National Anti-Commercial Concealment Campaign - FAQ

  • What is Commercial Concealment?
    Commercial Concealment is enabling a non-Bahraini to practice a commercial activity that is prohibited for him, such as the using of personal data of a Bahraini (or someone of similar status), his license, or his commercial registry, or other methods that lead to Commercial Concealment.

  • Who is considered a person who conceals?
    Any Bahraini (or someone of similar status) who enables a non-Bahraini (who is prohibited from practicing some commercial activities) to work for his own account.

  • Who is considered a person who is concealed?
    Any non-Bahraini who works for his/her own account and being concealed by a Bahraini (or someone of similar status).

  • Why is Commercial Concealment a crime?
    A Commercial Concealment is considered a crime because the State granted the right to practice commercial business to the business owner himself and not for that right to be granted to others.

  • An example of a Commercial Concealment?
    When a Bahraini assigns a non-Bahraini to run his/her commercial establishment in exchange for a sum of money, without his/her interference with the type of commercial activity or with the right to manage it.

  • What are the conditions of the crime of Commercial Concealment?
    • A Bahraini who enables a non-Bahraini to practice a business of profession that is prohibited for non-Bahrainis.
    • A non-Bahraini who practices the said commercial activity that is prohibited on him.
    • A commercial activity prohibited to be practiced by a non-Bahraini.

  • What is the evidence/signs for a Commercial Concealment?
    • The non-involvement of the Bahraini owner in the establishment’s processes which managed by the non-Bahraini.
    • When the non-Bahraini directly deals in the buying and selling operations with customers and settles the debts bills without the interference or review by the CR owner on these commercial operations
    • The Bahraini delegate to the non-Bahraini the authority to receive, collect and deliver money on his/her behalf.

  • Is giving a commercial establishment to a non-Bahraini in exchange for an amount against the law?
    Yes, the law in Bahrain prohibits such unlawful practices and is it considered a type of Commercial Concealment that the Kingdom is working to combat.

  • What are the impact of the Commercial Concealment (selling or renting CRs) on the national economy?
    Commercial Concealment limits the growth of the national economy and is considered an unlawful investment that crowds out national investment, and it also disrupts the balance of legitimate and fair competition between business owners and affects the services which negatively effects their quality due to the unclear relation between the parties to the commercial process (business owner, consumer, provider, and distributor).

  • When the case is considered as Commercial Concealment?
    Commercial Concealment takes place when the selling or leasing of the commercial shop is undocumented without a sales contract or a lease agreement for the commercial shop to which the CR is issued.

  • Does Bahraini law prohibit selling or renting a commercial register?
    Yes, according to the law, it is prohibited for any business owner – be it an individual or a company - registered in the commercial register to sell or rent the CR or rent his commercial shop to a non-Bahraini.

  • What is the penalty for selling or renting the CR?
    In the event of committing the violation of selling or leasing a commercial registry “CR” (Commercial Concealment), legal procedures shall be taken by the Ministry against those who carry out commercial concealment, including administrative closure of the commercial shop until the legal status of the CR is corrected. In the event of repetition, a penalty of a period not exceeding one year of imprisonment will be implemented and a penalty of a fine not exceeding 1,000 Bahraini dinars, or one of these penalties, in addition to a ruling for the erasing of the CR from the register “striking off” and closing the commercial shop in which the violation occurred.

  • Is the penalty valid on the buyer or the lessee of the commercial registry?
    Yes, the same penalty that falls on the owner of the CR applies to the buyer of the CR or its leaser, as the sale or leasing contract did not include the CR number as well as the details of the non-Bahraini buyer or leaser.

  • What are the penalties for practicing a commercial activity without obtaining a license from the competent authorities?
    Without prejudice to other stricter penalty stipulated in another law, anyone who carries out a commercial activity without a license shall be punished with imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year and a fine of not less than one thousand dinars, and not exceeding one hundred thousand dinars, or one of these two penalties.

  • What are the legal obligations that business owners have with respect to avoiding Commercial Concealment?
    It is not permissible for a Bahraini to enable a non-Bahraini to sub-own and control any commercial activity through selling or renting out his CR, as the business owner has to abide by legitimate competition laws in the Kingdom.

  • What are the negative effects of a Commercial Concealment (selling or renting a CR)?
    It has a negative impact on fair competition and would lead to monopolization of non-Bahrainis on some commercial activities, conducting commercial activities in unregulated ways, in addition to exposing the Bahraini business owner to legal accountability.

  • What are the rights guaranteed to the business owner in relation to combating Commercial Concealment?
    The Government is committed to receiving reports and complaints from all parties of the commercial process about the Commercial Concealment practitioners, and to protecting business owners from unfair competition by concealers and those who are concealed. This is done through the Ministry's supervisory role to uncover those committing the crime of concealment.

  • What are the channels to get more information and support?
    • Contact 80008001.
    • email
    • National suggestion and complaint system (Tawasul).

  • How can the violating commercial registry holder correct his legal status?
    • Contact 80008001.
    • email
    • Sijilat system.
    • Professional bodies.

  • What are the benefits that accrue to the owner of the commercial registry when legalizing the status of the commercial registry?
    • Sharing responsibility.
    • An active role for the Bahraini trader.
    • Allowing the way to choose the appropriate legal form.
    • Give legal status to partners, and flexibility in dealing with all parties.
    • Ownership ratios in commercial activities, opening the way for partnership and commercial business horizons.
    • Eliminating the commercial concealment secures fair competition and preserving rights.