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Looking to do business in the Gulf? Have you considered Bahrain?

By Sara Stubler on December 15, 2014 in Articles, International Tax, Sara Stubler CPA
Doing business in the gulf

Recently, we attended a World Trade Center KC meeting on “Doing Business in the Gulf” led by the Embassy of Bahrain. We were impressed with the amount of useful information we were provided, not only pertaining to the benefits of doing business in Bahrain but also its impact on doing business in other countries in the Persian Gulf. According to the embassy representatives, the biggest advantage of Bahrain is that they have one of the most favorable tax regimes in the world. There is no corporate income tax, no personal income tax, no withholding tax, and a free trade agreement with the United States.

For importers of US products, Bahrain has no duties or taxes on imports, as well as, a culture that puts a demand on products coming from western countries. They also allow US companies to own land, unlike some other Arab countries which only allow a lease, allowing for true ownership of your facility. Bahrain also has Tamkeen, which helps provide and train local workers, all of whom are bi-lingual in English and Arabic. In addition, transporting goods from Bahrain to other Arab countries is easier than importing to those countries directly.

For companies looking to put an office in the gulf, Bahrain allows companies to keep 100% foreign ownership. Other Arab countries, like the United Arab Emirates, require a local owner to have 51% ownership. This is a major selling point for Bahrain because companies can be uneasy about giving up ownership.

According to the presenters, the cost to set up a business in Bahrain costs about half of what it does in Qatar or Dubai. These savings can continue to add up over multiple years as the company’s business increases. If you would the like the full presentation, please contact Sara Stubler at or Christine Boushka at


Sara Stubler