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Local business incentives - Legal forms of companies - Registration and licensing procedures - Legal framework - Foreign exchange control - Regulations concerning equity investment - FDI inflows - Expertise of the political risk

Local business incentives

The State encourages technology transfers and the development of industries which carry out technology transfers in free trade zones. Imports of machines, equipments, spare parts and building materials intended for the installation of new factories in Lebanon benefit from customs duties exemptions. Different tax, financial and urban allowances have been implemented in the industrial sector in order to encourage production.
Furthermore, the State privileges hotel trade and tourism sectors in order to boost tourism in Lebanon. Consequently, the imported hotel equipments (material and machines) benefit from customs duties exemptions provided that the exploitation period is minimum ten years. Other incentives have been implemented in other sectors such as agriculture.
The Investment Development Agency of Lebanon (IDAL) provides support and assistance for investment matters.


Legal forms of companies

Form Number of partners/shareholders Minimum and/or maximum capital Liability Registration fee Release of financial documents

Public Limited Company (SA)
Minimum 3 partners. Minimum capital of
LL 30,000,000
Partners' liability is limited to the amount contributed. LL 1,000,000 stamp duty
Private Limited Company (SARL) Minimum 3 partners.
Maximum 20 partners.
Minimum capital of
LL 5,000,000
Partners' liability is limited to the amount contributed.
General Partnership (SNC). Minimum 2 partners. No minimum capital. Partners are jointly and severally liable for debts on their assets.
Limited Partnership by shares (SCA) Minimum 3 partners.
Two sorts of partners: sleeping partners and active partners.

Minimum capital of LL 30,000,000.
Liability of active partners is unlimited. Liability of sleeping partners is limited to the amount contributed.

Registration and licensing procedures
A company can be created within a week, because the corporation formalities are very simplified (constitution and corporation with the Trade Register). The status of the Public Limited Company and any further changes must be sent in and registered with a notary where the company is located.

Foreign exchange control
Free capital, interests and dividends transfers with no limitation or control.

Regulations concerning equity investment
Law in Lebanon does not impose local participation. For the Public Limited Companies, law requires that half of the administrators have Lebanese citizenship, with no definite part of the holding interest in capital held by these administrators.  

Foreign Direct Investment inflows in Lebanon

FDI inflows 2003 2004 2005 World rank (*)
FDI inflows (USD million) 2860 1899 2573 7/141
Source : UNCTAD - World Investment Report
Note : (*) World Rank = UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index. It is a measure of the extend to which a host country receives inward FDI relative to its economic size. It is calculated as a ratio of the country's share in global FDI inflows to its share in global GDP.


Last modified in 2006 - ongoing update
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