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Welcome to the comprehensive StartUp Bahrain Guide for Startups. This expansive guide has been meticulously crafted to serve as your roadmap to launching and nurturing a startup in the vibrant ecosystem of Bahrain. We’ve left no stone unturned in our efforts to cover every aspect of your entrepreneurial journey, right from ideation to scaling your startup. We’d like to extend special thanks to all the community members that participated in gathering and updating the information with us for the benefit of the ecosystem.

Now, what to expect from the StartUp Bahrain Guide:

  • Detailed insights into Bahrain’s dynamic startup ecosystem and key players.
  • In-depth understanding of Bahrain’s demographics, culture, economy, and cities.
  • Step-by-step instructions on setting up your startup, handling finances, and navigating legalities.
  • Comprehensive information on hiring the right team and understanding labour laws.
  • Guidance on business regulations, visa requirements, trademarks, intellectual property, and funding.
  • Access to resources like co-working spaces, community support, and government initiatives.
  • Educational and vocational training opportunities tailored for startups.
  • Step-by-step guide on using the Sijilat portal for commercial registrations.
  • Essential entrepreneurial concepts and tools for success, such as MVP creation and lean business canvas.
  • Highlights of significant events and competitions in Bahrain’s startup scene for networking and showcasing.

Dive in, explore, and let this guide be your companion on your exciting entrepreneurial journey in Bahrain. Together, let’s innovate, disrupt, and lead the way. Welcome to the vibrant world of startups in Bahrain!


Known as the land of two seas, the Kingdom of Bahrain is an archipelago made up of 33 islands located in the Arabian Gulf. Bahrain is considered an important regional, economic and financial hub, with the advancement and implementation of the Economic Vision 2030, which is a comprehensive economic vision for the betterment and continued development of the Kingdom’s economy. Manama is the capital of Bahrain and also its largest city.

Bahrain, literally translates in Arabic to “two seas”, is strategically located in the heart of the Arabian Gulf. The name refers to the duality of the water supply, ranging from naturally occurring sweetwater springs to the surrounding Gulf of Bahrain. Often labeled as the “Gateway to the Gulf”, Bahrain is directly connected to Saudi Arabia with the King Fahad Causeway, providing convenient access to areas around the Middle East.

Arabic is the official language, but English is widely used in business and is compulsory in schools.  Due to the high number of expatriates living in Bahrain, other languages such as Persian and Urdu are spoken and understood in both traditional and contemporary market places.

Geographical Location

The Kingdom of Bahrain, a small island nation, sits in the heart of the Arabian Gulf, linking it to the Middle East and beyond. Its strategic location has made it a crucial hub for commerce and tourism alike. The country comprises over 30 islands, with the main island of Bahrain housing the majority of the population.


Bahrain is known for its rich diversity and multi-cultural society. As of 2023, the population of Bahrain is approximately 1.7 million, with a mix of native Bahrainis and expatriates from all over the world. This diversity is one of the country’s strengths, contributing to a vibrant, cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Culture & Society

Despite its modern infrastructure and booming business sector, Bahrain has preserved its rich history and culture. From the traditional handicrafts market to its UNESCO World Heritage archaeological sites, Bahrain offers a unique mix of the old and the new. Arabic is the official language, but English is widely spoken, especially in business circles.


Bahrain’s economy is one of the most diversified in the Gulf, with a focus on sectors like finance, manufacturing, retail and wholesale trade, and real estate. It also has a robust startup ecosystem and has been making strides in sectors like FinTech and e-commerce.


Bahrain’s startup ecosystem is a thriving hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. With its supportive infrastructure, strategic location, and forward-thinking initiatives, the Kingdom offers an ideal environment for startups to flourish. In this section, we delve into the dynamic ecosystem that fuels the growth of innovative ventures. From key players such as StartUp Bahrain, Tamkeen, and the Ministry of Industry & Commerce to a multitude of resources, funding opportunities, and networking events.

This guide will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of Bahrain’s startup ecosystem, so whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or an established startup looking to expand, join us as we explore the vibrant world of startups in Bahrain and unlock the doors to success!

Startup Bahrain

The backbone of the startup ecosystem in Bahrain, StartUp Bahrain is not just a platform; it’s a thriving, interactive community, and it’s the lifeblood of the national startup ecosystem. Comprising an eclectic mix of innovative startups, dynamic corporates, insightful investors, nurturing accelerators, and incubators, as well as proactive government entities, StartUp Bahrain is more than the sum of its parts. But what is it that StartUp Bahrain actually does?

  1. Fostering Connections: StartUp Bahrain is a catalyst for collaboration. It acts as a conduit, connecting ecosystem players with each other and with critical stakeholders. But it doesn’t stop there. It also ensures these connections extend beyond Bahrain’s borders, linking local startups with a global network that can provide invaluable opportunities.
  2. Cultivating Community through Events: StartUp Bahrain not only hosts and plans engaging events tailored to the interests of the startup community, but it also showcases important events happening within Bahrain and around the globe. It ensures startups never miss an opportunity to engage, learn, and grow.
  3. Promoting Success Stories: It brings to light the triumphs and trials of the startup world, showcasing success stories, case studies, and startup news. By doing so, it provides a reality check to budding entrepreneurs while encouraging them with positive examples.
  4. Delivering Latest Updates: StartUp Bahrain is also a trusted news source. It keeps the community updated on the latest happenings from the startup scene, including investment news, regulatory updates, strategic partnerships, and much more.
  5. Introducing New Startups: It plays a vital role in welcoming and integrating new startups into the ecosystem. It ensures they have the necessary support and resources right from the outset, thereby accelerating their growth.
  6. Managing the StartUp Bahrain Platform: At its core, StartUp Bahrain operates a comprehensive platform that serves as the focal point for all things related to the ecosystem. This platform acts as a one-stop-shop for startups, providing them with easy access to crucial resources, networking opportunities, and much more.

For anyone looking to explore the vibrant world of startups in Bahrain, StartUp Bahrain is the ideal starting point. You can discover more about StartUp Bahrain on the rest of the website, which offers a deeper dive into how we’re fueling the growth of startups in Bahrain and beyond.


Tamkeen, Bahrain’s labor fund, plays a vital role in supporting and empowering startups in the Kingdom. With a mission to foster the growth of Bahraini enterprises and entrepreneurs, Tamkeen offers a range of programs and initiatives tailored to meet the diverse needs of startups. Here’s a glimpse into what Tamkeen has to offer:

  • Business Development Support: Tamkeen provides financial assistance and guidance to startups through various schemes, including grants, loans, and equity financing. These resources help entrepreneurs establish and expand their businesses, invest in technology and equipment, and enhance their competitiveness in the market.
  • Training and Skill Development: Recognizing the importance of a skilled workforce, Tamkeen offers extensive training programs and workshops to equip entrepreneurs and employees with the necessary knowledge and skills. These initiatives cover a wide range of topics, including business management, leadership, marketing, finance, and technology, enabling startups to enhance their capabilities and drive innovation.
  • Coaching and Mentoring: Through its mentoring programs, Tamkeen connects aspiring entrepreneurs with experienced mentors who provide valuable guidance, advice, and industry insights. This mentorship support helps startups navigate challenges, refine their business strategies, and make informed decisions, contributing to their long-term success.
  • Marketing and Branding Support: Tamkeen offers specialized marketing and branding assistance to startups, helping them develop effective marketing strategies, create impactful brand identities, and enhance their online presence. This support enables startups to reach their target audience, build customer relationships, and gain a competitive edge in the market.
  • Networking and Exhibition Opportunities: Tamkeen organizes various networking events, exhibitions, and trade shows where startups can showcase their products and services, forge valuable partnerships, and explore business opportunities. These platforms serve as catalysts for growth and enable startups to connect with potential customers, investors, and industry experts.

Tamkeen‘s commitment to nurturing Bahrain’s startup ecosystem has been instrumental in fostering innovation, job creation, and economic growth. By leveraging the programs and resources offered by Tamkeen, startups in Bahrain can embark on a journey of success and achieve their entrepreneurial aspirations.

Remember, the specific programs and eligibility criteria may vary, so it’s essential to visit Tamkeen‘s official website or contact their representatives for detailed information and application procedures. Harness the power of Tamkeen‘s support and take your startup to new heights in Bahrain’s thriving business landscape.

Bahrain has always been a key market for us at Daleel and a great testing ground for the MENAP region. The conducive ecosystem puts the Kingdom at the forefront of digital transformation.

Dania AlShowaikh, Daleel

Ministry of Industry & Commerce

The Ministry of Industry & Commerce in Bahrain plays a pivotal role in fostering a conducive environment for startups and businesses to thrive. As a key governmental entity, it is dedicated to promoting economic growth, supporting entrepreneurship, and ensuring regulatory compliance. Here’s an overview of the Ministry’s initiatives and services tailored to benefit startups:

  • Business Registration and Licensing: The Ministry facilitates the registration and licensing processes for startups, providing them with the necessary legal framework to operate in Bahrain. Through its streamlined procedures and online portals, entrepreneurs can efficiently register their businesses, obtain commercial registrations (CR), and fulfill all necessary licensing requirements.
  • Business Support and Consultation: The Ministry offers comprehensive support and consultation services to assist startups in navigating the regulatory landscape and complying with relevant laws and regulations. Entrepreneurs can access valuable guidance on legal matters, intellectual property rights, commercial disputes, and other business-related concerns. This support enables startups to establish a solid foundation and ensure their operations are in line with the prevailing regulations.
  • Investment Promotion: The Ministry actively promotes investment opportunities in Bahrain, attracting both local and international investors to the startup ecosystem. By organizing investment forums, conferences, and roadshows, they provide a platform for startups to showcase their potential, connect with potential investors, and explore partnership opportunities. This focus on investment promotion strengthens the overall entrepreneurial ecosystem and facilitates business growth.
  • Market Development and Trade Facilitation: The Ministry fosters market development by implementing policies and initiatives that stimulate trade and commerce. Startups can benefit from these efforts through access to local and international markets, participation in trade exhibitions and events, and support in exploring export opportunities. By facilitating trade and reducing barriers, the Ministry contributes to the expansion and success of startups in Bahrain.

The Ministry of Industry & Commerce in Bahrain serves as a valuable partner and resource for startups, offering a range of services designed to support their growth and success. Learn more about the services they provide on their official website.

Bahrain Development Bank

The Bahrain Development Bank (BDB) is a key financial institution in Bahrain dedicated to supporting the growth and development of startups and SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). As an instrumental player in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, the BDB offers a range of services and programs tailored to empower startups. Here’s an overview of what the Bahrain Development Bank can provide for your business:

  • Financing Solutions: The BDB offers various financing options, including loans, equity investments, and venture capital, to support startups in their early stages or during expansion. These financial resources can be utilized for working capital, asset acquisition, research and development, and other business needs. The BDB takes a proactive approach in understanding the unique requirements of startups and provides customized financial solutions to meet their specific growth objectives.
  • Business Advisory and Consultation: Entrepreneurs can benefit from the BDB’s business advisory services, which provide guidance on strategic planning, market research, feasibility studies, and other critical aspects of business development. Through their experienced advisors and consultants, startups can gain valuable insights, enhance their business models, and make informed decisions to drive sustainable growth.
  • Incubation and Acceleration Programs: The BDB operates incubation and acceleration programs designed to nurture startups and help them accelerate their growth trajectory. These programs offer access to mentorship, networking opportunities, workspace facilities, and specialized training to equip entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed. By participating in these programs, startups can benefit from a supportive ecosystem that fosters innovation, collaboration, and business expansion.
  • Investment Promotion and Partnership Facilitation: The BDB actively promotes investment opportunities in Bahrain and assists startups in attracting potential investors. Through their network of partners, the BDB facilitates connections between startups and local or international investors, fostering partnerships and securing funding. This support enables startups to access the capital needed for scaling their businesses and reaching new markets.

The Bahrain Development Bank serves as a catalyst for the growth and development of startups in Bahrain, providing not only financial resources but also valuable guidance and support throughout the entrepreneurial journey. By leveraging the services and programs offered by the BDB, startups can enhance their competitiveness, expand their market reach, and realize their full potential.

It’s important to note that the specific eligibility criteria, application processes, and terms and conditions may vary for each program or service.

Bahrain Economic Development Board

The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) is a key government entity that plays a pivotal role in driving economic growth and attracting investments to Bahrain. With a focus on fostering a vibrant and sustainable business environment, the EDB offers a range of services and initiatives that benefit startups and businesses. Here’s an overview of what the Bahrain Economic Development Board can provide for your entrepreneurial journey:

  • Investment Promotion: The EDB actively promotes Bahrain as an attractive investment destination to both local and international investors. By showcasing the country’s business-friendly environment, strategic location, skilled workforce, and competitive advantages, the EDB aims to attract investment across various sectors. As a startup, you can benefit from the EDB’s efforts to attract potential investors and explore opportunities for funding and partnerships.
  • Market Access and Expansion: The EDB provides valuable support to startups seeking to access local and international markets. Through market intelligence, trade facilitation initiatives, and market entry strategies, the EDB assists startups in expanding their reach and seizing business opportunities. They also offer guidance on regulatory compliance, market entry requirements, and connecting with potential customers or partners, enabling startups to navigate the market landscape with ease.
  • Business Setup Assistance: The EDB offers comprehensive assistance and guidance to startups in setting up their businesses in Bahrain. They provide support in company registration, obtaining necessary permits and licenses, and navigating the regulatory framework. The EDB’s dedicated team of experts can help streamline the setup process, ensuring startups can establish their operations efficiently and in compliance with local laws and regulations.
  • Talent Development and Support: The EDB recognizes the importance of a skilled workforce for the success of startups. They collaborate with educational institutions, vocational training centers, and industry associations to develop programs and initiatives that enhance the skills of Bahraini talent and support startups in accessing a qualified workforce. The EDB also assists in connecting startups with relevant talent pools, fostering an ecosystem that nurtures talent and innovation.
  • Industry-specific Support: The EDB focuses on key sectors of the Bahraini economy, including financial services, technology, manufacturing, logistics, and tourism. Through industry-specific support initiatives, the EDB provides startups with sector-specific resources, market insights, networking opportunities, and access to industry experts. This targeted support enables startups to leverage Bahrain’s strengths in specific sectors and capitalize on growth opportunities.

The Bahrain Economic Development Board serves as a strategic partner for startups, offering a range of services and initiatives designed to support their growth and success. By leveraging the EDB’s resources, startups can benefit from market access, investment opportunities, business setup support, talent development, and sector-specific assistance.

Al-Waha Fund of Funds

Al Waha Fund of Funds is a prominent initiative in Bahrain that focuses on supporting and nurturing the growth of startups and the venture capital ecosystem. As a fund, Al Waha plays a crucial role in providing financial resources and strategic support to venture capital firms and startups.

Here’s an overview of what Al Waha Fund of Funds offers to startups:

  • Financial Support: Al Waha Fund of Funds invests in venture capital firms that, in turn, invest in startups. By providing capital to these venture capital firms, Al Waha enables them to invest in a diverse range of promising startups across various sectors. This financial support creates a robust ecosystem for startups to secure funding and accelerate their growth.
  • Access to Venture Capital: Startups can benefit from Al Waha’s extensive network of venture capital firms that are supported by the fund. Through these partnerships, startups gain access to a broader pool of potential investors and funding opportunities. Al Waha helps startups connect with venture capital firms that align with their industry, stage of growth, and investment requirements, increasing their chances of securing the necessary funding.
  • Mentoring and Guidance: Al Waha Fund of Funds goes beyond financial support by offering mentoring and guidance to startups. Through its network of experienced investors and industry experts, Al Waha provides valuable advice, insights, and mentorship to startups, helping them refine their strategies, scale their operations, and navigate challenges. This support contributes to the overall development and success of startups in Bahrain’s ecosystem.
  • Ecosystem Development: Al Waha Fund of Funds actively contributes to the development of Bahrain’s startup ecosystem. By fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing among startups, venture capital firms, and other ecosystem stakeholders, Al Waha helps create a supportive and interconnected environment. This ecosystem development includes organizing events, workshops, and networking opportunities that facilitate interactions and synergies within the startup community.
  • Access to Market Opportunities: Al Waha Fund of Funds plays a pivotal role in connecting startups with potential business partners, customers, and market opportunities. By leveraging its extensive network and partnerships, Al Waha assists startups in accessing local and international markets, expanding their customer base, and exploring partnerships that can fuel their growth.

Al Waha Fund of Funds serves as a catalyst for the growth and success of startups in Bahrain. Through its financial support, access to venture capital, mentoring and guidance, ecosystem development, and market opportunities, Al Waha creates an enabling environment for startups to thrive and achieve their full potential.

Hope Fund

Hope Fund is a pioneering initiative in Bahrain that is dedicated to fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic growth. With its diverse set of programs and initiatives, Hope Fund plays a vital role in supporting startups and businesses in the country. Here’s an overview of what Hope Fund offers:

  • Hope Ventures: Hope Ventures is an early-stage investment arm of Hope Fund. It focuses on providing funding and support to innovative startups with high growth potential. Through equity investments, Hope Ventures aims to fuel the growth of promising startups and contribute to the development of Bahrain’s startup ecosystem. Startups selected by Hope Ventures receive not only financial support but also mentorship, strategic guidance, and access to networks that can propel their success.
  • Hope Talents: Hope Talents is an initiative by Hope Fund that addresses the talent needs of startups and businesses. It connects skilled individuals with employment opportunities in Bahrain’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Whether startups are seeking technical expertise, managerial talent, or specialized skills, Hope Talents acts as a platform for matching qualified professionals with the right job opportunities. This initiative strengthens the human capital of startups and contributes to the overall growth and sustainability of businesses in Bahrain.
  • Beban: Beban is a program under Hope Fund that focuses on empowering aspiring entrepreneurs by providing them with comprehensive training and educational resources. Beban offers workshops, boot camps, and educational programs that equip individuals with the necessary knowledge and skills to start and manage their own businesses. By nurturing entrepreneurial talent and fostering a culture of innovation, Beban aims to inspire and enable the next generation of Bahraini entrepreneurs.

Hope Fund’s initiatives are designed to create a supportive and dynamic ecosystem for startups and businesses. Through Hope Ventures, startups receive funding and support, while Hope Talents connects them with the right talent pool. Additionally, Beban offers educational programs that empower aspiring entrepreneurs. These initiatives collectively contribute to the growth, success, and sustainability of startups and businesses in Bahrain.

StartUp Bahrain

Social: @tamkeenbahrain
Location: Sanabis, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 8 AM – 3:30 PM

Ministry of Industry & Commerce

Social: @moicbahrain
Location: Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 7 AM – 2 PM

Bahrain Development Bank

Social: @bahraindevelopmentbank
Location: Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 8 AM – 2 PM

Bahrain Economic Development Board

Social: @bahrainedb
Location: Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 9 AM – 3 PM

Al-Waha Fund of Funds

Social: @AlwahaFund
Location: Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 8 AM – 4 PM

Hope Fund

Social: @hopefundbh
Location: Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM


StartUp Bahrain offers a range of perks designed to support and nurture startups in our vibrant ecosystem. These perks provide valuable resources, services, and opportunities that can help startups thrive. Perks are exclusive benefits and advantages available to startups through partnerships with various organizations, service providers, and institutions. These perks are tailored to meet the specific needs of startups and offer support in areas such as workspace, tools, mentorship, and more.

Applying for perks is a straightforward process. Visit the StartUp Bahrain Perks page to explore the list of available perks and their descriptions. Take your time to review the perks and check their eligibility criteria. To apply, follow these general steps:

  • Select the perk you are interested in from the StartUp Bahrain Perks page.
  • Review the application process and requirements outlined by the provider.
  • Complete the application form or follow the instructions provided.
  • Submit your application and wait for an email to let you know the next step to take.

Key Perks
Here are some examples of the perks currently available through StartUp Bahrain:

  • AWS Activate: AWS Activate provides startups with $10,000 in credits, as well as AWS Activate’s exclusive perks worth up to $400,000, from Zendesk, DataDog, HubSpot, to Airtable, deel, Intercome, and many more. These offers include discounts, free trial periods, credits, and many more startup-friendly perks.
  • Zoho One: Access a comprehensive suite of business applications that can streamline your operations, manage customer relationships, and enhance productivity across various departments.
  • Freshworks: Benefit from a range of customer engagement software solutions, including CRM, support, and marketing automation tools, to deliver exceptional customer experiences and drive business growth.

In addition to that, StartUp Bahrain provides a variety of other perks to support your startup journey, including:

  • Co-Working Space Discounts: Work in a collaborative environment, access amenities, and build your network using discounted rates at select co-working spaces in Bahrain such as:
    • Bahrain Fintech Bay3 complimentary full-day access in Bahrain FinTech Bay’s dynamic environment.
    • The Collective Hub30% discount on their Hot Desks, and 1 free hot desk membership for startups that sign up for the fixed desk + CR package.
    • Diwan: Monthly flex membership of BHD 50.
    • Brinc15% discount on all co-working facilities.
    • Space 34010% discount on Space 340’s 6-month incubator program for StartUp Bahrain’s community members, and 20% discount on their 1-year incubator program.
  • Mentorship Sessions: Connect with experienced mentors who offer guidance, industry insights, and valuable advice to help you navigate challenges and make informed decisions. Some of these mentors include:
    • HyperGrowth1-month free mentorship from Lead generation experts.
    • Export Bahrain2-hour mentorship session for startups to gain invaluable insights and guidance from industry experts.
    • DaleelFree mentorship to FinTech startups in specific areas such as MVP product design and development, and more.
  • Discounted Services: Access a wide range of discounted services to support your startup, such as:
    • Ordable/15% discount and enable your startup to create your own online stores to sell online and offline.
    • Kiwitech25% discount to help you accelerate the development of clickable prototypes, no-code beta products, or MVPs.
    • CometChatFree credits to enable you to quickly add text chat, voice, and video calling to your websites and mobile apps.
    • Faceki$2,000 credits + $0 setup fees to deliver digital authentication, biometric-based digital KYC, and digital onboarding.
    • Etijah15% discount on Outsourced admin and HR support for startups going through a growth phase.
    • Export BahrainTrial shipment solution with below-market rates on shipments including land, sea, and air transportation.
    • Tap Payments: Exclusive offers and discounted fees with no monthly or set up fees for payment gateway services and e-invoicing.
    • Codot0% fee for agencies and freelancers on Codot’s platform when hired for the first 3 projects, and 10% discount on any 3 projects when hiring freelancers on Codot.
    • KickStart Bahrain20% discount on a dedicated desk + CR Address.
    • Nutribox: Complimentary 25-minute health & wellness assessment with a certified Nutrition expert for startup entrepreneurs.

