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Types of Business Structures
TYPES OF BUSINESS STRUCTURES

Joint Stock Company S.A.L

A Lebanese Joint Stock Company (JSC) is constituted amongst shareholders who are only liable to the extent of their contribution and who subscribe to negotiable instruments referred to as ‘shares’. Lebanese joint stock companies must necessarily have the Lebanese nationality, and must by all means establish their headquarters in Lebanon.


IN BRIEF

  • Minimum initial capital is USD 20,000
  • Minimum number of shareholders is 3
  • No restrictions on foreign participation except for certain restricted sectors
  • Majority of board members must be Lebanese nationals

 

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Holding Company

A Holding Company is a special type of Joint Stock Company that has a limited object and benefits from special tax treatment and other provisions. 

 

IN BRIEF

  • Minimum initial capital is USD 20,000
  • Minimum number of shareholders is 3
  • Board of Directors can be entirely constituted of non-Lebanese
  • Exempted from taxes on profits and distribution of dividends
  • Minimum capital can be denominated in foreign currency

 

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Offshore Company

An Offshore Company is a special type of Joint Stock Company (enacted by Decree Law No 46 of June 24, 1983, amended by Law no. 19 of September 5, 2008) designed to be constituted in Lebanon but which operates only in the Lebanese free zone and/or outside the Lebanese territory.

 

IN BRIEF

  • Special case of Joint Stock Company
  • Operates in the Lebanese free zones or abroad, but is constituted in Lebanon
  • Does not require Lebanese Nationals as Board members and could be fully owned by non-Lebanese
  • Minimum capital can be denominated in foreign currency


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Limited Liability Company S.A.R.L

A Limited Liability Company is governed by Decree-Law No 35 of August 5, 1967 and is commonly referred to in Lebanon as S.A.R.L (this is the French equivalent of L.L.C). An S.A.R.L is founded by at least three partners with a maximum of 20. As indicated by its name, the company’s partners have a limited liability, limited to the amount of their contribution to the company.

 

IN BRIEF

  • Minimum initial capital of LBP 5,000,000, or USD 3,333
  • Partners (at least three) have a limited liability based on their contribution to the company
  • May not operate in the fields of insurance, economics, banking, finance, supplies, and organized freight
  • Does not have a governing Board
  • May not issue ‘negotiable instruments’

 

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Branch/Representative Office of a Foreign Company

For a Foreign Commercial Company to operate in Lebanon it must register as a ‘Branch’ or ‘Representative’ office. 

 

IN BRIEF

  • The Branch must have the same object as the mother company, and can engage in regular trade activities
  • The Representative Office is restricted and limited to the promotion of the head office’s services and products

 

For more information, click here.

Get in Touch
Lazarieh Tower, 4th Floor, Emir Bechir Street, Riad El-Solh Beirut, Lebanon, P.O.Box 113-7251
Phone
+961 1 983306 / 7 / 8
Fax
+961 1 983302 /3
SETTING UP YOUR BUSINESS IN LEBANON GUIDE 2016