Starting a Business in


Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Lebanon. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with between 10 and 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare Lebanon to 189 other economies.

  • No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs

    Designate a Lebanese lawyer

    Agency: Lawyer

    Each newly formed company must retain and pay an attorney on an annual basis. On April 26 2012, the Beirut Bar Association increased the minimum annual retainer to LBP 9,000,000 effective as of January 2013. This retainer can be paid by the company during the year. Startup fees are set by the Beirut Bar Association at LBP 3,000,000.

    1 day LBP 3,000,000 (attorney startup fees) + LBP 150,000 (Legalization of the Power of Attorney before the Bar Association)

    Deposit the capital in a bank

    Agency: Bank

    This procedure can be carried out on the basis of a signed and notarized copy of the articles of association.

    2 days no charge

    Register at the Company Registry

    Agency: Commercial Register

    The applicant submits the following documents to the company registrar at the Commercial Court, along with the total amount of required fees:
    • Articles of association
    • Commercial circulars
    • Minutes of the first general meeting of the partners
    • Registration application and a draft of the registration certificate to be issued
    • Document attesting the capital deposit
    • Partners’ identity cards or passports (copy)
    • Documents evidencing that the company is entitled to occupy the premises where it exercises its activities

    Fee schedule for company registration:
    • Tax for the magistrates’ mutual fund: LBP 375,000 lump tax + 0.15% of the capital+ LBP 1,000 flat registration fee + LBP 500 application fee + LBP 1,000 certified copy + LBP 500 commercial publication fee
    • Stamp duty: equal to 0.3% of capital + LBP 750,000 lump sum stamp duty + LBP 2,000 flat registration fee + LBP 1,000 application fee + LBP 2,000 certified copy + enrollment fee (Qaydeyia) LBP 250+ LBP 1,000 commercial publication fee

    If the Bylaws are not signed before the Commercial Registry, additional fees are levied as follows:
    • Notarization of the articles of association: LBP 8,500 for each page.
    • Notarization fee: LBP 100,000 lump sum.
    • Notary public tax: 0.1% of capital.

    2 days see comments

    Notify the Ministry of Finance of commencement of business operations

    Agency: Ministry of Finance

    Within 2 months of registration, the company must submit a notification of commencement of business activities to the Ministry of Finance in order to register for income tax and VAT.

    2 days no charge

    Register at the National Social Security Fund (NSSF)

    Agency: National Social Security Fund

    This procedure has two functions: “Registration” of a new employee and “Confirmation” by the system.

    The “Registration” function entails submitting a file for each new employee at the NSSF regional office closest to the company premises and obtaining a file reference number (or a receipt acknowledging the registration) immediately upon the submission. Once this “Registration” function is completed, the business is considered to have fulfilled its legal obligations with the NSSF. The benefits to the newly registered employees, under NSSF rules, will also become immediately effective. The Time to complete this procedure is 1 day at no cost to the employer or the employee.

    The “Confirmation” function consists of issuing a hard copy document (printed on a special size sheet) in the name of the registered employee along with his/her unique NSSF ID. Due to the lack of printing equipment at NSSF, the confirmation documents are printed in batches every few days or so. Therefore, it could take up to 30 days for a confirmation sheet to be received by the newly registered employee.

    1 day no charge

    File internal labor regulations (règlement intérieur) with the Ministry of Labor

    Agency: Ministry of Labor

    When the number of employees at a company reaches 15 then the company will have to file internal labor regulations (règlement intérieur) with the Ministry of Labor according to Art. 66 of the Labor Code.

    1 day no charge
    * 7

    Register for VAT

    Agency: VAT Department

    Registration for VAT is done at the VAT Department. To obtain a VAT certificate of registration, it may take between 7 and 10 days. There are specific forms to fill out for each kind of registration. The VAT department is independent from the taxes’ department. The registration in both departments is free of charge.

    one week (simultaneous with previous procedure) no charge
    * 8

    Obtain a company seal

    Agency: Seal maker

    Although not mandated by law, the majority of companies prefer to have company stamps.
    they can be order at any seal-making company.

    1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure) LBP 20,000-35,000

    * Takes place simultaneously with previous procedure.