Who can start a business in Qatar?
You can only start a firm in Qatar as a foreign investor if you have at least one native Qatari partner and a minimum approved share capital of USD 55,000. The most typical business structure is a private LLC company, with the foreign investor retaining a maximum of 49% of the shares and the Qatari partner, who is typically a professional passive shareholder, holding the remaining 51%. Although it is restricted, the Ministry of Business and Trade may, on a case-by-case basis and in some certain areas, such as agriculture, health, education, tourism, IT, entertainment, etc., permit 100 percent foreign ownership.
Types of company structures available in Qatar?
Sole Proprietorship Company
General Partnership Company
International Engineering Consultancy Office(IECO)
Simple Partnership Company
Limited Liability Company
Legal requirements to start a business in Qatar
To start a business in Qatar, the legal requirements may vary depending on the type of business and industry sector. However, some general requirements include:
1) Registering the business with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) and obtaining the necessary licenses and permits.
2)Registering for taxes with the General Tax Authority (GTA).
3) Obtaining the necessary approvals and certifications from relevant government authorities, such as the Municipality, Civil Defense, and Environment Ministry.
4) Having a physical office space in Qatar, which can be rented or owned.
5) Obtaining the necessary visas and work permits for employees, including the business owner.
Financial requirements to start a business in Qatar
The financial requirements to start a business in Qatar will depend on the type of business and industry sector. However, some general financial requirements include:
Capital requirements: Depending on the type of business, there may be minimum capital requirements to be met to start the company. For example, for a limited liability company (LLC), the minimum capital requirement is QAR 200,000, with at least 51% owned by a Qatari national.
Business setup costs: These include registration fees, licensing fees, and other fees related to legal and administrative requirements.
Operational costs: These include the cost of renting or owning office space, utilities, salaries, and other expenses related to running the business.
Taxes: Businesses are subject to various taxes in Qatar, such as corporate income tax, value-added tax (VAT), and customs duties.
Although very rewarding, setting up a business in Qatar is frequently difficult due to numerous regulatory requirements and difficulties. It is advisable that you outsource accounting and tax services in Qatar because financial risks cannot always be entirely eliminated. A competent PRO services company with a local presence and expertise of Qatar’s society, culture, and economy can greatly assist you in overcoming the early challenges and building a successful business.