7 Simple Steps of Company Formation in Bahrain

Company formation also called company registration in Bahrain is a multistep process and involves the approval of various ministries. Each ministry has its own requirements, and a company has to meet those requirements for successful business registration.

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce in Bahrain launched a new version of its Sijilat 3.0, in August 2023. The new system has made the company formation process faster, easier, and more user-friendly. PI Startup Advisory, a leading professional body in Bahrain, has updated its company formation guide in March 2023 to reflect the latest changes and requirements. One of the main changes is that now, we do not require Power of Attorney for company formation in Bahrain.

Step #1: Security Clearance
The first step is to get the security clearance approval. The PI Startup Advisory team will draft the initial KYC documents for the client to sign. After getting the signed documents, the PI Startup Advisory team will send the client’s IDs to Nationality Passport and Residency Affairs Bahrain for approval.

The following are the required documents at this step:

  1. Clear copies of passports
  2. Duly signed KYC forms
  3. Duly signed Engagement letter
  4. Authorization letter

Step #2: Reserve Commercial Name
  1. The next step for company formation is the reservation of the name of the company. PI Startup Advisory team helps its clients choose the appropriate name and applies for its reservation on behalf of the clients. You will be required to submit us 3 proposed commercial names as following:
Step #3: Register Headoffice of The Company
After the name reservation, the PI Startup Advisory team will apply for the company’s head office approval. It includes approval of office/shop/workshop Incubator commercial address. PI Startup Advisory team helps its clients find the most suitable business place keeping in view the requirements of the business. To register the headoffice we require Shop Photos (Pre-Approval, Lease Agreement (After approval) and, EWA (After approval). Samples are as below:

Step #4: Prepare Memorandum of Company
The most important part of the company formation process is preparing the memorandum of association and Articles of Association. First, the PI Startup Advisory team drafts suitable clauses to meet the specific business structure. Then, the draft memorandum is shared with the clients. Upon their confirmation, the documents are submitted to MOIC for approval and further processing.

Step #5: Notarize the Memorandum
The next step in the company formation process is the attestation of legal documents from a public or private notary. PI Startup Advisory team manages the whole process of notary attestation for their clients.

Step #6: Open Company Bank Account
For company formation in Bahrain, it is mandatory to open a bank account in the company’s name. Then, the company’s bank account is opened in the desired Bahraini bank, and the amount of capital is deposited. Here is a sample of capital deposit certificate:

Company bank account opening requirements:

To open a company bank account, you will need to provide the following documents and meet the following conditions:

  1.  A bank statement that covers the last six months of your business activity, with a bank seal on each page to verify its authenticity.
  2. The physical presence of all the shareholders of your company at the bank branch where you want to open the account.
  3. Supporting documents that show the source of income for your company, such as business bank statements or salary slips from your employees.
  4. A business summary that outlines the nature and scope of your business, as well as a financial plan that projects your expected revenue and expenses.

Company bank account Features:

  • Online Banking Facility: Yes
  • Multiple Authorized Signatories (singly/jointly) yes
  • International Wire Transfers Facility: Yes
  • Trade Finance: Yes
  • Corporate Debit Card: Some banks allow others not.
  • Multiple Currency Accounts: Yes
Step #7: Get Final Approval from MOIC
As the last step, the notarized memorandum and Bank certificate, are submitted to MOIC for final approval. Upon approval of MOIC, your company formation is declared officially. Following is a sample of active Commercial Registration:

Business for Foreigners in Bahrain

Foreigners can own businesses in Bahrain 100%! Foreigners can avail following benefits by owning a business in Bahrain:


  • Investor Resident Permit
  • 100% Ownership
  • Family Resident Permits
  • Employee Resident Permits
  • Govt Support for 1st 2 years.
  • No Audit for 1st year.
  • No Income Tax
  • No Corporate Tax
  • Easy closing within 2 years.


    7 With Limited Liability Company WLL

    For foreign investors, WLL Company formation in Bahrain is the best approach to enter the GCC Market. It is similar to LLC in other countries. This structure limits the risk with the limited liability of the shareholders. It is governed by the Commercial Companies Law of Bahrain which meets International standards. WLL company formation is welcomed by the Bahraini government and the investors are awarded investor resident permits.
    For foreign investors, WLL Company formation in Bahrain is the best approach to enter the GCC Market. It is similar to LLC in other countries. This structure limits the risk with the limited liability of the shareholders. It is governed by the Commercial Companies Law of Bahrain which meets International standards. WLL company formation is welcomed by the Bahraini government and the investors are awarded investor resident permits.

