Investors can apply for commercial registration with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism and track the status of their applications and approvals through the ministry’s Commercial Registration Portal at www.sijilat.bh.
The most commonly used business vehicle in Bahrain is the limited liability company (called a WLL in Bahrain but synonymous with an LLC) due to its flexible corporate structure. Foreign companies can set up branch or representative offices without being subject to the same provisions as for the formation of companies. It is also possible to establish shelf companies, which can take any form and are valid for one year, during which time approvals and licenses must be obtained.
All documents needed for a company’s incorporation can be found on the website of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism: www.moic.gov.bh.
Foreign documents must be notarized and legalized, or notarized and apostilled. Companies offering financial services must also obtain a license from the Central Bank of Bahrain, which takes 60 days. Details can be obtained from www.cbb.gov.bh.
If all documents are in order, commercial registration by the Ministry