What is a Commercial Agent?
A Commercial Agent is defined as “a self-employed intermediary who has continuing authority to negotiate the sale or purchase of goods on behalf of another person (the principal), or to negotiate and conclude such transactions on behalf of and in the name of that principal”.
In Qatar, a commercial agent will have the authority of his principal to negotiate sales or purchases in the principal’s name, take possession or control of the principal’s goods and then deal with re-selling or distributing them on to customers, usually by contracting in its own name. A commercial agent will have also allocated clearing agents, warehouses and a network of contacts in their specific activity of the business.
Through a licensed importer, a foreign company can supply goods or services from abroad on a supply-of-goods basis or through a Commercial Agent/distributor. The Commercial Agent is entitled to exclusive rights to distribute and market products and goods within a certain territory; they receive a commission for services. The agent must register this agency agreement with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI).
What are the Prerequisites?
- Agent must be a Qatari national or a wholly owned Qatari entity incorporated in Qatar.
- Agent must be listed on the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s Commercial Register.
- A commercial agent contract must be agreed. To include:
- Name, nationality and address of the agent.
- The principal company’s name and description.Head office and branch addresses, and capital amount.
- List of products, commodities and services covered by the company.
- The territory that the agreement covers.
- The date on which the agreement comes into effect.
- Duration of the agency and provisions in the event of default.
What is the procedure?
- Notarise the commercial agent agreement in Qatar, or in the country of the principal draft.
- If notarised in the country of the principal draft, the agreement must also be attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Qatar Embassy in that same jurisdiction.
- If notarised in Qatar, it must be attested by the local Ministry of Foreign Affairs office.
- Register the agreement with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI).
- Submit the application form and all documents to (MOCI).
- Pay fees (varies)
- MOCI should reply within 15 days. If accepted, the agent will receive an authenticated certificate confirming registration.
- Details of the commercial agent agreement will be published in the MOCI’s Commercial Bulletin.
- If declined, MOCI must provide reasons for dismissal.
When do I need a Commercial Agent in Qatar?
If you are interested in only importing your products to Qatar for resell, then normally, you use a Commercial Agent.
It is advised that you visit Qatar to meet different Commercial Agents in order to see what the best fit for your business is. Our advice is: be very careful about any agreement that you enter into and preferably get a lawyer to check this.
What are the alternative options to using a Commercial Agent?
You can establish your own office in Qatar by setting up a Limited Liability Company (LLC). With an LLC you will be required to have a local partner. This is a typical and secure structure in Qatar, for this we can provide a dedicated corporate sponsorship platform.
If you wish to find out more information in establishing a business in Qatar, the please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +974 4478 8765