StartUp Bahrain perks are designed to provide you with the support and resources you need to succeed in your startup journey. We are continuously working to bring new perks and opportunities to the startup community.


Bahrain is a thriving hub for startups and businesses, offering a conducive environment for innovation, growth, and success. From its favorable regulations and supportive government to its high-quality lifestyle and low costs, Bahrain presents compelling reasons for entrepreneurs and businesses to choose it as their base of operations. Let’s explore the key factors that make Bahrain an attractive destination for startups and businesses:

Key Regulations

Bahrain’s business-friendly regulations provide a solid foundation for startups to flourish. Some key aspects include:

  • Ease of Business Setup: Streamlined and efficient processes make it quick and hassle-free to establish a business in Bahrain.
  • Foreign Ownership: Entrepreneurs can have 100% foreign ownership in most sectors, empowering them to have full control over their businesses.
  • Investor-Friendly Policies: Bahrain offers tax incentives, grants, and exemptions to attract local and foreign investments.
  • Intellectual Property Protection: Strong intellectual property rights protection ensures that startups can safeguard their innovative ideas and technologies.


Bahrain offers a high-quality lifestyle that combines rich culture, cosmopolitan living, and modern infrastructure. Highlights include:

  • Rich Cultural Heritage: Bahrain boasts a vibrant arts and cultural scene, allowing entrepreneurs to immerse themselves in a diverse and inspiring environment.
  • Cosmopolitan Lifestyle: The multicultural society and thriving expatriate community create a cosmopolitan atmosphere that fosters networking and collaboration.
  • High-Quality Infrastructure: Modern transportation systems, world-class healthcare facilities, and state-of-the-art business centers provide entrepreneurs with the necessary resources and amenities.

Human Capital

Bahrain’s focus on education and talent development contributes to a skilled workforce and supportive environment for startups. Key aspects include:

  • Skilled Workforce: Bahrain has a highly educated and skilled workforce across various industries, enabling businesses to access the expertise they need.
  • Supportive Education System: Esteemed educational institutions and vocational training programs equip individuals with the skills required for success in the business landscape.

Innovation-First, Forward-Thinking Government

Bahrain’s government actively supports innovation and entrepreneurship, driving growth in the startup ecosystem. Key features include:

  • Proactive Government Support: The government promotes initiatives, policies, and programs that support startups and foster innovation.
  • Digital Transformation: Bahrain is at the forefront of digital transformation, implementing digital initiatives to enhance connectivity and ease of doing business.

Scaling Potential

Bahrain offers ample opportunities for startups to scale their operations and expand regionally. Key aspects include:

  • Access to Regional Markets: Situated in the heart of the GCC, Bahrain provides easy access to the Middle Eastern markets, facilitating regional expansion and international trade.
  • Supportive Ecosystem: The startup ecosystem in Bahrain is supported by incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces, providing mentorship, networking, and funding opportunities.
  • Export Bahrain is a key initiative that supports startups and businesses in expanding their reach globally. It offers assistance with market research, export readiness, trade missions, and access to international trade networks, enabling startups to tap into new markets and drive export growth.

Low Costs for Business & Living

Bahrain offers a cost-effective environment for both business operations and living expenses. Highlights include:

  • Competitive Operating Costs: Affordable office spaces, utilities, and business services allow startups to optimize their expenses.
  • Affordable Living Expenses: The cost of living in Bahrain is relatively low compared to other regional business hubs, ensuring a high standard of living without excessive expenses.

Bahrain’s favorable regulations, high-quality lifestyle, skilled human capital, innovation-focused government, scaling potential, export support, and cost advantages make it an enticing destination for startups and businesses. Whether you’re starting a new venture or expanding your operations, Bahrain provides the ideal ecosystem to thrive and succeed.

Bahrain is becoming a successful launch pad for startups to expand their businesses regionally and globally, it’s a marketplace that enables founders to experiment and test. It has created an ecosystem of support for startups giving them access to the right tools and talents.

Ahmed Faraj, Lumofy

Renowned for its commitment to embracing emerging technologies, Bahrain is a favorable destination for fintech and crypto startups. With a forward-thinking regulatory framework and a supportive ecosystem, Bahrain has also positioned itself as a fintech and crypto-friendly hub. Here’s why Bahrain stands out as an ideal location for fintech and crypto entrepreneurs:

Fintech and Crypto-Friendly Environment

  • Regulatory Sandbox: Bahrain’s Central Bank has established a regulatory sandbox that allows fintech startups to test innovative solutions in a controlled environment, fostering experimentation and encouraging new ideas.
  • Robust Regulatory Framework: Bahrain has developed comprehensive regulations and guidelines for fintech and crypto businesses, ensuring transparency, security, and consumer protection.
  • Openness to Innovation: Bahrain’s government actively promotes and supports innovation in the financial sector, creating an enabling environment for fintech and crypto startups to thrive.

Supportive Fintech Ecosystem

  • Bahrain FinTech Bay: Bahrain is home to Bahrain FinTech Bay, the largest fintech hub in the Middle East, providing startups with access to a collaborative workspace, mentorship, networking opportunities, and funding sources.
  • Investment Opportunities: Bahrain’s supportive ecosystem attracts local and international investors interested in fintech and crypto ventures, offering potential funding and growth opportunities.
  • Collaboration and Partnerships: Bahrain fosters collaboration between fintech startups, traditional financial institutions, and regulatory bodies, creating opportunities for partnerships and knowledge exchange.

Regulatory Framework for Cryptocurrencies

  • Regulatory Clarity: Bahrain has established clear guidelines for the use of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, providing businesses with a stable regulatory environment.
  • Licensing and Compliance: Cryptocurrency exchanges and other crypto-related businesses can obtain licenses from the Central Bank of Bahrain, ensuring compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations.
  • Investor Protection: Bahrain’s regulatory framework aims to protect investors by implementing strict security measures and promoting best practices in the crypto industry.

Access to Financial Markets

  • Well-Developed Financial Sector: Bahrain has a well-established and sophisticated financial sector, offering startups access to a wide range of financial services and expertise.
  • Gateway to the GCC: Bahrain’s strategic location and strong economic ties within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) provide fintech and crypto startups with a gateway to regional markets and potential partnerships.

Bahrain’s fintech and crypto-friendly environment, supportive ecosystem, regulatory framework, access to financial markets, innovative mindset, and talented workforce make it an attractive destination for startups in these sectors. With a conducive environment and opportunities for collaboration and growth, Bahrain offers a solid foundation for fintech and crypto entrepreneurs to thrive and make a significant impact in the industry.


Bahrain stands out as a leading destination for businesses seeking a cloud-first environment, both in the private and public sectors. With a strong collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and a cloud-first mindset, Bahrain offers numerous advantages for startups and businesses. Here’s why Bahrain’s cloud-first approach and collaboration with AWS make it an ideal choice:

  • Government Vision: Bahrain’s government has embraced a cloud-first mindset, recognizing the transformative power of cloud technologies in driving innovation, efficiency, and economic growth.
  • Digital Transformation: The government’s commitment to digital transformation has led to the adoption of cloud-based solutions across various sectors, creating a conducive environment for businesses leveraging cloud technologies.

Collaboration with AWS:

  • Strategic Partnership: Bahrain has formed a strategic partnership with AWS, establishing the AWS Middle East (Bahrain) Region, the first AWS region in the Middle East.
  • Data Localization: The presence of the AWS Middle East (Bahrain) Region ensures that data can be stored locally, complying with regulatory requirements and enhancing data security and privacy.
  • Technical Expertise: Through collaboration with AWS, Bahrain offers access to a vast network of cloud experts, training resources, and support, enabling businesses to leverage cutting-edge cloud technologies effectively.

Benefits for startups in a Cloud-First Approach:

  • Scalability and Flexibility: Cloud computing allows businesses to scale their operations quickly and adapt to changing demands, providing the flexibility needed for growth and innovation.
  • Cost Efficiency: Cloud services offer a pay-as-you-go model, eliminating the need for significant upfront infrastructure investments and enabling startups to allocate resources effectively.
  • Enhanced Security: Cloud providers like AWS employ robust security measures, ensuring data protection and mitigating risks associated with cybersecurity threats.
  • Collaboration and Productivity: Cloud-based collaboration tools enhance communication and productivity, enabling teams to work seamlessly across locations and fostering innovation through knowledge sharing.

Bahrain’s cloud-first mindset, strong collaboration with AWS, and the adoption of cloud technologies across the public and private sectors create an ideal environment for startups and businesses. The benefits of scalability, flexibility, cost efficiency, enhanced security, and collaboration offered by cloud computing, combined with Bahrain’s commitment to digital transformation, position the country as a top choice for businesses seeking to leverage the power of the cloud.

Central Bank of Bahrain Sandbox

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) Sandbox is an initiative that aims to foster innovation in the financial technology (FinTech) sector and provide a conducive environment for startups to develop and test their innovative ideas. As a regulatory sandbox, it offers a controlled space where startups can experiment with their products and services under the guidance and supervision of the CBB. The CBB Sandbox provides several key benefits to startups:

  • Regulatory Support: Startups often face regulatory challenges when entering the financial industry. The CBB Sandbox offers a supportive regulatory framework that allows startups to test their innovative solutions while ensuring compliance with relevant regulations. This enables startups to navigate the regulatory landscape more effectively and efficiently.
  • Reduced Barriers to Entry: The sandbox reduces barriers to entry for startups by providing a streamlined process for obtaining necessary licenses and approvals. This allows startups to focus on developing their products and services without being burdened by lengthy bureaucratic procedures, thereby accelerating their time to market.
  • Risk Mitigation: The sandbox provides a controlled environment for startups to test their products and services. This allows them to identify and mitigate potential risks and challenges before scaling their operations. By conducting real-world testing in a controlled setting, startups can fine-tune their offerings, enhance security measures, and improve customer experience.
  • Collaboration & Networking: The CBB Sandbox fosters collaboration among startups, incumbent financial institutions, and other stakeholders in the ecosystem. This enables startups to access mentorship, guidance, and potential partnerships with established players, facilitating knowledge sharing and fostering a culture of innovation.
  • Market Validation: Participating in the CBB Sandbox offers startups the opportunity to validate their business models and gain market insights. By engaging with potential customers, receiving feedback, and monitoring user behavior, startups can refine their offerings and ensure product-market fit, increasing their chances of success when they fully launch.



Launching a startup in Bahrain offers an array of exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to establish a strong presence in the region. With a focus on branding, identity, website development, naming, and navigating the government processes, this comprehensive guide will provide aspiring startups with the essential knowledge and insights needed to successfully kick-start their entrepreneurial journey in Bahrain’s vibrant business ecosystem.


Naming is an important step when creating a startup. It can be the key to success in terms of marketing and branding. It is important to choose a name carefully, as it will represent not only the company but also yourself. To ensure that you choose a name that is appropriate, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoid names that are difficult to pronounce or spell.
  • Ensure that the name is unique and stands out.
  • Avoid long names that can be difficult to remember.

When selecting a name, consider the purpose of your startup and the audience you are targeting. You can also ask your friends and family, or other members of the startup ecosystem, for their opinions. Some startups even go as far as to send out a poll to the community to vote for the most suitable name. If you are having difficulty deciding on a name, there are other options available, such as online name generators and name agencies.

Once the name has been chosen, you must register the domain name and make it your trademark. After this, you should register your company on all social media platforms, set up email accounts, and create a website and server to host your app.


The beginning phase of a startup is often devoted to understanding how clients and stakeholders will perceive your brand. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, puts it best: “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Your brand is your reputation! Creating a successful business requires more than just a great product or service. You’ll need to create a strong brand and identity that will help people remember and recognize your business.

  • A logo is a great way to start – it should be unique, eye-catching, and memorable.
  • Once you have your logo, you’ll need to create marketing material such as flyers, brochures, and business cards to spread the word about your business.
  • Finally, you’ll need to create a website that is attractive, easy to use, and informative. It should reflect the same brand and identity that you’ve created and give customers the information they need to make an informed decision.

With the right branding, marketing materials, and website, you can create a successful business. Remember, branding is much more than a logo or an advertisement. Building a brand is an ongoing process that will eventually lead to a lasting relationship with your customers, word-of-mouth referrals, and advocacy for your product or service.

To start, you must determine your target audience and be specific. You also need to create a brand identity that they can understand and relate to. To do this, you must understand the buyer’s persona. This includes factors like age, gender, location, and income.

Research brands in your industry niche. Don’t copy what the big names are doing, but be aware of what they do well and poorly. The goal is to be different from the competition and convince customers to choose you.

The most significant (and exciting!) part is to make a logo and slogan for your organization. This logo will appear on everything that identifies with your business.

Creating a logo will definitely be easier for you by hiring professionals, whether from a brand agency or a pool of freelance designers. The following are examples of the best websites that connect you with freelance designers and developers from around the world. Freelancing has surged in popularity as a flexible and empowering way to work. Various platforms, such as Design Crowd, Upwork, People Per Hour, and Freelancer, stand out as sought-after hubs for freelancers in search of diverse opportunities. These platforms cater to freelancers with an extensive array of services:

  • Design Crowd: Specializing in creative and design work, Design Crowd connects freelancers with businesses needing logo design, website graphics, and more. Freelancers can participate in design contests, pitch their ideas, and potentially secure a project contract. Showcasing their portfolio and work history, designers can attract attention from prospective clients and secure rewarding assignments.
  • Upwork: Catering to a broad range of professional services, Upwork facilitates connection between freelancers and businesses in areas such as writing, programming, marketing, and administrative support. It offers a comprehensive platform where freelancers can display their expertise, bid for projects, and collaborate with clients from around the world. The platform’s robust review system allows freelancers to build their reputation, making it easier to secure future projects.
  • People Per Hour: This platform is best suited for freelancers specializing in fields like writing, design, marketing, and programming. Freelancers can browse through various project postings and apply to those that align with their skills and experience. They can also post their ‘Hourlies’, a fixed-price offer of services based on their expertise, attracting potential clients who are seeking those specific services.
  • Freelancer: As a versatile platform, Freelancer accommodates freelancers from diverse disciplines. It enables freelancers to compete in contests to demonstrate their skills, bid for projects, and showcase their portfolios to prospective clients. This platform’s unique milestone payment system offers a secure and efficient payment process for freelancers.

Using these platforms, freelancers can search and apply for jobs that align with their competencies and experience. They also offer a space for freelancers to create dynamic profiles, showcasing their skills, experience, and portfolios to potential employers. A well-curated combination of these factors can open up a plethora of job opportunities, leading to a prosperous freelancing career.

However, you can also find talented local designers and agencies in Bahrain.


Domains & Registration

Simply put, a domain name is your website name. It’s the address where users can access your website, and domain names are used to identify one or more IP addresses. For example, domain names are used in URLs to find particular Web pages. For example: in the URL, is your domain name. Every domain name has a suffix that indicates which Top Level Domain (TLD) it belongs to. For example:

  • gov – Government agencies
  • edu – Educational institutions
  • org – Organizations (nonprofit)
  • com – commercial business
  • net – Network organizations
  • bh – Bahrain

Every domain name is unique. There can’t be two websites with the same domain name. If someone types in, it will go to your website and no one else’s.

The importance of registering for a domain name lies in the fact that if you ever change your web host (the actual physical location of your website files), your domain name goes with you. Your regular customers or visitors who knew your site name as would not have a problem about the change of web address or URL, since as far as they are concerned, the site is still at the same place. They would simply type your domain name and they’d be transparently brought to your new location.

A critical point of obtaining a domain name concerns you as a founder. A domain name gives you credibility and accessibility. Few people would be willing to do business with a company that does not have its own domain name. It also helps people remember the name of your company easily.

The domain name must be registered before you can use it and it’s attainable by using a registrar. A domain name registrar is a service that allows you to officially register your desired website domain name so you’re the only one who owns it. There are endless numbers of domain registrars available online. Some of the most famous ones are:

  • Hover
  • Namecheap
  • Namesilo
  • Gandi

The price to buy a domain is expected to be between $10-$30 depending on the extension that you choose. It is best to try to avoid extensions which can confuse end users like or, etc. Another thing to consider as you build your website is that you have a choice to make between choosing a Top-Level Domain (TLD) or a Country Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD). TLD’s don’t have a geographic or country designation. That means they don’t target a specific country or location and are simply neutral. For example: .com, .net, .org etc. While, ccTLD do have geographic or country designation, meaning they do aim for a particular region. For example:, .fr, .us, in etc.

It’s better to get a Top-Level Domain, not only because it’s easier to manage, but also for the availability of more registrars (domain providers) to supply domains and it’s more recognizable as well as affordable. A ccTLD may be more challenging to attain since it has more requirements and is more expensive, in addition to the inconvenience of having only one local registrar.


Short for electronic mail, email is defined as the transmission of messages over communications networks. Similar to a letter, it is sent via the internet to a recipient. An email address is required to receive email, and that address is unique to the user. Some people use internet-based applications and some use programs on their computer to access and store emails. It’s advisable to use a custom domain email address, because it will help you create a professional image and boosts your business’ credibility, and is expected of business companies. While Gmail/Hotmail/Yahoo are perfectly fine for personal emails, any business you see that is using Gmail or Yahoo can come off as extremely unprofessional and maybe even illegitimate.
Customers or clients expect an email and website domain name to match. It raises doubts and hesitant questions when they don’t, perhaps even cause mistrust. All these ambiguities and questions hurt the first impression you are trying to make, and as we all know, first impressions do count.

Knowing this, and after registering a domain name, your next step is to get email hosting. “What is email hosting?”, you may ask. We can answer!

Email hosting is a service wherein a hosting provider leases email servers to its clients. While there are free forms accessible with many hosting companies, numerous businesses exploit the flexibility and power of professional email services. Expert email hosting takes place when both incoming and outgoing emails are overseen by a separate shared or dedicated mail server.

With quality services priced for $3-$5 per month, and free trials available, it’s easy for anyone to check out the email hosting market. There are several websites that could be of immense help:

  • Bluehost: If you are a small business and don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on email accounts, then Bluehost is for you. It comes with an exclusive business email package where you get unlimited email accounts and email storage for as little as $2.95. Bluehost says that they do not enforce any official limitations. It features a free domain and unlimited email accounts.
  • Fasthosts: Email hosting can be unnecessarily expensive, and that’s mainly due to the big companies competing to offer the largest amounts of inbox and file storage space, and that’s great if you need it. Fasthosts Standard Email plan is a hosting plan which offers the bare essentials for a very low price. Fasthosts is focusing on price more than power, but if you only need a basic Exchange account, there’s plenty of value here.
  • Liquidweb: Is probably best known for its comprehensive managed and dedicated server packages, but the company also provides an email hosting service for what could be a very low price. The ability to import contacts from Gmail, Outlook and more gets you set up quickly, and you’re able to set up custom email filters and rules as required. Liquid Web charges a flat $10 a month fee for your account, but after that, each Standard plan mailbox costs only $1 more.
  • Rackspace: A Texas-based cloud computing giant and subsequently has a wealth of hosted business-oriented email products for all levels of users. Even the basic plan is well-specified, with mailboxes, spam and virus filters, and it’s accessible via Outlook, webmail, or by mobile users. There are no long-term contracts, just monthly bills which you can cancel whenever you like. All plans include a 100% uptime guarantee, and top-quality.
  • HostGator: One of the oldest hosting companies on the web. HostGator offers 60% off their different hosting plans and has incredible features. From unlimited email accounts, 45 day money-back guarantee, spam blocker and email filtering, and it’s also compatible with thousands of applications. Overall, it’s a great value-for-money.
  • InterServer: This hosting service has been at work for 19 years and counting, even earned a reputation for its sophisticated and reliable hosting. Their starting price begins at $4 per month and offers a free domain with a business email. It features unlimited email accounts, and a secure reliable hosting service.

You can also find packages of registering for a domain name and hosting your email on the same provider under the Domain Name section. BUT; there is a huge drawback to it that in case there is a problem with your hosting company then it restricts you from making any changes like change DNS to point to a different server or switch services in a pinch. We advocate for registering domain and hosting using separate providers.

Dedicated Email Service: This is a service provided by a company with a core focus on email. Some options are:

  • G-suite by Google: This service by google gives you gmail experience with your own domain name. It comes at a cost of $6 per user per month. The user gets complete google suite and 50GB storage per email account. The other option is for $12 a month which will give you unlimited storage (or 1 TB per user if fewer than 5 users). You can learn more about their pricing and plans here.
  • Office 365: This service by Microsoft, gives you all advantage of Exchange based email without the headache of managing email server. Cost is $5 per user per month for the basic plan which includes online office apps like Word, Excel etc., 50GB mailbox storage, team and collaboration suite, and more. Office applications are updated monthly with exclusive features and security improvements. Office 365 comes with tools to run your business such as managing customer relationships and appointments.
  • Zoho Workplace: Zoho provides tools to manage all facets of your startup. Zoho workplace is an email service that cost $3 or $6 per user per month. It includes Zoho version of Office, team collaboration tools, such as word processing, sheets, and presentations. Storage options include 30 GB of storage for $3 and 100GB for $6. You can learn more about their pricing and plans here. Pst, you can also receive $1800 Zoho Wallet Credits on StartUp Bahrain’s Perk PageEmail Hosting via web hosting

When you purchase web hosting to host your website, you will be able to use the same service to host emails. There are a few things to look out for in this option. If you’re on a server you can use it to set up a site and send emails, sharing a server with someone else means whatever they do might affect you too. If their email sending ability gets blocked for spamming people, you might get blocked too because what gets blocked is the server you two share, and that’s called shared hosting.

If you have purchased a dedicated server or a virtual private server then the above is not a major concern.

The following are benefits for going with a dedicated service like G-suite, 365 or Zoho:

  • They manage the servers and have some really good anti spam solutions in place.
  • There is no need to worry about backups
  • Good security options available like 2 factor authentication.

One major advantage of going with these service is when your startup grows, you will be looking to add more tools to look after your customers whether it be a CRM or a Helpdesk system. These services are so popular that most online solutions integrate with these services which streamlines your operations and avoids double entry of data.

