Different options to set up a business in Qatar

Think of business in Qatar, and several industries are likely to spring to mind. The country is famous for its vast oil reserves, as well as its natural gas fields, steel works and, of course, its thriving financial industry.

However, this is just to scratch the service of what Qatar has to offer. As the country’s economy continues to diversify, many more industries are on the up. And with the world’s eyes on Qatar now more than ever, there’s never been a better time to get started. So, keep reading to find out:

  • Why now is the right time to set up a business in Qatar
  • Types of company setup options in Qatar
  • The eight steps to start your business in Qatar
  • Why Creative Zone?

Why now is the right time to set up a business in Qatar

FIFA World Cup 2022
In November of this year, Qatar will host the 2022 Men’s FIFA World Cup, becoming the first Arab country to do so.

Not only will this world-famous event turn the global focus on the country, but it is also set to open up many new opportunities in the fields of travel, construction, real estate and many more. Plus, with 1.5m visitors over the course of the event, it presents an incredible opportunity to showcase the country’s incredible hospitality and kick-start its long-term tourism strategy.

Economic diversification
As part of the Qatar National Vision 2030, the country is upping its efforts to diversify its economy away from oil and gas. This drive includes working towards “reasonable and sustained rates of economic growth that secure a high standard of living for this generation and for future generations.”

On top of this, the National Vision also states that Qatar’s rulers are committed to developing a “stimulating business climate capable of attracting foreign funds and technologies and of encouraging national investments.” For overseas entrepreneurs, this presents an incredible opportunity to enter a new, welcoming and encouraging global market.

Modern living, incredible infrastructure
Qatar has long reinvested its vast oil and gas wealth into improving the country’s infrastructure. The result is a modern metropolis with incredible links to every corner of the globe. Today, Qatar benefits from a 1,000+ kilometre road network, four airports, and seven ports and harbours.

It is also home to an enviable urban community, with everything from peaceful waterfront living to stylish city centre apartments. The country ranks incredibly well for both standard of living and general safety, not to mention its world-renowned health, education and public services sectors.

Types of company setup options in Qatar

There are several common company setup options available in Qatar. One of the most popular is the free zone business. There are many free zones in Qatar, including Qatar Free Zone, Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), Qatar Media City, and Qatar Financial Centre. There are also free zones connected to the Hamad International Airport, and the Umm Al Houl sea port.

Free zone companies in Qatar benefit from the following:

  • 100% foreign ownership with full capital repatriation
  •  Branch or LLC structuring options
  • Access to investment funding
  •  Robust laws in data protection and protecting intellectual property
  • Zero customs duties
  •  Availability of residence visa
  •  Full access to Qatar’s double taxation treaty network with over 65 countries

Another option is to set up a Limited Liability Company (LLC) on the Qatar mainland. To do this, foreign entrepreneurs must work with a local partner who will hold a 51% stake in the business.

While profits are not shared down these lines, and local partners have no decision-making powers, ensuring that you work with a trusted and expert partner is still vital. The team at Creative Zone can assist with providing trusted local partners and corporate sponsorship options to minimise the risk factor.

Finally, foreign entrepreneurs can open branch or trade representative offices of existing companies.

The eight steps to start your business in Qatar

With the right support, setting up a new company in Qatar takes just eight steps. However, the process can be more difficult if you are unsure of the country’s regulations and business practices. For this reason, it is always advisable to work with an expert such as Creative Zone.

After getting to know your business and its requirements, our dedicated team will guide you through the following steps.

Company Name Reservation – This is a vital step and must be done in compliance with the rules of the country. That means you must not include any words that could be deemed offensive or blasphemous. You must also choose words that can be translated into Arabic.

Once you have made your choice, we will help you reserve your trade name with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce.

Draft the Memorandum of Association (MOA) or Articles of Association (AOA) – This is a document that outlines the relevant details of the company and its objectives. We will conduct this step with the assistance of a legal advisor and present it as a business plan study.

Attestation – The MOA/AOA must be attested by the relevant authority under the Ministry of Justice.

Verification – Once the MOA/AOA has been verified, we will manage the application for the license and tax certificate.

Secure office premises – Due to a recent rule change, all mainland companies must have an address of a commercial office space registered against its name. So, before you can start trading, you will need to lease premises or secure another office solution.

Establishment card – Once you have obtained your trade license, you can apply for a computer card or an establishment card from the Ministry of Interior. This is a crucial requirement for running a business in Qatar.

Get TIN – Another crucial setup is to register with the Public Revenue and Tax Authority so that your business can obtain its Tax Identification Number (TIN).

Get the Company Seal – The final step is the company seal. This is issued by the relevant authority, depending on the nature of your business. Once received, you are ready to trade.

Why Creative Zone

When you work with Creative Zone, you benefit from the experience of one of the largest and most trusted company setup advisory firms in the region.

Our services are rated the highest in the market, so you can be sure of peace of mind throughout the company formation process and beyond. We provide the same care and attention to all our clients. So, whether you are a small startup or a big brand, you can be sure that we always address your best interests.

All our fees are clearly laid out with no hidden costs, and almost all documents for your business setup can be submitted remotely or online. We can even pick up documents and deliver them to your home free of charge. So, if you’re ready to start your business in Qatar, get in touch and we’ll take it from there.


Prices offered by free zones are subject to change without notice. Please get in touch with Creative Zone for an updated price based on the current promotions and availability.