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Traditionally speaking, entrepreneurs or startups without a registered office or place of business had it tough to get a commercial registration required to carry out certain business activities. 

Founders who often found themselves at the receiving end of this disparity included freelancers, consultants, photographers, and such. 

However, all those hardships are now in the past as the Ministry of Industry, Commerce & Tourism (MOICT) has initiated a special provision for small individual entrepreneurs to gain legal status and flexibility of a business. 

Dubbed Sijili, the new Virtual Commercial Registration (CR) initiative empowers individuals to practice several business-related activities without having to register an office. 

Who can benefit from Sijili

Before we get to what activities you can add to your Virtual CR, let’s check if you meet the criteria:

  • You are a Bahraini national.
  • You are able to furnish a permanent mailing address.
  • You are the sole proprietor of the business.
  • You are not the sole proprietor of a single-person company. 
  • You are not a director or member of any other business.
  • You can own shares of another company so long as you don’t serve it as a manager or director.

Now that you are familiar with the eligibility requirements for having a Virtual CR in Bahrain, let’s move on to all the activities you can perform after acquiring the license. Keep in mind that the license issuing authorities can be different depending on what business/activity you plan on acquiring your Virtual CR for.

For your convenience, we have also listed the names of all the appropriate licensing authorities related to each activity:

List of activities you can do with Virtual CR in Bahrain

  1. Computer consultancy and computer facilities management activities (MOICT) 
  2. Computer programming activities (MOICT) 
  3. Data processing, hosting and related activities (MOICT) 
  4. Operation of websites web portals (MOICT) 
  5. Software publishing (MOICT) 
  6. Management consultancy (MOICT) 
  7. Public relations (MOICT & MIA, Publication and Press Directorate)
  8. Fashion design (MOICT) 
  9. Interior design decoration (MOICT) 
  10. Graphic design (MOICT) 
  11. Photographic activities (MOICT) 
  12. Translation and interpretation (MOICT & MIA – Publication and Press Directorate) 
  13. Jewelry design (MOICT) 
  14. Other specialized design activities (MOICT)
  15. Motion picture, video, and television program activities (MOICT & MIA – Publication and Press Directorate) 
  16. Sound recording and music publishing activities (MOICT & MIA, Publication and Press Directorate) 
  17. Sports instruction — baseball, basketball, cricket, football, swimming or any sports instruction activity not specified elsewhere (MOICT) 
  18. Horse riding Instruction (MOICT) 
  19. Martial art Instruction (MOICT) 
  20. Fitness / Yoga instruction (MOICT) 
  21. Design of training programs (MOICT) 
  22. Performing arts/drama school (MOICT) 
  23. Other education (MOICT)
  24. Production of live theatrical performances and other stage productions (MOICT, Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority) 
  25. Activities of sculptors, painters, cartoonists, etc. (MOICT) 
  26. Activities of producers or promoters of sports events (MOICT)
  27. Personal event planners (MOICT) 
  28. Repair of footwear and leather goods (MOICT, The Supreme Council for Environment (only for notification)) 
  29. Repair of other personal and household goods (MOICT)
  30. Ironing of textile and fur products (MOICT) 
  31. Washing and (dry) cleaning of textile and fur products (MOICT)
  32. Packaging activities – Packaging of food (MOICT & MOH, Public Health Directorate for health certificate) 
  33. Other business support services (MOICT) 
  34. Landscape care and maintenance service activities (MOICT) 
  35. Packaging activities – packaging of cosmetics or herbs (MOICT & MOH, Public Health Directorate for health certificate)
  36. Manufacture of other metal products (MOICT) 
  37. Apparel tailoring activities (MOICT) 
  38. Manufacture of textiles (MOICT) 
  39. Sale / Trade of souvenirs, craftwork, religious articles, stamps, coins, activities of commercial art galleries (MOICT)

If you want to read more, we recommend you check out the profiler tap on the top left side on the homepage of the Sijilat website.

We hope that answers all your questions surrounding Virtual Commercial Registration in Bahrain. Here is a useful guide on everything you need to know about Virtual CR. If you have any doubts or queries, don’t hesitate to reach out to StartUp Bahrain via any of our social media channels Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Jenan Al-Mukharriq

Jenan Al-Mukharriq

A highly driven organizing member of the StartUp Bahrain ecosystem. And a Project Manager at Matter In Hand with a passion for content creation and empowering communities.