Free Option: If you are just starting out and want to save some money.

  • Zoho Mail : Zoho Mail provides a free option that has most of the features as per their paid offerings. It’s limited to 5 Users and 5GB of storage per user.

Website Hosting

A website refers to a central location that contains more than one web page or a series of web pages, and website hosting is a service that provides computer resources such as server space, memory, and bandwidth needed for your website files to live on the internet. Users can create and store website content on a web hosts’ servers so it can be viewed online via a web browser.

If you imagine a website plus all its content as a supermarket, a web host simply provides the physical space to display the store’s products in its aisles, which in this case, the products are anything that make up the site’s content from texts, images and so on.

We’ll walk you through the basics of website hosting, and the different types, so you can look over the options and pick the best one for you. There are three types of hosting: shared hosting, dedicated hosting, and WordPress hosting. Let’s take you through them one by one:

  • Shared hosting: Allows multiple websites to utilize a single server. It’s like driving the highway with other cars. It’s usually the cheapest option, however comes with limitations.The load time can be a bit slower, server can be overburdened, lack of customization options. If you’re expecting low-to-moderate traffic, then a shared hosting package is a good choice, since it is the most cost-effective option.
  • Dedicated hosting: Your website is hosted on a single server that is dedicated specifically for your website. Dedicated hosting is like renting your own car, you have more control. However, it comes at a higher cost, and requires more technical knowledge to maintain it. This is the best option for businesses with high bandwidth requirements highly specialized needs.
  • WordPress hosting: Building your website through WordPress is one of the simplest and most popular ways to launch a site. WordPress hosting is any form of web hosting that is specifically used to function with the WordPress system. Web hosting for WordPress come at affordable costs and have packages for all your business needs.

Below are some services that will take some of the headache away from you and help you to go live faster.

  • Squarespace: Squarespace is a sophisticated website builder designed to help creatives build their own websites and showcase their work. As pricey as it is, it lets you navigate it quite easily regardless of your technical ability. Without any coding knowledge, you can put together your own beautiful website in a matter of hours. This website garnered the attention of a few celebrities too, one of them is Keanu Reeves!
  • Shopify: An excellent ecommerce platform in the market today, very user-friendly and easy to navigate. It aims to help people build their own, scalable online store with hundreds of built-in features, and numerous apps. It also helps sellers promote across multiple channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Amazon and eBay.
  • Bluehost: If you’re looking for an affordable host, Bluehost is a solid, credible choice; The company’s low costs along with its supremacy in the shared hosting field, is what makes this provider such a valuable deal. Bluehost also offers essentially unlimited everything, including storage, emails, and bandwidth, along with many other perks. For example, Bluehost includes a free domain and marketing credits to get your site off the ground — further adding to its value.
  • Hostinger: If you’re willing to opt for a slightly more expensive hosting service (but still reasonable and affordable) Premium and Business hosting packages have unlimited computing power and a free domain name registration, along with free backups. The company’s lowest tier of shared hosting services, geared for small, single sites, gets below the $3-per-month benchmark. It works adequately for new projects, professional resumes, and new blogs, but signing up to an upscale plan gives you more room to grow.
  • InstaServer: InstaServer outperforms a lot of the other names in the hosting industry, and it’s for a reason. New customers will enjoy a free website builder when designing and launching their site. InterServer may make up for its somewhat higher rates with a guarantee that the price when you sign up is what you can expect to pay for the life of your account. What’s more, InterServer won’t lock you up with lengthy contracts.
  • iPage: Whether you’re a first-time website owner or a web veteran, iPage’s excellent hosting services and a fantastic list of extras make the brand one of the best values in web hosting. With unlimited disk space, bandwidth, and emails, these are just a few of what makes iPage’s shared hosting plans a great deal. If you don’t yet have a site, iPage includes a free domain and website builder to get you started quickly.
  • WordPress: One of the most well-known brands when it comes to getting online, WordPress powers 30% of all websites. The open-source version of the content management requires site owners to purchase and configure a web hosting plan, but WordPress removes all that hassle by pairing the popular system with plenty of online storage and support. Even at the free level, WordPress assigns users ample storage space. Upgrading to plans that cost as little as $4 per month allows you to unlock more themes, advanced customization options, and more storage.
  • Weebly: A well-known name in the low-cost shared hosting space — not necessarily due to competitive pricing but because several of the web’s leading low-priced hosting providers have opted to include Weebly software for free, adding value to their existing offerings. It’s worth noting that you can start designing for free, then you can upgrade to an affordable plan whenever. It also features hundreds of free templates for websites.

You need a hosting service to host your website or host backup for the super cool app or service you are developing. Nowadays all the hype is Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud engine. While all these are good, they could be a bit expensive to get into initially or require a lot of manual work to get started. For example, to get setup on AWS, you purchase an instance and have to configure it all from scratch. Below are some services that will take some of the headache away from you and help you to go live faster.

  • Digital Ocean
  • Vultr
  • Linode
  • WebFaction
  • Heroku
  • Nanobox

Application Hosting

What is application hosting? It’s a type of SaaS (software as a service) hosting solution that allows applications to be available from a remote cloud infrastructure and to be accessed by users globally through the internet. It is usually offered to businesses by application hosting providers, on a recurring subscription. Some benefits of application hosting:

  • Low maintenance – when applications are hosted, the software and hardware are the vendor’s responsibility with the client only having to maintain the Internet access. There is no software to download, making the application available instantly.
  • Affordable – Since there is no need to license software on a “per concurrent user,” “per server,” “per site,” or “per use’ basis, the cost is reduced a great deal. There are some applications that still charge “per user,” but many have worked to reduce cost so that a customer doesn’t have to estimate how many licenses they may need or pay for full licenses that may only be used by a few people.
  • Easy-to-access – Because the data and application software is stored on an Internet server and the data is available to the authorized user once they are logged in, accessing the application is not a problem. People can work from anywhere.
  • Easy integration – Organizations using legacy systems from varying suppliers will benefit from hosted applications because hosted applications provide an integrated solution to any system using the typical Internet browser on a Windows PC, MAC, or Unix.

In short, the benefits include no vendor installation or upgrades, low costs, hardly any risk, no long-term commitment, the vendor takes care of backups and viruses, there is no need to maintain hardware and software, the investment in local software and hardware is reduced, no need for data to be synchronized with multiple devices, access is global, and the software licensing costs are reduced.

Commercial Registration

Considering the enormous benefits of investing in Bahrain, you might have already decided to establish your business in the Kingdom. After crossing the first hurdle of finalizing the business idea, your next challenge is registering the company. It involves lots of paperwork and legal formalities. Let us simplify it for you.

  • In Bahrain, commercial registration (CR) is the first step to launching your startup.
  • A commercial registration certificate is a legal document that businesses and investors receive as soon as they register their organization with the Ministry of Industry & Commerce (MoIC).
  • You must be one of the business partners
  • You have to be represented by a registered professional body or a person with a notarized power of attorney and a Bahrain smart card/CPR.

A commercial registration certificate is a legal document issued to investors upon registering their establishment with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism. There are two types of commercial registration certificates issued:

  1. Commercial Registration Certificate without license: Issued before obtaining approvals/licenses for activities.
  2. Commercial Registration Certificate with License: Issued after obtaining approvals/licenses for activities.

Obtaining a Commercial Registration without a License is the first step in legally registering a company in the Kingdom of Bahrain. It facilitates a faster and easier business setup process for investors. Having a CR without a license allows investors to perform initial tasks such as leasing commercial space, approaching banks, engaging with vendors, securing a commercial name, and other tasks that do not require a business license.

Once you fulfill the criteria, you can go ahead with the registration process. The Bahraini government simplified the entire process for the founders by introducing Sijilat, the online commercial registers system.

Entities Involved

When registering your business, you will encounter various licensing entities. This section will familiarize you with the key entities involved in the registration process.

Ministry of Industry & Commerce (MoIC)

MoIC plays a major role in establishing a business in Bahrain. The first step in registering your startup is with MoIC, the licensing entity for all business activities. MoIC’s initiatives aim to make Bahrain attractive to businesses and competitive for investors. They have introduced the online platform Sijilat, which simplifies the registration process for founders. Another initiative is Sijili, a virtual commercial registration that supports small individual enterprises. These measures have reduced bureaucratic obstacles and administrative controls, providing a better experience for founders. MoIC actively works with and supports startups by simplifying the registration process, checking incubators, promoting startups, and being involved in the ecosystem.

Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB)

The financial stability of a country is crucial for startup success, and CBB ensures that Bahrain offers a stable business ecosystem. As the sole regulator of Bahrain’s financial sector, CBB covers banking, insurance, investment business, and capital markets activities. CBB’s consistent policy approach and efficient regulatory framework create an ideal operating environment. They regulate the sector through a comprehensive package of laws and regulations. Foreign investments in startups require approvals and compliance with CBB regulations. CBB follows international best practices, resulting in Bahrain being home to over 400 banks and financial institutions. They also support innovation and startups through initiatives like the Regulatory Sandbox.

Ministry of Health (MoH)

MoH provides comprehensive health services to Bahrain’s citizens and residents. They adopt the latest health technology systems to offer high-quality services. MoH is the licensing entity for healthcare-related business activities. If your business involves activities like packaging food, cosmetics, or herbs, you will need to approach MoH for licensing and approval.

National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA)

Established in 2010, NHRA is an independent regulatory body responsible for overseeing healthcare provision in Bahrain. They ensure the appropriateness, continuity, efficiency, and safety of health services. NHRA regulates health regulations in both the government and private sectors. They develop policies for the health systems and healthcare, and handle regulatory procedures for licensing healthcare facilities and professionals. NHRA has the final say in licensing pharmaceutical factories.

Ministry of Education (MOE)

The Ministry of Education is responsible for all matters related to education and educational services. Startups in the education sector need to obtain a license and approval from MOE. Even providing educational services to students in foreign educational institutions requires a licensed office approved by MOE. Bahrain’s qualitative education system, developed by the ministry, contributes to the talented workforce in the country.

Commercial Activities

A business activity determines the goods and/or services provided by an establishment or company. Each activity has its own terms and conditions, and investors may need approval from relevant government entities before engaging in the activity.

Commercial Name

A commercial name is the legal term for the name that an establishment or company uses to operate. The name must be registered with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism. When choosing a commercial name, it is important to follow certain rules. Make sure you:

1. Choose a new, unique, and innovative name.
2. Register the name in Arabic or any acceptable foreign language, along with its Arabic translation.
3. Ensure that the name respects public order and morals.
4. Select a name that is related to the company’s activity.

Make sure you avoid:

1. Avoid choosing a name that is already owned by a third party.
2. Do not select a name that violates public morals, customs, traditions, or religious beliefs.
3. Avoid copying a name from an international brand.
4. Do not include any political connotations in the name.

If you’re looking to obtain an authentic hardcopy of the Commercial Registration Certificate in Bahrain, you have the option to visit the Bahrain Investors Center located at Bahrain Financial Harbour. While it’s worth noting that an electronic version of the certificate holds the same official status, some individuals may prefer having a physical copy on hand.

To obtain the hardcopy, there is a fee of BD20. This cost covers the administrative processes involved in issuing the document.

Once you have obtained the Commercial Registration Certificate, it is important to be aware of its validity period. The certificate remains valid for a duration of one year from the date of issuance. It’s essential to keep track of this expiration date to ensure compliance with the regulations.

To continue conducting business operations smoothly, it is necessary to renew the commercial registration annually. This means that before the expiration date of your current certificate, you must submit an application for renewal. The renewal process can be initiated up to 3 months prior to the expiration date, allowing ample time for the necessary paperwork and procedures to be completed.

By adhering to the renewal requirements and submitting your application within the specified timeframe, you can ensure the continuous validity of your commercial registration. This, in turn, enables you to maintain your business activities without interruption and in accordance with the regulations set forth by the relevant authorities in Bahrain.

If the owner of the Commercial Registration fails to renew it before the expiry date, the Registration Department at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce will delete the registration. However, the deletion of the registration does not absolve the owner and the registered management of their liabilities. Their liabilities will continue as if the registration is still valid.

Virtual CR (Sijili)

“Sijili” is a commercial registration that allows individuals to engage in commercial activities without the need for a physical commercial address. Its main features are:

  1. Enables commercial activities without the expense of a commercial space.
  2. Provides business flexibility.
  3. Offers freelancers a legitimate way to sign contracts with companies that mandate vendors to possess commercial registration.

To apply for Sijili, the applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a Bahraini national.
  • Not work in the public sector
  • If employed in the private sector, submit a “No Objection Letter.”
  • Not have an individual establishment, Single Person Company, or be a director/partner in a company (unless registered as a shareholder only) at the time of application.

When using the Sijili platform, it is important to note that although a physical address is not required, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism still requires applicants to provide an official correspondence address for communication purposes. This ensures that the necessary information and updates can be efficiently delivered to the applicants.

It is worth mentioning that while Sijili offers a range of services to assist businesses, it does not provide support for obtaining work permits. Therefore, if you are looking to hire employees and require work permits for them, it is necessary to explore alternative avenues or consult the appropriate authorities to fulfill this requirement.

In terms of the cost involved, acquiring a Sijili commercial registration comes with a fee of BD 50. This fee covers the administrative and processing expenses associated with the registration process.

By keeping these important details in mind, individuals and businesses can effectively navigate the Sijili platform and understand the specific services and limitations it offers.

Now, there are 39 commercial activities allowed under Sijili:

  • Computer consultancy and computer facilities management activities
  • Computer programming activities
  • Data processing, hosting and related activities
  • Operation of websites web portals
  • Software publishing
  • Management consultancy
  • Public relations
  • Fashion design
  • Interior design decoration
  • Graphic design
  • Photographic activities
  • Translation and interpretation
  • Jewelry design
  • Other specialized design activities
  • Motion picture, video, and television program activities
  • Sound recording and music publishing activities
  • Sports instruction — baseball, basketball, cricket, football, swimming or any sports instruction activity not specified elsewhere
  • Horse riding Instruction
  • Martial art Instruction
  • Fitness / Yoga instruction
  • Design of training programs
  • Performing arts/drama school
  • Other education
  • Production of live theatrical performances and other stage productions
  • Activities of sculptors, painters, cartoonists, etc.
  • Activities of producers or promoters of sports events
  • Personal event planners
  • Repair of footwear and leather goods
  • Repair of other personal and household goods
  • Ironing of textile and fur products
  • Washing and (dry) cleaning of textile and fur products
  • Packaging activities – Packaging of food
  • Other business support services
  • Landscape care and maintenance service activities
  • Packaging activities – packaging of cosmetics or herbs
  • Manufacture of other metal products
  • Apparel tailoring activities
  • Manufacture of textiles
  • Sale / Trade of souvenirs, craftwork, religious articles, stamps, coins, activities of commercial art galleries

If you have additional questions towards launching your startup in Bahrain. The Ministry of Industry & Commerce has put together a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions Document to answer all your burning questions.


Sijilat is an e-government service platform that revolutionizes the process of commercial registration and licensing in Bahrain for businesses and entrepreneurs. This digital platform is an initiative by the Bahraini government to promote transparency, speed, and efficiency in the processes involved in starting and operating a business. Sijilat aims to offer a multitude of benefits to businesses and investors. Here are some of the key objectives and advantages of this service:

  • It’s an integrated online portal that involves all business licensing entities, making it easy to navigate.
  • You can get your commercial registration instantly, so you can start doing business right away.
  • The portal automatically routes your application to the appropriate licensing entities, saving you time and hassle.
  • It provides an easy classification of commercial activities, so you can find the right fit for your business.
  • You can track your application progress at any time, day or night.
  • Sijilat is available around the clock, seven days a week, so you can access it whenever you need it.

You can find information on all activities and business licenses, including their criteria, requirements, and conditions, making it easy to understand and comply with regulations. Sijilat is a user-friendly solution for your business licensing needs in Bahrain. Give it a try and see how easy it is to start your business!

Eligibility Criteria for Applying to Sijilat

To apply for Sijilat, the following individuals or entities are eligible:

  1. Business Partners: Any individual who is a business partner can apply for Sijilat. This includes individuals who are involved in a business partnership with a registered entity in Bahrain.
  2. Registered Professional Bodies: Registered Professional Bodies can also apply for Sijilat on behalf of their members. They need to provide a letter of authorization to demonstrate their authority to act on behalf of their members.
  3. Individuals with Notarized Power of Attorney: Individuals who possess a notarized power of attorney can apply for Sijilat. This means that a person has been legally authorized by another individual or entity to act on their behalf in matters related to Sijilat. Along with the power of attorney, the applicant must also possess a Bahraini Smart Card.

Accessing & Using Sijilat

To access the Sijilat Portal, you will need an advanced eKey, which is a highly secure system that grants users access to e-government services, including Sijilat. If you don’t have an advanced eKey, there are alternative options available. One option is to apply for the eKey through a professional body or an individual who possesses a notarized power of attorney and an advanced eKey. They can initiate the application transaction on your behalf.

To obtain an eKey, you can also visit an e-government service center. At the center, a representative will guide you through the process of creating an eKey. As part of the authentication process, you will be required to verify your biometrics, specifically your fingerprint. For more detailed information about the eKey, you can refer to the official website at

In case you forget your eKey password, you can visit an e-government service center where a representative will assist you in recovering it. The e-key service centers are conveniently located at the Bahrain Investor Center, specifically on the 2nd floor of the Bahrain Financial Harbor. These centers serve as accessible points for individuals seeking assistance with their eKey-related needs.

Launching Duration

The duration for registering a company varies based on several factors, including the type of establishment (individual or company) and the nationality of the investors (local or foreign). For individual establishments and companies that are fully owned by Bahraini, CC, or American citizens, the registration process can be completed within minutes. However, in some cases, it may take up to a maximum of 3 working days, depending on the information provided.

On the other hand, for companies with foreign investors (excluding those from GCC and America), the registration process may take up to 10 working days. It’s important to note that this timeframe is influenced by additional requirements and procedures involved in the registration of foreign investment.

It’s crucial to understand that registering a company does not include the process of obtaining a license. The duration for obtaining a license is determined by the specific activity selected for the company. Different activities may have varying requirements and processing times, which can impact the overall timeline for obtaining the license.

In summary, the time required to register a company in Bahrain depends on the type of establishment and the nationality of the investors. While individual establishments and those fully owned by Bahraini, CC, or American citizens can be registered swiftly, companies with foreign investors may experience a longer registration process. It’s advisable to consider the specific activity chosen for the company, as obtaining a license for that activity may involve additional time and requirements.


eKey is a convenient way to access government services online without having to enter your credentials at each step. Introduced by the Information & eGovernment Authority in 2017, eKey provides a solution to this issue. With an eKey, such as on Sijilat or other government portals, you can quickly accomplish tasks.

eKey is a single-sign-on system for accessing Government eServices. It serves as your identity, created based on your credentials. It functions as a single password to log in to the government portal.

When you log in with the eKey, you don’t need to enter your credentials every time you use a service. The government assures state-of-the-art security for your identity, addressing any safety concerns. There are two types of eKey:

Standard eKey

If you have a standard eKey, you only need to enter your personal number and password when accessing eServices. The best part is that you can create a standard eKey online, and it will be available for immediate use. However, please note that standard eKey does not include fingerprint verification. Consequently, it provides limited access to services. To gain full access, you can upgrade your standard eKey to an advanced eKey at any time. Simply visit the nearest eGovernment eService Center. How to apply:

1. Go to the official eKey portal: [](
2. Click on “Create my eKey.”
3. On the next page, click on “Register Now for a Standard eKey.”
4. Enter your number, date of birth, block number, and smart card expiry date. If you are unsure about your block number, you can confirm it by visiting the Bahraini Municipal Map.
5. After submitting these details, an authentication code will be sent to your mobile number.
6. Call the National Contact Center at 80008001 or visit the nearest service center for verification.
7. Once verified, you can log in to your eKey account and start using it.

Advanced eKey

By creating an advanced eKey account, you will have access to all eServices, including highly confidential ones that require smart card and biometric verification. Due to the heightened security requirements, the process of creating an advanced eKey account involves rigorous measures. How to apply:

1. Visit the nearest eGovernment eService Center.
2. Provide the required information, such as your name, date of birth, and a valid mobile number.
3. During registration, present your smart card and biometrics.

You can complete the registration process in a single visit, which usually takes no more than 10 minutes.

Legal Framework

Sijilat’s legal framework allows different categories of citizens to engage in commercial activities. This includes:

  • Bahraini citizens: They can undertake all commercial, professional, industrial, and service activities through individual establishments or companies, provided they meet the necessary requirements.
  • Citizens of GCC states: GCC citizens can also engage in similar activities through individual establishments or companies, except for certain activities that are prohibited.
  • U.S. citizens: U.S. citizens can engage in most commercial activities through individual establishments or companies, except for certain activities that are prohibited.
  • Citizens of other Arab or foreign countries: These individuals can engage in commercial activities through companies, except for certain activities that are prohibited.

Company Types
Sijilat allows for the establishment and registration of various types of companies in Bahrain. These include:

Bahrain Shareholding Company (BSC)

  • Minimum capital: The minimum capital required to establish a BSC is 1,000,000 BHD.
  • Shareholders’ liability: The shareholders have limited liability, meaning their financial responsibility is limited to their investment in the company.
  • Permitted activities: A BSC can conduct banking and insurance activities, but only with the necessary approvals.
  • Founders and directors: A BSC requires a minimum of 2 founders and 5 directors.
  • Financial statements: BSCs must submit annual audited financial statements.

With Limited Liability Company (WLL)

  • Minimum capital: There is no minimum capital requirement for establishing a WLL.
  • Partners’ liability: The partners in a WLL have limited liability.
  • Prohibited activities: A WLL cannot conduct banking, insurance, or foreign investment activities.
  • Number of partners: A WLL requires a minimum of 2 partners and can have a maximum of 50.
  • Financial statements: WLLs must submit annual audited financial statements.

Partnership Company

  • Minimum partners: A partnership company requires a minimum of 2 partners.
  • Partners’ liability: The partners in a partnership company have unlimited liability, meaning they are personally responsible for the company’s debts and liabilities.
  • Prohibited activities: A partnership company cannot engage in banking, insurance, or foreign investment activities.
  • Minimum capital: There is no minimum capital requirement for establishing a partnership company.

