You’ve come up with a solid and a viable business plan, your website, and app is ready, and you’re excited to launch your startup finally. But before it goes up and running, you need to first go through the process of registering your startup or business!
We’ve got great news for you because the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism (MoICT), introduced a seamless way to make your startup official! You have probably heard about the Sijilat portal, but Sijili, on the other hand, might still be a new concept to Bahraini entrepreneurs.
Sijili is a unique Virtual Commercial Registration (CR) system that takes away the hurdles from aspiring Bahraini entrepreneurs looking to start their own business. We spoke to someone from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism to give you more clarity on the Virtual CR.
What is a Virtual CR and what makes it special?
- No more rent.
In the tech-driven era were in, a company could get up and running by using just a laptop! With Sijili, you don’t need a physical address to get your business officially registered. You could use your home address to register your business. Instead of paying hefty amounts on rent, you can now pump your budget into a solid marketing plan that’ll drive greater return on investment!
- Sky’s the limit.
You’ve got yourself a whole bunch of choices, whether you’d want to become a martial art instructor, a graphic designer or even manufacture your textiles, all of that could be done with a click of a button! Click here for more details on the activities.
Sijili lets you engage in 39 commercial activities, in areas of:
- Professional, scientific and technical activities
- Information and communication activities
- Educational activities
- Leisure, entertainment, and art activities
- Personal service activities
- Administrative and support services activities
- Simple manufacturing industry
- Trade activities
The Virtual CR offers entrepreneurs:
- Quick and seamless process.
Here’s a fun fact, 90% of Virtual CRs requests are processed within one to three working days. You don’t need to chase approvals from municipalities any longer and the best part is that the commercial registration representatives will let you know about and guide you through any errors or incorrect fields right away.
Here’s how to get your Virtual CR in 2 easy steps:
- Get the magic key. Head over to your nearest CIO (Central Informatics Organization), in Isa Town, Muharraq or Manama, to get your eKey. You’re expected to bring your CPR and get your fingerprints scanned for the log-in details.
- Head over to Sijilat, log-in and apply for the Virtual CR. Fill in all the details required such as your personal details, commercial name and your business activities (Could cover one or more activities). Your application will be processed in the The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism and legal bodies depending on your business activities. The approval process will take around 1-3 days.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you plan to register for the Virtual CR:
- Any nationality constraints?
The Sijili was introduced to support aspiring Bahraini entrepreneurs; therefore, applicants must be Bahraini.
- Does age matter?
Individuals aged 18 to 21 must provide a letter from their legal guardians. Ages from 21 and above can proceed in getting their CR.
- What if I already have a job?
You won’t be eligible to get a Virtual CR if you are a government employee, ie, working in the public sector, however, if you’re working in the private sector you are eligible to get your Virtual CR as long as you provide an official non-objection letter from your employer.
- I’m a serial entrepreneur! Can I own multiple CRs?
Whether it’s for your company, startup or individual purposes, you are allowed to own a Virtual CR solely, without additional CRs. To own a Virtual CR you need to own the business solely as well. In other words, you can’t register if you have a co-founder.
We’ve spoken to Noor Nooruddin , Co-founder of Highlight Network, who experienced the process of getting a Virtual CR. Noor’s top tip is to make sure you fill in the correct information when applying for the Virtual CR, one tricky bit you could be mindful of is during the registration process, you’ll come across the commercial name field; we emphasize how crucial it is to mention the type of activity/nature your business is operating in within your commercial name.
For instance, if you’re running a consultancy agency you need to mention that within the commercial name field.
Noor suggests that you spend a couple of minutes reading the requirements clearly to avoid any further delays in the approval phase.
- How much would a Virtual CR cost me?
To complete your business’ registration, you need to pay depending on the activities you select,with each activity costing a certain amount, you could select upto one or more activities when registering your business.
Gone are the days when the process of starting your own business was challenging, today we’re excited to say that aspiring Bahraini entrepreneurs with incredible business ideas can bring their dreams to life, with lesser barriers and restrictions.
Not eligible for a Virtual CR? No worries, click here for ten tips to get your Commercial Registration for a W.L.L in Bahrain faster than everyone else!