as this will impact how your business will be managed, the personal liability of the owners, and how ownership is held.

The following are the legal structures by which you will be able to establish your business

–  Partnership Company

–  Commandite by Shares

–  Bahrain Shareholding Company – Closed

–  With Limited Liability Company

–   Individual Establishment

–   Bahrain Shareholding Company – Public

–   Foreign Company Branch

2. Choosing Company Name

Choosing Company Name

Choosing a company name is something that will stick with your business forever, which is why the ministry of Industry & Commerce (MOIC) has set up some guidelines to assist business owners in their search for a company name.

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 (expect 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 an 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

Commercial Registration Papers

For companies: Commercial registration papers are made at the Bahrain Investors Centre.

For Individual Establishments:  Commercial registration papers are made at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Commercial Registration Directorate.

4. Licensing and Approval

Licensing and Approval

Some businesses are granted commercial registration right away from the Ministry of Industry & Commerce, however, some other businesses will need a license or approval from more than one Governmental authority before obtaining commercial registration.