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    Why choose PI Startup Advisory for Company formation?

    Though SIJILAT provides a streamlined application processing and approval system for prospective investors. However, it is no surprise that people who are just starting their business might find it overwhelming to go through the entire process of company formation.

    This is why the PI Startup Advisory team is here to help. With our services, you can easily set up your business in the Kingdom of Bahrain without any inconvenience. With our dedicated team of company formation and commercial business registration professionals, you will be able to focus on other business tasks and save a lot of time and hassle.

    All you have to do is to get in touch with us. Our consultants will discuss all the details and advise you on the best organizational structure that suits your business goals.

    PI Startup Advisory team has helped numerous local-funded, as well as foreign-funded businesses in lawfully registering their businesses in Bahrain. It’s your turn now! Contact us with confidence and get your business set up in the hub of the middle east.

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    Why Register a Company in Bahrain?

    Company formation in Bahrain is the first step to set up your dream business in Bahrain. You can practice commercial activities in the Kingdom of Bahrain only by registering in the commercial registers.

    Since Bahrain has 0% Corporate & Income Tax, setting up an offshore company in Bahrain is very practical.

    The commercial register is established to facilitate local and foreign investors and entrepreneurs and choose an appropriate form of business. You can choose sole proprietorship, partnership, or a company as your business organization. However, a With limited liability company (WLL) is a preferred business structure.

    The Kingdom of Bahrain is known for its investment-friendly business and corporate environment in the middle east. As one of the leading countries in GCC, Bahrain has great potential for investment and innovative business ventures. The new commercial registers system (SIJILAT) provides a kind of one-window application process through the online submission and approval system. The Kingdom provides an attractive business environment for local and foreign investors, including startups.

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    Following are the advantages of company registration in Bahrain

    • 100 percent foreign ownership
    • No corporate tax
    • No Income tax
    • No third-party involvement
    • Access from the heart of the Gulf to several developed and emerging markets
    • Businessman Visa
    • Work-Permits (Employee Visas)
    • Exceptional Lifestyle
    • Free Zone Everywhere
    • Strong Currency

    COVID-19 and Business Registration in Bahrain

    COVID 19 brought the world to a halt. For Bahrain a critical regional hub the outlook was uncertain. The supply chain destructed risking profits, jobs, and livelihoods, threatening the companies calling the Kingdome “Home”. But time like this can bring the best in us. Standing apart yet together as one supporting those who place their trust in us. After a great struggle of Government and with the cooperation of big supply chain firms and IT giants, Bahrain is Open for Business!

    Bahrain Free Trade Agreements (FTA)

    The Kingdom of Bahrain has signed 5 free trade agreements with 22 countries, promoting business opportunities and reducing trade barriers. By signing these FTAs Bahrain has seen a remarkable increase of 32.60% in imports. Following is the list of Bahrain’s FTAs.


    1. Greater Arab Free Trade (GAFTA)
    2. GCC Free Trade Agreement
    3. GCC-Singapore FTA (GSFTA)
    4. GCC-EFTA Agreement
    5. US-Bahrain FTA
    Company Formation types in Bahrain

    The legal system in the Kingdom of Bahrain provides a variety of business structures. If you have chosen Bahrain for your business, you have a choice to form.

    1. Individual Establishment (Sole Proprietorship)
    2. Single Person Company (SPC / Single Member Company)
    3. Bahraini Partnership Company (BPC / Partnership Company)
    4. With Limited Liability Company (WLL / Private Limited Company)
    5. Limited Partnership
    6. Bahraini Shareholding Company ( BSC / Joint Stock Company)
    7. Branch of a Foreign Company
    Govt. entities involved in Company formation in Bahrain
    Requirements for Company Bank Account

    Company incorporation requires opening a corporate bank account and deposit the authorized capital. With the help of our specialized company formation team, you will be able to open a company bank account in 1-3 business days. For under formation companies in Bahrain following are requirements to open a Bank Account.

