Pursuant to Law No. 28 of 2014, an individual or group of individuals may become a property developer and undertake the following business activities:

  • developing a project in Bahrain for either commercial or residential purposes;
  • sells properties; and
  • receive payments from selling these properties

In order to become licensed developer, the following statutory requirements are prerequisite:

1. Check Land Status

  • The land, on which the project will be built, should be registered under the developer.
  • Check the classification of the land with the Survey and Land Registration Bureau (SLRB) i.e. if the land can be for both commercial and residential purposes.

2. Check the Activity on Sijlat

  • Activity of the developer should include “Real estate activities with own or lease property (ISIC4 Code 681)”.

3. Get A Developers License (Online Application)

There are two types of licenses issued by RERA:

  • Developer License (Company)
  • Developer License (Individual)

4. Get A Development License i.e. an Off-Plan Sale Project License

This is a License for New Developments (Online Application Not Available)

  • The license requires a completed application form. The same form can be used by companies or individuals.
  • The application fee will depend on the project value. The project value is the sum of the land value and construction costs.

Note: A development license is not required if you are not selling off-plan. “If the developer is self-financing a construction project or is financing by methods other than selling units off-plan, then a development license is not required.”

5. Open an Escrow Account

  • Developers are required to open an escrow account with a financial institution prior to applying for a Development License
  • An escrow account reduces the risk of non-completion of the building and ensure that all payment deposited for the completion of the building are used for that purpose only and not for any other purposes. The escrow account also ensures that the Developer invests a minimum of 20% in the Development.

6. Get an Advertising License

There are two types of advertising licenses:

  • Market research advertising license (temporary license) – This license is only applicable to developers who have not started construction on the development and valid for 9 months period. If construction has commenced, the developer will not be legible to obtain this license.
  • Full advertising license: A developer (or broker) must have an advertising license to advertise and sell units off-plan to buyers for each new development project.