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Lebanon Commercial Register

What is the Lebanon Commercial Register?

The Lebanon Commercial Register (السجل التجاري) is a state-operated database containing corporate summaries of private and publicly traded commercial entities registered in Lebanon. In addition, the register includes local branches of international companies and offshore Lebanese companies operating in Lebanese free-trade zones or abroad.

How to Search the Lebanon Commercial Register

Companies included in the register will have always have a registration number (رقم التسجيل), most times an official Arabic trade name (الاسم التجاري), and occasionally an English name (الاسم الإضافي). Rarely will the record include solely a company’s English trade name. 

Overview of Contents

The Lebanon Commercial Register provides a one-page summary for every company in Lebanon. The record comprises several key pieces of information. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) generates this record whenever a new company is established and continues to update it for the duration of that company’s existence. Besides this record, the registry does not provide any additional documents for Lebanese companies. 

Breaking Down the Lebanon Commercial Register

A company’s corporate record includes numerous sections covering a wide variety of information. This article will highlight some of the sections considered by Sayari analysts to be the most useful for investigations:

 

  • Registration number and date
  • Names
  • Address
  • Capital and operating status
  • Corporate structure
  • Activities
  • Shareholders and affiliated individuals
  • Branches
  • Actions

Registration Number (رقم التسجيل) and Registration Date (تاريخ التسجيل)

The registration number and registration date are key to finding an exact match when searching in the Lebanon Commercial Register. Once a company is found, these two data points can be used to cross check with information from other sources to ensure a correct match.

It is important to note that the MoJ sometimes recycles registration numbers, leading to false positives. In this case, analysts should cross reference these numbers with the other information included in the corporate record covered below.

Company Names (الاسم التجاري والاسم الإضافي)

In an ideal scenario, this section of the record will contain both a company’s Arabic and English names. The inclusion of a company’s Arabic trade name is quite consistent. The inclusion of the English trade name alongside the Arabic one is less so, but not unusual. As mentioned above, on rare occasions, the register will feature solely a company’s English name.

 

The company’s name often precedes the abbreviated corporate structure when applicable (i.e. ش.م.ل, denoted as SAL in English). Due to inconsistencies in spelling and punctuation, it is best not to include this abbreviation when searching the Lebanon Commercial Register. For example, searching for Fransabank SAL using the Arabic exactly as it appears in the register (فرنسبنك ش.م.ل) yields no results. However, if the abbreviated corporate structure is left off, Fransabank SAL appears, even though it was not included in the results when searched for as listed in the register.

 

Helpful vocabulary:

 

Trade Name

الاسم التجاري

Additional (English) Name

الاسم الإضافي

Company Address (العنوان)

While a company’s address can help analysts verify their target, it is not an easy source of information to use, due to its irregular structure. Company addresses in the register are commonly listed in the following format: division of city – subdivision or neighborhood – street – building – floor, but can vary greatly. If we look at Centre de Traitement Monetique Company SAL, we see the address box filled out as: division of city – neighborhood – building. There is no street name or floor number listed. Additionally, the register assumes the users’ familiarity with Lebanese geography.

 

Example 1: division of city – neighborhood – building

 

Centre de Traitement Monetique Company SAL

شركة سنتر دو تريثمان مونيتيك (س.ت.ام) ش.م.ل

Ashrafiya – Fesooh – Lebanese – French Bank Building

الاشرفية – فسوح – بناية البنك اللبناني الفرنسي ش.م.ل

 

Example 2: neighborhood – street – number (might identify building or unit) – building name – floor

 

Chemica Company SARL

شركة كميكا ش.م.م

Ein Almarisa – John Kennedy Street – Number 625 – Idris Building – First Floor

عين المريسة – شارع جون كندي – رقم  625 بناية ادريس – الطابق الاول

 

Helpful vocabulary:

 

Street

شارع

Neighborhood

حيّ

Area

منطقة

Building

بناية / مبنى / عمارة

Floor

الطابق

Company Capital and Operating Status (رأس مال ووضع الشركة)  

These sections help clarify the company’s operating status and financial capital. It is important to look at the company status because the corporate record for a dissolved or closed company will often appear similar to that of an open one. The company’s capital is always listed in Lebanese Lira.

