Overview of the requirements for setting up business in Bahrain
1. Can I own a business in Bahrain?
100% foreign ownership of business is allowed. Sector-specific and/or company type restrictions may apply.
2. Can I own a land in Bahrain?
Bahraini and GCC nationals are permitted to own land in all areas of Bahrain.
Non-nationals and foreign companies are permitted to own property and real estate in new developed areas, including:
- The Greater Manama Area, such as Ahmad Al-Fateh District, Hoora Area, Bu Ghazal Area, Northern District of Manama including Diplomatic Area (areas of high rise residential and commercial structure with elevation of 10 storeys or above)
- Seef District (with elevation of 10, 5 and 3 storeys)
- New tourism developments such as Durrat Al Bahrain, Amwaj Islands
- Areas which fall within the sphere of the Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH), the Bandar Al Seef Area and Lulu Islands
3. What are the Legal structures available in Bahrain and their main features?
Bahrain Shareholding Company (B.S.C.) – Public
A Public Shareholding Company consists of a number of partners (not less than 7) who subscribe therein by way of negotiable shares. Partners shall be liable for the company’s debts and obligations only to the extent of the value of their shares.
Main features of this company type are:
- Limited liability
- Banking / insurance activities are allowed
- Local operations are allowed
- Local office presence is required
- Minimum share capital required is BD 1,000,000
- Minimum number of partners and promoters required is 7
- Minimum number of directors required is 5
- Local sponsor is not required