Free Legal Advice

So, all those relentless brainstorming sessions and hard work have finally paid off as you’re ever so close to launching your new venture in Bahrain. Congratulations! The last remaining challenge now is to follow through with all the legal and regulatory requirements to get your business the mandatory commercial registration. That’s why we’re here to tell you all about how to get a Virtual CR. 

It’s not difficult at all to get a Commercial Registration for your startup in Bahrain. However, it does require a bit of your time and attention considering that you’ll need to provide a range of details about the business you’re going to start to the relevant authorities. 

Thankfully, Sijilat, the Commercial Registration (CR) portal operated by Bahrain’s Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism, is there to help you at every step along the way. Here’s a brief rundown of how you can go about the process step-by-step:

Step 1: Get your eKey 

You need to have your eKey handy to be able to use Sijilat’s online portal. Just to refresh your memory, having an eKey account enables you to access a wide range of government eServices using a single password. It’s completely secure and has additional layers of security including biometric verification to protect your identity.

There are two types of eKeys: Standard and Advanced. The Standard eKey is easier to create but has fewer features. For the purpose of this article, let’s focus on the Advanced eKey which is literally the key that gives you access to Sijilat’s online services.

With the Advanced eKey, you are entitled to the highest level of security Sijilat has to offer along with the access to all its eServices. This includes even those highly confidential services that require the verification of your biometrics and smart card.

Unlike the Standard eKey which can be created online, you must be physically present in your nearest eGovernment Center to create an Advanced eKey. This step is necessary to comply with the strict security protocols in place to ensure the highest level of security to the Advanced eKey. The best part is, the whole process should take no longer than 10 minutes! For more information about getting your Advanced eKey, click here.

The service centers that are available to get your eKey are Information &eGovernment Authority Office, Bahrain Investors Center, and the Social Insurance Organization. Find out more details about the service centers here.

Don’t worry, though, as it’s only a one-time requirement and the whole process is likely to be over in no more than 10 – 15 minutes. 

Step 2: Register on Sijilat

Once you have your advanced eKey ready, the rest of the steps are just a walk in the park. First, head over to the official Sijilat portal at www.sijilat.bh and look for the part/menu that reads “Apply for Commercial Registration.” Click to get started. You may be prompted to provide some key details including your Advanced eKey. 

Step 3: Add activity

First of all, what’s an activity? And why do you need one? In order to get a Commercial Registration, you need to add in the business activities of your company to determine the nature of goods/services that you will provide. This will give basic information about the type of products/services that you offer to customers and a general idea of the type of company that you are. 

Once your Sijilat account is ready and you’re able to log in using your eKey, the next step is to add all the activities your new business will be involved in. Just click on the “Add Activity” button and choose the right option(s) from the list of available activities. Click “Add” before hitting the “Save and Continue” button. 

Step 4: Upload documents

Now is the time to provide some of your personal info and supporting documents. Fill in all the mandatory fields that ask for your name, email ID, telephone number, address, and so on. Upload all the documents as and when prompted. 

What are the required documents?

  • A written agreement between the agent and principal
  • A copy of the chamber of commerce membership card
  • The trademark will be checked by Registration Directorate 

Step 5: Review and Submit

Review your application once to ensure that all the required fields have the correct information. Any mistake, while not irreversible, might end up costing you time that you would otherwise be spending on something more worthwhile.

Once you submit your Commercial Registration application, you can track its status using the “Application Status Inquiry” button on the Commercial Registration menu. Click on the application you have just submitted to pay the application fee (the application status should read “Waiting for Payment”).

Make the payment using any of the available payment methods and voila, you have your Commercial Registration ready. 

Note that from the point you submit your application, Sijilat will start sending updates about every action on it through text messages to your registered mobile no.

So there it is, with the final legal requirement out of the way, your business is now free to operate in the Kingdom. Good luck and don’t hesitate to reach out using our Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn if you have any queries or feedback.

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.