- The process of completing company registration in Qatar with a corporate bank account and its relevant business licences and permits may seem like a lengthy one, however, Tetra Consultants aims to simplify the process into a simple and manageable 6 step process. In this article we will discuss the simple 5 steps process in detail on how to register company in Qatar.
Registration Process: 5 Steps Guide for Company Incorporation in Qatar
- Select Suitable Business Structure: The selection of a suitable business structure is vital in the successful functioning of a company. In Qatar, there are several business structures allowed, all with their own unique taxation requirements, minimum share capital requirements and regulations. Examples of business structures in Qatar are :
- General partnership company
- Limited share partnership company
- Joint partnership company
- Public shareholding company
- Holding company
- Joint venture
- Limited liability company
- Branch office
- Representative trade office
- Limited liability company: One of the most common forms of business structures being incorporated are limited liability companies (LLC). Due to the flexible nature of ownership and management in LLCs coupled with its tax efficient ability, since limited liability companies are subject to lower corporate tax rates, it has proven to become a favourite among foreign completing new company registration in Qatar. Despite having the requirement of a Qatari national to meet local sponsorship requirements, LLCs still offer some level of control over the operations and decision making processes for foreign investors and owners.
- It requires a minimum of QAR 200,000 share capital with Qatari nationals owning 51% of the shares in the company, regardless of whether it is a single individual or multiple individuals totalling to the majority of share ownership in the company. An important note is that limited liability companies cannot undertake investment related activities such as banking or financing by the government. In addition, LLCs are charged a 10% corporate tax rate over its total profits in a fiscal year.
- Selecting and Reserving the Company Name: The name selection step is rather straightforward and simply involves selecting an appropriate name for your business entity that complies with the naming guidelines and does not infringe on any existing trademarks or copyrights.
- Application and Submission of Articles of Association: The articles of association refers to a legal document that outlines the internal regulations and governance structure of a company. This document usually includes details such as company processes, share capital, registered office address and voting rights. After the Articles of Association has been prepared, it must then be notarized by a Qatar Notary Public. This step is required to ensure the authenticity of the Articles of Association. Subsequently, you will be required to gather other supporting documents with the AOA and finally submit it to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI).
- Supporting documents along with the AOA may include a commercial residence permit for foreign investors or expats. The commercial residence permit allows you to reside in Qatar and conduct business activities accordingly. The prerequisites to being eligible for a residence permit will involve possessing a valid lease agreement for a commercial space or premises in Qatar. The commercial residence permit is typically valid for one year and needs to be renewed annually. Upon successful acceptance of the Articles of Association, you will then be required to pay the company registration fee and this can be done via specified payment centres by the MOCI.
- Permits and Licences: The relevant permits and licences that the company has to obtain will depend on the nature of their business activities. The main regulatory body issuing business licences and permits in Qatar is the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI), which is responsible for overseeing commercial activities and ensuring compliance with local regulations. Additionally, businesses may be required to obtain industry specific licences. For example, a company working in the healthcare sector may be required to obtain licences from the Ministry of Public Health. The typical licence application involves detailed information on the business, business activity, ownership structure, financial information and more.
- Corporate Bank Account Opening: It should be noted that after completing the company registration in Qatar will be required to have a corporate bank account to deposit the share capital according to their business structure.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Incorporating in Qatar
- Strategic Location: Qatar’s strategic location in the middle east allows business owners to expand into international markets with relative ease. As a result, this provides trade and business expansion opportunities to other continents such as Asia, Europe and Africa. Furthermore, with Qatar’s well developed transportation infrastructure which includes Hamad Port and International Airport, it facilitates smooth logistics and connectivity internationally.
- Stable Economy: With the abundance of natural resources such as oil and gas in Qatar, the country continues to be a growing economy. Government initiatives such as favourable tax policies have also cultivated a business friendly environment suitable and encouraging for foreign direct investment.
- Investment Incentives: Qatar offers a plethora of investment incentives such as the ability to have 100% foreign ownership in some business sectors, Qatar free zones such as Qatar Financial Center (QFC), Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) providing additional benefits such as tax exemptions and simplified incorporation procedures.
- Robust Financial Sector: Qatar has a well developed financial sector which provides plenty of financial and investment opportunities for banking institutions, investment funds and venture capital firms. Additionally, sovereign wealth funds such as the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) offer potential partnerships and investment opportunities for firms.
- Cultural and Social Factors: Qatar has a unique and distinct cultural and social environment that may differ drastically from foreign businesses. Adapting to local customs and traditions may prove to be a slight barrier to entry when choosing to incorporate in Qatar. Additionally, English is widely spoken among business circles in Qatar, however, certain documentations may be required to be in Arabic, requiring businesses to hire a local expert or translation service.
- Sponsorship Requirements: For certain business sectors such as retail, consulting or real estate, it is commonly understood that a local sponsor will be required to be present and also have a majority stake in the company. This may prove to be a deterrent for some business owners when choosing to incorporate in Qatar as it affects the decision making process of the firms drastically.
- Limited Workforce Selection: Qatar has implemented certain policies to increase the amount of employment opportunities for its own citizens. As a result, certain sectors may be required to comply with regulations of hiring Qatari nationals to hit a certain quota. This may lead to challenges in finding suitable and skilled talent for job roles.
- Limited Local Market Size: Qatar possesses a relatively small local market size compared to other countries. Therefore, companies heavily reliant on local market demand as part of their business model may face some challenges.
- In conclusion, completing company registration in Qatar involves important steps and offers advantages and disadvantages for businesses. Tetra Consultants are capable of providing all the relevant services our clients require to get their business entity up and running smoothly. From services of mainland and offshore company incorporation, corporate bank account opening, nominee director services, tax and compliance services, application filing for different offshore financial licenses, Tetra Consultants have the experience to ensure our clients needs are met.
- Contact us to know more about how to register company in Qatar and our team of experts will revert within the next 24 hours.