Limited Partnership Company

  • Prohibited activities: A limited partnership company cannot engage in banking, insurance, or foreign investment activities.
  • Partners’ liability: In a limited partnership company, joint partners have unlimited liability, while sleeping partners have limited liability.
  • Minimum capital: There is no minimum capital requirement for establishing a limited partnership company.
  • Minimum partners: A limited partnership company requires a minimum of 1 joint partner and 1 sleeping partner.

Simple Commandite Company

  • Minimum capital: The minimum capital required to establish a simple commandite company is 20,000 BHD.
  • Minimum founders: A simple commandite company requires a minimum of 4 founders.
  • Partners’ liability: The partners in a simple commandite company have unlimited liability.

Foreign Company Branch

  • Minimum capital: There is no minimum capital requirement for establishing a foreign company branch.
  • Parent company’s responsibility: The parent company assumes all responsibilities for the branch.
  • Permitted activities: A foreign company branch can conduct banking, insurance, and foreign investment activities, but only with the necessary approvals.
  • Branch manager: A foreign company branch must have a branch manager.
  • Financial statements: Foreign company branches must submit annual audited financial statements.

Holding Company

  • Minimum capital: The minimum capital required for a holding company depends on its legal structure.
  • Owners/partners’ liability: The owners or partners in a holding company have limited liability.
  • Financial statements: Holding companies must submit annual audited financial statements.
  • Minimum partners: The minimum number of partners in a holding company depends on its legal structure.

Detailed Processes
Sijilat offers a variety of other services, including obtaining a new commercial registration without a business license, obtaining a business license on an existing commercial registration, adding a branch or a new business activity, changing the company address or commercial name, changing partners or authorized signatories, and much more.

Each of these processes involves a series of steps that users must follow on the Sijilat platform, which are explained in detail here. By following these steps accurately, founders can successfully complete these processes on the Sijilat platform, ensuring that their business is compliant with Bahrain’s legal and regulatory requirements.

Commercial Registration Process
The commercial registration process on Sijilat involves the following key steps:

  1. Select business activity and legal structure: Start by choosing your business activity from the available options. Next, select the legal structure for your business, such as a WLL or BSC.
  2. Prepare required documents: Make sure you have all the necessary business documents, licenses, permits, and details about the owner/partners ready before proceeding.
  3. Apply for commercial registration (CR) without license: Fill in the online CR application form with details about your business and its owners.
  4. Enter required information: Provide all necessary details, such as the business name, activities, mobile number, and email. Upload the necessary documents.
  5. Select CR type: Choose the type of commercial registration you need. This could be a new registration, renewal, or amendment.
  6. Review and submit: Before submitting your CR application, verify all the information you’ve entered to ensure it is accurate and complete.
  7. Obtain license: If your business activities require a license, apply for the specific business license you need through Sijilat.

New Commercial Registration (CR) without License Process

This process allows a business to obtain a commercial registration without an associated business license. It involves the following steps:

  1. Select “New Registration”: Begin by selecting the “New Registration” option from the “Commercial Registration” menu on Sijilat.
  2. Agree to the declaration: Read the declaration carefully and agree to the terms and conditions presented.
  3. Enter company and owner details: Input the details of the company and its owners, such as the name, nationality, and percentage of shares owned by each individual. Click “Save and continue” to proceed to the next step.
  4. Choose company type and activity: Select the type of company you wish to establish and the desired business activity. Additionally, provide three commercial name options for your company.
  5. Enter contact information: Provide your mobile number and email for communication and notifications related to the registration process.
  6. Upload mandatory documents: Attach the required documents for the commercial registration process.
  7. Review and submit: Review all the information provided in the previous steps to ensure its accuracy before submitting the application.

Obtain License Process

This process allows a business to obtain a specific business license for an existing commercial registration. It involves the following steps:

  1. Select “Obtain license”: From the “Commercial Registration” menu, select the “Obtain license” option.
  2. Enter CR number: Input your existing commercial registration number and select the relevant CR record.
  3. Upload required documents: Attach the necessary documents required for the license.
  4. Enter beneficial owner details: Provide the details of the ultimate beneficial owner.
  5. Enter contact details: Provide the commercial address, mobile number, and email address.
  6. Select required license(s): The required licenses for your business activity will appear. Select the appropriate ones.
  7. Review and submit: Review all the information provided before submitting your application.

Add Branch Process

This process allows a business to add a branch to an existing commercial registration. It involves the following steps:

  1. Choose “Add branch”: Select the “Add branch” option from the “Manage branches” sub-menu under the “Amendment to existing CR” menu.
  2. Enter CR number: Input your commercial registration number without the branch number and select the main branch record.
  3. Enter branch details: Provide details for the proposed branch, such as its name, address, mobile number, and email.
  4. Select CR type and activity: Choose the type of commercial registration and the business activity for the new branch.
  5. Upload required documents: Attach the necessary documents required for adding a branch.
  6. Review and submit: Review all the information provided before submitting your application.

Add Activity Process

  1. This process allows a business to add a new business activity to an existing commercial registration. It involves the following steps:
  2. Select “Manage Activity”: From the “Amendment to existing CR” menu, choose the “Manage Activity” option.
  3. Enter CR number: Input your commercial registration number without the branch number and select the appropriate branch record.
  4. Upload required documents: Attach the necessary documents required for the new business activity.
  5. Select “Add activity”: Choose the “Add activity” option and select the desired new activity for your business.
  6. Review and submit: Review all the information provided before submitting your application.

Change Company Address Process

  1. This process allows a business to change the registered address of an existing commercial registration. It involves the following steps:
  2. Select “Change company address”: From the “Amendment to existing CR” menu, choose the “Change company address” option.
  3. Enter CR number: Input your commercial registration number without the branch number and select the appropriate branch record.
  4. Upload required documents: Attach the necessary documents required for changing the company address.
  5. Enter new address and contact details: Provide the new address and updated contact details for your company.
  6. Review and submit: Review all the information provided before submitting your application.

Change Company Commercial Name Process

This process allows a business to change the commercial name of an existing registration. It involves the following steps:

  1. Select “Change company name”: From the “Amendment to existing CR” menu, choose the “Change company name” option.
  2. Enter CR number: Input your commercial registration number without the branch number and select the appropriate branch record.
  3. Upload required documents: Attach the necessary documents required for changing the company name.
  4. Enter new names: Provide your desired new commercial names in both Arabic and English.
  5. Review and submit: Review all the information provided before submitting your application.

Change Partners Process

This process allows a business to change the partners of an existing commercial registration. It involves the following steps:

  1. Select “Manage Partners”: From the “Amendment to existing CR” menu, choose the “Manage Partners” option.
  2. Enter CR number: Input your commercial registration number without the branch number and select the appropriate CR record.
  3. Update partner details: Add or remove partners as required, and update the details of existing partners if necessary.
  4. Review and submit: Review all the information provided before submitting your application.

Change Authorized Signatories Process

This process allows a business to modify the authorized signatories of an existing commercial registration. It involves the following steps:

  1. Select “Manage Authorized Signatory”: From the “Amendment to existing CR” menu, choose the “Manage Authorized Signatory” option.
  2. Enter CR number: Input your commercial registration number without the branch number and select the appropriate CR record.
  3. Upload required documents: Attach the necessary documents required for changing the authorized signatories.
  4. Update authorized signatories: Add, delete, or update the authorized signatories as needed.
  5. Review and submit: Review all the information provided before submitting your application.

Change of Directors Process

This process allows a business to change the directors of an existing commercial registration. It involves the following steps:

  1. Select “Change of directors”: From the “Amendment to existing CR” menu, choose the “Change of directors” option.
  2. Enter CR number: Input your commercial registration number without the branch number and select the appropriate CR record.
  3. Upload required documents: Attach the necessary documents required for changing the directors.
  4. Update directors: Enter, delete, or update the details of the directors as required.
  5. Review and submit: Review all the information provided before submitting your application.

Capital Increase/Decrease Process

This process allows a business to increase or decrease its capital. It involves the following steps:

  1. Select “Capital Increase/Decrease”: From the “Amendment to existing CR” menu, choose the “Capital Increase/Decrease” option.
  2. Enter CR number: Input your commercial registration number without the branch number and select the appropriate CR record.
  3. Enter updated beneficial ownership details: Provide the updated details of the ultimate beneficial ownership.
  4. Enter new capital and shareholder details: Provide the new capital amount and update the shareholder/partner details.
  5. Select transaction type: Choose whether you are increasing or decreasing the capital.
  6. Upload required documents: Attach the necessary documents required for changing the capital.
  7. Review and submit: Review all the information provided before submitting your application.

Change Financial Year Process

This process allows a business to modify its financial year. It involves the following steps:

  1. Select “Change Financial Year”: From the “Amendment to existing CR” menu, choose the “Change Financial Year” option.
  2. Enter CR number: Input your commercial registration number without the branch number and select the appropriate CR record.
  3. Upload required documents: Attach the necessary documents required for changing the financial year.
  4. Enter new financial year end date: Provide the new end date for the financial year.
  5. Review and submit: Review all the information provided before submitting your application.

Change Company Type Process

This process allows a business to change its company type. It involves the following steps:

  1. Select “Change Company Type”: From the “Amendment to existing CR” menu, choose the “Change Company Type” option.
  2. Enter CR number: Input your commercial registration number without the branch number and select the appropriate CR record.
  3. Enter updated beneficial ownership details: Provide the updated details of the ultimate beneficial ownership.
  4. Update company details: Update the capital, shareholders, directors, and authorized signatories for the new company type.
  5. Select new company type: Choose the new type of company you wish to establish.
  6. Upload required documents: Attach the necessary documents required for changing the company type.
  7. Review and submit: Review all the information provided before submitting your application.

Convert Siili Type Process

This process allows a business to convert its commercial registration type. It involves the following steps:

  1. Select “Convert Sijil Type”: From the “Amendment to existing CR” menu, choose the “Convert Sijil Type” option.
  2. Enter CR number: Input your commercial registration number without the branch number and select the appropriate branch record.
  3. Enter new correspondence address and 24-hour service preference: Provide the new correspondence address and indicate whether you require 24-hour service.
  4. Optionally change activities and commercial name: If desired, you can also change the business activities and commercial name at this stage.
  5. Select new commercial registration type: Choose the new type of commercial registration you wish to convert to.
  6. Optionally add representative details and scope of delegation: If required, you can add the details of the representative and specify the scope of delegation.
  7. Upload required documents: Attach the necessary documents required for converting the commercial registration type.
  8. Review and submit: Review all the information provided before submitting your application.

Change Memorandum and Articles of Association Process

This process allows a business to modify its Memorandum and Articles of Association. It involves the following steps:

  1. Select “Change Memorandum and Articles of Association”: From the “Amendment to existing CR” menu, choose the “Change Memorandum and Articles of Association” option.
  2. Enter CR number: Input your commercial registration number without the branch number and select the appropriate CR record.
  3. Upload required documents: Attach the necessary documents required for changing the Memorandum and Articles of Association.
  4. Upload new Memorandum and Articles of Association documents: Provide the new Memorandum and Articles of Association documents for your company.
  5. Review and submit: Review all the information provided before submitting your application.

Transfer Ownership (to new CR) Process

This process allows a business to transfer the ownership of an existing commercial registration to a new commercial registration. It involves the following steps:

  1. Select “Transfer Ownership”: From the “Amendment to existing CR” menu, choose the “Transfer Ownership” option.
  2. Enter existing CR number: Input your existing commercial registration number without the branch number and select the appropriate CR record.
  3. Enter new company details: For transfers to a company, provide the new company details such as capital, shareholders, directors, authorized signatories, etc.
  4. Select CR type and branches to be transferred: Choose the type of commercial registration and the branches that you wish to transfer.
  5. Enter required information: Provide the necessary information for the transfer of ownership.
  6. Select transfer to “New CR”: Choose the “New CR” option for the transfer of ownership.
  7. Enter updated beneficial ownership details: Provide the updated details of the ultimate beneficial ownership.
  8. Upload required documents: Attach the necessary documents required for transferring the ownership.
  9. Review and submit: Review all the information provided before submitting your application.

Transfer Ownership (Same CR) Process

This process allows a business to transfer the ownership to the same commercial registration. It involves the following steps:

  1. Select “Transfer Ownership”: From the “Amendment to existing CR” menu, choose the “Transfer Ownership” option.
  2. Enter existing CR number: Input your existing commercial registration number without the branch number and select the appropriate CR record.
  3. Enter new company details: For transfers to a company, provide the new company details such as capital, shareholders, directors, etc.
  4. Select CR type and branches to be transferred: Choose the type of commercial registration and the branches that you wish to transfer.
  5. Enter required information: Provide the necessary information for the transfer of ownership.
  6. Select transfer to “Same CR”: Choose the “Same CR” option for the transfer of ownership.
  7. Enter updated beneficial ownership details: Provide the updated details of the ultimate beneficial ownership.
  8. Upload required documents: Attach the necessary documents required for transferring the ownership.
  9. Review and submit: Review all the information provided before submitting your application.

Delete Branch Process

This process allows a business to delete a branch registration. It involves the following steps:

  1. Select “Manage Branches”: From the “Amendment to existing CR” menu, choose the “Manage Branches” option.
  2. Enter CR number: Input your commercial registration number without the branch number and select the main branch record.
  3. Upload required documents: Attach the necessary documents required for deleting a branch.
  4. Select “Delete branch”: Choose the “Delete branch” option and select the branch that you wish to delete.
  5. Review and submit: Review all the information provided before submitting your application.

Commercial Registration Renewal Process

This process allows a business to renew its commercial registration. It involves the following steps:

  1. Select “Renewal”: From the “Public Services” menu, choose the “Renewal” option.
  2. Enter CR number: Input your commercial registration number without the branch number and select the branch record.
  3. Upload required documents: Attach the necessary documents required for the renewal of the commercial registration.
  4. Review and proceed with payment: Review all the information provided and proceed with the payment process.
  5. Review and submit: Review all the information provided before submitting your application.

Request to Remove Violation Process

This process allows a business to request the removal of a violation. It involves the following steps:

  1. Select “Request to Remove Violation”: From the “Public Services” menu, choose the “Request to Remove Violation” option.
  2. Enter CR number: Input your commercial registration number without the branch number and select the CR record.
  3. Upload required documents: Attach the necessary documents required for the removal request.
  4. Review and submit: Review all the information provided before submitting your request.

Status Enquiry for Request to Remove Violation Process

This process allows a business to check the status of a request to remove a violation. It involves the following steps:

  1. Select “Status Enquiry for Request to Remove Violation”: From the “Public Services” menu, choose the “Status Enquiry for Request to Remove Violation” option.
  2. Enter the request number: Input the request number that you received when you submitted the request to remove the violation.
  3. View status: The status of your request will be displayed.

Revive CR Deleted by Law Process

This process allows a business to revive a commercial registration that was deleted by law. It involves the following steps:

  1. Select “Revive CR Deleted by Law”: From the “Public Services” menu, choose the “Revive CR Deleted by Law” option.
  2. Enter CR number: Input your commercial registration number without the branch number and select the CR record.
  3. Upload required documents: Attach the necessary documents required for the revival of the CR.
  4. Review and submit: Review all the information provided before submitting your request.

Inquiry about application Process

This process allows a business to inquire about the status of an application. It involves the following steps:

  1. Select “Inquiry about application”: From the “Public Services” menu, choose the “Inquiry about application” option.
  2. Enter application number: Input the application number that you received when you submitted your application.
  3. View status: The status of your application will be displayed.

Register an Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO)

Remember, each step is crucial for successful registration of an Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) on the system. Ensure you have all the necessary information at hand before you begin the process.

  1. Access the system: Use the e-key provided to the owner of the Commercial Registration (CR) or the authorized signatory to log into the system.
  2. Navigate to UBO Registration: Once you’re in, look for ‘Other Services’, then select ‘Ultimate Beneficial Owner – Registration’.
  3. Enter CR number: In the provided field, input your Commercial Registration number.
  4. Select the CR: From the list provided, select the appropriate Commercial Registration.
  5. Enter UBO details: You’ll need to specify the type of Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) and fill in the necessary details in the assigned fields.
  6. Verify UBO: Input the CPR number of the UBO and click on ‘Verify Person’.
  7. Enter TIN number: If the UBO has a Tax Identification Number (TIN), enter it. If they do not have a TIN, check the disclaimer box.
  8. Add UBO: Ensure all the fields are completed, then click on ‘Add’.
  9. Assign UBO to partners: At least one UBO should be assigned for each partner who holds 10% or more of the shares. After assigning UBOs to all relevant partners, click ‘Save & Continue’.
  10. Upload documents: Finally, upload the necessary documents and click ‘Save & Continue’.

Please note that the above-mentioned steps are general guidelines and may vary based on your specific situation or changes in the Sijilat system. Always refer to the official Sijilat guidelines or seek professional help when necessary.

SME Certificate

This guide explains the criteria used by the SMEs Registration System to classify enterprises based on their size. Classification certificates are only given to micro, small, and medium enterprises. These certificates serve as proof of size for entities that need a valid certificate to offer their support services or programs.

Classification of SMEs
Enterprises are classified according to the provisions and criteria stated in Resolution No. 229 of 2017, which focuses on micro, small, and medium enterprises. To classify and certify an enterprise, applications should be submitted at the branch level. However, the final classification decision is made at the commercial registration (CR) level. In cases where an enterprise has multiple branches under the same commercial registration, the classification is determined based on the combined number of employees and total annual revenues from all active and legally deleted branches.

Applying for SMEs Classification

Applications for the classification certificate are only accepted through the SMEs Registration System.

  • All types of commercial registrations, including individual establishments and companies (except for specific categories), can apply for classification if they have an active status.
  • The following categories are excluded from applying and obtaining the SMEs Classification Certificate: Banks Activities, Insurance/Re-insurance Activities, and Other credit granting activities.
  • All submitted documents must be approved and consolidated, including all active branches.
  • Medium-size enterprises that are within 18 months of obtaining the license can submit in-house financial reports and bank statements instead of audited financial reports.
  • The bank statement provided with the application should cover the last 3 months.
  • Applications from enterprises that have not completed a three-month period since obtaining the license or adding a branch will not be assessed until the required period is completed and a bank statement for the last three months is provided.
  • The application status will be updated within 2 working days of receiving it.


During the classification process, we will also review the size of the active subsidiaries and subsidiaries that have been deleted by law (if any). The term “subsidiaries” refers to:

  • Establishments or companies that are owned with 20% or more ownership by the Commercial Registration specified in the application, its shareholders, or partners.
  • Establishments or companies that own 20% or more ownership in the Commercial Registration specified in the application or in the companies that have ownership in it.

SMEs Classification Certificates

SME classification certificates are not awarded to large-size enterprises or the excluded categories mentioned above.

  • A large-size subsidiary with 20% or more shares will also prevent the awarding of SME classification certificates, even if the commercial registration in the application is classified as an SME itself.
  • Similarly, if there is a large-size subsidiary owned by the same group of shareholders and partners as the commercial registration specified in the application, SME classification certificates will not be awarded, even if each individual holds less than 20% shares.
  • The classification certificate remains valid until the specified expiry date. To continue benefiting from the services and privileges, the certificate must be renewed.
  • The validity period of the classification certificate matches the expiry date of the commercial registration certificate of the enterprise.

Grievances & Violations

If your application for a classification certificate is rejected and you disagree with the reason for rejection, you have the right to appeal within two weeks. To do so, send a grievance message via email to

If a violation is found where misleading or false information was intentionally provided to deceive the evaluation process and obtain a classification certificate, the Classification Certificate will be canceled. According to Article 20 of Decree-Law No. 27 of 2015 on Commercial Registration, as amended by Decree-Law No. 52 of 2018, a violation will be imposed on the Commercial Registration.

Please be aware that the requirements and criteria for enterprise size classification mentioned above may be modified or changed without prior notice if deemed necessary by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism.

Incubators & Accelerators
If you’re considering setting up a startup incubator or accelerator in Bahrain, it’s crucial to understand the specific terms and conditions that guide these establishments. This guide provides an overview of these regulations to help you navigate the process. A startup incubator or accelerator is a company that fosters the growth of startups and small to medium companies. They provide an environment designed to nurture and develop new businesses, offering a range of resources and support mechanisms for a specific period. This aids startups in navigating the challenges typically faced during the initial stages of operation.

General Terms
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Directorate (the Directorate) oversees the licensing of the “Business Incubator/Accelerator” activity (821-2). You’ll need to submit a “Business Profile” and a detailed “floor plan” of your premises via Sijilat.

  • A business incubator or accelerator should not merely provide workspace to startups. Instead, it should offer a comprehensive suite of services, including mentoring, networking events, and business planning assistance.
  • The business incubator or accelerator should have a clear methodology for selecting startups to incubate. This methodology should align with the requirements of the Directorate. The incubator will then be responsible for selecting startups whose commercial activities align with the incubator’s specialization.

Incubator Specific Terms
As a business incubator, you’re expected to provide a range of services, including workspace with ICT services, business guidance, mentoring, vocational or technical skills development workshops, networking and promotional activities/events, and assistance in business planning. Moreover, the incubator should only host startups that match the incubator’s core business specialization.

Accelerator Specific Terms
Like incubators, business accelerators should provide a range of services, including an acceleration program and assistance in accessing finance. They should also connect startups with venture capital investors and potentially invest capital in them. Existing enterprises can benefit from the accelerator’s services without moving their address by signing an “Acceleration Service Agreement”.

Incubated Startups Terms
Bahraini individual enterprises or startups are eligible to be incubated. The maximum incubation period is two years, with a possible one-year extension based on the incubator’s recommendation and the Directorate’s approval. The incubated startup should adhere to the incubation period stated in the Service Agreement. If the startup fails to renew the Service Agreement or change the address within 30 days of the expiration date, the business incubator has the right to act accordingly.

Setting up a business incubator or accelerator in Bahrain involves understanding and adhering to a set of specific terms and conditions. This guide provides a comprehensive overview to help potential founders navigate this process. As with all business endeavors, it’s crucial to ensure that your business practices align with the local regulations to ensure a smooth operation.

Memorandum of Association (MoA)

The Memorandum of Association (MoA) is a foundational document for any startup in Bahrain. It’s a legal document that outlines the fundamental details and objectives of the company. Essentially, the MoA serves as the company’s constitution, defining the scope and limitations of its activities. It is a vital document required for the incorporation and registration of a company.

