How Foreign Entities can establish a Business in Qatar

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By Elie Al Khawand

Qatar is constantly expanding opportunities for international companies looking to establish their presence in Qatar; this was made possible through a rigorous reform agenda, a synergistic range of resources, and a string of supporting factors that together form the most empowering and business-friendly climate in the region.

A spectrum of incentives provided by the Qatari Government further supports the investors throughout the business establishment process to achieve steady growth in a stable and conducive business environment.

Qatar is rapidly transforming into an extraordinary hub where a promising outlook builds on a strong economic foundation, future-ready infrastructure lives alongside timeless hospitality, and enormous resources meet unparalleled connectivity, to create a lucrative world of opportunities for today’s ambitious investors; these include Special Economic Zones, and Industrial Zones and Logistics Parks.

 The foreign investor can set up a business in Qatar using a range of licensing platforms such as the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Qatar Science and Technology Park, Qatar Free Zones Authority, Qatar Financial Center, and Media City.


There are several ways by which a foreign investor can set up his business in Qatar including through a Limited Liability Company (LLC), Foreign Branch Office, Trade Representative Office, and a Free Zone / Economic Zone Company.

Most companies that are being established in Qatar are Limited Liability Company (LLC); these require a minimum of 51% share for the local partner making having the right local partner a key to the business success.

Here is a brief on the main conditions needed for the most common types of companies in Qatar:

Limited Liability Company – LLC: Qatari national ownership to be 51% minimum (can be 100% to GCC nationals); no limit for the minimum capital share.

Branch Office in Qatar: Foreign Investment Law allows registering a branch of a foreign company in Qatar if that foreign company contract in Qatar is performing a specific project – this contract has to be signed with the Government; can be 100% foreign-owned; cannot undertake any other commercial activity in Qatar outside the scope of the contract; requires the approval of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI); no capital requirement; is fully taxable unless a special contract is registered.

Trade Representative Office in Qatar: According to Decision No142/2006 of the Qatar Minister of Business and Trade, a foreign firm may open a representational trade office without a local partner; an international company can register a trade representative office (‘Rep Office’) in Qatar which can employ staff; however, the Rep Office is limited to acting as a “Shop Window” and it is not permitted to engage in selling products or services or entering into contracts in Qatar.

Other available legal structures include Sole Proprietorship Company, General Partnership Company, Shareholding Company, International Engineering Consultancy Office (IECO), and Simple Partnership Company.

The Legal Procedure (steps) of Setting up an LLC in Qatar is:

1. Draft the Articles of Association (AOA) of the company,

2. Submit a request for Company Registration of a new company,

3. Choose a Trade Name that needs to be authorized by the Commercial Registration Officer,

4. Obtain the authenticated MOA by the Ministry of Justice,

5. Make a deposit of 20,000 QAR at the bank,

6. Obtain a permission to commence a commercial activity from the authority,

7. Subscription is to be made at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and

8. Obtain the Commercial Registration and License.

Specifically for FIFA World Cup 2022, the Government has issued Law No. 10 of 2021 regarding the Measures for Hosting the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 (the “Enabling Law”) that covers the operational framework for the hosting of the World Cup; the provisions of the law will be applied during the Tournament period and allow for various incentives including facilitating the company establishment and registration process and tax exemptions.

If you would like to know more about how to establish a business in Qatar please contact us at +974 6669 3950 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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