How to Start an Import-Export Business in Qatar

The State of Qatar’s economy is one of the fastest-growing in the Middle Eastern region. It has state-of-the-art modern infrastructure, a liberal business environment, stable governance, and social and political stability, making it a great place to invest and start a business.

And currently, the import and export trade is one of the hottest industries in Qatar. You may do everything from importing exotic clothing to exporting lighting fixtures in international trade.

If you are an investor or entrepreneur contemplating starting an import-export business in Qatar but are unsure how to do so, this post can help you. We will cover the following topics:

  • Benefits of starting an import-export business in Qatar
  •  Steps to start an import-export business in Qatar
  • Different types of company set up in Qatar
  • Working with Creative Zone
  • Benefits of starting an import-export business in Qatar



Qatar routinely ranks among the world’s top economies in competitiveness and creativity. With a dynamic economy, the nation provides several prospects for your business to succeed.

• Ideal location: According to the most recent data, Qatar is now the 47th biggest export economy globally and a reliable commercial partner for many nations across the globe.

• Zero taxes: Companies based in Qatar are free from paying income, royalties, and capital gains taxes.

• Special economic zones: Numerous free zones exist, including the Qatar Financial Center, Qatar Media City, Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), and Qatar Free Zone, which provide many advantages to investors, such as duty-free imports and complete access to Qatar’s network of over 65 double taxation treaties.

• 100% foreign ownership: Except for the oil and gas industry, international investors no longer need a Qatari partner to start a company in Qatar as of January 2019. Foreign business owners can now own 100% of their company.

• High average spending value: When it comes to shopping, the residents of Qatar spend an average of US $260 on every transaction. Although certain markets need low-cost items, this is not the case here. Most of the things people buy are related to travel, technology, and fashion, so you can sell high-end or luxury items.

• Government support: The government of Qatar strongly encourages foreign investment and the opening of branch offices by international companies in the country. This has been made possible by an administrative and legislative system that supports a business environment with an efficient and appropriate legal framework for industrial development and growth.

Steps to start an import-export business in Qatar

There are eight steps involved in establishing a company on the mainland or in a free zone:

1. Company name reservation:This is done in accordance with national regulations. The Ministry of Economy and Commerce normally handles the name reservation.

2. Draft the Memorandum of Association (MOA) or Articles of Association (AOA):The Articles of Association or the Memorandum of Association are important documents that provide information about the company and its goals. We recommend that you work with a legal professional to draught these documents. You will need to submit them as a business proposal study.

3. For an AOA or MOA to be valid, the Ministry of Justice must verify its authenticity.

4. You can apply for your business licence and tax certificate after validating the MOA or AOA.

5. It is required for all mainland companies to have the address of commercial office space next to their name.

6. After getting the business licence, the company can go to the Ministry of the Interior and ask for a computer card or an establishment card. This is a critical stage in the registration of a business in Qatar.

7. Register your company with the Public Revenue and Tax Authority so that you may get a tax identification number (TIN).

8. Finally, acquire the official company seal.

Contact us for the complete procedure for starting your import-export business in Qatar. With the assistance of a business formation specialist like Creative Zone, starting your business can be quick, simple, and economical.

Different types of company set up in Qatar

International companies and investors may choose from various legal structures when setting up a business in Qatar. Here are a few of the most common:

Branch of a Foreign Company: By registering with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, a foreign company can open a branch office in Qatar. In Qatar, this is a common way to do business. Often a branch is set up to fulfil one or more government or quasi-governmental contracts to assist the delivery of a public service or utility is typically not permitted.

Limited Partnership Company: With this arrangement, the government restricts foreign ownership to 49%. Furthermore, the company requires two or more Qatari nationals to be joint partners, and they are accountable for the firm’s debt. On the positive side, there is no minimum capital requirement.

Limited Liability Company (LLC): To form an LLC, there must be at least two partners and no more than 50. Each partner is only accountable for the value of the company’s shares. A minimum of QAR 200,000 is needed to start an LLC.

Sole Proprietorship Company (S.P.C): The most popular company structure in Qatar is a Sole Proprietorship Company. An S.P.C. is a limited liability company with just one shareholder, investor, or business entity. In Qatar, a sole proprietorship company must have a share capital of at least QAR 200,000 to commence operations (approximately 54,000 USD). In addition, the name of the company must contain the sole proprietor’s name, followed by the words ‘Sole Proprietorship Company (S.P.C.)’.

Joint Venture Company: In this sort of partnership, there is a joint partner and a trustee partner. It is the responsibility of the joint partners to manage the company’s finances and its administration. The trustee partners contribute to the firm’s capital, and their obligations are restricted to their share capital worth. You require a minimum investment of QAR 200,000 to start a joint venture.

Other company structures include:
• Simple Partnership Company
• Public Shareholding Company
• Holding Company
• Representative Trade Office (RT0)

Working with Creative Zone
Creative Zone is UAE’s oldest and most trusted business setup expert, having assisted over 44,000 entrepreneurs in successfully establishing their businesses since our inception in 2010.

We specialize in delivering solutions that best fit your needs when starting a business by providing quick, dependable, hassle-free, and experienced assistance.

In addition to the UAE, we also help assist in business setup in Qatar. We provide a wide range of services, including tax preparation, legal advice, and human resources management.

The benefits don’t end there. When you become a client of Creative Zone, through our networking tool, CZ Connect, every client gets access to a thriving community of fellow entrepreneurs. This allows you to interact, network, and develop significant relationships with the region’s larger business community.

Take advantage of our free consultations today and get unbiased advice on Qatari business formation to find the best fit for your needs.


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.