Qatar is considered to be one of the most lucrative business destinations owing to its fast-growing economy and modern infrastructure, making it highly appealing for foreign entrepreneurs to start a business in Qatar. Consumers today have transitioned from traditional retail stores to digital platforms, making it imperative for business owners to tap into the digital marketplace. Qatar has a lot to offer, from 0% income tax to robust foreign investment policies and 100% foreign ownership with full capital repatriation.
In this piece, you will learn how to start an online business in Qatar.
Steps to open an online business in Qatar
Every company in Qatar that wants to become an eMerchant must first register their business, domain name, and trademarks to get started.
Step 1: Business registration
All firms, including eMerchants, must register for commercial registration in Qatar to do business. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the country’s main commercial body, will handle this for most enterprises, including those situated at home. Selected enterprises may also be eligible to apply for registration at the Qatar Financial Center (QFC) or the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP).
Step 2: Trademark
You have to register your trademarks like any other business. This will safeguard your brand, boost its value, and your customers will see your company as authentic, dependable, and trustworthy. You will need to go to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to register your trademarks and fill out an application.
Step 3: Domain registration
As an eMerchant, you can register the name or names of your online business with a domain name service provider. The Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) regulates internet domains in Qatar.
What is Theqa’s Trustmark, and how to obtain it?
Theqa is a government-owned, non-profit Trustmark program. Its main goal is to build trust and credibility in Qatar’s e-commerce ecosystem, allowing consumers and businesses to quickly and safely grow the local e-commerce market.
A Theqa Trustmark shows that a website is genuine and has approval from the MOTC to sell goods and services online. Theqa will help build the buyers’ confidence and preferably shop online from local e-commerce sites.
Theqa Trustmark is available to all registered online B2C businesses in Qatar. e-Merchants interested in registering their e-commerce portals with Theqa only have to submit a brief application form.
Top 5 e-commerce & online business ideas for Qatar
If you are uncertain which e-commerce business will work, the following options might help you decide:
- Dropshipping: It is a popular e-commerce business concept. This model allows you to sell a product without actually owning the item. Once you have sold the product, you order it from the supplier, and they deliver it directly to your customer. The supplier takes care of shipping, packing, and handling of inventory. The key to success with this model is choosing and selling the right item to your target market.
- Subscription e-commerce: The subscription business model differs from typical e-commerce in that it enables customers to subscribe to a plan and get regular shipments of the subscription box. The subscription business model has two benefits. One benefit is cost savings, and the other is consumer convenience. They only need to order once, and they get delivery as and when they need it. They also benefit from discounts when they subscribe to a business model service.
- Create and sell online courses: Since the pandemic, online training and learning have become integral to most businesses. According to forecasts, the e-learning sector will be worth $325 billion by 2025. There has never been a better moment to get into eLearning. If you have any skills or knowledge that other people can benefit from – this could be anything from cooking to web design – you can offer it as an online course on sites like Udemy and Teachable once you know what you want to teach.
- Publish eBooks online: Self-publishing a book on Amazon is now simpler than ever. Creating an account and publishing your book is free and takes less than five minutes. You can earn up to 70% royalty on sales in select regions. However, how much you may earn depends on the quality of the story, niche, and marketing plan. Your monthly earnings might range from a few hundred dollars to $1,000 if you write a decent book. Ideally, you should maintain developing and publishing e-books to increase your e-book sales revenue.
- Sell via online marketplaces: You can start selling your products on online marketplaces and platforms like Etsy, Amazon, and Shopify. How much money you can make depends on your product, its demand, and whom you want to sell it to. You could start making a few hundred dollars from the first month, but it could take a while.
Benefits of starting an online business in Qatar
Qatar has done a commendable job in entering the e-commerce industry and is giving stiff competition to some of the most top-performing countries in the Middle East. Their proactive approach has helped them become one of the top Arab nations in e-commerce and most other developed markets. Some of the benefits of starting your e-commerce business in Qatar are:
- Zero taxes: Companies based in Qatar are free from paying income, royalties, and capital gains taxes.
- 100% foreign ownership: Foreign corporate involvement is typically limited to 49% of the firm, with the local partner owning the remaining 51%. Foreign business owners may own 100% of their firm in free zones using several corporate structures.
- High average spending value: As one of the wealthiest countries in the world, the residents of Qatar have an average e-purchasing value of US $260. Unlike in some markets, you do not have to sell cheap products. With travel, technology, and fashion products being the most popular categories bought online, you can sell high-end or luxury products.
- Theqa Certificatification: The Theqa Certificate confirms that a company satisfies Qatar’s high standards for e-commerce. In addition, Theqa’s international recognition opens up a wider range of business opportunities.
How can QIncorp help you start your online business in Qatar?
QIncorp corporate services is Qatar’s most trusted business solutions providers in the country. We facilitate a portfolio of services ranging from business incorporations, Licenses issuance, corporate PRO Services, Local sponsorship, T&A solutions, visa services and much more. We excel in deploying solutions that best match our customer needs simplifying their business setup, whether they only want a visa, just want us to setup their business, or are looking for long-term business support, QIncorp is the most reliable partner to guide you through out this journey.