COUNTRY

Bahrain is a 760 sq km archipelago in the Persian Gulf, off the east coast of Saudi Arabia. The population stands at just under 1.3m, although indigenous Bahrainis make up just 46% of it, with expats and foreign nationals making up the remainder. Arabic remains the official language, but English, Farsi and Urdu are widely spoken by Bahrain’s cosmopolitan population. Heavily dependent on oil, Bahrain has taken steps to diversify the economy in recent years, and its highly developed communication and transport facilities have attracted numerous multinational firms with business in the Gulf. Bahrain implemented a free trade agreement with the US in August 2006. Finance is a major component of the economy, and Bahrain is a centre for Islamic banking. Bahrain has experienced economic setbacks as a result of domestic unrest, however, several factors indicate that the economy is beginning to recover, such as the return of the annual Formula One motor race and tourist cruise ships. The business climate also remains extremely favourable, with no corporate tax payable except by oil companies and additional fiscal and legal privileges granted in the free zones.

TAXATION

  • Headline tax rates: CIT 0%, PIT 0%, VAT 0%
  • Treaty Jurisdictions: Algeria, Austria, Barbados, Belarus, Bermuda, Brunei, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, Estonia, France, Georgia, Iran, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jordan, Korea, Republic of, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Seychelles, Singapore, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Yemen
  • TIEA Jurisdictions: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, India, Norway, Sweden

There are no corporate taxes, income taxes, capital gains tax, withholding tax, gift tax, estate tax, or inheritance tax. The only industry paying taxes is the oil production, refineries, and distribution companies.

Note: U.S. residents and everyone residing in a country taxing worldwide income must report all income to their tax authorities.

BUSINESS

  • Suitable for: Shipping, Property Ownership
  • Company Types: Limited liability companies, joint stock corporations, branches, sole proprietors, general partnerships and limited partnerships
  • Formation Cost: 7600 – 9200 USD
  • Formation Time: 8 – 14 days
  • Maintenance cost: 4300 – 5300 USD

INCORPORATION

As per the Ministry of Industry and Commerce commercial registration law, a company must register at Bahrain Investors’ Center (BIC), located at the Seef Mall in the Seef District, before conducting business in Bahrain. The BIC is a hub which houses representatives from sundry ministries involved in the registration of a business, and also has representatives from financial institutions and telecommunication companies.

The Domestic Trade Affairs Directorate in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce regulates all commercial licenses and operations in Bahrain. The Commercial Registration Department issues commercial licenses, processes Commercial Registration (CR) applications, collects registration fees, publishes announcements in the official gazette, and extends counselling services to prospective investors.

Applicants may obtain a Commercial License Application Form from the Bahrain Investors’ Center (BIC), or from the website of Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

Registration Agents: The Ministry of Industry and Commerce appoints Registration Agents to provide commercial registration services for applicants. These agents include law firms, industrial property registration agents, auditing firms, and consulting companies. Applicants may choose to operate via such expert consultants, who often provide legal, financial, and other services. Registration agents usually ensure the best legal protection available in Bahrain in accordance with the applicant’s portfolio.

  • Find out what approvals are required for your specific business activity. We can aid you with any information you might need
  • Visit the Investors Services Center (BIC), and fill out a Commerce Registration application form
  • A BIC representative will direct you to the appropriate Ministry if prior approval is required for your business activity
  • Subsequent to receiving the requisite approvals, you must provide a fee of BD 2, and a copy of the following documents:
    • Passport
    • CPR (Central Population Registration card)
    • Résumé including educational credentials
    • Certificates corroborating training and experience
    • Statement of assets
  • It would generally take 1 to 5 business days for the company to get registered