Policies & Regulations

The only guide you need on Bahrain’s policies and regulations that impact startups.

Startup-friendly, community collaboration.

The StartUp Bahrain community continues to identify opportunities that will ease running a startup. As a result, the Kingdom launched several policies and initiatives that help develop businesses and the startup ecosystem.

Bahrain’s competitive advantage stems from its agile, nimble and fast-moving economy. Its small size and ease of access to key decision-makers mean that companies can raise concerns directly with the people who can address them. Amazon Web Services (AWS) alongside many startups chose Bahrain as their first host in the Middle East because they were attracted to the government’s ‘private sector approach to business.

May 2016

Sijilat Portal

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism revamped the process of acquiring and managing your Commercial Registration (CR) with Sijilat, but also allows you to access the database of activities available and registered enterprise names.

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March 2017

Bahrain Investment Market (BIM)

An equity market for startups in Bahrain and the MENA region looking to raise capital to fund their growth. The BIM model and framework aims to financially support businesses and enhance their management practices to meet international standards.

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March 2017

Cloud First Policy

The first of its kind in the region, Bahrain’s Cloud First Policy integrates the cloud with all government agencies, enabling ministries to deliver additional services to users more efficiently while reducing IT system maintenance overhead costs.

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June 2017

Regulatory Sandbox

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) introduced the Regulatory Sandbox Framework to allow FinTech-based startups from every part of the world to test their inventive concepts in Bahrain with fewer restrictions and lower risks.

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July 2017

Access to Government Procurement

The cabinet issued decision no. 06-2416 which states to allocate 20% of the value of purchase and government tenders for SMEs, and 10% from the service facilities biddings.

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August 2017

Debt & Equity-Based Crowdfunding

Bahrain with the aid of The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) is the first and only GCC country that allows for the participation in both conventional and Shari’a-compliant funding, giving your startups alternative sources of funding.

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 2018

Protecting Minority Shareholder Rights

Strengthen corporate governance, offer higher flexibility for investors while adding rights to minority shareholders. Helps decrease the level of violations & disruptions within companies.

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February 2018

Bahrain FinTech Bay

The largest FinTech hub in the MENA region. BFB provides a hub to incubate scalable and impactful FinTech initiatives through innovation labs, acceleration programs, curated activities, educational opportunities, and collaborative platforms.

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August 2019

Personal Data Protection Law

Guidelines to companies and individuals on how to best handle and process ‘Personal Data’. Put into simpler terms, the law will control how personal information is used by, startups, businesses, organizations or the government.

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June 2018

Al-Waha Fund of Funds

Bahrain Development Bank (BDB) has launched a US$100 million venture capital “fund of funds” that will invest in venture capital companies in Bahrain, offering access to additional capital to support startups in the Kingdom and the Middle East.

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July 2018

Virtual CRs (Sijili)

Sijili is a unique Virtual Commercial Registration (CR) system that takes away the hurdles from aspiring Bahraini entrepreneurs. Introduced to help startups choose and engage in approved commercial activities without a physical address.

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July 2018

Minimum Capital Requirement

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism (MoICT) abolished the minimum capital requirements for all types of companies and startups, resulting in lower costs and making it easier to establish and operate your startup in Bahrain.

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October 2018

Bankruptcy Law

Enables experimentation and innovation and improves outcomes of the bankruptcy process. The law introduces reorganization allowing a company’s management is allowed to remain in place and continue business operations during the administration of a case.

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November 2018

Export Bahrain

Tamkeen launched Export Bahrain to support SMEs and startups expand abroad. Strives to provide an ideal environment to support and develop domestic exports and achieve Bahrain’s 2030 vision of promoting our export-oriented sectors.

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February 2019

Crypto-asset regulations

The CBB Crypto-asset regulatory framework deals with rules for licensing, governance, minimum capital, and more for crypto-asset services.  CBB’s regulatory framework also covers supervision and enforcement standards, and avoids market manipulation.

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