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Last updated: 05-11-2021

Bahrain CR Activities

CR (Commercial Registration) Activities in Bahrain are based on the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities. These business activities are further classified as per Ownership Rights and Registration Type. Some activities require a local partner whereas other business activities may not. Similarly, some activities can only be registered with a specific registration type. For example, to practice Banking activities in Bahrain we can register a Bahraini Shareholding Company only.  These classifications are made considering the best interests of the country’s economy.

cr activities classification in bahrain

Classification of CR Activities By Ownership Rights

Ministry of Industry & Commerce Bahrain has set CR Ownership rules classifying business activities. These rules define which business activity a specific nationality can practice. Following are the CR Activities classifications according to Ownership Rights:

  1. Allowed up to 100% for GCC Nationals
  2. Allowed up to 100% for Americans
  3. Allowed up to 100% for Singaporean
  4. Allowed up to 100% for Icelander, Liechtensteiner, Norwegian, Swiss
  5. Allowed up to 100% for Foreigners
  6. Foreign ownership equal to or less than 49%
  7. Foreign ownership allowed, but must include a Bahraini shareholder

1. Allowed up to 100% for Foreigners

The Kingdom of Bahrain is aggressively implementing investor-friendly policies to attract foreign investors. Bahrain has allowed 379 CR Activities for foreign investors. To practice such activities there is no requirement of a local partner, director or, authorized signatory. Click here to see the list of CR activities Allowed up to 100% for foreigners.

2. Allowed up to 100% for GCC Nationals

Supporting Gulf alliance Bahrain has allowed 570 business activities to fellow GCC nationals. These Business activities can be practiced by any GCC citizen without a local partner.

Click here to see the list of CR activities Allowed up to 100% for GCC Nationals

3. Allowed up to 100% for Americans

The Kingdom of Bahrain and the United States of America are allies since 1971. Both countries cooperate for economic, geopolitical, and defense interests.  Bahrain has allowed 557 CR activities for American citizens. To practice these business activities American citizens do not require any local partner. 

Click here to see the list of CR activities allowed 100% for Americans

4. Allowed up to 100% for Singaporean

Bahrain has the strategic relations with Singapore since 1978. Both countries share many similarities such as geography, market size, and the focused sector. Bahrain has allowed 391 business activities to Singapore nationals without the need for a local partner.

Click here to see the list of CR activities Allowed up to 100% for Singaporeans. 

5. Allowed up to 100% for Icelander, Liechtensteiner, Norwegian, Swiss

Bahrain allows 100% ownership to Icelander, Liechtensteiner, Norwegian, and Swiss nationals for  405 CR business activities. 

Click here to see the list of CR Activities Allowed up to 100% for Icelander, Liechtensteiner, Norwegian, Swiss nationals.

6. Foreign ownership equal to or less than 49%

No doubt foreign investment has a positive impact on a country’s economy. However, it can also disturb the local investors. Keeping that in view Bahrain has specified 23 major business activities where at least 51% local ownership is required. 

Click here to see the list of CR Activities with Foreign ownership equal to or less than 49%

7. Foreign ownership allowed, but must include a Bahraini shareholder

On 25 September 2021 Ministry of Industry & Commerce set new rules for CR Activities. 177 CR Activities are allowed to Foreign investors with a requirement of a local partner, regardless of ownership percentage.

Previously, to practice these 177 CR activities a foreign investor was required to have a 51% Bahraini partner. Now the requirement has been changed. A local partner is required regardless of its ownership percentage. It can be 0.1% or even less. 

Click here to see a list of CR Activities where a foreign investor must include a Bahraini Shareholder

Classification of CR Activities By Registration Type

Ministry of Industry & Commerce Bahrain has also set rules classifying business activities by Registration Type. These rules define which registration type is required to practice a specific business activity. Following is the CR Activities classification according to the required Registration Type:

  1. Sijili.
  2. ICR (Individual Commercial Registration).
  3. CCR (Company Commercial Registration.

1. Sijili:

Considering the evolution of the freelancing market, Bahrain has brought the local freelancers under the umbrella of MOIC. The main feature of Sijili is it does not require a physical address. Bahrain has allowed 42 CR Activities to its citizens for Sijili registration. 

Here is the list of CR activities allowed for Sijili registration

2. ICR:

There are 542 business activities allowed for ICR (Individual Commercial Registration / Individual Establishments).

Click here to view the list of CR activities allowed for ICR.

3. CCR:

There are 595 business activities allowed for CCR (Commercial Companies Registration).

Click here to view the list of CR activities allowed for CCR.