Bahrain has emerged as a prime destination for entrepreneurs looking to establish startups or scale up their businesses. With entrepreneur-friendly policies, access to a growing pool of skilled talent, and proximity to the $1.5 trillion Gulf market, Bahrain offers a fertile ground for business growth. What’s more, the process of setting up a business in Bahrain is remarkably swift and straightforward, thanks to the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business report, which states, “it takes just eight days to launch a business in the Kingdom – significantly less than the regional average of 20 days.”
The cost of starting a business in Bahrain is also highly competitive. The Kingdom boasts a cost of doing business that is 30% lower than other GCC countries. Commercial property rental rates are more affordable than neighboring nations, and ICT and utility providers offer excellent value to business customers. Bahrain further facilitates foreign investment by allowing 100% foreign ownership in most industries, with no restrictions on repatriation of capital, profits, and dividend income.
Setting up a business in Bahrain involves three straightforward steps: preparing the required documents, obtaining initial licenses, and receiving final approvals. The initial document preparation includes providing essential information about yourself and the company, such as names, IDs, share capital, business activity, and contact details. Requirements may vary depending on the business activity and ownership structure.
Industry experts note that, “the required minimum share capital for a limited liability company is BD 50 per share, depending on the number of shareholders, legal structure, and business activity requirement.”
After document preparation, the next phase is obtaining licenses and permissions. This process comprises two stages: company registration without a license, which takes approximately five days, and obtaining a license, taking around 14 working days. The latter includes preliminary approval from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism, followed by notarizing the company’s Memorandum of Association. Subsequently, you can open a bank account, deposit your startup capital, and activate the commercial registration. Registering the company and employees with the General Organization for Social Insurance completes the process, and your business is ready to thrive.
For startups, accelerators, and incubators within Bahrain’s thriving ecosystem offer an ideal launchpad, providing access to potential partners and angel investors, helping businesses establish themselves rapidly. Additionally, several third-party professional services organizations can assist with financial and legal requirements.
As you embark on your entrepreneurial journey in Bahrain, the vibrant ecosystem offers accelerators and incubators are always supporting startups to connect with potential partners and investors. With a growing number of opportunities and a thriving business community, Bahrain is your gateway to success.