Starting a Business in Qatar | Law&Trust International

Qatar is the richest country in the world with significant oil and gas reserves. As a member of the World Trade Organization and other international financial bodies, Qatar offers business owners a favorable investment climate. 100% foreign ownership is allowed in the agriculture, health care, education, and tourism sectors. As a result, Qatar's economy has grown steadily in recent years.

These are the main advantages of starting a business in Qatar:

  • no income tax or social security contributions to be paid on wages;
  • foreign investors are offered full repatriation of capital and profits abroad in foreign currency;
  • corporate tax for foreign companies is 10%.

There are several structural options for entrepreneurs looking to set up a business in Qatar, the most common of which is LLC (Limited Liability Company).

With this type of company, it is mandatory to have at least 51% local ownership and 49% foreign ownership. The minimum number of shareholders is 2, the maximum number is 50.

It should be noted that:

  1. If a foreign individual owns 49% of the shares or less, a copy of a certified passport and proof of residence address must be provided.
  2. If a foreign legal entity owns 49% of shares, it is necessary to provide corporate documents of the company, the list of which is determined depending on the country of registration of the company. Documents must be notarized and legalized at the Qatar consulate.

There are no restrictions on the types of activities, with the exception of some activities that can only be carried out by companies with 100% resident ownership (insurance, banking, investment, security-related activities, etc.).

The minimum authorized capital is 200,000 QAR and must be deposited with a local Qatari bank.

To conduct business in Qatar, you must obtain a license (permit) from the Ministry of Economy and Trade of Qatar.

To hire employees, it is necessary to agree on a Labor Quota. For a large number of employees, it will be necessary to provide employment contracts and justification for the Labor Committee to provide this quota.

An LLC is required to file an annual tax return. If the annual profit exceeds QR 100,000, the declaration must be accompanied by financial statements prepared by a Qatar certified auditor.

An equally popular form is the Foreign Branch Office (FBO). The main condition for it is 100% foreign ownership.

It should be noted that:

  • The branch is established under a certain government contract. The branch can serve parallel or sequential contracts, however, outside the contract, trading and operational activities are prohibited.

Establishing a branch takes 6-8 weeks. It will also take an additional 2 weeks to obtain a trade license. The parent company applies with corporate documents, the list of which is determined depending on the country of registration of the company. The documents must be notarized and legalized at the Qatar consulate.

To hire employees, it is necessary to agree on a Labor Quota. For a large number of employees, it will be necessary to provide employment contracts and justification for the Labor Committee to provide this quota.

Comparative characteristics:

Qatar

LLC

FBO

 

Ownership

51% local ownership / 49% foreign ownership

100% foreign ownership

Shareholders

Minimum 2 / Maximum 50

Parent company

Time frame for registration

2 weeks

6-8 weeks

Number of activities

Unlimited

Similar to the types of the parent company

Restrictions by type of activity

There are no restrictions on the types of activities, with the exception of some activities that can be carried out by companies with only 100% local ownership (insurance, banking, investment, security-related activities, etc.).

A branch is established under a certain government contract, outside of which activities is prohibited.

Authorized capital

QAR 200,000.

absent

Tax

10%

absent

Permissions

Depends on the type of activity

Depends on the type of activity

Law and Trust International provides comprehensive services for setting up a business in Qatar. Our experts will be ready to help in solving the most non-standard issues. Beforehand, you can apply for a free consultation, and we will select the best business solution.

 

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