Bahrain has several methods in place for establishing businesses. Limited liability companies are often preferred by investors along with representative offices for foreign companies, zonal offices, branches and so on.
Types of Companies Permitted in Bahrain
Here are the company structures that you can consider while registering your business in Bahrain:
- BSC (Bahrain Shareholding Company) – Public – Public shareholding entities should have a minimum of 7 promoters. Key features include a mandatory local office, share capital of BD 1,000,000, minimum 5 directors, limited liability, annual financial statement submissions, share ownership by GCC nationals and overseas investors along with MFN (most favored nation) treatment for investors.
- BSC- Closed- Closed shareholding entities should have a minimum of 2 persons subscribing via negotiable shares. Key features include limited liability, local operations, office presence, share capital of BD 250,000, minimum 3 directors, no local sponsor, 100% ownership for GCC nationals and foreign investors, MFN treatment and nominal value of shares of at least BD 0.1 and maximum of BD 100.
- LLC- LLCs should have at least 2 partners and key features include local office presence, operations, maximum 50 partners, minimum 2 directors and no local sponsor needed. 100% foreign ownership is permitted and annual audited financial statements have to be submitted as well.
Other Types of Company Structures Applicable for Bahrain
Company registration in Bahrain can also be done on the basis of the below mentioned structures:
- Partnership Companies- Companies have unlimited liability with local office presence and operations and non applicability of minimum share capital. Minimum two promoters and partners needed and 2 directors. Local sponsors are not required and 100% foreign ownership is also permitted.
- Simple Commandite- This is a limited partnership entity set up by 1 or more partners with joint liability of their personal wealth for meeting business obligations along with other partners or capital investors without involvement in management. They will be limited partners. Local office presence is required and no minimum share capital requirements are there. Local operations aside, the share of capital of partners from Bahrain will be at least 51%.
- Commandite by Shares- This is a company set up by two categories of partnership, i.e. joint partners with joint responsibility of personal wealth for company obligations and limited partners without liability. Other aspects include local office presence, minimum 4 promoters/partners, minimum 2 directors, no local sponsor requirement, 100% foreign ownership permitted and minimum share capital of BD 20,000.
- SPC- Single person companies represent investment of capital with full ownership by a corporate entity or single individual. There is limited liability along with local office presence, BD 50,000 of minimum share capital, minimum 1 partner, minimum 1 director and requirement of an external auditor. 100% foreign ownership is also permitted.
- Individual establishments- Individual establishments can be registered by citizens of Bahrain and GCC countries. These companies are owned by a single person only and features include unlimited liability and owner should be at least 18 years of age and a GCC or Bahrain national.
- Company Branch- Foreign Company branches can be registered as operational, regional or representative offices in the Kingdom of Bahrain. There are same liability limits as the parent entity, local operations are permitted and regional/representative offices can only undertake promotion and marketing activities. Local office presence is needed as well.