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Advice for Expats Who Are Considering Setting Up a Business in Qatar
If youíre one of the many thousands of people who are tempted to set up a business in the beautiful country of Qatar, then itís nice to know that as long as you comply with the regulations and complete the compulsory formalities, itís entirely possible.
Qatar is now much more open to foreign investment than it used to be, but there are a number of strict rules you have to follow if you want to work or own a business here.
As part of its commitment to welcoming more overseas investment, the country has introduced Free Zones; areas that are led by an independent governing body. They offer a range of concessions to make it easier and more attractive for overseas investors to set up a business in Qatar.
Thanks to these free zones, a huge range of international companies as well as medium and small business have successfully started their business in Qatar. Keep reading below to find out more.
Types of Companies in Qatar
The first thing you need to know before setting up a business in Qatar is that there are a number of different types of companies which are allowed to operate here. The most common ones include:
∑ The limited liability company Ė a minimum investment of QR 200,00 is required. You will also need a business partner from Qatar who owns more than 51% of the shares. These companies are not allowed to offer banking insurance or other investments. You will be expected to pay taxes based on company profits during your fiscal year.
∑ The rule 68 company Ė you need a partnership with a company where the majority of the shares are owned by the state or a partnership with a single state company. You can hold over 51% of the shares as long as you have approval from the Council of Ministers of Qatar. They will also determine what tax you pay.
∑ The single shareholder or owner company Ė you donít require a local partner to open this type of company. However, agriculture, tourism and health related activities need to be agreed by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. You will also need a minimum investment of QR 200,000. This type of company has the same obligations as a limited liability company.
Where to Set Up Your Business
Before moving to Qatar and setting up a business, you need to decide where you want to operate your company. You could choose to operate your company either in the free zone or outside the free zone. Regulations are different in both of these zones, so itís important to do some research.
In the free zone, foreigners can hold up to 100% of the business shares, they can import duty-free goods, and they can send money abroad without restrictions. Businesses in the free zone can also sponsor foreign employees. If you want to find out a little bit more about life in Qatar and the different areas you could choose to live, then check out Hello Qatar. This website will also give you an insight into the different events taking place throughout the year.
Once youíve understood the regulations and conditions regarding setting up a business in Qatar, you can start setting up your business with the help of a lawyer. The first thing youíll need to do is register your business name with the Ministry of Economy and Trade. You will then need to supply them with the company's statutes.
When this step is complete, you will receive an authorization certificate which will allow you to set up a bank account. You will be expected to put the minimum investment into this account. The Ministry of Justice will expect you to show proof of this payment along with your business partners, documents, company articles, etc. These documents need to be signed by your partner before validation begins.
Fees will apply throughout this process, but they will vary depending on how much money youíve invested. When all of this is complete, you will be issued with a Commercial Registration Certificate. You will then need to request a Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the Ministry of Finance before you begin trading.
Setting up a business in Qatar can be tricky, but itís well worth your while. Foreign citizens are able to start a business in this beautiful country as long as they meet the regulations and conditions. If youíre tempted, then why not look into it a bit more?