Published: May 11, 2023

Reminder: Renew your Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) Registration

In 2020, the Bahrain Ministry of Industry and Commerce (“MOIC”) passed Resolution Number (83) of 2020 concerning the Standards, Requirements and Rules to Determine the Ultimate Beneficiaries (“UBO Resolution”), with the aim of prescribing rules and guidelines (“UBO Rules”) with respect to Ultimate Beneficial Owners (“UBO”). The MOIC has also published supplementary guidance and clarification as to the application of the UBO Resolution.

By way of a recap, with the exception of entities which are licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain (“CBB“), the UBO Rules apply to all natural or legal persons who are registered with the MOIC and have a Commercial Registration (“CR“) (“Registered Person(s)”). Such will include registered companies as well as branches of foreign companies.

Amongst other obligations, the Registered Person is required to provide the MOIC with all prescribed information and copy documents relating to its UBO(s), and has a continuing obligation to update such information and documents immediately (if applicable) upon a change of UBO(s) or their details. Where there is no change to the Registered Person’s UBO(s), the Registered Person must renew the UBO registration on the MOIC’s online portal.

The UBO Rules prescribe a variety of items of information and documents which are to be submitted by a Registered Person to the MOICT with respect to each of its UBOs including the following:

  • Full name(s);
  • Passport Number and copy passport;
  • Identification Card Number and copy of Identification Card Number (if applicable);
  • Details of country of tax residence of UBO and UBO’s Tax Identification Number in the country of tax residence (if applicable);
  • Residential address, email and contact phone number for UBO(s); and
  • A UBO form.
Penalties for non-compliance

Where the Registered Person refuses or fails to provide the MOIC with all required information and documents of the UBO(s) or provides incorrect information or documents, the following sanctions may be imposed by the MOIC:

  • A block from completing any applications on the online portal of the MOIC until the UBO has been renewed;
  • Suspension of the Registered Person’s Commercial Registration (CR) for a period of up to six (6) months;
  • Cancellation of the Registered Person’s Commercial Registration (CR); or
  • Imposition of financial penalties.
What you should do next

It is important for your Bahrain based businesses to:

  1. Apply the UBO Rules to their business to ascertain the identities of its UBOs;
  2. Amend the registered UBO details where there is a change or renew the UBO where there is no change.
  3. Adhere to the obligations imposed on Registered Persons by virtue of the UBO Resolution; and
  4. Ensure that the required information and documents are submitted with the MOIC without delay.

How can we help?

As the leading law firm in the Middle East & North Africa Region and with strong corporate structuring experience across all industry sectors in the region, Al Tamimi & Company is well placed to assess the impact of the UBO Rules on your organisation and to assist you with the relevant application to the MOIC to ensure a successful registration of the UBO(s).

If you would like to further discuss the contents of this update, please contact Al Tamimi & Company in Bahrain.

Key Contacts

Layla Alalawi

Associate, Corporate Structuring