Your Guide to Qatar Company Formation

Qatar Company FormationQatar, a country located in the Middle East, offers a wide range of opportunities for entrepreneurs around the globe. As one of the world’s wealthiest countries, the average income for a Qatari is around QAR 243,218 (USD 66,800). The primary factor contributing to its robust economy is the presence of the oil and natural gas sectors. Qatar welcomes business owners and investors who want to start their companies. So, if you’ve been thinking about Qatar company formation for a while, it’s time to get started! This article will simplify the process of company formation in Qatar, providing a holistic overview.


Where Do You Start Incorporating Your Qatar Company?

While starting a company anywhere around the world may seem daunting at first, however, when you break it down, it is easier to process.

Step 1: Pick a Legal Business Structure

Qatar offers various legal structures for businesses, each with its own characteristics and requirements. Below we have listed the most common structures, which includes:

Limited Liability Company (WLL)

  • The preferred choice for foreigners.
  • Requires at least two partners and a maximum of 50.
  • Minimum one director and two shareholders.
  • Silent partners bear no liability.
  • Liability is restricted to the shares subscribed by individual partners.
  • No local investor is required to up an LLC in Qatar.
  • The incorporation process typically takes around three weeks.
Holding Company

  • Foreign investors can have full shares in a firm.
  • Minimum capital is not required.
  • Local investor is optional here as well.
  • Takes up to three weeks to incorporate.
  • Withholding tax and VAT will not be imposed for this company type.
Joint Venture

  • Formed by two (or more) individual/corporate figures.
  • Members would not be liable for liabilities.
  • Minimum one director.
  • Minimum two shareholders.
Free Zone Business

  • Minimum one director.
  • Minimum one shareholder.
Representative Trade Office (RTO)

  • Cannot engage in financial transactions or commercial activities.
  • Cannot sell goods or enter into contracts within Qatar.
  • An RTO must renew its registration annually.
  • Can be established for an unlimited duration.
One Person Company (OPC)

  • Solely owned by one individual or corporation.
  • Company name should include the shareholder’s name, followed by “One Person Company (O.P.C).
  • Shareholders manage the OPC and can appoint managers for representation.

Step 2: Get Your Business Name Registered

After picking a business structure, you can start deciding on a unique and meaningful company name in Arabic (additional fee of  QAR 1,000 may apply otherwise!). During this process, be sure the name complies with Qatar’s guidelines and check its availability beforehand. You can reserve your chosen name with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI). If your name is approved, it will be reserved for a period of six months, during which you can complete the remaining company formation steps.

This process will take one to two days.

Step 3: Find Local Sponsorship for Your Company

In line with Qatar Commercial Companies Law, foreign investors usually require a local partner with a 51% ownership. This partner can be an individual or a company and plays a silent but vital role in navigating Qatar’s legal and regulatory landscape.

Local sponsorship tends to safeguard the interests of both foreign investors and the Qatari government. This happens by ensuring foreign companies’ local presence and familiarity with Qatari laws and customs. Do note that exceptions for this sponsorship do exist. For example, companies that establish themselves in free zones may be exempt from this sponsorship requirement (more on this below).

This process will occur on a case-to-case basis and may take anywhere from two to four weeks.

Step 4: Obtain Commercial Registration Certificate (CR)

Submit the following documents to the MOCI:

  • Application form
  • Memorandum of Association
  • Articles of Association

This application alone will undergo review by various government entities. After getting your approval, settle the applicable fees and collect your CR from the MOCI. Additionally, secure a business licence from the municipality where your business operates.

This process will take anywhere from two to four weeks

Step 5: Open a Corporate Bank Account

To open a corporate bank account in Qatar, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Copy of your CR
  • Business registration certificate
  • Business licence

This process will take two days.

Step 6: Obtain a Tax Registration Number

Apply for a tax registration number from the Ministry of Finance to comply with Qatar’s tax regulations. This number is essential for filing taxes and managing tax obligations.

  • Copy of your CR
  • Business registration certificate
  • Business Licence
  • Tax residency certificate
  • Financial statements

This process will take anywhere from two to four weeks.


Hold On – You Should Also Know This

Here is some vital information that goes hand-in-hand with setting up your company in Qatar.

Visa and Residency

To establish a business in Qatar, individuals must adhere to specific visa and residency regulations. The type of visa required depends on one’s nationality and company structure.

Citizens of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries can apply for a business visa, while non-GCC citizens must obtain an investor visa, which allows a stay of up to two years. Additionally, all foreign nationals residing in Qatar are obligated to obtain an annual residence permit, which costs QR 1,000 or 274.61 USD (as of 2023) and is subject to annual renewal.

Financial Considerations

The tax system here offers significant advantages to businesses and investors. Notably, there is no income tax on wages, and export revenue is exempt from taxation. Corporate tax rates can be as low as 10%, and certain businesses can benefit from a 10-year tax exemption.

Investors can benefit by being exempted from imported machinery and equipment. They can also import raw materials duty-free if these materials are not available locally. Additionally, special utility rates are available. In some cases, investors have the opportunity for full foreign ownership with the freedom to repatriate their capital.

Business Establishment

In Qatar, having a business address is a requirement, but it doesn’t have to be a physical location. You can choose a virtual office to serve as your registered office and mailing address. A company must demonstrate a minimum capital of QAR 200,000.

Business Operations

Qatar’s special business zones offer unique advantages, including full foreign ownership, no currency restrictions, and no income, corporate, or foreign trade taxes.


Are You Prepared to Launch?

3E Accounting is a leading international provider of business incorporation and accounting services. Our team of experienced professionals can help you with every step, from choosing the right business structure to filing the necessary paperwork. We also offer ongoing support to help you comply with Qatari tax laws and regulations.

With the 3E Accounting team, you can be confident that your Qatar company formation is operating correctly in Qatar. This will give you the peace of mind to focus on what you do best: running your business! So, don’t wait any longer – contact us today!

Qatar Company Formation