Legal Requirement

In Bahrain, it is a legal requirement for every company, including startups, to have a MoA. This document must be submitted to the relevant authorities such as the Ministry of Industry & Commerce as part of the company registration process. It’s essential to understand that the MoA is not just a formality; it has legal significance and plays a crucial role in defining the company’s identity and purpose. The primary purpose of the MoA is to provide clarity and transparency regarding the company’s objectives and operations. It outlines what the company can and cannot do, ensuring that there is no ambiguity about its scope of activities. This document essentially sets the boundaries within which the company can operate.

For startups, this document helps in a number of ways, here’s how:

  • Legal Requirement: As mentioned earlier, it’s a legal requirement for company registration in Bahrain. Without a properly drafted MoA, you cannot establish your startup as a legal entity.
  • Objectives: Startups often have innovative and unique business models. The MoA helps in clearly defining these objectives, which is crucial when seeking investment or partnerships.
  • Investor Confidence: Investors, whether they are venture capitalists or angel investors, closely scrutinize the MoA. A well-structured MoA can instill confidence in potential investors, showcasing that your startup has a clear vision.
  • Liability Protection: The MoA clearly defines the liability of shareholders or members. This can protect the personal assets of the founders in case of any legal issues or financial liabilities.
  • Operational Framework: It provides the framework for decision-making and governance within the startup. It specifies how key decisions are made and who has authority.

Key Components

  • Company Name: One of the initial included in the MoA is your final and approved company name. In Bahrain, the name must be unique and not similar to any existing registered company.
  • Registered Office: Your MoA must specify the registered office address of your startup. This is the official address where all legal notices and communications will be sent. It’s important to choose an address that is accessible and verifiable.
  • Share Capital: If your startup is a company limited by shares, you’ll need to outline the share capital. This includes details such as the total authorized share capital, the nominal value of each share, and the number of shares issued. This information is essential for calculating ownership percentages and dividends.
  • Members Liabilities: The MoA should clearly state the liability of members or shareholders. In the case of a company limited by shares, the liability is typically limited to the amount unpaid on their shares. However, in a company limited by guarantee, members may have a different liability structure.
  • Association Clauses: Association clauses in the MoA define the rules and regulations governing the association of members or shareholders. This can include voting rights, transfer of shares, and procedures for decision-making. These clauses help establish the internal governance structure of the startup.

When drafting your MoA, prioritize clarity and precision. Avoid using vague or ambiguous language. Clearly articulate the objectives and activities of your startup to prevent misunderstandings in the future. If you’re uncertain about any aspect of the MoA, consider seeking legal counsel or consulting with experts experienced in Bahraini business law. Professional guidance can help you navigate the complexities of MoA drafting and ensure that your startup’s interests are protected.

Submission & Registration
Once you have drafted and finalized your MoA, the next step is to submit it for company registration.

  • Legal Review: During the registration process, the MoA will undergo a legal review to ensure its compliance with Bahraini laws and regulations. This review may include verifying the company name, registered office, objectives, and other critical details.
  • Amendment Procedures: In some cases, amendments to the MoA may be necessary, either during the initial registration or at a later stage. Understanding the procedures for making amendments and complying with legal requirements is essential to maintain the accuracy and legality of your MoA.
  • Notarization: Notarization is the process of certifying the authenticity of legal documents by a notary public. In the context of starting a business in Bahrain, notarization plays a pivotal role in finalizing the Memorandum of Association (MoA) and Articles of Association (AoA), which are essential components of the Commercial Registration (CR) process. Notarization typically occurs after obtaining all the necessary approvals and licenses for your startup. It is the final step before your CR with a license is issued. Notarization lends legal validity to your MoA and AoA. It certifies that the documents are genuine and have been executed in the presence of a qualified notary public. This is essential to ensure that your company’s foundational documents are legally binding. Notarization acts as a safeguard against fraud. It verifies the identities of the signatories and confirms that they willingly and knowingly entered into the agreements outlined in the MoA and AoA.


In the context of Memorandums of Association (MoAs) and other crucial company documents, notarization is a critical step in Bahrain. This subsection provides insights into the notarization process for company agreements and the required documentation.

Required Documents
To notarize company agreements, including MoAs, the following documents and approvals are necessary:

  • Approval from the Ministry of Industry & Commerce: Before notarizing any company agreements, you must obtain approval from this ministry. It signifies that your startup complies with the necessary regulations.
  • Original Passport or National ID: Individuals involved in the company, including foreigners, must present their original passport or national ID. For foreign individuals, a passport is mandatory.
  • Legal Entity Contract and Extract: If any of the involved parties are legal entities, you must present the company’s contract, an extract from the Commercial Register, and the board of directors’ or partners’ decision.
  • Original Powers of Attorney: If representation is through a power of attorney, the original powers of attorney must be provided. For foreign powers of attorney, they should be authenticated by the Bahraini Ministry of Foreign Affairs or stamped with an “Apostille.”
  • “Know Your Client” Form: All parties involved in the company agreements must fill out and submit the “Know Your Client” form.

Legal Framework
The notarization of company agreements in Bahrain is governed by specific legal instruments, including:

  • Decree No. 28 of 2021 on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism: This decree outlines the procedures for anti-money laundering, the supervision of notaries public, and rules regarding dealing with listed individuals or entities.
    Notarization Law: Governed by Decree-Law No. 14 of 1971, this law provides the legal framework for notarial acts, including the notarization of company agreements.

The fees for notarizing company agreements, including MoAs, are as follows:

  • BD 20: Standard fee for notarization.
  • BD 10: Additional fee for each extra copy of the notarized document.

Processing Time
The notarization process typically takes one business day, ensuring that your company agreements are swiftly notarized.

Service Provider
The Ministry of Justice & Islamic Affairs is the competent authority responsible for providing notarial services for company agreements in Bahrain. Their expertise ensures the legality and validity of your crucial company documents.

Approved Notaries Directory

In Bahrain, notaries public play a vital role in the legal and business landscape. These professionals are authorized by the government of Bahrain and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to perform notarial acts. Notaries public in Bahrain are individuals who have received legal training and are officially recognized by the government. They are entrusted with the responsibility of notarizing documents, including the Memorandum of Association (MoA) and Articles of Association (AoA) for startups.

Finding an Approved Notary
To locate an approved notary public in Bahrain for notarizing your startup’s documents, you can visit this page.

By notarizing your MoA and AoA, you complete the last essential step in the process of establishing your startup in Bahrain. This ensures that your company’s foundational documents are legally valid, transparent, and ready for public record.

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Launching a startup in Bahrain offers an array of exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to establish a strong presence in the region. With a focus on branding, identity, website development, naming, and navigating the government processes, this comprehensive guide will provide aspiring startups with the essential knowledge and insights needed to successfully kick-start their entrepreneurial journey in Bahrain’s vibrant business ecosystem.

Finance & Accounting

Setting up and managing your startup’s finances in Bahrain is crucial for its success. Here, we’ll dive into various aspects of finance and accounting, including audits, bank accounts, payment gateways, and yearly financial audits.

Accounting Software

Launching a startup is an exhilarating journey filled with innovation and ambition. However, amidst the excitement, entrepreneurs often grapple with the complexities of financial management. This is where online accounting software emerges as a lifeline, offering startups the tools they need to stay organized, compliant, and financially sound. How can online accounting software help?

  • Efficiency in Financial Management: Online accounting software is designed to streamline financial processes. It eliminates the need for manual data entry, reducing the risk of errors and saving valuable time. Startups can efficiently track income, expenses, and cash flow, enabling informed financial decisions.
  • Real-time Insights: Access to real-time financial data is crucial for startups. With online accounting software, you can monitor your business’s financial health at any moment. This real-time insight empowers you to make timely adjustments and seize opportunities as they arise.
  • Compliance with Regulations: Startups must adhere to local tax and regulatory requirements. Online accounting software often integrates with tax rules, helping you stay compliant. This is especially important in regions like Bahrain, where the introduction of VAT necessitates accurate record-keeping and reporting.
  • Cost Savings: Traditional accounting methods involve significant overhead costs, such as hiring an in-house accountant or outsourcing financial services. Online accounting software offers a cost-effective alternative, with subscription fees typically lower than traditional accounting services.

Exploring Online Accounting Software Options

When choosing online accounting software for your startup, it’s essential to consider your specific needs and budget. Here are some popular options tailored for startups:

Zoho Books

  • Pricing: Zoho Books offers a competitive pricing model starting at $290 per year.
  • Features: This cloud-based accounting software is fully compliant with Bahrain’s VAT law. It provides features like expense tracking, invoicing, and financial reporting.


  • Pricing: Xero offers flexible pricing, with plans starting at $30 to $40 per month, depending on the package.
  • Features: Xero is a cloud-based software that offers a workaround for VAT. It boasts robust accounting features, including bank reconciliation, payroll integration, and multi-currency support.

Quickbooks Online

  • Pricing: Quickbooks Online provides a scaled-down version of the renowned Quickbooks platform, available through monthly subscriptions.
  • Features: It offers essentials like expense tracking, invoicing, and financial reporting, making it suitable for startups seeking a user-friendly accounting solution.

Wave Accounting

  • Pricing: Wave Accounting stands out as a fully-featured free cloud-based accounting system.
  • Features: While it lacks some features compared to paid counterparts, it offers core accounting functionalities, making it a budget-friendly choice for startups.

Navigating Online Accounting Software Setup

When transitioning to online accounting software, it is important to consider data migration in order to ensure continuity and maintain historical records. Most software providers offer tools or support for importing existing financial data. Additionally, linking your bank accounts to the accounting software can streamline financial management by enabling automatic transaction syncing and reducing manual data entry. However, it is worth noting that integration options may be limited for Bahrain-based banks. To tailor the software to your startup’s specific needs, take advantage of customization options for invoices, financial reports, and expense categories. Automation features such as recurring transactions and reminders can also help minimize manual input. To maximize the benefits of the chosen accounting software, ensure that your team is proficient in its use. Many providers offer user training through tutorials, webinars, and customer support, and investing in such training can enhance efficiency and accuracy in financial management.

Online Accounting Software & Bahrain’s Regulatory Landscape

Bahrain’s introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) adds an extra layer of complexity to financial management. Online accounting software can play a pivotal role in complying with these regulations:

  1. VAT Compliant Software: Bahrain mandates that businesses with taxable supplies exceeding the threshold register for VAT. Using VAT-compliant accounting software, such as Zoho Books, ensures accurate VAT calculations and reporting.
  2. Transaction Tracking: To navigate Bahrain’s VAT regulations, startups must meticulously track their transactions. Online accounting software can automatically categorize transactions as taxable, non-taxable, or exempt, simplifying the VAT reporting process.
  3. Digital Record-Keeping: Bahrain’s tax authorities require businesses to maintain digital records for VAT purposes. Online accounting software not only fulfills this requirement but also ensures the integrity and accessibility of your financial data.
  4. The Future of Financial Management: As startups expand and evolve, their financial needs become increasingly complex. Online accounting software is not merely a tool for startups; it’s a foundation for financial growth. It provides scalability, flexibility, and adaptability to changing circumstances.

Moreover, the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in accounting software is transforming financial management. These technologies automate data entry, offer predictive analytics, and detect anomalies, reducing the risk of financial errors and fraud.

The importance of online accounting software for startups cannot be overstated. It is the cornerstone of efficient financial management, compliance with regulations, and cost-effective operations. By choosing the right software, setting it up effectively, and staying informed about local regulations, startups in Bahrain can pave the way for financial success and sustainable growth. Embrace the digital age of finance and empower your startup with the tools it needs to thrive.


Auditing is an essential financial practice that helps maintain transparency and financial accuracy within your startup. Depending on the type of business structure you choose, you may or may not be required to undergo annual financial audits.

Business Structures & Audits

  • Individual Establishment: This structure places full liability on the owner. Typically, no audit report is required for single-owner businesses.
  • With Limited Liability Company (WLL): For companies with multiple shareholders, the liability is on the company. Mandatory audit reports are required in this case.
  • Single Person Company (SPC): Similar to WLL, SPCs have liability on the company, and mandatory audit reports are required. However, SPCs have a single owner.

Your choice of business structure should align with your liability risks and shareholder composition. If your business has low liability risks and no multiple shareholders, you may opt for an individual establishment where yearly financial audits are not mandatory.

Hiring Auditors

If your business structure requires an annual financial audit, you must engage a licensed audit firm to perform it. The audit cost will vary depending on the nature and volume of your transactions, but you can expect to pay around BD 150-450 for a basic audit.

Submitting Audit Reports

Submitting the audit report to the Ministry of Industry & Commerce (MOIC) is a mandatory step. Auditors can handle this process for a fee of roughly BD 25, or you can submit the report yourself online, saving on additional charges by auditors. Submitting the report is relatively straightforward. You need to input the audit figures into the MOIC system accurately. Any errors will result in rejection, but you can correct and resubmit. Alternatively, you can insert zeros in all the cells and attach a PDF of the actual audit report if needed.

When establishing your company, strategically set your annual audit reporting date between April and September. Doing so can help you reduce audit costs and avoid the peak season for auditors.

Compliance Deadlines & Penalties

Bahrain has strict compliance deadlines. You have up to six months to submit the audit report after it becomes mandatory, with an option for a three-month extension. Missing these deadlines can result in penalties and restrictions, such as the inability to obtain visas, renew your Commercial Registration (CR), or modify your business activities.

Furthermore, if you miss a deadline by even one day, your CR will be immediately canceled. However, you can revive your CR for BD 60 after submitting the audit report. To waive penalties, you can submit the audit report or a financial position letter, which incurs a cost similar to that of a full audit report if you decide to change your company structure to an establishment to avoid submitting the audit report. In summary, timely submission of audit reports is critical to avoid complications.

Bank Accounts

When it comes to managing your startup’s finances in Bahrain, setting up a business bank account is a crucial step. Understanding the different types of bank accounts available for startups is essential. Bahrain provides a range of bank account options to accommodate various business needs. Let’s explore these options in detail:

  • Current Account: A current account is a basic bank account that facilitates day-to-day transactions for your startup. It allows you to deposit and withdraw funds easily, make payments, and manage your cash flow efficiently.
  • Savings Account: If you’re looking to save and earn interest on your startup’s funds, a savings account is an ideal choice. This type of account offers interest on the balance maintained, helping your business grow its savings over time.
  • Fixed Deposit Account: For startups with surplus funds that can be set aside for a specific period, a fixed deposit account can be beneficial. This account offers higher interest rates compared to a regular savings account, rewarding you for locking in your funds for a predetermined duration.
  • Corporate Account: Specifically designed for businesses, a corporate account provides a comprehensive range of services tailored to meet the unique requirements of startups. Along with the standard banking features, a corporate account often includes additional services such as payroll processing and access to business loans, enabling you to streamline your financial operations.

Choosing the Right Bank

By selecting the most suitable bank account for your startup, you can effectively manage your finances, optimize cash flow, and leverage the additional benefits and services provided by the bank. It’s essential to evaluate your business needs and consult with banking professionals to make an informed decision that aligns with your startup’s financial goals.

When it comes to choosing the right bank, there are several key factors that you should consider. One of the most important aspects is the fees associated with the bank’s services. Take the time to carefully review and compare the fee structures of different banks to ensure that you select one that aligns with your financial needs and goals.

Accessibility is another crucial factor to keep in mind. You’ll want to choose a bank that has a convenient branch and ATM network, making it easy for you to access your funds and carry out transactions whenever you need to. Additionally, consider the availability of online banking services, as this can greatly enhance your banking experience by providing you with the flexibility to manage your finances from anywhere at any time.

If your business involves international transactions, it’s essential to opt for a bank that offers adequate support for such activities. Look for banks that provide efficient and cost-effective solutions for international transfers and currency exchange.

In Bahrain, there are several popular banks that cater to the needs of startups. The National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) is one such option. It offers a range of banking services tailored to meet the requirements of businesses, including dedicated business banking solutions.

Another reputable bank in Bahrain is Ahli United Bank (AUB). Known for its comprehensive suite of banking products and services, AUB has established itself as a trusted financial institution for startups and businesses alike.

For those seeking Islamic banking options, Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) is worth considering. It operates in accordance with Sharia principles and offers a variety of Islamic banking solutions designed to meet the unique requirements of businesses in compliance with Islamic finance principles.

Bank of Bahrain & Kuwait is another notable bank that startups in Bahrain often consider. With its extensive experience and strong presence in the region, this bank provides a range of banking services and solutions that cater to the specific needs of businesses.

Documentation Required to Open a Business Bank Account in Bahrain

When it comes to opening a business bank account in Bahrain, there are several key documents that you will typically need to provide. These documents are essential for the bank to verify your business and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. By having these documents ready, you can streamline the account opening process and establish a solid banking foundation for your business.

  • Commercial Registration (CR) Certificate: The Commercial Registration (CR) certificate is a crucial document that demonstrates the legal existence of your business in Bahrain. It contains vital information such as the company name, address, activities, and ownership details. This certificate is obtained from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism (MOICT) and is a prerequisite for opening a business bank account.
  • Identification Documents for Authorized Signatories: To open a business bank account, you will need to provide identification documents for the authorized signatories of your company. This typically includes valid passports or national identification cards. These documents serve to verify the identity of the individuals who have the authority to sign on behalf of the business.
  • Proof of Address for the Business: In order to establish the address of your business, you will need to provide proof of address documentation. This can include utility bills, lease agreements, or other official documents that clearly indicate the physical location of your business premises. This requirement ensures that the bank has accurate information about your business’s registered address.
  • Business Plan or Description: A business plan or description provides an overview of your company’s activities, objectives, and financial projections. This document helps the bank understand your business model, its viability, and its potential for growth. It is important to present a comprehensive and well-structured business plan or description to showcase your business’s value proposition and future prospects.

By ensuring that you have these essential documents ready, you can expedite the process of opening a business bank account in Bahrain. It is advisable to check with your chosen bank for any additional specific requirements they may have. Remember, having all the necessary documentation in order demonstrates your professionalism and preparedness, making a positive impression on the bank and facilitating a smooth account opening experience.

Local vs. International Banks

Consider whether you need a local or international bank account. Local banks are often more accessible and may offer services tailored to Bahraini businesses. International banks may be preferred if your business deals extensively with international transactions.

VAT (Value-Added Taxes)

Value Added Tax (VAT) is a consumption tax imposed on goods and services at each stage of production and distribution. It is collected by businesses on behalf of the government. In Bahrain, VAT has been in effect since January 1, 2019, with a standard rate of 10% (previously 5% before January 1, 2022).


Businesses in Bahrain with an annual turnover of BHD 37,500 or more are required to register for VAT. Additionally, businesses that provide taxable supplies to non-registered individuals in Bahrain must also register for VAT, regardless of their annual turnover. Non-resident businesses utilizing a local warehouse for B2C sales are also obligated to register for VAT.


The standard VAT rate in Bahrain is 10% (previously 5% before January 1, 2022). However, certain goods and services are subject to a reduced VAT rate of 0%. This includes food items, medical equipment, goods for children, precious metals, and gems.


In Bahrain, the VAT threshold is set at zero, meaning that businesses are required to register for VAT as soon as they start making taxable supplies. Non-resident businesses engaging in economic activities in Bahrain must register for VAT within 30 days from the first taxable supply to non-taxable persons in Bahrain.

Registration Requirements

Businesses in Bahrain that meet the VAT registration criteria must register within 60 days from the end of the month in which they exceeded the annual turnover threshold. Non-resident businesses conducting economic activities in Bahrain but lacking a fixed place of business or establishment in the country must appoint a fiscal representative responsible for their VAT compliance.

Transitional Provisions

To assist taxpayers in understanding the changes in VAT rates effective from January 1, 2022, the National Bureau of Revenue (NBR) in Bahrain has issued a VAT Rate Change Transitional Provisions Guide. This guide outlines the transitional provisions applicable to VAT-registered businesses, including the treatment of invoices issued before and after the VAT rate change.

VAT is an important tax consideration for startups in Bahrain. Businesses with an annual turnover of BHD 37,500 or more must register for VAT, and the standard VAT rate is 10%. Certain goods and services enjoy a reduced VAT rate of 0%, and the VAT threshold is set at zero. Non-resident businesses conducting economic activities in Bahrain must appoint a fiscal representative to ensure their VAT compliance. The NBR in Bahrain has provided a VAT Rate Change Transitional Provisions Guide to aid taxpayers in understanding the VAT rate changes that came into effect on January 1, 2022.

Copyrights & Trademarks

Launching a startup in Bahrain offers an array of exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to establish a strong presence in the region. With a focus on branding, identity, website development, naming, and navigating the government processes, this comprehensive guide will provide aspiring startups with the essential knowledge and insights needed to successfully kick-start their entrepreneurial journey in Bahrain’s vibrant business ecosystem.

Copyrights & Trademarks

Starting a business in Bahrain requires entrepreneurs to comply with various legal requirements, including registering their trademarks and copyrights. This guide provides a step-by-step process for startups to understand the regulations around intellectual property (IP) in Bahrain.

Copyrights and trademarks are two types of intellectual property that protect the rights of creators and businesses. Copyrights protect original works of authorship, such as books, music, and software, while trademarks protect brand names, logos, and slogans that identify a business.

In Bahrain, the Ministry of Industry & Commerce (MoIC) is responsible for regulating and enforcing IP laws. The MoIC provides online services for registering trademarks, patents, and industrial designs.

Registering Trademark

A trademark is a unique symbol, word, or phrase that identifies a business and its products or services. Registering a trademark in Bahrain provides legal protection against infringement and allows businesses to use the trademark exclusively.

  1. Conduct a Trademark Search: Before registering a trademark, businesses should conduct a search to ensure that the trademark is available and does not infringe on existing trademarks. The MoIC provides an online search tool for trademarks.
  2. Prepare the Trademark Application: To register a trademark in Bahrain, businesses must submit an application to the MoIC. The application should include the following information:
    1. The name and address of the applicant.
    2. A clear representation of the trademark.
    3. The goods or services associated with the trademark.
    4. The class or classes of goods or services.
  3. Submit the Trademark Application: Businesses can submit the trademark application online through the MoIC e-services portal. The application fee for registering a trademark in Bahrain is BD 200 (approximately USD 530.
  4. Wait for Approval: After submitting the trademark application, businesses must wait for approval from the MoIC. The processing time for trademark registration in Bahrain is approximately six months.
  5. Renew the Trademark: The protection period for a trademark in Bahrain is ten years from the date of application. Businesses must renew their trademarks every ten years to maintain legal protection[4].

