Bahrain's legal system is a mixed one. According to the Constitution, the primary source of legislation is the Shari'ah. In practice, Muslim law primarily regulates relations of personal status.
After the country gained independence in 1971, a special legislative committee was established to reconstruct the legal system. As a result, Bahrain has enacted a considerable amount of modern legislation in various fields, which is mainly based on European legal models.
Bahraini law provides for the following legal forms of companies:
There are Free Economic Zones (FEZ) in Bahrain:
Bahrain's free economic zones are considered among the best in the world as they provide an optimal business environment for international companies to conduct domestic and foreign business.
One of the most popular legal forms for foreigners is the Limited Liability Company or Company with Limited Liability (W.L.L.).
Companies in Bahrain are regulated by the Commercial Companies Law 001 of 2001.
To register a Company with Limited Liability in Bahrain you must:
1. Submit 3 versions of the company name (in English) for verification.
The company name must end with the abbreviation W.L.L. or its full spelling - with limited liability.
2. The drawing up and filing of all required applications and preparation of documents (a set of incorporation and registration documents). Copies of passports, information on the authorized capital (division between participants by %).
3. Consideration of application for registration.
4. leasing an office or obtaining a legal address.
5. Opening a bank account.
Time required to register a company is about 30 working days.
Depending on the type of business activity the company may need a license (the cost of the license varies from 50 BHD to several thousand BHD).
There are no restrictions on the activities of the company, except that non-residents are prohibited from engaging in banking activities and investing for the benefit of third parties.
Availability of a registered office in the country is required. It is possible to use a legal address (virtual office).
There is no mandatory requirement for the company to have a seal.
Redomiciliation is possible in Bahrain.
The W.L.L. has a minimum of one director.
Director can be a natural person or a legal entity. There are no residency requirements.
The names of directors are on the public register of companies.
The W.L.L. has a minimum of 2 founders and a maximum of 50.
The founder may be a natural person or a legal entity.
Companies in Bahrain can be 100% owned by foreigners. However, some activities require a founder who is a Bahraini citizen (possibly with 1% of the share capital).
The names of shareholders are in the public register of companies.
Currently, in Bahrain, information on the beneficiaries of a company is not publicly available.
In practice, the minimum authorized capital for W.L.L. is currently between 5,000 BHD and 50,000 BHD (depending on the planned turnover).
The authorized capital of the company is divided into equal shares of at least 50 BHD each.
The company may not be incorporated until all monetary and in-kind shares have been distributed among the partners and fully paid up and the shares have been transferred to the company.
Price10 000 USD
(including incorporation tax and state registry fee)
Price6 000 USD
(including registered address and registered agent)
DHL or TNT, at cost of a Courier Service
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Paid-up “nominee director” set includes the following documents
Paid-up “nominee shareholder” set includes the following documents
Compliance fee is payable in the cases of: renewal of a company, liquidation of a company, transfer out of a company, issue of a power of attorney to a new attorney, change of director / shareholder / BO (except the change to a nominee director / shareholder)
simple company structure with only 1 physical person
additional compliance fee for legal entity in structure under GSL administration (per 1 entity)
additional compliance fee for legal entity in structure NOT under GSL administration (per 1 entity)