What is CR

Commercial Registration well knows as CR is a business license. It allows an individual or a Company to practice a commercial activity in Bahrain.

No doubt business idea is the first step but to get CR in Bahrain, the most important thing to consider is Investor’s Nationality. Business activities in Bahrain are allowed according to the nationality of the Investor. There are more than 350 business activities that any foreigner can own without a local sponsor. Business activities related to trade, import, and export require 51% Bahraini, Gulf, or American ownership. Most of the services and Manufacturing related businesses can be fully owned by foreign investors.

7 Steps to get a CR in Bahrain

The new Sijilat system has revolutionized commercial registration in Bahrain. With this new system, you can get a CR in 18-26 working days. Following are the 7 steps to obtain a Commercial Registration / CR in Bahrain.

Step 1: Power of Attorney

At the very first step client will give power of attorney to a representative of PI Startup Advisory to register a business in Bahrain. If you are present in Bahrain, you can make a Power of Attorney at a public or private notary. In case you are out of Bahrain, you can make power of attorney from your home country. If your country is Hague Apostille Member, also get an apostille stamp from the foreign office.

Step 2: CR Name Reservation

We will require three proposed commercial names at this step. We will submit a request to MOICT to reserve the commercial and trade name of your CR.

In Bahrain types of CR / Commercial Registration are classified according to Owner’s liability. Following are the types of CR you may choose to register in Bahrain according to your requirements:

Step 3: Licensing

At this step, we will require an office/shop/workshop commercial address where companies head office shall be situated. As proof of address Shop Pictures, Tenancy Agreement Copy, and Electricity Bill Copy are required. If your CR is related to any specialized activity, approval from other licensing entities will also be required accordingly.

Step 4: Memorandum of Company

We will draft the memorandum of association/Articles of Association and submit it to MOIC after the your approval.

Step 5: Notarization

The draft memorandum shall be notarized from a private notary (Urgent) or public notary (Upon appointment)

Step 6: Company Bank Account

TIt is mandatory to open the company’s bank account and deposit the capital. PI Startup Advisory experts will assist the client to ensure swift bank account opening.

Step 7: Final Approval by MOIC

Notarized Memorandum and Bank certificate shall be submitted to MOIC for final approval. Once approved your CR is registered.

Choosing the right type of CR

In Bahrain types of CR / Commercial Registration are classified according to Owner’s liability. Following are the types of CR you may choose to register in Bahrain according to your requirements:


Individual Establishment in Bahrain is similar to Sole Proprietorship in other countries. The sole owner is responsible for all liabilities of the business. Business is not considered a separate entity from the owner. This type of business can only be owned by a Bahraini national or a GCC national.

With Limited Liability (WLL)

✓ There is no restriction on the number of partners.
✓ There is no minimum capital restriction.
✓ WLL is governed by The Commercial Companies Law DECREE LAW NO. (21) OF 2001 PROMULGATING.
✓ Unlike Individual Establishment, the liability of the shareholder is limited to the extent of
✓ The company is considered separate from the owner.
✓ The amount, type, and currency of the capital are declared in public along with percentage of the    ownership of each shareholder.
✓ Directors of the company are nominated.
✓ Annual audited financial reports are submitted to MOICT every year (1st year is exempt).
✓ This type of business can also be owned by other nationalities as well depending on business
✓ It allows investor visas (Residence Permit) to its shareholders.

Note: Single Person Companies (SPC) registration type has been canceled. All existing SPC’s are converted to WLL. (Read more here: SPC changed to WLL)

Bahraini Partnership Company

It is similar to a general partnership in other countries. To form a Bahraini Partnership Company there should be at least 2 shareholders whose liabilities will be unlimited to the extent of their personal belongings. This type of company also has to declare its representatives. This type of CR can be 100% foreign-owned depending on business activities.

Simple Commandite Company

Simple Commandite Company is similar to Limited Partnership. This partnership consists of one or more silent partners and one or more managing partners. Silent partners enjoy limited liability but they cannot interfere in management decisions. Managing partners share full liability to the extent of their personal belongings. Managing partners can interfere in any management decision or company operation. The remaining features are similar to the Bahraini Partnership Company.

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