Qatar is one of the most prosperous and wealthiest countries globally. Thanks to its diverse business sectors, political and economic stability, and rich gas and oil resources, the country now boasts one of the world’s strongest GDPs, making it an ideal destination for businesses.
If you are an entrepreneur interested in setting up a business in Qatar, this following guide will help you start your journey:
Step-by-Step Process for Setting Up Business in Qatar
These are the seven steps of establishing a company in Qatar:
Step 1. Company Legal Structure
The most important thing in starting a business in Qatar is choosing the most appropriate legal structure for your company’s business activities. Your company’s corporate entity will determine your personal and company’s liability, ownership arrangement, fundraising abilities, and other paperwork required.
Step 2. Trade Name
Trade name registrations are done through the Public Register in Qatar’s Financial Centre Companies registration office. It is good to prepare at least 3 names in case your first choice might have already been registered or rejected.
Step 3. Draft the Articles of Association (AOA)
Articles of Association is a document containing your company name, capital, headquarters, the purpose for the establishment, founders’ names, nationalities, resident status, and professions. AOA must be drafted by authorized lawyers and made in accordance with Qatar Companies Law.
Step 4. Commercial Residence (CR)
After submitting your trade name and articles of association, you will be issued a commercial residence (CR). This document will be given by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) and is required for opening a corporate bank account.
Step 5. Open a Corporate Bank Account
Opening a corporate bank account is essential in incorporating your business in Qatar. This is where you will deposit the initial capital or funds required for your business.
Step 6. Get a Trade License
To get an office approved by MEC to do business, you must get your trade license. This permit depends on the type of business structure your company has chosen. To get a trade license, you must submit the following application form along with copies of the identification of each of the business authorities:
- Commercial Residence
- Articles of incorporation
- Photos of the office building and office space from the outside and inside
- Building completion certificate
- Owner’s ID
- Rental agreement
Step 7. Get a Computer Card
A computer card is a document identifying the signing authority of the company. This is required to get issuance permits to be able to hire full-time employees. The application will be done through the Immigration and Passport control office and must be submitted with the following:
- A completed application form including the name of the individuals who want to be on the computer card as the signing authority and company stamp
- A copy of your CR
- A copy of your company’s Trade License
- Company IDs of all the shareholders
- Company IDs of individuals who want to be on the computer card
Benefits of Starting a Company in Qatar
100% Foreign ownership. To attract more foreign investors, Qatar made significant efforts to open its business globally. The government started allowing 100% foreign ownership for investors in 2019 in all economic sectors subject to specific legislation regarding commercial activities carried out by non-Qataris.
Low Tax Rates. One of the huge advantages of starting a company in Qatar is that tax rates are one of the lowest in the world. Corporate income tax is only subject to a flat 10%, while exemption from import taxes is also implemented.
Global logistics hub. Qatar houses 4 airports, 7 ports, and harbors which are directly situated halfway along Europe and Asia. This allows easy access to international and trade markets for businesses in the country.
Ease of doing business. With business-friendly regulations, including online processes and many consultancy firms to reach out to, it’s easy to start a company in the country. Qatar’s EODB is expected to reach 81.00 by the end of 2022 and is expected to record a higher rank in 2023.
Qatar Free Zones
There are numerous free zones in Qatar that can help achieve your company’s financial goal. Depending on the nature of your business activity, you can choose the following business licenses to operate in the country:
- Auditing Company License
- Commercial License
- Contracting Companies License
- Contracting Companies License
- Clinic License
- Engineering Consultancy License
- Industrial License
- Restaurant License
- Signage License
- Shipping Agency License
- School and Institute License
- Trade License (According to the type of business activity)
- Travel and Tourism Agency License
Company Legal Forms
Company legal forms will determine the liabilities, obligations, ownership arrangements, and documents you must prepare upon setting up your business. Here are the following company structures in Qatar that you can choose from:
- Sole Proprietorship Company (SPC) / One Person Company
- Simple Partnership Company
- Joint Venture
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
- Public Shareholding Company
- Private Shareholding Company
- Holding Company
- Branch Company
- Trade Representative Office
How can we help
Starting a company in Qatar seems complex and intimidating, but Creative Zone will help you ensure fast and hassle-free company incorporation.
Our team, composed of professionals specializing in company registration, has helped over 50,000 entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses worldwide. Our business solutions are tailored to meet your company’s needs from pre- to post-launching.
CZ is also offering flexible payment methods to its diverse catalog of services from media and marketing, legal, tax, accounting, co-working space solutions, and other PRO-related services to ensure a low-cost and successful company registration.