Registering Copyright

A copyright protects original works of authorship, such as books, music, and software. Registering a copyright in Bahrain provides legal protection against infringement and allows creators to enforce their rights.

  1. Create the Work: To register a copyright in Bahrain, creators must first create an original work of authorship. The work must be fixed in a tangible medium, such as a book or a recording.
  2. Prepare the Copyright Application: Creators can submit a copyright application to the MoIC to register their work. The application should include the following information:
    1. The name and address of the author.
    2. A description of the work.
    3. The date of creation.
    4. A copy of the work.
  3. Submit the Copyright Application: Creators can submit the copyright application online through the MoIC’s e-services portal. The application fee for registering a copyright in Bahrain is BD 50 (approximately USD 130).
  4. Wait for Approval: After submitting the copyright application, creators must wait for approval from the MoIC. The processing time for copyright registration in Bahrain is approximately three months.
  5. Renew the Copyright: The protection period for a copyright in Bahrain is the lifetime of the author plus fifty years. After the protection period expires, the work enters the public domain and can be used by anyone.

Registering trademarks and copyrights in Bahrain is an essential step for startups to protect their intellectual property. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this guide, entrepreneurs can ensure that their trademarks and copyrights are legally protected and enforceable.


Launching a startup in Bahrain offers an array of exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to establish a strong presence in the region. With a focus on branding, identity, website development, naming, and navigating the government processes, this comprehensive guide will provide aspiring startups with the essential knowledge and insights needed to successfully kick-start their entrepreneurial journey in Bahrain’s vibrant business ecosystem.


If you are a startup in Bahrain, you may be wondering how to protect your intellectual property. One way to do this is by obtaining a patent. A patent is a legal document that gives the inventor the exclusive right to make, use, and sell an invention for a certain period of time. In this guide, we will provide you with a step-by-step process for obtaining a patent in Bahrain.

A patent is a legal document that gives the inventor the exclusive right to make, use, and sell an invention for a certain period of time. In Bahrain, patents are granted by the National Patent Office at the Ministry of Industry & Commerce.

Patent Types

There are three types of patents that can be obtained in Bahrain:

  1. Invention Patents: These are granted for new and non-obvious inventions that have industrial applicability.
  2. Utility Model Patents: These are granted for new and non-obvious inventions that have industrial applicability, but are not as complex as invention patents.
  3. Design Patents: These are granted for new and original designs of products.

Patent Application Process

The patent application process in Bahrain involves the following steps:

  1. Conduct a Patent Search: Before applying for a patent, it is important to conduct a patent search to ensure that your invention is new and non-obvious. You can conduct a patent search on the National Patent Office website.
  2. Prepare the Patent Application: Once you have conducted a patent search, you can prepare the patent application. The patent application should include the following information:
    1. The applicant’s and inventor’s details.
    2. The specification (title of the invention, field of the invention, background of the invention, summary of the invention, detailed description of the invention, and claims).
    3. Drawings (if applicable).
    4. Abstract.
  3. Submit the Patent Application: The patent application should be submitted to the National Patent Office at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism. The application should be submitted in Arabic.
  4. Examination of the Patent Application: Once the patent application is submitted, it will be examined by the National Patent Office to ensure that it meets the requirements for patentability.
  5. Grant of the Patent: If the patent application is approved, the patent will be granted and the inventor will have the exclusive right to make, use, and sell the invention for a certain period of time.


The cost of obtaining a patent in Bahrain varies depending on the type of patent and the complexity of the invention. The cost can range from BD 100 to BD 500.


The duration of a patent in Bahrain is 20 years from the date of filing.

Obtaining a patent is an important step for startups in Bahrain to protect their intellectual property. By following the steps outlined in this guide, startups can obtain a patent and have the exclusive right to make, use, and sell their invention for a certain period of time.


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Startup Grind

Startup Grind is the worlds largest community for founders, innovators, and creators, with an ever-expanding network spanning over 600 chapters in 125 countries (and growing!). Through their diverse range of initiatives, including local events, flagship conferences, a startup program, partnerships, and online media, they empower, inspire, and connect a growing 3.5 million entrepreneurs!

Their network is a vibrant hub specifically designed for early-stage startups who can tap into exclusive resources and foster invaluable connections with experts and peers. They also welcome students exploring the entrepreneurial path or seeking to delve deeper into the dynamic startup and tech landscape. They welcome tech-driven startups across the MVP to Series A stages, and they actively seek out partners who share their vision of empowering and educating top startups and the remarkable Startup Grind community year-round!

Women in Tech Bahrain

Women in Tech is the world’s leading organization for Inclusion, Diversity & Equity in STEAM. Their global community has over 200,000 members in 6 continents, with their Head Office in Paris. They are represented by people of all abilities, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, class, age, or sexual orientation. They focus on four primary areas to create impact: Education, Business, Social Inclusion, and Advocacy. They build skills and confidence to set women up for success. Their mission is to empower 5 million women and girls by 2030, meeting 5 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Women in Tech has a dual mission: to close the gender gap and to help women embrace technology. They aim to educate, equip, and empower women and girls with the skills and confidence to succeed in STEM careers. Their goal is to Empower 5 million Women and Girls by 2030.

Global Shapers

The Global Shapers Manama Hub Community is an initiative by the World Economic Forum, with a mission to empower the youth to be at the heart of solution-building, policy making and lasting change.

It is a global community of 10K+ shapers, across 500+ hubs in 150+ countries, connected with the goal of driving dialogue, action and change. In line with the global mission, Manama Hub is led by young and ambitious leaders with a passion to drive impact in areas pertinent to skills, health, the planet and more. Their initiatives are underpinned by core values including inclusivity, integrity, cooperation, commitment, service and passion.

Currently at around 30 members, Manama Hub aspires to develop a new generation of Bahraini leaders who are capable of driving sustainable growth and positive change. To amplify their impact, the Hub is open to accept applications from passionate change-makers, with a purpose to drive positive impact.

Unreal Bahrain

Unreal Bahrain is a volunteer-based organization that provides a platform for innovators and entertainment creators in Bahrain and the surrounding area, particularly those involved in game development. Through their numerous initiatives, they aim to foster creativity and collaboration in the local gaming industry.

Some of Unreal Bahrain’s initiatives include providing resources and tools to help game developers create and launch their projects, as well as organizing various events and workshops to encourage networking and knowledge-sharing among members of the gaming community. They also offer mentorship programs to help aspiring game developers hone their skills and gain valuable industry insights. By providing these resources and opportunities, Unreal Bahrain is helping to build a vibrant gaming culture in Bahrain and the region.

  • The Bahrain Game Jam: A 48-hour competition open to all!
  • Project 60: Developing 60 game projects, either as demos or complete projects, by the end of 2019.
  • Game Clubs: Established to spread awareness, knowledge, and culture of gaming.
  • Gamifying SDGs: In collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Organization, this initiative aims to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals through gaming.
  • Special Needs: Bahrain4All: Working with Bahrain4All to design solutions for people with special needs.
  • Gamers Weekend: A full three days dedicated to gaming in Bahrain!

Google Developer Group Manama

Google Developer Group (GDG) Manama is a passionate group of developers dedicated to Google’s developer technology. Founded by Lana Alattar, who is also the CEO of Gudjuju, GDG Manama has been formed to learn more about Google’s platforms, from Android to Google Chrome APIs.

GDG Manama meets once a month in cities across Bahrain to share their knowledge and expertise in technology. Anyone is welcome to join their events, which cover topics from “Fun with Android Things” to Machine Learning, IoT, and other fascinating technology-related topics.

GDG Manama also attends exciting events such as Google I/O in California, a developer festival that offers hands-on learning and a first look at Google’s latest developer products.

Youth Pioneer Society

Youth Pioneer Society (YPS) is a dynamic non-profit organization based in the Kingdom of Bahrain. It was founded in August 2012 by a group of passionate youth who connected on Twitter, driven by the common goal of enhancing the quality of life for Bahraini youth. YPS is dedicated to empowering and equipping young individuals with the necessary tools and knowledge to thrive in a rapidly evolving world.

The mission of YPS is to harness the untapped potential and capabilities of Bahraini youth by fostering the dissemination and practical application of knowledge. Through various initiatives and programs, YPS aims to enhance the skills and competencies of young individuals, enabling them to pursue their ambitions and realize their full potential.

With a strong focus on talent recognition, YPS strives to showcase the talents and creative energies within the youth community. By providing opportunities for skill development and fostering competence, YPS nurtures young entrepreneurs, encouraging them to explore their innovative ideas and transform them into impactful ventures.

Startup Grind
Women in Tech Bahrain
Global Shapers

Social: @manamashapers

Unreal Bahrain

Social: @unrealbahrain

Google Developer Groups Manama
Youth Pioneer Society

Social: @youthpioneer
Location: Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain


One of the most appealing elements that make Bahrain a dynamic, attractive entry to many of the startups across industries is that it is the home to many, many events that connect you with the region’s most exciting founders, startups and potential investors. Bahrain previously housed some of the biggest, innovative conferences in the region such as  StartUp Bahrain Week, Unbound Bahrain, Bahrain Tech Week, and more.

Girls For Tech

The Zain Bahrain Girls For Tech Program is a free-of-charge program that targets girls interested in STEM to immerse them in technology through informative and interactive weekly sessions. The program aims to teach participants how to create games and websites, basic robotics, and incorporate computer science studies into daily activities. It also aims to empower Bahraini women in the digital field, build their capabilities in information and communication technology, introduce them to the horizons of study and work in this field, and create more significant opportunities for young girls to receive the essential training needed to pursue STEM professionally as a career.

The program aligns with Zain Bahrain UN Sustainable Development Goals – SDG 4 Quality Education, SDG 5 Gender Equality, and SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth. It has successfully trained 2,000 girls across the Kingdom through three editions of the program.

StartUp Bahrain Week

Under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, with the support of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), in cooperation with TamkeenStartUp Bahrain Week is a community-led initiative that brings together the region’s most exciting startup events and connects some of the brightest entrepreneurial minds with more than 2,500 people from around the world expected to participate. The week’s activities include six events, four competitions and more than 50 speakers from Bahrain and the region. The highly anticipated event takes place early March, and ignites the entrepreneurial fire within the members of the StartUp Bahrain ecosystem.

StartUp Bahrain Week gathers founders, business leaders, investors, and government officials from around the world in one week full of activities that enables attendees to network, learn, inspire, and mingle.

The event-filled week included panels on topics like innovation in the Gulf, the power of disruption, technopreneurs, proptech, women’s empowerment, and many other exciting topics. Some of the events that took place during Startup Bahrain Week were Unbound Bahrain, Unreasonable Thinking Summit and Flat6Labs Demo Day.

The size of Bahrain, the maturity of its regulations and ecosystem, makes it the perfect launch pad for any innovative startup and new technology. With a well-educated population that is known to embrace new technologies, and always strives for more.

Hamza Al-Ghatam, FACEKI

Startup Weekend

Imagine getting 54 hours to come up with a business idea, develop it with a team, and then create a sales pitch for it. As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, Startup Weekend is one of the most intense workshops that aims to train your entrepreneurial business skills. The event, at its core, is a competition that is focused on building either a web, or mobile application that would be fit enough for a business. On top of that, Startup Weekend is a great place to network with like-minded individuals and get a crash course on what it’s like to be an entrepreneur in the digital age.

Startup Weekend is a global community of passionate founders representing over 150 countries with 410,000 participants around the world. Startup Weekend has come to Bahrain in 2011, and these are main steps that take place during the weekend event:

  • Pitch: Members will pitch their ideas, vote on their favorites, and form teams.
  • Build: Teams will build a real product using the resources given to them.
  • Launch: Complete their presentation and pitch their ideas to the judges.

Startup Evenings

Startup Evenings (and Startup Mornings) is one of Bahrain’s most recognized casual get-together for startups. Over coffee, tea, and small snacks in the company of like-minded people, startups and founders get to have their ideas flowing, lessons exchanged, and recount successes and failures, before an honorary guest speaker

Startup Evenings was hosted by Startup MGZN, an award winning platform and community for startups in the MENA region. Speakers that have been hosted before at Startup Evenings include H.E. Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa, the Minister of Finance & National Economy, Nezar Kadhem, founder of the successful and growing Bahraini app, Eat, HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, founder of KBW Ventures and KBW Investments, H.R.H. Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al-Saud founder & CEO of ‘Alf Khair’’and HE Mr. Khalid Al-Rumaihi, Chairman of the Bahrain Economic Development Board.

Startup Evenings is a chance to learn from the guest speaker and other founders, investors, government representatives, etc. The get-togethers discuss topics ranging from growth hacking, attracting investors, building a startup in Bahrain, securing venture capital, and much more! The event is in works to come back under StartUp Bahrain’s initiatives s for the community.

Manama Entrepreneurship Week (MEW)

Under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Hisham Bin Abdulrahman Al Khalifa, the Governor of Capital Governorate, Manama Entrepreneurship Week (MEW) is a platform that connects and enables young founders through showcasing leading regional and international success stories. MEW also highlights the various support and business acceleration organizations available in Bahrain, and gathers investors, founders, government and private sector representatives in one place.

Launched in 2015, MEW is a week-long event that hosts seminars, workshops, conferences, and panels held in celebration of entrepreneurship.Throughout the week, various panels, discussions, and workshops about entrepreneurship and leadership are held to participants. Some of the topics discussed include positive leaders, blockchain technology, innovation in tourism, and many other important topics for leaders and founders.

MENA Angel Investors Summit

Tenmou, Bahrain’s first ‘Business Angels’ Company hosts The MENA Angel Investors Summit is the largest Tech and Startup event in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Since its first edition in 2012, the Mena Summit is continuing its momentum and launching its 8th edition. 

The summit targets investors, startups, law facilitators, startups supporting offices, VC’s and whoever is inspired to be a startup or has a curiosity for entrepreneurship. The summit will gather everyone in one venue to exchange their expertise and bridge the gap between them from across the MENA region.

The event focuses on pitch presentations where the selected 20 high-potential companies would be given 5 minutes each to pitch their businesses in front of an audience of potential investors and partners. The startups are divided into groups of five with breaks in between to showcase partners and other success stories.  The event includes some panel discussions and fireside chats with the World Business Angles Forum and other partners. The Summit is set to meet the following objectives:

  • Create a sustainable future for the summit in light of competition and changing
  • Foster greater partnerships to promote governmental goals in supporting economic growth
  • Offering potential participants and interested stakeholders’ credibility and added-value opportunities to build fruitful partnerships and better understand real market needs and potential

The summit is an open invitation to not only startups and investors but to anyone who aspires to be a startup and wants to connect to the startups ecosystem.

Youth Entrepreneurship Forum (Mirco Shabab)

Under the esteemed patronage of HH Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, First Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports (SCYS), the Youth Entrepreneurship Forum, known as Micro Shabab, is an eagerly anticipated annual event in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Launched by the Future Society for Youth in 2013, Micro Shabab has evolved into one of the most successful youth forums, attracting a growing number of participants each year.

Micro Shabab serves as a vital platform for promoting inspiration and innovation among Bahrain’s youth. The forum is dedicated to fostering the culture of entrepreneurship and encouraging the exchange of expertise and experiences among aspiring young entrepreneurs. It brings together accomplished individuals from various industries, offering knowledge sessions, engaging presentations, and insightful lectures by key figures in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The Youth Entrepreneurship Forum offers a unique opportunity for young Bahrainis to learn from established entrepreneurs, gain valuable insights into the world of business, and connect with like-minded individuals. The event stimulates creativity, ignites entrepreneurial spirit, and empowers young talent to pursue their dreams and contribute to the economic growth and development of Bahrain.

Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW)

The Global Entrepreneurship Week is an initiative by the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) and part of a global network of 170+ countries that gathers nearly 10 million people worldwide for the duration of one week in November. The global campaign launched in 2008, and is considered one of the world’s largest celebration of innovators, founders, and innovators who collaborate to drive economic growth and innovation. The Global Entrepreneurship Week in Bahrain is organized in partnership with Tamkeen and the Bahrain chapter of GEN, with a mission to encourage Bahrainis to leave a positive impact.

Global Entrepreneurship Week aims to encourage Bahraini businesses and startups to evolve, learn, network, and develop their companies into success. Here are some of their goals:

  • To support Bahraini individuals developing their ideas into reality in order to drive economic growth forward
  • To enhance the entrepreneurial spirit and inspire innovation across all business sectors leading to economic development in line with the Kingdom’s 2030 vision.
  • To spread entrepreneurship awareness and gather Bahraini experts in business and investments sectors.
  • To emphasize the establishment of such initiatives in the Kingdom’s leading role to keep pace with global economic developments.

StartUp Bahrain Week

Under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, with the support of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), in cooperation with TamkeenStartUp Bahrain Week is a community-led initiative that brings together the region’s most exciting startup events and connects some of the brightest entrepreneurial minds with more than 2,500 people from around the world expected to participate. The week’s activities include six events, four competitions and more than 50 speakers from Bahrain and the region. The highly anticipated event takes place early March, and ignites the entrepreneurial fire within the members of the StartUp Bahrain ecosystem.

StartUp Bahrain Week gathers founders, business leaders, investors, and government officials from around the world in one week full of activities that enables attendees to network, learn, inspire, and mingle.

The event-filled week included panels on topics like innovation in the Gulf, the power of disruption, technopreneurs, proptech, women’s empowerment, and many other exciting topics. Some of the events that took place during Startup Bahrain Week were Unbound Bahrain, Unreasonable Thinking Summit and Flat6Labs Demo Day.

Gateway Gulf

How do you open up the doors into the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to the world to invest in? Under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Chairman of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, Gateway Gulf brought over 850 delegates from more than 40 countries to come together and explore the region’s economic transformation and investment opportunities.

One of the overarching themes of the conference is to embrace the diversifying economy, and the privatization of the economy across Bahrain and the Gulf. Gateway Gulf also emphasizes the importance of collaboration between government and the private sector and the unifying goal to diversify and strengthen the economy, focusing on non-oil growth in the region. The investor forum brings together over 500 CEOs, global investors, and panel discussions with some of the region’s most influential leaders from different sectors. The first edition of the Gateway Gulf forum was launched in May 2018 at the Four Season Hotel in Bahrain Bay.

Euromoney Conference

Euromoney and the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) bring the GCC Financial Forum, which brings together over 800 participants from around the world to attend the two-day event. The Forum focuses on the reinvention of financial services with the disruptive power of FinTech taking charge around the world. The Forum discusses innovative solutions when it comes to FinTech, blockchain, technology, and financial services. The Forum includes keynote speakers such as HE Mr. Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), HE Mr. Khalid Al Rumaihi, the Chief Executive of the EDB at the time, and HE Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Minister of Finance and National Economy.

The Conference also brought the co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak, to discuss his driving passion towards creating mobility through technology, and his journey towards building the Apple computer that we all know and cherish. The topics that were discussed during the panel talks ranged from women in FinTech, responsible finance, open banking, and regulatory developments.

Unbound Bahrain

This international, award-winning tech conference and grand festival for innovation, held under the patronage of  His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, and is brought forth by the collaborative efforts of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), along with StartUp Bahrain. Unbound Bahrain is the anchor event of Startup Bahrain Week, bridging the gap between 3,000+ startups, investors, and businesses who travel to Bahrain to hear 100+ influential speakers.

Unbound has been a part of StartUp Bahrain Week since 2018, and is one of the most anticipated events of the week. It includes panel discussions, competitions, debates, and discussions about the power of disruptive technologies and innovation in the region. Topics that are typically discussed at Unbound include the Gulf innovation ecosystem, the power of disruption, technopreneurs, diversity of the workplace, proptech, women’s empowerment, and more! The festival gathered founders, founders, government, private sector, investors and more all under one roof to discuss the future of innovation and entrepreneurship in Bahrain and the region.

Bahrain Tech Week

The Bahrain Economic Development Board in collaboration with Tamkeen hosts Bahrain’s Technology Week, which is held annually at the end of September. Tech Week brings together technologists from government, international and local private entities, and the region’s most exciting talent and tech startups. The week showcases opportunities for innovation in Bahrain’s thriving technology sector, the latest news and trending topics in the tech industry globally and regionally.

Girls For Tech
Manama Entrepreneurship Week (MEW)

Social: @manamaweek

MENA Angel Investors Summit

Social: @tenmoubh
Location: Adliya, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM

Youth Entrepreneurship Forum (Micro Shabab)

Social: @microshabab


Bahrain is the leading destination for multiple of the major competitions and programs in the MENA and GCC region that further cater to startups in various stages of operation, from assisting and empowering founders in the beginning phases of a startup to head-to-head competitions for financial rewards and investment opportunities that you will find useful!


Beban, a program under the Hope Fund, is dedicated to empowering aspiring entrepreneurs through comprehensive training and educational resources. With a focus on fostering a culture of innovation, Beban provides workshops, boot camps, and educational programs that equip individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to start and manage their own businesses. By nurturing entrepreneurial talent, Beban aims to inspire and enable the next generation of Bahraini entrepreneurs. 

The program aims to accelerate the growth of these businesses into regional and international markets. Over the course of its first and second seasons, Beban showcased a total of 62 entrepreneurs from Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, and featured 28 investors from Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain.

Beban’s achievements include its successful facilitation of co-investment opportunities between the public and private sectors, resulting in a total raised capital of over USD 6,260,000 by 30 businesses. Currently, Beban’s highly anticipated third season is underway, with participants undergoing intensive bootcamp and training sessions in preparation for their pitches. This upcoming season holds the promise of showcasing more entrepreneurial talent and fostering collaboration between investors and promising businesses.

StartUp Bahrain Pitch

StartUp Bahrain Pitch is a series of entrepreneurship training programs that focus on the fundamentals of fundraising and pitching to investors with the aim of empowering Bahraini entrepreneurs to secure the funds required to grow their startups.

With collaborative effort between the public and private sector ecosystem champions, the Pitch series is supported by Tamkeen, the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), Bahrain Development Bank (BDB), Ministry of Industry & Commerce, and StartUp Bahrain alongside key players from the private sector.

