What is Company Registration in Bahrain?
It has an open economy and its currency has second highest valued currency unit in World. Its finance industry is very successful, leading entire service industry of country. It is generally a country which is open to creating a unique economy which is fast growing and open for all to create business opportunities. Petroleum and natural gas are the only significant natural resources in country. Oil and gas companies are taxed at 46% on income derived from the sale of hydrocarbons and derivative products. There is no personal income tax in Bahrain. It has many large financial institutions and is known as the business capital of the Gulf. The most promising and explored industry in country is hydrocarbon industry, main source of income and indicators of growth in international community. It shows other aspects of economy are still untouched and not explore yet hence it is advisable to have presence in country for trade/business for significant return on investment.
Business Form and Structure in Bahrain
In Bahrain, high levels of global trade and investment activity are sustained by a competitive and efficient regulatory environment. Reforms in the existing commercial company's lawyers have facilitated foreign investment and ownership of company. The regulatory framework is relatively streamlined, but minimum capital requirements for starting a firm are higher than the level of average annual income. Although there is no nationally mandated minimum wage, wage increases have exceeded overall productivity growth. In 2016, slumping global oil prices forced the government to reduce subsidies on gasoline, diesel and kerosene, natural gas for industrial users, food items, water, and electricity.
Country has provided following legal structure for investors to choose upon for the trade/business in Bahrain:-
- Individual Investment
- Partnership Company in Bahrain
- Foreign Company Branch in Bahrain
- With Limited Liability Company in Bahrain
- Bahrain Shareholding Company (BSC-Closed/public)
- Command its by Shares
Only citizen of Bahrain and Citizens of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries may register this type of business in Bahrain and term as non-incorporated entity with entire liable of all debt and liabilities of the owner for business to the extent of person’s assets.
It a company without limited liability, formed between two persons or mode under a specific name and in which partners assume joint responsibility, to the extent of all their entire personal assets, for the partnership debts and liabilities. 100% foreign ownership are allowed but banking and assurance activities are not allowed to carry out. Minimum share capital is not applicable and number of partners and promoters is required at least two where local sponsor is not required.
Foreign company can established an operational office, representative office or regional office in Bahrain. The limit of liability is same as parent company. Local operations are allowed only for an operational office. Representative and regional office can only do marketing and promotion. Branch manager is required however as per applicable law in Bahrain operational office required local sponsor.
A Limited Liability Company is a company of which partners are responsible for the company debts and liabilities only to the extent of their shareholding in the capital. There is provision in law that if the number of partners falls below two, the company must introduce new shareholders within a period of 30 days, or by force of the law, be converted to a single person company, or proceed to dissolution. A Limited Liability Company cannot issue public shares, negotiable warrants, or debentures. The minimum share capital required is BD 20,000/- (Twenty thousand only). 100% foreign ownership without local sponsor is allowed. This company required to submit annual submission of audited financial statements.
This kind of company consists at least two or more persons to subscribe shares. It has limited liability and minimum share capital of BD 2, 50,000 of which minimum 50% of capital must be paid initially and the remaining to be paid within 3 years. Local sponsor isn’t required. Nationals of GCC are permitted 100% ownership, however, non GCC national also may acquire up to 100% of the company. Annual submission of audited financial is required.
Under this form of business, company established between two categories of partners, one is joint partners jointly liable and responsible, to the extent of overall obligation and debt whereas other is limited partners (shareholders) who are not liable for all company’s obligation except to the extent of its contribution to equity (shares) in the capital.
All this are sort of business legal structure in Bahrain, that investors can have to do trade/business in country.
Requirements of company Registration Bahrain
The overall process for registration starts with application to commercial registration after selection of company name which has to be unique and not allotted to others earlier. Supported by applicable procedure and it takes some sort of time period along with fees and required documents. Further it is necessary to note down if selected either company form or business/trade required specific license then has to be obtained before operation starts. The most standardized company form in Bahrain is With Limited Liability (WLL). The processing time registration fee of BD 20 is charged and it takes hardly one working day. Whomsoever want to have establishment in Bahrain need to file application at the Bahrain Investors Centre (for companies) and at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce‘s Commercial Registration Directorate (for individual establishments).
Further the business like beauty and hair salons and health spas, Business advisory services, Consultancy services, Contractors (all types), Debt collection, Goods inspection services, Management and operation of exhibitions and Social counselling and guidance are sort of business/trade in Bahrain which requires special additional permission, permit and license to operate in country.
Company formation Procedure in Bahrain
Step by step registration procedure of most popular form of company i.e. with limited liability (WLL) in Bahrain is capitalized as follows:-
First: Draft standard Memorandum of Association (MOA) and obtain preliminary approval from the Ministry of Commerce at the Bahrain Investment Centre. It takes one daytime and no cost is associated with it.
Second: Obtain lease approval from the Municipality. It cost around BHD 10 and around 3 days of time for approval.
Third: Notarize MOA. It takes one day and cost around BHD 27.
Fourth: Open an account at bank and obtain proof of deposit of capital
Fifth: obtain a certificate of registration from Ministry of Commerce. It takes 1 day and cost approx. BHD 50.
Sixth: publish the incorporation notice in official gazette.
Seventh: register the company and employees with the General Organization for Social Insurance.
Concluding the proceeding to register the business/incorporation of company, it seems good standard and policies of country to start new set up in Bahrain. It is advisable to do business/trade in Bahrain with compliance of applicable laws and regulation given under applicable law in force.