Helpful vocabulary: 

Company status

وضع الشركة

Operating

قائمة

Written off

مشطوبة

Dissolved and Written off

حل وشطب

Dissolved

محلولة

Bankrupt

مفلسة

Under Liquidation

قيد التصفية

Temporary Work-stop

توقف عن العمل مؤقتا

Expired (license)

منتهية

Relocated

منقولة

Has not received final authorization

عدم مباشرة العمل

Corporate Structure (الشكل القانوني)

This box lists the type of company. This classification is essential to understanding what information may or may not be listed in the commercial register. Two of the most common company types listed are ش.م.م (SARL: Société à responsabilité limitée) and ش.م.ل (SAL: Société anonyme libanaise).

Company Activities (نوع النشاط)

This is the last box located above the shareholders and affiliated individuals section and details the activities the company is legally able to undertake. Occasionally, information related to the founding of the company is mentioned here. You can use this information to verify that the company’s activities match your target’s.

Shareholders and Affiliated Individuals (المساهمون/الأشخاص)

This is perhaps the most important section of the register. Depending on the company type, the Lebanese Government may or may not be lawfully obligated to list all individuals affiliated with the company. A company’s stakeholders and affiliated persons are frequently included in this section.

 

Helpful vocabulary:

 

Shareholders

المساهمون

Individuals

الأشخاص

Name

الاسم

Citizenship

الجنسية

Relationship (to the company)

نوع العلاقة

Number of Shares

الأسهم / الحصص

Percentage

النسبة

Founder

مؤسس

Member of the Board of Directors

عضو مجلس إدارة

Authorized Signatory

مفوض توقيع

Shareholder

مساهم

Partner

شريك

President of the Board of Directors

رئيس مجلس إدارة

Internal Auditor

مفوض مراقبة

General Manager/Director

مدير عام

Assistant General Manager/Director

مساعد مدير عام

Lawyer

محامي

Branches (الفروع)

This section lists the company’s domestic and international branches. Other spaces affiliated with the company might also be listed, including storage warehouses. If the location is domestic, the register specifies the city within Lebanon. If the branch is international, it will specify the name of the company and its country in the same space, without specifying a city.

 

Helpful vocabulary:

 

Branch

الفرع

City

المدينة

Not Applicable/Not Specified

غير محدد

Actions (وقوعات وإشارات)

This section lists actions that affect the company more generally. You might find information related to bankruptcy, asset seizures, lawsuits, loans, or public concessions. The record of societe libanaise pour le développement et la reconstruction du centre ville de beyrouth (solidere-centre beyrouth) SAL, known as Solidere, includes a long list of actions. The most recent was in 2015, when a lawsuit was filed against them. Most of the details about the lawsuit are listed in the first box. However, it is rare for a decision or financial amount to be listed. In most cases, only the initial action will be included. This could be useful analytical information when searching for an individual involved in a legal action. Below is a simple example of an entry in the actions section of the report:

 

Fadi Khouri has filed a legal suit, case number 157/2015, against the company

استحضار دعوى رقم 157/2015 المدعي فادي الخوري ضد الشركة

 

Helpful vocabulary:

 

To bring suit

استحضار دعوى

Plaintiff

المدعي

Defendant

المدعى عليه/عليها

Against

ضد

Sequestration

الحجز الاحتياطي

Executive seizure

الحجز التنفيذي

Notice of execution of a will

إشعار تبليغ طلب تنفيذ وصية

Subject

الموضوع

Source/Authority

المصدر

Amount

المبلغ

Beirut Trade Court

محكمة التجارة في بيروت

Beirut Implementation Directorate

دائرة تنفيذ بيروت

The Court of First Instance

المحكمة الابتدائية المتن

Beirut Civil Court of First Instance

محكمة بداية بيروت المدنية

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