The training courses will be delivered in collaboration with the World Business Angel Investment Forum and Spring Studios.

Entrepreneurs looking to enhance their pitching skills and pitch in front of seasoned investors should keep an eye on StartUp Bahrain’s social media channels to make the most out of this opportunity or visit here to learn more about the programs.

Small yet international, Bahrain represents a diverse culture, digitally literate population and an ecosystem that acts as a launchpad for startups. Building a startup means that founders, need to embody the concept of failing fast and learning to pivot, and this is where Bahrain shines. It’s the ideal market to build and test new concepts.

Emad Alkoheji, doobi

Innov8 Hackathon

Innov8 Hackathon, in collaboration with Tamkeen and powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), stands as one of Bahrain’s most prominent hackathons focused on cloud-based innovation. This annual event brings together selected young individuals with a passion for technology and tech-based solutions to collaborate and ideate over a 48-hour period.

The primary goal of the Innov8 Hackathon is to develop brilliant tech-based applications and prototypes that contribute to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8, which revolves around Decent Work and Economic Development in Bahrain.

The hackathon’s theme for the year 2023 was centered specifically on SDG 8, emphasizing the significance of creating opportunities for decent work and fostering economic development in Bahrain. Participants will be grouped into different tracks based on their educational background and expertise. Track 1 will be dedicated to high school students, Track 2 to university students and recent graduates, and Track 3 to startups and commercial entities.

The hackathon welcomes participants of any nationality, provided that they are based in Bahrain. Additionally, the language used throughout the hackathon will be English, facilitating effective communication and collaboration among participants.

By bringing together talented individuals from various backgrounds and providing them with the platform to showcase their skills and innovation, the Innov8 Hackathon aims to drive the development of impactful tech solutions that contribute to Bahrain’s economic growth.

Young Entrepreneur (Mashroo3i 2.0)

Mashroo3i is an annual national competition launched in 2012 by Tamkeen Bahrain that targets young and aspiring Bahraini founders. The program aims to provide participants with a unique practical opportunity of experiencing what it’s like being an entrepreneur. Participants get to work in teams and learn how to prepare business plans, business stereotypes, and get to build their actual products and pitch them in front of an audience.
Here’s the criteria for participating in Mashroo3i:
  • Are a Bahraini national aged 18 (eighteen) to 35 (thirty-five) years
  • Candidate shall be a first-time entrepreneur with no active CR, excluding virtual CR and new CRs established less than one (1) year. Candidates (both Bahraini and of other nationalities) who are holders of virtual CR or holders of a new CR established less than one (1) year are eligible. At the time of application, candidate shall at the business concept and research/development phase with an aspiration to establish a CR in Bahrain
  • Must be able to commit to the advisory program
  • Present high-level information on business idea

INJAZ Bahrain, Company Program

INJAZ Bahrain, is a non-profit organization that was established in 2005 as part of Junior Achievement Worldwide, that operates under the patronage of H.H. Shaikha Hessa bint Khalifa Al Khalifa, the Chairperson behind the organization that makes “infusing entrepreneurial thinking in the hearts and minds of young people” their core mission. INJAZ Bahrain offers many programs with an aim to empower youth and encourage them to overcome business challenges.

The Company Program, which is the flagship program of INJAZ Bahrain, encourages High School and University level students to pursue an idea for a startup over the course of 6 months to 1 year. The program consists of 12 meetings that cover action-based learning, and participants are provided with learning materials and resources that they can utilize for their startups. The program ends with a national competition, where students compete against each other and the Company of the Year winners get qualified to represent Bahrain in the Regional Competition.


Social: @bebanme

StartUp Bahrain Pitch
Innov8 Hackathon
INJAZ Bahrain

Social: @injazbahrain
Location: Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM

Coworking Spaces

A co-working space is a dedicated, shared, workspace at affordable prices for individuals, freelancers, and startups. Co-working spaces are typically self-directed, collaborative, flexible, and voluntary work style that is based on mutual trust between the participants. Co-working spaces are not just about sharing space, they’re about becoming a part of a community, sharing resources, and to allow for a productive and collaborative environment.

Creative spaces are a hub for individuals to work at, create a network and learn from the training programs provided. Besides that, the innovative environment that will encourage them to work with all the equipment needed. In a co-working space, you’re encouraged to interact and network with people from different companies and startups, and learn from each other in a collaborative environment.

According to global research by Deskmag and Deskwanted, 74% of coworkers are more productive, 86% have a larger business network, and 93% have a bigger social network. It has been proven that working in environments with other like minded individuals will stimulate ideas, work more efficiently, and learn to collaborate with others. It is also important to work in a co-working space to learn from other experts in fields that are unfamiliar.

With the growing startup ecosystem in Bahrain, the co-working spaces are also catching on to the startup trends and are making their mark in the Kingdom. The co-working spaces currently operating in Bahrain are:

Brinc Batelco IoT Hub

Brinc is the perfect co-working space for those involved in a startup related to IoT. Their office is conveniently located in the heart of Manama, with 24/7 access to the building. Members of the co-working space enjoy high speed internet, kitchen facilities, comfortable seating areas, and curved-screen monitors. As an IoT startup, Brinc can connect you to in-house technical expertise and connect you to mentors, startups, and a network of experts. Here are their packages + VAT:

  • Hot Desk: This offer includes shared space for 1 member, internet access, participation in events, access to mentors.
  • Fixed Desk: This package includes more features such as printing facilities, a curved screen, access to meeting rooms, board rooms, and event spaces.
  • Private Office: The private office comes with room for 5-6 members, 5-6 curved screens, CR, amongst all other perks mentioned above.

Space 340

Launched by Co-Founders Salman Matter and Abdulrahman Alsayed, Space340 is a community work hub and co-working space for social and creative founders who are looking for a space to work from. Space 340 provides space, services, and events to encourage innovation, networking, and a strong entrepreneurial community. Here are the packages that they offer:

  • Drop in: A daily no-commitment plan, perfect for young enthusiasts, who just need some time alone to work and focus for a day.
  • Student: The package that is designed specifically for students at a rate of $88 monthly.
  • Basic: The perfect package plan for startups and freelancers who take their life a bit more seriously, at a $130.90 monthly rate.
  • Premium: The ultimate package. If you are looking to Register your Startup & Join their incubation Program, at a monthly rate of $374.

If you’re interested in learning more about Space 340, click here. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

Bahrain FinTech Bay

Bahrain FinTech Bay is an excellent choice for fintech startups searching for a convenient workspace away from their office. Alongside an event space and meeting rooms, you’ll find a comfortable communal lounge and various amenities to support your work needs. Below, we’ve provided detailed information about the packages they offer:

  • Day Pass: Explore the space for a day. This option is available for individuals who prefer flexibility and the ability to work independently. It does not include an incubation address.
  • Hot Desk Casual: This package offers part-time or full-time options, from 18 days/month to 24/7 access. It does not include an incubation address.


HQ, owned and operated by Hope Ventures in collaboration with renowned real estate partners, Seef Properties, serves as a vibrant epicenter where entrepreneurs, investors, partners, legislators, and government representatives converge under one roof. This dynamic fusion of talents creates an unparalleled network and community that will drive opportunity facilitation in Bahrain..

HQ offers an array of flexible workspace solutions tailored to inspire creativity and enhance productivity. Tenants of this innovative co-working space will revel in the access to a diverse pool of top-tier professionals, fostering collaborations and synergies. Positioned within the illustrious Seef Mall – Seef District, HQ enjoys proximity to essential services, ensuring a convenient and bustling environment that propels business growth.

HQ is poised to officially open its doors to welcome tenants in September of 2023, heralding a new era of collaborative success and entrepreneurial excellence.

Bahrain was just the right market for us to test our product in and finally validate our hypothesis. The support from the startup community here is sky high, and because of it we’re now going global!

Ali Alawi, Unipal


Diwan is redefining the workspace experience and is committed to promoting entrepreneurship, innovation, and collaboration among its incubated start-ups, budding entrepreneurs, and professionals/students communities. 

Creating work & event spaces that are responsive to the productivity needs and stylistic preferences of today’s mobile and creative workforce. Their mission is to support entrepreneurial communities and foster innovation with world-class tech and peerless member benefits.


Maktab is a cutting-edge co-working and private serviced office space, and they provide a dynamic environment that caters to the needs of startups and aspiring entrepreneurs. Whether you’re looking for a flexible hot desk, a dedicated reserved desk, or a private office, Maktab offers a range of options to suit your business requirements.

At Maktab, they go beyond providing a workspace. They offer a comprehensive suite of services designed to nurture and support startups. In addition to their state-of-the-art facilities, Maktab hosts weekly workshops and mentoring sessions, empowering entrepreneurs with valuable insights and guidance. Maktab provides the ideal environment for innovation and growth.


Fab Lab or Fabrication Laboratory facilitates and embraces creative spirit, and is the brainchild of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms. Fab Lab is affiliated with the FabLab Foundation, a globally recognized nonprofit network, and is dedicated to empowering startups by providing the tools and resources to learn more about technology and innovation.

It was started by co-founders Salman Al Oraibi, Ali Rajaie, and Rafed AlMannai. Collectively, the trio brings along years of experience and expertise in a range of domains including, but not limited to, biomedical engineering, healthcare, entrepreneurship, ICT, and banking & finance.

As a platform that’s willing to embrace basically anyone with an idea that they’re passionate to bring into life, Fab Lab Bahrain has over the years created a rather large and tightly-knit community of “makers and hands-on founders.” And buoyed by the success so far, the platform is actively and relentlessly reaching out to new and emerging local talents all across Bahrain. Some of the most notable projects they worked on include:

  • Bird Hide Project: A collaboration with the Bahrain-based Arab Regional Center for World Heritage, the Bird Hide project aims to launch a sophisticated, tech-driven observatory for migratory birds.
  • Fab Academy: When launched, it will be the first-of-its-kind academy in the region to offer a six months advance program in digital fabrication, and possibly other courses too in the near future. The course is based on MIT’s renowned rapid prototyping program “How to Make (Almost) Anything.”

The Lab’s initiative is to empower communities by looking at creation and fabrication as an interface between the digital and physical world. Fab Lab is a community where founders and startups are provided the support needed to help facilitate their innovation journey.

Social: @space340
Location: Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours
7 AM – 10 PM (Sunday – Thursday)
10 AM – 10 PM (Friday – Saturday)

Bahrain FinTech Bay

Social: @bahrainfintechbay
Location: Bahrain Bay, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 9 AM – 6 PM


Location: Seef District, Kingdom of Bahrain


Social: @diwanhub_
Location: Adliya, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM


Social: @maktabcoworking
Location: Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM


Social: @fablabbh
Location: Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 9:30 AM – 6 PM


Incubators are companies designed to help develop, nurture and accelerate the growth of young and innovative startups. This is done by providing startups with the necessary services, facilities, support mechanisms and consultations needed for a specific period of time. A typical incubator provides a shared space in the form of a co-working environment, provides Aq mentorship, and a connection to the local startup community. Some of the well-known companies right now like Reddit, Airbnb and Dropbox have all come out of one the biggest incubators in the game: Y Combinator.

Incubated startups are defined as businesses or enterprises that are still in their early stages of operations and are currently being hosted by an incubator. Here are Bahrain’s renowned incubators:

Bahrain FinTech Bay

Bahrain FinTech Bay is a fully equipped co-working space that fosters Fintech innovation. It provides an excellent environment for individuals and companies to meet their development goals and accomplish corporate initiatives.

  • Day Pass: This option is available for individuals who prefer flexibility and the ability to work independently. It does not include an incubation address.
  • Hot Desk Casual: This package offers part-time or full-time options, from 18 days/month to 24/7 access. It does not include an incubation address.
  • Dedicated Desk: This package provides a reserved permanent desk for a company. It includes an incubation address.
  • Private Office: Ideal for companies aiming to scale and operate as a team, this package offers a fully furnished 3x3m private office space. It includes an incubation address.
  • Sandbox Desk: Specifically designed for startups accepted into the Central Bank of Bahrain’s regulatory sandbox, this package provides an unlimited hot desk, including an incubation address.
  • International Desk: Tailored for companies that do not have full-time employees in Bahrain but require space and an incubation address to establish their regional hub.


The Riyadat program is designed to empower Bahraini women-owned startups and SMEs, enabling female entrepreneurs to reach their full potential and contribute to the Kingdom’s economic growth. With a focus on success, innovation, and growth, Riyadat provides the necessary tools and support for business development and expansion beyond the borders of Bahrain.

Through Riyadat, you can access investment options tailored to your needs, supported by favorable terms in accordance with Islamic Shariah principles. The program offers subsidies of up to 50% on profit rate payments, ensuring better cash flow management for businesses. Additionally, a dedicated advisory program assists both new and existing enterprises, providing valuable guidance and expertise.

Whether you are a new business or have been operating for over three years, Riyadat offers two tracks of funding support, aligned with Tamkeen’s existing programs of Start Your Business and Business Growth. The support period can extend up to seven years, depending on the chosen track.

To be eligible for Riyadat, your business must be owned and fully managed by a Bahraini woman, with a minimum contribution of 51% by Bahraini women in the case of a company. Active commercial registration or license is required, and businesses operating between 0-3 years or above 3 years can participate, aligning with the Start Your Business and Business Growth programs respectively.

Bahrain FinTech Bay

Social: @bahrainfintechbay
Location: Bahrain Bay, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 9 AM – 6 PM


Social: @riyadat_bahrain
Location: A’ali, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 8 AM – 10 PM


Startup accelerators are fixed-term programs that include connections, seed investment, educational components and mentorship, and usually include a demo day to accelerate growth and expansion.

Accelerators typically create short and dense programs (3-6 months) that provide startups with mentorship, guidance, workshops, and networking opportunities to grow their companies. They also provide startups with a platform, such as Demo Days, to showcase their ideas to investors and community members across the startup ecosystem.

Here are the ways that an accelerator can benefit you as a startup:

  • Provide you with the tools and skills necessary to grow your business
  • Learn more about how to develop your business plan, marketing strategies, and your roadmap for the next 5 years
  • Give your startup the publicity it needs, and start a buzz around the community
  • Network with other startup founders, investors, and mentors
  • Rub shoulders with important community members- policymakers, mentors, government representatives, etc.
  • Most important of all – funding!

In a sustainable startup ecosystem, a startup accelerator plays a crucial role. An accelerator is significant in developing an entrepreneur’s viable idea into a thriving, revenue-generating business. So, how does it become a vital ecosystem player? Let’s get into that.

As the name indicates, accelerators speed up—accelerate—the growth of a startup. Also known as a seed accelerator, it supports the early-stage, growth-driven startups. Through education, mentorship, and financing, the accelerator will work with young innovative companies to build their business.

Startups join accelerators for a fixed period, most commonly between 3-to-6 months. They are part of a cohort of companies. The program ends with a public pitch event or demo day.

If your innovative startup is in its initial stages with a commercially viable idea, an accelerator helps you speed up growth through intense and rapid education. Instead of spending years on learning-by-doing, you will enhance your knowledge in just a few months with mentorship, guidance, and other resources.

If you are looking for a startup accelerator in Bahrain, here are the key players.

Bahrain FinTech Bay

Bahrain FinTech Bay‘s bespoke acceleration programs are tailored to meet the specific objectives of their partners, with a particular focus on startups backed by technology, particularly in fintech. Spanning 8 to 12 weeks, these programs provide dedicated support to startups at various stages, seeking to support innovative solutions in crucial areas like community and business innovation.

The accelerator programs cover a comprehensive range of topics, including legal, business planning, branding, marketing, go-to-market analysis, fundraising, and pitching. Participants in these programs gain access to a wealth of knowledge and benefit from the mentorship of experienced professionals with deep industry and technical expertise, providing invaluable guidance throughout the program.

Brinc-Batelco IoT Hub

As the first technology hardware accelerator in the region, Brinc MENA is a major player in the Bahrain startup ecosystem. If your startup is building connected hardware products for global markets, Brinc is the best place to speed up your production and take off your business.

Twice a year, Brinc runs a 16 week MENA Hardware & IoT Accelerator Program in Manama. Brinc’s offer includes funding in exchange for equity of your startup. They also provide free co-working space, mentorship, investor networking, a customized curriculum, technical onsite training, and an international startup perks package. With Brinc, you will have all the help to set up your startup on the right track.

If your startup develops a product that fits within one of their hardware investment verticals, you can apply for the program. You should also have a working prototype or show the technical capabilities to produce the product. Brinc’s local partners are Tamkeen, Batelco, the Economic Development Board, and StartUp Bahrain. Headquartered in Hong Kong, Brinc has regional offices in Poland, India, and China.

AWS Startup Loft Accelerator

The AWS Startup Loft Accelerator program is a 10-week virtual acceleration program for early-stage cloud-based startups. The program enables startups to maximize the value of AWS by providing them with AWS tech resources, to validate their business by industry leaders, to access investors, and to accelerate their time to market.

The program structure is based on four pillars crucial to a startup’s success in its early days: Technology, Product, Go-to-market and Funding. The program puts the entrepreneur at the center allowing startups to build their own personalized program out of the AWS Startup Loft Accelerator session and content offering.

Bahrain FinTech Bay

Social: @bahrainfintechbay
Location: Bahrain Bay, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 9 AM – 6 PM

Spring Studios


Raising capital and funding is essential to any startup, and it can make a world of a difference if you are aware of the different funding options available to you through the various ecosystem players in the startup community. We understand that it may be challenging to detangle the various entities that are available to provide support for startups, whether it be seed, pre-seed, or at more advanced stages.

That is why we have put together for you a detailed guide on ways to get funding for your startup, no matter what stage you are at.


Bahrain Development Bank (BDB)

The Bahrain Development Bank was established as a development bank to provide financial and non-financial support to startups and SMEs, and supporting entrepreneurship activities in Bahrain. They have a loan specifically for startups in the following categories:

  • Healthcare
  • ICT
  • Manufacturing
  • Agribusiness
  • Private Education
  • Trading
  • Transportation

The minimum amount for the loan is BD 3000 and 50% of the profit is subsidized by Tamkeen.

Angel Investment


Tenmou is the first Bahrain Business Angels Company. They are a tech-focused angel investor and ecosystem builder, investing in Bahrain and its people. Tenmou consists of 16 Bahraini Shareholders (Bahraini businessmen, Alba, and Bahrain Development Bank) with a $2.6 million fund

Tenmou’s Activities:

  • Direct Investing in Startups: Scalable Technology focused, pre-seed and seed – Companies with a minimum viable product and early signs of traction in product, market, or revenue
  • MENA Angel Investors Summit: Annual event that connects startups from the Mena Region to pitch to investors
  • Investors Education Program: A training program provided by Business Angel Institute to educate investors on how to invest in startups
  • The Collective Hub: A community-based co-working space for startups, creatives, and investors under one roof

Tenmou Portfolio:

  • Eat App is a worldwide known reservation platform that was founded by Nezar Kadhem in 2013. The app lets users discover restaurants and make reservations
  • The Experience Accelerator is a learning platform for entities to gain behavioral leadership attributes
  • Unipal is Bahrain’s largest offer app for students, it grants them discounts on multiple products and services from local businesses
  • Sept is a personalization platform all about you focusing on improving and enhancing the shopping experience.  
  • Savii is the first neobank for Teens in the GCC; a mobile wallet and debit card for 13-18 year olds.
  • TAO Media is an online platform that aims to enhance the efficiency of the media freelancing industry.

Current Application Process:

Startups can apply on Tenmou’s website.

  • Pre-evaluation: Filtering all applications and evaluating deals
  • Preliminary negotiations: Meeting with founders to discuss deals
  • Assessment: By categorizing deals into three categories: to invest, to co-invest, and to refer to another investor
  • Investment committee: Final approval by the board and investment committee

Venture Capital

Al Waha Fund of Funds

The Al Waha Fund of Funds is a $100 million venture capital that supports the growth of the Venture Capital community in the MENA region. It invests in Venture Capital funds involved in the region’s seed, early, and growth stages. The fund provides a platform for Venture Capitalists, offering access to diverse portfolios, networks, and partnership opportunities, aiming to enhance the funding ecosystem.

Managed by the Al Waha Fund of Funds leadership, the fund operates with an investment period of five years and a total term of 10 years, allowing for flexibility and long-term growth. The focus extends beyond financial returns, emphasizing the strategic impact of Venture Capital funding in Bahrain and the wider region. By promoting investment in the technology sector and nurturing start-ups, the Al Waha Fund of Funds aims to position the region as a vibrant hub for innovation and create a dynamic technology ecosystem.

Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP)

MEVP is a regional venture capital firm that invests in innovative, early and growth stage startups with offices in Dubai, Beirut, and Bahrain. MEVP is the largest VC firm in MENA, and they are looking for startups that are innovative, with fresh ideas in their fields.

MEVP invests in the early and growth stage startups, and favors the consumer technology, products, and consumer services sectors, but also considers investing in startups that are in other fields like logistics, food processing, hospitality, and others.

500 Global

500 Global is an international venture capital firm that invests in early stage startups. Their mission is to invest in and empower talented startups, whether they are global or local. They incorporate diversity as one of the major elements in funding, and want to build thriving ecosystems across the globe. 500 Global has backed over 5,000 founders representing more than 2,700 companies operating in 81 countries. Their portfolio includes 45+ companies valued at over $1 billion and 150+ companies valued at over $100 million.

They have different programs such as the global flagship accelerator program that offers advice, community-building, curriculum, hands-on support, connections, and most important, investment opportunities! If you want to learn more about the different investment opportunities that 500 Global have to offer, check out their website here.

Spring Studios

Spring Studios is MENA’s first fintech-only venture studio, and they are backed by prestigious organizations such as the Sovereign wealth fund of Bahrain, Al-Waha Fund of Funds, and global venture capital firm Hambro Perks. With their support, Spring Studios provide not only capital but also expert capabilities and game-changing connections to help founders succeed.

They co-found and invest in startups that are investor-friendly by default, and they believe in setting their founders up for success by providing them with the necessary resources, mentorship, and guidance to navigate the fintech landscape effectively. Spring Studio’s goal is to foster highly scalable ventures that have the potential to disrupt and transform the industry.

Spring Studios is here to support and empower MENA founders to build the next generation of exceptional fintech startups.


It is an alternative way for SMEs and startups in the StartUp Bahrain community to raise funds from global investors and lenders (the crowd) via an online platform like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and GoFundMe, and quite recently, Beban Crowdfunding.