    • Personal presence of all shareholders
    • Last 6 months bank statements of all shareholders
    • Copy of commercial registration (CR)
    • Original identification documents
    • Account opening letter by company
    • Capital amount in cash
    Timeline for Company Formation in Bahrain

    Since company formation involves multiples steps and approvals, the normal time period spans from 30-45 working days. However, in the fast-track process, the time period is reduced and may take 18-25 working days. Therefore, the PI Startup Advisory team works systematically to complete the whole process within the minimum possible time to start your business at the earliest.

    Cost of Company Registration in Bahrain

    The cost of company formation in Bahrain varies based on different factors.  A typical With Limited Liability (WLL) company, with the minimum capital requirement, costs around $2260. However, if you are interested in a specialized commercial registration, the cost may vary. Calculate Business License Cost

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    Business Environment of Bahrain for Foreign Investors

    Business in Bahrain – Free Zone

    Unlike other gulf countries, the Kingdom of Bahrain has no geographical restrictions. The whole country is a free zone area. Therefore, you can set up a company in any city in Bahrain. However, there are certain restrictions related to business activities.

    Business in Bahrain – Tax Structure

    • Corporate Tax in Bahrain: 0%
    • VAT in Bahrain: 10%
    • Income Tax in Bahrain: 0%

    Companies in Bahrain – Organizational Structure

    • Minimum Shareholders: 1
    • Maximum Shareholders: Unlimited
    • The requirement of local Directors: No
    • Residency of Directors: Not Required
    • Residency of Shareholders: Required by banks
    • Residency of Authorized Signatories: Not Required

    Companies in Bahrain – Capital Requirements

    • Minimum Capital: No restriction by law.
    • Public disclosure of Share Capital: Yes.
    • Capital in cash: Allowed.
    • Capital in kind: Allowed.
    • Debentures: Allowed for Bahraini Shareholding Companies Only

    Companies in Bahrain – Public Disclosure of Annual Reports

    • WLL Companies: No
    • Single Person Companies: No
    • Bahraini Shareholding Company: Yes
    • Foreign Branch: No
    • Partnership Company: No

    Companies in Bahrain – Banking

    • Requirement for the personal presence of Shareholders to open company account: Yes
    • Online Banking: Available
    • Corporate Debit Card: Available for single-member companies
    • Current Account: Available
    • Saving Account: Available
    • International Funds Transfer: Available

    Business in Bahrain – Regulatory Bodies

    • Commercial Register: The Ministry of Industry, Commerce & Tourism (MOIC) is responsible for commercial registration in Bahrain.
    • Commercial Law: All commercial companies in Bahrain are regulated by The Commercial Companies Law Bahrain DECREE LAW NO. (21) OF 2001.
    • Employment Regulation: Labour Market Regulatory Authority Bahrain (LMRA) is responsible for implementing the Labour Law in Bahrain.
    • Tax Regulation: National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) is implementing tax regulations in the Kingdom.  Currently the only tax in Bahrain is VAT which is 10%.

    Business in Bahrain – Business Development Programs

    • Incubation Centers: Available
    • Business Development Loans: Available
    • Govt Support Programs: Available
    • Business Centers: Available

    Business in Bahrain – Foreign Ownership

    • Individual Establishment: Allowed for Americans and GCC national foreign investors.
    • Single Person Company: Allowed
    • Partnership Company: Allowed
    • With Limited Liability Company: Allowed
    • Limited Partnership: Allowed
    • Bahraini Shareholding Company (Joint Stock Company): Allowed

    FAQ’ s

    Can a foreigner open company in Bahrain?

    Yes. Kingdom of Bahrain allows foreign ownership of Companies.

    How long does it take for company formation in Bahrain?

    A typical company can be formed in 18-25 working days.

    Can company formation be done online in Bahrain?

    Around 90% of the company formation procedure can be done virtually. However, Personal presence is required to open company bank account.

    What are the requirements for company formation in Bahrain?

    Following are the requirements for company formation in Bahrain:

    1. Passport Copy.
    2. NOC (For employees in Bahrain only).
    3. Power of Attorney or E-key.
    4. Office Address (Electricity Account).
    5. Memorandum of Association.
    6. Capital Deposit Certificate.
    How many Resident Permits (Visas) I will get by setting up a company in Bahrain??

    By setting up a company in Bahrain each shareholders will get a “Businessman/Investor” resident permit and resident permits for their dependents (Spouse and Children). Initially you can avail 2 work-permits for your employees. Later you can increase the work-permits by providing the workload document to LMRA.