Previously, a 51% Bahraini ownership was required to set up a trade business in Bahrain. It was a big hurdle for foreign investors to find a feasible Bahraini shareholder for the trade business. Before today, the requirement of trade business was stated as follows:
“Foreign Ownership: Allowed up to 49%”
On 25-09-2021 Ministry of Industry & Commerce silently changed the foreign ownership rules for trade-related businesses. Now the only requirement is to have a Bahraini partner regardless of ownership percentage. Now, in sijilat system it states the requirement as follows:
“Foreign ownership allowed, but must include a Bahraini shareholder : Yes”
However, 100% ownership is still allowed for the Services and Manufacturing Sector.
This is a great step by the Kingdom, in efforts to increase foreign investment. This policy has a positive impact on the “Ease of Doing Business” in Bahrain. Foreign shareholders can easily find a 1% shareholder to setup a business in Bahrain without any insecurity.