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Registering a Company in Qatar as a Foreign National

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Registering a Company in Qatar as a Foreign National

Qatar is a Middle Eastern country in the western end of Asia. Currently one of the wealthiest nations in the world due to its large natural oil and gas reserves, Qatar is the perfect place for you to register your company. With a rapidly growing economy, Qatar is also one of the highest rankers in terms of human development. Another reason for this could also be their GDP per capita. Which is calculated to being one of the highest in the world. With all these reasons, your company is set to grow alongside Qatar once you have registered it.

The advantages of setting up in Qatar as a foreign national are numerous. As the government on Qatar is very keen on foreign investment, many steps have been taken to ensure Qatar is inviting to the investors. The first is that Qatar does not have a corporate tax. Meaning that you will not have to take extra measure to file for them. Moreover, the registration process for foreign nationals to set up their company is very simple. This requires minimal work from you. Furthermore, even as a foreign owner you can own up to 49% of the company. The other percentage of ownership will have to be held by one or more Qatar nations. There are exceptions to this rule, which will be discussed later in the article.

If you need any help, do contact us. Here at S&F Consulting we are a business consultancy group who are officially registered in Qatar. As such we are professionally qualified to assist you in anything you need with regards to your company formation in Qatar. In the time being, we have put together a summary of the company registration process in Qatar that you may use as a guide. This is in order for you to have an overview of what the process will entail for you.

Before starting the process, it would be best to know what options you have for company registration. In Qatar there are seven types of legal structures a company can take. They are as follows:

  • Simple Partnership Company
  • Joint Partnership Company
  • Joint Venture Company
  • Public Shareholding Company
  • Limited Share Partnership Company
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Holding Companies

Regardless of which legal structure you choose to take, the registration process for each one remains relatively the same. To elaborate on a previous point about company ownership, foreign nationals are only allowed to own 49% of the company. However, there are exceptions to this rule. This is in the case of registering a company in a “Free Zone”.  You may be wondering what a free zone in Qatar is. To put it simply, a free zone is an area of land that are exempted from certain laws and regulations of the country they are in. This means that companies that set up in free zones can have 100% foreign ownership and are exempt from all taxes. However, this comes with the price of having to restrict all your business activities to only the area of the free zone.

While you consider you options, below is a guide to the company registration process in Qatar as a foreign national:

Step 1- Choosing your partner/s

As the government mandates that you may only own up to 49% of your company, you will need to look for foreign partners to start.

Step 2- Company Name

The next step to incorporation is to decide on your company name. Do note that you have to adhere to the following regulations regarding the name.

  • The name must be unique, i.e. it should have no similarities to the names of pre-existing companies.

Step 3- Articles of Incorporation

The Articles of Incorporation are a document containing the following details as well as the codes of conduct of the company:

  • Shareholder details
  • Ownership percentage of shareholders
  • Rights of shareholders

You will also need to draft a separate document detailing your business activities and your company objectives.

Step 4- Company bank account

Next, you must open a bank account under your company name. You will first need to file for permission do so from MEC. Depending on the legal structure you take, you may need to have a minimum share capital.

Step 5- Submit your articles of Association

Next you will need to draw up your document for the Articles of Association and submit them to the Ministry of Business and trade. This document will have to list the following:

  • The address of the official company headquarters
  • Objective of the company
  • Shareholder details
  • Share capital
  • Owner details
  • Information of shares

Step 6- Company seal

You will need to have your official company seal. This is as per government regulation.

Step 7- Trade License

Finally you will have to apply for your trade license. You will need to submit the following to do so:

  • Your CR certificate
  • Copies of the Identity cards of all owners, partners, shareholders, and managers
  • A copy of the Articles of Incorporation
  • The address and picture proof of your office building
  • Identity card copy of the building owner
  • Building completion certificate
  • You will also need to pass inspection of the actual building by the MEC

If you have any doubts or reservations, do contact us! Here at S&F Consulting, our friendly customer service team is online 24/7, meaning we are ready to help whenever you need it!

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