Qatar is home to an incredibly healthy business environment, made up of both large companies and fledgling start-ups across a wide variety of industries. In fact, it is said that SMEs comprise over 95% of Qatar’s private companies.
A lot of these start-ups may need a push in terms of marketing and PR, in order to build a strong public image and stand out against their many competitors. This calls for the services of a marketing agency, who can build out campaigns, create advertising, handle brand communications, and work on all digital or offline assets of a certain company.
Advantages of opening a marketing company in Qatar
There are many benefits to operating a media or marketing firm in a business haven like Qatar. Some of these include:
- Access to a large market of both growing and established companies who will need marketing and advertising services
- A consistent stream of clients, given that Qatar’s thriving economy fosters the establishment of any business
- The ability to go across the border and expand to the rest of the Middle East, thanks to Qatar’s strategic location
- Many opportunities to leverage Qatar’s digital channels and create innovative campaigns, given its high internet & smartphone penetration rates
- For mainland Qatar firms: the opportunity to work on government contracts
- For free zone Qatar firms: full foreign ownership, tax exemptions and reduced tax rates, less restrictions on hiring foreign employees, protection of intellectual property
The steps to start a marketing company in Qatar
There are several steps involved in establishing a company in mainland Qatar or in a free zone:
- Trade name reservation: Trade names must be chosen in accordance with national regulations. These are registered with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI), via any of their branches or their online services portal.
- Memorandum or Articles of Association (MOA/AOA) drafting and attestation: These are important documents that provide information about your marketing company and its goals, usually presented as a Qatar business proposal study. We recommend that you work with a legal professional to draft these documents, as they must be approved and attested by the Ministry of Justice.
- Commercial Register application: Afterwards, apply for a Commercial Register (CR) with MoCI. This is necessary for your any Qatar business to open a corporate bank account, make transactions with customers, or buy or own assets under the company name.
- Tax Certificate application: Once you get your CR, you have 30 days to apply for a Tax Certificate. Requirements include an application form, an appointed auditors’ letter, a copy of the CR, AOA/MOA, and shareholder IDs to be submitted to the Ministry of Finance.
- Business center setup: It is required for all mainland companies to have the address of commercial office space next to their name.
- Trade License application: Apply for a trade license with MoCI for mainland Qatar businesses, or with the respective free zone authority in your chosen free zone. You must submit IDs of the authorized company representatives, a copy of the CR and the AOA, and for mainland Qatar companies – photographs of the office, the building completion certification, the rental acknowledgment, and an ID of the building owner.
- Computer Card application: After getting your trade license, you may proceed to the Ministry of Interior and ask for a Computer Card/Establishment Card. This is a critical stage in Qatari business registration. Computer Cards are needed for businesses to hire employees and issue Residence Permits, while also indicating who can sign on its behalf.
From here, you’ll also be able to register for a TIN and acquire an official company seal for your business.
The procedure for company formation in Qatar can be complicated. But with the assistance of a business formation specialist like QIncorp, starting your business in Qatar can be quick, simple, and economical. We’ll offer you advice on everything from the ideal jurisdictions to the most important requirements for business incorporation.
And once that’s done, we’ll offer strategic advice on how to make the best of your new marketing agency, making it an industry juggernaut that clients of many industries will come to for expert guidance. Just contact us for a free consultation and let’s make it happen.