Frequently asked

FAQ Topics

Where do I start?

We recommend that you create a business plan to understand your company requirements. For example: Will your company be trading goods? Who is your target market? Where will you likely be located? How many staff will you require? What is your timeline? All these questions are essential to understanding how to help you.

What type of entity would be suited to my business?

Depending on your business activity, one of the following licenses from the 3 main categories would be required: Professional, Commercial or Industrial licences. Dependant on the type of licence required, the type of entity can be determined, these include; Limited Liability Company (LLC), Foreign/Local Branch, Sole Establishment or Civil Partnership.

What is the difference between a Free Zone and Mainland Company?

Mainland Company: A mainland establishment is an onshore setup, an onshore establishment is permitted to conduct business in the local market as well as outside Qatar, without any restrictions.

Free Zone Company: Qatar has two ‘free zones’, Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) and Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) but further free zones are planned through the Qatar Free Zone Authority. QFC is not a true free zone as, although it offers 100% ownership, corporation tax applies at the same rate for mainland companies. There are also restrictions on activities in QFC, no ‘trading’ for example but, as with all free zones in Qatar, you are allowed to trade anywhere in Qatar. QSTP has 100% ownership and a zero tax regime, however, this free zone appeals to only a small number of specialised businesses. It should be borne in mind that as a general rule, government contracts are not awarded to companies that are not mainland companies with a local Qatari partner.

Visas & PRO Services
How do I sponsor my family?

If the employing company agree, a male may sponsor his immediate family (wife and children) they will need to have a valid resident permit with a suitable designation and a minimum salary of QAR8,000 per month. Similarly, a female can sponsor her immediate family (husband and children) if she has a valid resident permit and the designation is either engineer, teacher, doctor, nurse or any other profession related to the medical sector.

There are also certain documents that will be required in order to process the family visas, including attested marriage and birth certificates, a notarised tenancy contract and a salary certificate. We can assist with family visa applications and would be happy to discuss the full process and document requirements upon request.

How do I obtain a Qatar ID card?

Once the labour quota is approved, you will come to Qatar on an employment visa. After entry, your contract of employment will be registered with the Labour Department and you will be required to undergo a medical examination, in addition, your fingerprints and an eye scan will be taken. When the results of these are confirmed, you will be issued with a Qatari Identity Card, at this point, you become a resident of Qatar.

How long does it take to process a residence visa?

Typically if all documentation is in place and valid and there are no issues with the medical examination, then it should be possible to process the residency in five (5) working days

What documents to I need to process my visa?
  1. Passport copy - must have more than 6 months validity and at least 2 blank pages
  2. Colour Photos x 2 - head and shoulders, no eyeglasses, blue background, high resolution.
  3. Attested education certificate - if required for job title - must be attested in the country of issuance as must the ‘award letter’ and a letter from the institution issuing the certificate (please contact us for further details)
Company Formation
What will be the cost?

The costs will vary depending on where you choose to establish your license. Setting up your business in a Free Zone offers advantages with ownership but not necessarily tax, QFC has an application fee and annual fee and you are required to take offices approved by QFC.

As per Qatari law, Limited Liability Companies are required to have a local Qatari partner who will own 51% of the company’s shares and the foreign partner will own the remaining 49%. The most common form of a mainland business is a LLC. The cost of setting up a mainland business depends upon various factors, including; business activity, number of employees and commercial space.

How long will it take to set up a company in Qatar?

The time taken to incorporate a Company in Qatar depends greatly on the complexity of the business to be incorporated A primary time factor in establishing a LLC, is whether or not the 49% shareholding is to be held by a ‘parent company’ or by ‘individual(s)’ At Venture Partner our experienced team of Consultants and Government Liaison Officers will ensure that the process is managed efficiently, whatever the size or scale of your business.

What commercial space do I require?

All operating companies in Qatar are required to have a commercial lease to obtain their Trade Licence. It seems that the rules for this have recently changed in Qatar and effectively, you can now obtain a Trade Licence against what amounts to a co-habited space.

Do I need a company bank account?

Yes, whilst it is not a mandatory requirement for new companies without staff, it is strongly advised that you look to open a local company bank account as soon as possible. It is beneficial not only for local business transactions but also once a company does have staff, they will be be paid through the Wage Protection System (WPS) banking system. Failure to do so will result in a block against the company. There are many local Banks to choose from, most of which offer competitive commercial rates.

Why do I need a local partner? What are my options?

As per Companies Law in Qatar, if you wish to set up a LLC, you will require a local partner. Venture Partner, as a 100% Qatari owned company, can act as a corporate nominee shareholder in the LLC. Having a ‘corporate’ rather than individual Qatari partner offers numerous advantages to the foreign investor.

Can a foreigner own 100% of a company?

There are ways that a foreign party can own 100% of a business. The Free Zones in Qatar allow for 100% ownership. It is also possible to own 100% in certain limited sectors; agriculture, health care, education, industry, mining and minerals and so forth. Ministerial permission is required for this however, this is a time consuming process. A ‘Branch Office’ i.e. an entity performing a government or quasi government contract and a Trade Representative Office, are both 100% foreign owned entities.

Expert Advice

Book a call with one of our company formation specialists.

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