Lebanon flag Lebanon: Investing in Lebanon

Investment framework and opportunities in Lebanon

Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
Foreign investors may establish, acquire, and dispose of interests in business enterprises and may engage in all types of remunerative activities. However, restrictions apply to manufacture and trade products related to defense and weapons, political newspapers and all broadcast media, where only Lebanese nationals can obtain licenses. Furthermore, only Lebanese citizens are permitted to practice law.
Acquisition of Holdings
Foreigners are allowed to own and manage 100% of limited liability companies (SARL), unless the company engages in certain commercial activities such as exclusive commercial representation (in such cases, Lebanese citizens must hold a majority of capital, and the manager must be a Lebanese national).
Concerning joint-stock companies (Société Anonyme Libanaise – SAL), one-third of the board of directors should be Lebanese; board members can be either shareholders or non-shareholders; one-third of capital shares should be held by Lebanese for companies that provide public utility services; and capital shares and management in cases of exclusive commercial representation are limited (Legislative Decree No. 34 dated August 5, 1967). Banking, insurance, and cargo, which can only operate as SALs, are required to have a Lebanese majority on the board, making them, in practice, restricted for FDI.
For holding and offshore companies, all board members may be non-Lebanese.
Obligation to Declare
It is required of each foreign company wishing to do business in Lebanon to inform the Ministry of  Economy and Trade in a formal document prior to registering in the Commercial Registrar.
Competent Organisation For the Declaration
Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL)
Requests For Specific Authorisations
IDAL has the authority to award licenses and permits for new investment in specific sectors.
The law does not permit offshore banking, trust, and insurance companies to operate in Lebanon.
Banking, insurance, and cargo, which can only operate as SALs, are required to have a Lebanese majority on the board, making them, in practice, restricted for FDI.
Several restrictions apply to the real estate sector as well (cabinet approval is required for acquisitions of land above 3,000 square meters).

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
Invest in Lebanon (IDAL)
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Tenders Info, Tenders in Lebanon
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR), Information on projects to be awarded and ongoing and projects
Other Useful Resources
Central Bank of Lebanon
Ministry of Economy and Trade

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Latest Update: September 2022

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