Company Registration in Qatar

Pauline Familara
Pauline Familara
27 February 2024
Company Registration in Qatar

On October 17, 2023, the Economic and Financial Affairs Council of the European Union excluded Qatar from the list of jurisdictions with unfair tax practices that are under particular scrutiny due to tax practices. This means that Qatar now complies with EU standards in tax transparency and cooperation with the international community.

This further enhances the country’s attractiveness for business, considering its political and economic stability, quality infrastructure, and low corporate tax rate (10%).

Benefits of Registering a Company in Qatar

Opening a business in this Gulf country offers several significant advantages. Let’s outline the most important ones:

  1. Tax incentives. The low corporate tax rate (10%), zero profit tax for companies in free economic zones, 5% VAT, and no fees on profit repatriation attract investors.
  2. Political and economic stability. The country is known for its stability and predictability, providing a reliable foundation for business in Qatar.
  3. Developed infrastructure. Modern transport networks, communication, and energy systems facilitate business operations and enhance efficiency.
  4. High GDP per capita and significant purchasing power.
  5. Government support. The government actively supports entrepreneurship by providing various incentive programs and financial assistance.
  6. Developed financial system. The presence of central banks and financial institutions ensures convenience and reliability in financial transactions.
  7. Access to international markets. Located on the coast of the Persian Gulf, Qatar offers vast opportunities for export and business expansion beyond the country.

Thus, registering a company in Qatar allows you to take advantage of these benefits. And tax incentives create a favorable and attractive environment for entrepreneurship and investment.

Company Registration in Qatar, photo 1

The Most Demanded Business Sectors in Qatar

Qatar is a dynamically developing country with a diversified economy. In addition to the oil and gas complex, other sectors of the economy are actively developing. Primarily, these are the following areas:

  • Infrastructure and construction.
  • Tourism and hospitality business.
  • Financial services.
  • Healthcare and medical services.
  • Education and science.
  • Information technology and digital transformation.
  • Manufacturing and processing.
  • Agriculture and food industry.
  • Retail trade and services.

As a result, one can find numerous promising sectors for business in Qatar. The specialists at our consulting agency will conduct thorough market research and provide qualified legal assistance in selecting the appropriate field of activity.

Legal Requirements for Opening a Business in Qatar

Requirements may vary depending on the type of organization, industry, and other factors. However, several standard procedures must be followed:

  1. Registration: You must register your company by local laws. This includes choosing the company’s legal form and name and preparing the necessary documents for registration.
  2. Licenses and permits: Depending on the type of activity, various permits may be required.
  3. Capital: Some types of businesses require a minimum initial capital. The amount is determined based on the intended activities.
  4. Taxes: Companies must comply with tax laws and pay all fees according to the established rates.
  5. Labor legislation: When hiring employees, it is necessary to comply with labor laws, including rules on labor relations, quotas, wages, and working conditions.
  6. Accounting reporting: Organizations must maintain accounting records and provide reports by local legislation.

The information provided here is not legal advice and is for informational purposes only. For professional advice, we recommend seeking assistance from the managers at Dynasty Business Adviser.

Types of Companies in Qatar

By the Commercial Companies Law No. 5 (2002), the following types of companies exist:

  1. Limited Liability Companies (LLC):
    • Most typical in Qatar.
    • Minimum authorized capital: 300,000 Qatari Riyals (QAR).
    • Must have a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 50 shareholders.
    • Shareholders have limited liability for their obligations.
  2. Joint Stock Companies (JSC):
    • Suitable for large enterprises.
    • Minimum authorized capital: 10,000,000 QAR.
    • Must have a minimum of 5 shareholders.
    • Shareholders have limited liability for their obligations.
  3. Closed Joint Stock Companies (CJSC):
    • Shares cannot be freely traded on the stock exchange.
    • Suitable for family businesses.
    • Minimum authorized capital: 3,000,000 QAR.
    • Must have a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 50 shareholders.
    • Shareholders have limited liability for their obligations.
  4. Partnerships:
    • Do not have legal personality.
    • All partners have unlimited joint liability for their obligations.
  5. Limited Partnerships:
    • Consist of limited partners (contributors) and one or more general partners.
    • General partners have unlimited joint liability for their obligations.
    • Limited liability is provided for limited partners for their obligations.
  6. Branches of Foreign Companies:
    • Do not have legal personality.
    • The parent company bears full responsibility for its obligations.
  7. Representative Offices of Foreign Companies:
    • Cannot conduct commercial activities.
    • Can represent the interests of the parent company.

These are the main types of companies available for registration in Qatar. The choice of a specific type depends on the goals and needs of the founders.

