If you are determined to set up your company in Qatar, there are certain rules you need to understand. This will allow you to not only set up a business with ease, that is convenient and functional for you but also establish good personal and business relationships in this area.
Here is a guide to setting up your company in Qatar with ease in the most reliable way and also information about the steps that need to be taken.
Steps of company registration in Qatar
- The Company Name Booking Process
Before you proceed with business registration in Qatar, you need to prepare documentation that will help you once you approach the business setup process here. You will need the following documents like your company information in detailed format, your business plan that you will be setting up in Qatar in detail, all information regarding the company shareholders, bank statements, and approval letters.
The first step of the company procedure is to set up a suitable trade name that is unique and your company can be identified by it. You will be given a form to draft out as the name reservation and once drafted, it will be sent to the recommended authority for company setup in Qatar.
- Articles of Incorporation
Once this is done and you have a trade name, you need to get your article of incorporation typed adding all the shareholders and their shares of ownership. This article is a standard document and will include the shareholders, their ownership rights, and more. It’s always better to have this drafted by your lawyer as it can take a long time for the MEC to approve of it and will slow down your process. Your lawyer will work on it faster and get it sorted out and amended as per your needs by going to the Ministry of Justice.
- Commercial Registration or CR
You need to submit your trade name and articles of incorporation to a CR. They will ask you about your business activity and specific charges – whether your business is website development, clothing, retail, or more. If you don’t find a business activity that can be described easily, pick the closest point to what you do, you can have more than one business activity associated with your company. Take notice some businesses like a pharmacy, restaurant, or medical clinic may need prior approval from the Ministry of Health. If you are opening an educational institution you need to take approval from the Council of Education and so on. Only for digital marketing, e-commerce, trading, and other small agencies, you don’t need to take permission.
- Obtaining Municipal and Trade License
After receiving the CR, you need to obtain a trade license to set up your company registration in Qatar and have an approved office space to conduct your business. Getting a municipal or a trade license is the hardest part as you need to fill out application forms from the MEC website and submit it to the MEC along with specific documents – only after the submitting of all the documents you will get an SMS confirming that the application has been received and an officer from MEC will come and inspect your office between one to four weeks. Post that they will give you your trade license.
With a beautiful office and killer view and your business all set up you must be making a fortune –but wait, you still need to hire employees and you cannot hire them full-time without a Residence permit. To do this, you need a computer card issued by immigration that says who is signing on behalf of your company (you and your Qatari partner). You will need to get an official company stamp that can be used on all your paperwork before applying for a CC and this usually takes a day to get done, post that you need to go to the immigration and passport office to apply for a computer card. Once receiving it you can hire employees and issue them RPs.
- Update all Your Documents with the Ministry of Labour
The next step is to register with the commercial registry from the chamber of commerce and industry along with the Ministry of Labour as part of your company setup in Qatar.
- Opening a Corporate Bank Account
Upon obtaining your commercial license you can now open a corporate bank account – you can pick from several local banks, deciding which one is right for you. The bank will inform you what documentation and basic requirements you need to submit to open an account. Typically, the owners of the company need to sign on the account opening form, the foreign as well as the local partners.
- Register for a WPS System
In relation to the Qatar Central Bank, the wage protection system for workers or a WPS will ensure that salaries are received on time by employees. Every company, except government companies, is requested to transfer the employee’s salary via net banking to them. This will then be processed by WPS ensuring all employees' wages are paid off to make sure the smooth transition of the new system.
- Import and Export Documentation
Any goods and products including meats and clothing that are being imported or exported are required by law to have a license. Import licenses are issued by the government only to local Qatari nationals or to your local Qatari partner in a limited liability partnership and is registered by the Ministry of commerce and industry.
Starting up a business in Qatar is worth it and is a great investment. Qatar has a well-connected community and the highest income per capita in the world – it’s potential is huge and valuable for those willing to set up a business.