Essential Steps to Starting a Business in Qatar

Generally speaking, to conduct business in Qatar it is necessary to register a company and in most cases, Non-Qatari nationals are not permitted to own more than 49% of a business.

You should try starting a limited company and the following three steps should be followed:

  • Have a good knowledge of the region. Be prepared to undertake extensive research into the business sector you wish to operate within.
  • Whatever your situation the best advice is to take good professional advice to guide you through the labyrinth of legalities and procedures. The process for company formation is complex and can take several months to complete.
  • Without a doubt, the most important factor when looking to set up a company is to ensure that your local partner is the correct partner for your company and that you both understand what the requirements and needs are from the ‘Partnership’
  • Corporate law in Qatar is similar to that in western countries, in that businesses can be run as limited liability operations, private companies, or other types of concern. The most common form of setting up a business in Qatar is the Limited Liability Company.

The following are some of the requirements for a Limited Liability company:

  • The share capital of a Limited Liability Company starts at QR 200,000.
  • The Qatari partner must have at least 51 % ownership. Exemption to this rule can sometimes be obtained.
  • The profit share of the partners does not have to match the shareholding of the partners.
  • 10% of each year’s net profits must be kept within a company until the reserve stands at 50% of the share capital.
  • A Limited Liability Company cannot raise capital by public subscription and cannot issue freely transferable shares.
  • Shares may only be transferred after they have first been offered to the other shareholders unless the other shareholders have agreed to waive their rights.
  • If you ensure that you follow the three steps above you should be able to join the many successful and thriving businesses in Qatar.