Documents for Registering a Company in Qatar

The list of documents may vary depending on the company’s status, business sector, and other factors. However, ultimately, you will need:

  1. Registration application:
    • Filled out online or at the Ministry of Economy and Commerce.
    • Should contain information about the company, its owners, and directors.
  2. Memorandum of Association (MOA):
    • Must be approved by a lawyer.
    • Should contain information about the company’s purpose, structure, capital, and management.
  3. Business plan: This should include information about the company’s products or services, its markets, strategy, and financial forecasts.
  4. Copies of passports and ID cards of all owners and directors of the company.
  5. Document confirming the payment of registration fees.
  6. Document confirming the address (lease agreement or registration location documents).
  7. Certificate of deposit of the authorized capital.

This is just a general list of documents, and specific requirements may vary depending on the type of organization and regional regulations.

Company Registration in Qatar, photo 2

The Procedure for Registering a Company in Qatar

The sequence of steps in the business registration procedure is as follows:

  1. Choose the type of company (LLC, JSC, branch, representative office, etc.).
  2. Obtain approval from the Ministry of Economy and Commerce or other relevant authorities (depending on the type of activity).
  3. Prepare documents: company memorandum, information about shareholders and directors, business plan, and other documents (depending on the type of company).
  4. Submit documents to the Ministry of Economy and Commerce and pay the registration fee.
  5. Obtain a registration certificate.
  6. Obtain licenses and permits depending on the type of activity.
  7. Open a bank account.
  8. Hire employees.

This is a general scheme provided for informational purposes. For detailed consultation on registering a company in Qatar, it is recommended to contact specialists at Dynasty Business Adviser.

Registration Timeline for a Company in Qatar

The registration timelines can vary depending on:

  1. The registration location: Opening in a Free Economic Zone (FEZ) usually occurs faster than registration outside.
  2. The complexity of the company’s structure and type of activity: The more complex they are, the more time may be required.
  3. The availability and readiness of all necessary documents.

On average, opening a business in Qatar can take:

  • In a FEZ: from 4 to 8 weeks.
  • Outside of a FEZ: from 6 to 10 weeks.

Taxation in Qatar

The tax system in Qatar is characterized by relatively low rates and a range of tax incentives for businesses. The primary levies include a 10% corporate income tax (except for oil companies, where the rate may be 35%) and a 5% value-added tax (VAT). Additionally, Qatar does not impose taxes on real estate and dividends, which creates a favorable tax environment for entrepreneurs.

Relevant legislative acts regulate taxation and are mandatory for legal entities to comply with.

Attitude towards Foreign Investors in Qatar

Overall, the attitude is favorable. The country actively attracts foreign investments, offering various incentives and stimuli to foreign companies. Qatar aims to develop its economy and diversify its investment portfolio.

However, like in any other country, foreign investors have certain restrictions and requirements. For example, they cannot directly own assets in Qatar’s oil and gas industry but can participate in joint ventures with state-owned companies.

There are also limitations on ownership of assets in banks and insurance companies — foreign investors can hold no more than 49% of the shares. Foreigners can own real estate in Qatar only in certain designated areas.

Overall, the government aims to create a favorable investment environment and encourages foreign companies to participate in the country’s economy.

Company Registration in Qatar, photo 3

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Company in Qatar?

The cost of opening a company in Qatar depends on the place of registration (in a special economic zone or outside it), the complexity of its structure, and the volume of related services obtained (legal, assistance in obtaining licenses, accounting services, etc.).

On average, expenses may amount to:

  1. In a special economic zone (SEZ) — from 20,000 to 50,000 Qatari riyals (QAR).
  2. Outside SEZ — from 50,000 to 100,000 QAR.

Approximate breakdown of expenses:

  1. Government fees:
    • Company registration — 2,000 QAR.
    • License acquisition — from 1,000 to 10,000 QAR.
  2. Legal services — from 5,000 to 20,000 QAR.
  3. Office rent — from 5,000 QAR monthly.
  4. Other expenses — document translation, accounting services, etc.

For a detailed calculation, please contact us through your preferred method, and we will provide complete information, taking into account the parameters of your business.

Company Registration in Qatar, photo 4

Advantages of Collaborating with Dynasty Business Adviser

Dynasty Business Adviser is a company that provides a full range of services for business registration and support in Qatar.

What we offer our clients:

  • Years of experience in business registration and support in Qatar.
  • Deep knowledge of Qatar’s legislation.
  • Comprehensive approach to business registration and support.
  • Saving your time and resources.
  • Guarantee of confidentiality and protection of your interests.

Dynasty Business Adviser is a reliable partner for your business in Qatar.

  • "Doing Business in Qatar: 2012 Country Commercial Guide for U.S. Companies" (PDF). US & Foreign Commercial Service And US Department of State.

  • "Qatar Distribution Company". Qatar Loving.

  • "Qatar National Development Strategy 2011~2016" (PDF). Doha, Qatar: Gulf Publishing and Printing Company. March 2011.

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