The crowdfunding regulations have been issued by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) to create a legal framework for loan crowdfunding to conventional and Shari’ah compliant markets, while providing governance for FinTech businesses and protection to their customers. These regulations will also help SMEs and startups get access to alternative forms of funding when the traditional funding options are not available.

Broadly, there are three main reasons why Bahrain had introduced crowdfunding:

  • Bridge the funding gap.
  • Grow innovative solutions.
  • Offer bespoke opportunities for investors and lenders.

The most important things that can be achieved through crowdfunding:

  • Empower SMEs and startups.
  • Support the FinTech ecosystem.
  • Pioneer in Islamic finance offerings.

The three types of crowdfunding that are allowed in Bahrain are:

  • Equity based: invest to gain shares.
  • Financing based: lend money to gain interests.
  • Shari’ah compliant (equity/finance based): Lending and investing in accordance with Shari’ah rulings. Make sure you read CBB’s regulations in order to learn more about Shari’ah compliance requirements for a crowdfunding platform operator in the Kingdom.

Who is eligible to raise funds?

Closed private family companies; entities engaged in real estate development projects, startups and SMEs. Where SMEs with paid-up capital up to BD 250,000 can raise money through crowdfunding platforms and as mentioned above, these SMEs can be based either in Bahrain or abroad.

And how much can be raised?

  • Equity based: An equity crowdfunding issuer can raise up to BD 250,000 within a 12-month period. A real-estate development project can raise up to BD 500,000 within a 12-month period.
  • Finance based: Borrowers can raise up BD 100,000 in aggregate form per borrower within a 12-month period. Tenor of loans must not exceed 5 years.
Bahrain Development Bank

Social: @bahraindevelopmentbank
Location: Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 8 AM – 2 PM


Social: @tenmoubh
Location: Adliya, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM

Al Waha Fund of Funds

Social: @AlwahaFund
Location: Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 8 AM – 4 PM

Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP)

Social: @mevpcapital
Location: Adliya, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 8:30 AM – 5 PM

500 Global

Social: @500vc_mena

Government Support

Export Bahrain

It is every startup’s dream to expand its business globally. However, it involves hard work—knowing potential markets, understanding target countries’ tariffs, and finding the finance. That’s where Export Bahrain comes to your rescue.

Officially launched in 2018, Export Bahrain promotes domestic export-oriented sectors, giving them an opportunity to capture the international market. Startups, thus, get better exposure and opportunities as they expand globally.

Here are the general criteria to be eligible for solutions offered by Export Bahrain:

  • A company with an active Bahraini Commercial Registration in the Kingdom of Bahrain
  • Startup and growing companies with revenues below BHD 3,000,000
  • To meet minimum standards of local production, goods manufactured or processed

The initiatives offered by Export Bahrain include financing, credit insurance, training and knowledge sharing to contribute to exporting activities. In its first year itself, Export Bahrain helped SMEs reach 25 major international markets. Let’s dive into the details of the services offered by Export Bahrain.

Export Financing

Financial challenges are one of the main things that stop startups from global growth. Export Bahrain solves this crisis by providing short-term financing. If you have approved export deals and contracts at competitive rates/profit, Export Bahrain will offer export-financing. Thus, you will be able to cover the operations costs of exporting.

Export Bahrain takes care of the financing of up to BHD 1 Million. You will have to list and explain the export requirements within the bank’s application form and a breakdown of the costs. Based on the requirements, you can request the total financing amount. Depending on your credit assessment, the banks will approve the same amount or less. The Export Financing solution will also cover export letter of credits and working capital to cover preoperating/pre-shipment costs.

Export Bahrain will subsidize up to 70% of the annual nominal profit rate capped at 9.5%. Also, it will subsidize 50% of the admin fee and 50% of guarantee capped at BHD 125,000, depending on their partner bank’s approval.

Bahrain Development Bank and Bahrain Islamic Bank are the partner banks of Export Bahrain. Banks need to approve your application for the program. The terms and conditions for bank approval are as follows::

  • Valid commercial registration and all valid licenses required for conducting an Export Trade Business
  • A clean credit history with no record in CBB’s abuser list
  • Complying with the LMRA Bahrainization requirements and compliant with LMRA fees payment
  • Original signed agreements of export products
  • Enterprises with Shariah-compliant activities

Documents you should have:

  • Three years of audited financial statements.
  • Two valid identification documents of owners.
  • Copy of electricity bills (duration to be determined by the bank).
  • Bank statement (duration to be determined by the bank).
  • Article and/or Memorandum of Association.
  • Company Profile.
  • Board Resolution.
  • A letter specifying the purpose of the amount of finance.
  • Original Export Agreements to be approved by Export Bahrain and the bank.

Once you have the approval and all the documents, you can log into the portal to apply.

Export Credit Insurance

International transactions are not risk-free. Default payment is a significant concern for exporters. However, the fear of risks should not stop you from exporting your products. That’s why Export Bahrain has come up with Export Credit Insurance.

Export Bahrain introduced the first export credit solution in Bahrain, in partnership with the Arab Investment & Export Credit Guarantee Corporation “Dhaman.” If your foreign buyer fails to pay, your payment will be taken care of. Dhaman will reimburse 90% of the amount in case of default. With this assurance, you can be more competitive in international markets.

You can explore new markets without worrying about default payments. Another plus point is that you can mobilize working capital from your bank to finance transactions. Your bank will be the loss payee under the credit insurance policy.

Apart from this, Export Bahrain will subsidize 80% of the premium rate. Also, they offer 80% support of the transaction fee.

Export credit insurance covers two types of risks:

  • The commercial risk: Bankruptcy or protracted default of the importer. They are related to the importer and its creditworthiness.
  • The political risk or non-commercial risk: Related to the country of the importer. War, civil disturbances, transfer restrictions, moratoriums on external debt, confiscation, expropriation and nationalization, the default of a public buyer come under it.

As an exporter, you need to meet a few terms and conditions. Some of them are as follows:

  • Submit monthly export reports to Dhaman.
  • Settle the insurance premiums within 10 working days of the insurance invoice date.
  • Notify Dhaman of any overdue within two months from the maturity date of the insured debt.

If you meet the criteria and terms, apply here for Export Credit Insurance.

If your buyer doesn’t pay, you can submit the claim by completing a simplified Loss Notification Form. You should provide the relevant unpaid invoice and shipping documents. You will get the compensation after the expiry of the waiting period, which is:

  • 30 days in case of bankruptcy of the importer
  • 180 days in case of protracted default of the importer or in case of political risks
Export Market Intelligence

Understanding the international market is crucial before you expand your business globally. Export Bahrain provides you with effective and efficient market intelligence that helps you make informed decisions when it comes to exporting. It is easily accessible via Export Bahrain’s website. These services are launched in partnership with the International Trade Centre.

Trade maps: In the form of tables, graphs and charts, Trade maps provide details on export performance, international demand, alternative markets and competitive markets, and a directory of importing and exporting companies. The Trade Map covers over 220 countries and territories and 5,300 products.

Export Potential Map: Exploring the untapped markets in various countries gives you an advantage in international trade. Through the Export Potential Map, Export Bahrain aims to do that. The map gives you an idea about products and markets with export potential and opportunities for export diversification.

Besides that, the map evaluates Bahrain’s performance, the target market’s demand and tariff conditions. You will also understand the bilateral links between Bahrain and the target market.

Market Access Map: If you want to know the tariff details of a specific good for exporting, Market Access Map is your place. The tool lets you access, compare and analyze customs tariffs, tariff-rate quotas, trade remedies and non-tariff measures of the good in any market in the world.

Procurement Map: Startups can obtain information about international tenders from the Procurement Map. It opens the way for founders to seek new market opportunities. The map provides detailed information on over 150,000 international public tenders. You can filter the information based on the target country and the economic sector.

Export Workshops

Export Bahrain conducts regular workshops and consultations in exporting fields and related industries for you to familiarize yourself with successful exporting practices. These workshops are open to all. Experts share knowledge on the growth opportunities, business potentials, and raise awareness of critical exporting matters. You will get to know export success stories in Bahrain, that will help you move past the fears of risk associated with exporting.

Export Training

Export Bahrain offers various e-learning courses to enhance your knowledge of international trade. The training will help your companies to become more export and international-oriented. They cover topics such as international trade, global trade financing, and trade finance fraud.

Export Bahrain

Social: @exportbahrain
Location: Bahrain Bay, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 7:30 AM – 3:30 PM


As startups, one of the most crucial decisions that affects the overall productivity of the team is to hire the right people. Looking for people with the right skills and talent is vital, as well as people that are aligned with the startup’s vision and are committed to grow with the company. Startups in Bahrain are on the constant lookout for talents that are technical and non-technical, including but not limited to, coding and web development, AI, business development, designers, and marketing.

Two of the biggest challenges you may face in getting the first few hires are being able to attract the right kind of talent, and sorting through the legal processes and requirements. Here’s a quick guide to help you get started and provide some background about first steps of hiring:


Finding the right talent for your team is essential to the success of your business. It can be a daunting task to find the right people to join your team, but with the right tools and strategies, you can make the process easier.


Organic hiring is possible via personal and professional networks. Bahrain’s organizations have extensive networks of members to help you find the right talent. Additionally, you can explore the various youth organizations in Bahrain, such as:

  • AIESEC is a non-profit organization offering a global platform for young people to discover and hone their leadership skills. AIESEC’s Bahrain chapter organizes regular volunteer trips to countries like Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, and more. To learn more, follow them on Instagram and Twitter.
  • INJAZ Bahrain is a non-profit organization established in 2005 with the goal of equipping young people to take charge of their economic success and prepare them for modern business challenges. To learn more, follow INJAZ Bahrain on Instagram and Twitter.
  • Google Developer Group (GDG) Manama is an enthusiastic community of developers who are passionate about Google’s developer technology. They have formed this group to explore and learn more about Google’s platforms, from Android to Google Chrome APIs. GDG Manama is a great resource to find talented and knowledgeable developers for your team. With their expertise and deep understanding of Google’s technology, they can be an invaluable asset to your startup.
  • Global Shapers is an initiative of the World Economic Forum with 450 hubs worldwide. Bahrain’s chapter, Global Shapers Manama, is led by young, ambitious leaders who are eager to make a positive impact on their communities.
  • StartUp Bahrain is a great resource for businesses looking to hire talented individuals. Through the WhatsApp group, businesses can post their hiring needs and ask around for potential candidates. This is a great way to get access to the right people and to find the perfect fit for your team. Plus, it’s a great way to connect with the larger Bahraini startup ecosystem. With the help of the WhatsApp group, you can easily find the right people to join your team and help your business reach its goals.
Universities’ Career Centers

Another effective way of sourcing fresh talent is through reaching out to certain universities based on the backgrounds you are looking for. Generally, universities advertise career opportunities to their alumni and students through their career and employment centers.

  • The University of Bahrain Student Internship Scheme offers students an opportunity to gain valuable experience in the workplace. Businesses can partner with the university to find suitable candidates for fixed-term projects and long-term assignments. The university will manage the applications and provide a shortlist of candidates for interviews.
  • Ahlia University, in collaboration with the Professional Relations Directorate, provides career opportunities for its graduates. The department informs graduates of potential job openings with employers, and organizes field visits to companies of interest. This helps the students understand the organizational structure of different jobs and the skills required for them. Furthermore, the college hosts events on and off campus, inviting various organizations to meet the students and discuss job opportunities.
  • The Bahrain Polytechnic Career and Employment Centre assists students in finding opportunities. They provide career counseling sessions, labour market information, walk-in appointments for quick career questions, and more. They host workshops and training sessions, invite guest speakers from industry and government to give insight into real-world expectations, offer summer and part-time vacancies, and coach students in job searching. Polytechnic also hosts career exhibition events where jobseekers can attend and directly interact with key entities in Bahrain.
  • The Royal University for Women is dedicated to providing its students with the resources and guidance they need to succeed. To this end, the Office of Student Affairs organizes a variety of career guidance workshops and other events to help students reach their goals. These workshops provide students with the opportunity to learn more about their chosen field, gain valuable insight into the job market, and explore potential career paths. Additionally, the Office of Student Affairs helps students with other aspects of their university experience, such as offering advice on how to manage their time, providing access to resources such as the library and computer labs, and connecting students with potential employers. With the support of the Office of Student Affairs, students at the Royal University for Women can be sure that they have the resources they need to reach their full potential.


Labour Law & Contracts

As a startup in Bahrain, understanding the labour law and contracts is crucial for establishing and maintaining a successful workforce. This section aims to provide comprehensive information about the key aspects of Bahrain’s labour law and the essential elements to consider when creating employment contracts for your startup.

Bahrain’s labour law provides a framework for protecting the rights and regulating the relationship between employers and employees. Familiarize yourself with the following key points:

Employment Contracts

  1. An employment contract is a legally binding agreement between an employer and an employee that outlines the terms and conditions of employment.
  2. Contracts should be in writing and must include essential details such as the nature of work, salary, working hours, leave entitlements, termination procedures, etc.
  3. Employment contracts can be fixed-term or indefinite, depending on the nature of the employment.

Minimum Employment Age

  1. The minimum employment age in Bahrain is 16 years. However, certain hazardous industries may have higher age requirements.
  2. Special provisions exist for the employment of juveniles aged between 16 and 18 years.

Working Hours

  1. The standard working hours in Bahrain are 8 hours per day or 48 hours per week.
  2. Employees are entitled to a daily rest period of at least 1 hour after every 5 consecutive hours of work.


  1. Overtime work is generally limited to a maximum of 2 hours per day and 60 hours per month.
  2. Overtime pay should be at least 125% of the regular hourly rate, or higher during public holidays or rest days.

Leaves and Holidays

  1. Employees are entitled to various types of leave, including annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, and bereavement leave, as per the labour law provisions.
  2. Public holidays and religious holidays are observed in Bahrain, and employees are entitled to leave or additional compensation for working on these days.

Termination of Employment

  1. The labour law defines conditions for terminating employment, including notice periods, severance pay, and termination for cause.
  2. Both the employer and employee must adhere to the legal requirements and procedures when terminating an employment contract.

When drafting employment contracts for your startup, consider the following important aspects:

  • Clearly define the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of each position within your startup. Specify the required qualifications, skills, and experience for each role to ensure you attract suitable candidates.
  • Outline the salary structure, payment frequency, and any additional benefits offered. Specify the provisions for allowances, bonuses, medical insurance, and any other benefits your startup provides.
  • Include clauses to protect your startup’s confidential information, trade secrets, and intellectual property rights. Clearly define the ownership and usage rights of any intellectual property developed by employees during their employment.
  • Clearly define the notice periods required for termination by both the employer and employee. Outline the circumstances under which termination can occur without notice.
  • Include provisions for resolving disputes through arbitration or other alternative dispute resolution methods. Specify the governing law and jurisdiction for any legal disputes arising from the employment contract.

Understanding Bahrain’s labour law and creating well-crafted employment contracts is essential for startups in Bahrain. By adhering to the legal requirements, startups can foster healthy employee relations, mitigate risks, and establish a strong foundation for growth and success. It is advisable to seek legal counsel or professional assistance to ensure.

The information provided in this guide is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. Labour laws and regulations in Bahrain may change over time, and specific circumstances may require individualized legal consultation. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, we cannot guarantee its completeness or applicability to your specific situation. Therefore, it is advisable to seek professional legal advice for precise guidance regarding labour law and employment contracts in Bahrain. The use of this guide is at your own risk, and we disclaim any liability for any damages or legal consequences resulting from its use.


When hiring in Bahrain, it is important for startups to be familiar with the key government entities that play a significant role in the employment landscape. This section provides an overview of three essential entities – the Social Insurance Organization (SIO), Tamkeen, and the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA). Understanding their roles, services, and processes will help startups navigate the hiring process effectively while ensuring compliance with relevant regulations.

Social Insurance Organization (SIO)

The Social Insurance Organization is responsible for providing social insurance services to employees and employers in Bahrain. Key information about the SIO includes:

  • SIO administers the social insurance system, which includes social security, health insurance, and other related benefits.
  • It ensures that employers contribute to the social insurance fund on behalf of their employees, and it provides coverage for various contingencies, such as sickness, disability, and retirement.
  • As an employer, you are required to register your employees with the SIO within 15 days of their employment start date.
  • The cost of social insurance contributions is typically borne by the employer, and it is calculated as a percentage of the employee’s salary, subject to specific contribution ceilings.

Before hiring new Bahraini employees, it is essential to register your organization as an employer with the Social Insurance Organization (SIO). The registration process is straightforward and free of charge, typically taking approximately 2 to 3 days for approval. Here are the necessary steps:

Employer Registration

  1. Register yourself as an employer through the SIO portal.
  2. Submit the required documentation for verification and approval by the Ministry of Labour.
  3. Once approved, the registration will be activated by the SIO.

Employee Registration

  1. Log in to your SIO portal.
  2. Access the registration services and select “Register a national worker.”
  3. Fill in the required fields, including job title, salary, working hours, etc.
  4. Attach a signed and stamped employment contract.
  5. Submit the application.
  6. After submitting the application, you will receive an appointment date and time via email.
  7. Your employee will need to attend an interview at the Ministry of Labour in Zayed Town for application confirmation.
  8. The interview is a brief process, usually taking no more than 2 minutes. Basic details such as salary, company name, etc., will be reviewed.

Contribution Rates

For Bahraini Employees: The current contribution rates to the SIO are 19% (12% Employer Contribution, 7% Employee Contribution). These contributions are billed monthly and processed by the employer through the SIO portal. For Expatriate Employees: The current contribution rate is 4%.

Once employees are registered with the SIO, they can apply for Tamkeen’s Wage Subsidy Support program, where employees receive a wage subsidy for up to 3 years.

Salary Changes for Employees

Employers are generally allowed to submit salary changes for existing employees once a year, typically in January. This process can be easily done through the SIO portal by submitting a new contract with the updated salary.

If the SIO deadline is missed, and a salary change for an employee is desired, it will be necessary to physically visit one of the SIO branches and submit the following documents:

  • Salary amendment form provided by the SIO.
  • New signed employment contract.
  • Salary slips for the past 3 months.
  • Bank statements or proof of payment for the past 3 months.
  • Salary changes made through the SIO are effective from January of the same year, and any contribution difference for the months without the updated salary will be charged.

By following the registration procedures, adhering to the contribution rates, and staying updated on salary changes, startups can ensure compliance with the SIO regulations and provide their employees with the necessary social insurance coverage in Bahrain.

Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA)

The LMRA, or the Labour Market Regulatory Authority, is a government agency in Bahrain responsible for regulating the labour market and managing the employment of expatriate workers in the country. Established in 2006, the LMRA aims to balance the needs of the local workforce with the demand for foreign labour, while ensuring that all workers in Bahrain are treated fairly and in accordance with the country’s labour laws. The LMRA also plays a key role in facilitating the entry and exit of expatriate workers, issuing work permits and visas, and providing a range of services to both employers and employees in the country.

When hiring international employees, you’d also need to register under the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) to issue work permits.

You can access the Employee Management System (EMS) here and make appointments with the LMRA here. You can also contact the LMRA’s contact center through +97317506055. The working hours for the LMRA offices and branches are:

  • Front Offices (Sanabis): Sunday – Thursday, 7:30 AM to 7 PM
  • Clearing Offices (Mina Salman): Sunday – Thursday, 7:30 AM to 7 PM
  • Branch (Seef Mall, Muharraq): Saturday – Thursday, 8 AM to 8 PM
  • Branch (Riffa): Saturday – Thursday, 8 AM to 8 PM
  • Call Center: 7:30 AM to 7 PM

We’ve outlined some of the key services you may need to use and process through the LMRA below. You can find a guide for all their important services here.

New Company Registration

If you’d like to hire and manage expatriate employees in Bahrain, you will first need to register your company with the LMRA. The registration enables you to submit your requests for work permits amongst other services. You can do so by following the process here.

New Work Permit

Through this service, employers can submit a request for issuing a new work permit for expatriate employees to be hired on their commercial registers. You can do so by following the process here.

Renew Work Permit

Through this service, employers can submit a request for renewing the employee’s work permit before it expires. In case the employee has dependants, their permits will be renewed upon the employee’s renewal. You can do so by following the process here.

Cancel Work Permit

Through this service, employers can apply for the cancellation employee’s permit as well as his dependants (family – wife and children up to 24 years). You can do so by following the process here.

Dependants Residency Permit

Through this service, employers can request the issuance of residence permits for their employees’ dependents (spouse and children up to the age of 24). You can do so by following the process here.

Work Approval for Dependants

Through this service, employers can attain work approval for dependants (without the need to cancel their current residency permit under the primary worker). You can do so by following the process here.

Expatriate Employee Transfer

Through this service, expatriate employees can transfer to another employer without the need of canceling their existing work permit. The transfer can be done with or without the consent of the current employer. (Conditions Apply). You can do so by following the process here.

Work Permits Ceiling Increase

Through this service, employers can request for increasing the ceiling number of work permits. The increase can be up to 6 or 10 work permits depends on the CR activity. You can do so by following the process here.

Administrative Notices Removal Mechanism

The Labour Inspection Directorate inserts administrative notices on the commercial registration or on the personal number of the employer, authorized person or worker, based on organizational procedures or results of inspection visits. This service allows the employer, authorized person or worker to raise the listed administrative notice after submitting documents and completing the requirements. You can do so by following the process here.


Approval of fees for services rendered by the LMRA to commercial and non-commercial businesses, Ministries and Government Institutions, based on a resolution adopted by the Council of Ministers. You can view all the fees and their relevant details here.


Social: @aiesecinbahrain
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Google Developer Groups
Global Shapers

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University of Bahrain

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Location: Zallaq, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 8 AM – 9 PM

Ahlia University

Social: @ahliauniversitybh
Location: Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 8 AM – 8 PM

Bahrain Polytechnic

Social: @bahrainpolytechnic
Location: Isa Town, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 8 AM – 5 PM

Royal University for Women

Social: @ruwbahrain
Location: Riffa, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 8 AM – 4 PM

Social Insurance Organisation (SIO)

Social: @siobahrain
Location: Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 7 AM – 2 PM

Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA)

Social: @lmrabh
Location: Sanabis, Kingdom of Bahrain

Working Hours: 7:30 AM – 7 PM