The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) is responsible for overseeing industrial and commercial operations in Qatar, while ensuring they are in line with the country’s development objectives. One of the MOCI’s objective is to encourage investment, support business development, and enhance exports.
Starting a business setup in Qatar will require a local Qatari sponsor who holds a 51% ownership share and a minimum office space with a flexi-desk to obtain a Company License under the MOCI.
Furthermore, the MOCI collaborates with various banks to help businesses access financial resources that will support their operations and growth. On the other hands, it works close with various government sector to provide businesses with the necessary approvals, licenses, and permits required for their operations. In some cases, 100% ownership is permitted when setting up a Business in Qatar.
The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) is a business and financial hub located in Doha, established in 2005 under Law No. 7 of the State of Qatar. QFC provides a top-notch platform for businesses, offering its legal, regulatory, tax, and business framework, which is aligned with the country’s National Vision 2030’s economic development and diversification goals.
QFC’s extensive range of legal and regulatory services, both regulated and non-regulated, conform to international best practices, allowing domestic and international firms to establish or expand their operations and business setup in Qatar. Businesses can enjoy up to 100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of profits, and a competitive corporate tax rate of 10% on locally sourced profits.
Qatar Free Zone Authority (QFZA) is the government entity responsible for the establishment and management of free zones in Qatar. To achieve its goal of attracting more foreign investment, QFZA places its focus on four key industries: emerging technologies, logistics, industry, and maritime.
The QFZA offers a range of highly competitive tax exemptions to investors, including 20-year corporate tax holidays, zero individual income taxes, and no import custom duties. Additionally, investors can take advantage of the 100% foreign ownership policy and full capital repatriation options, making it an attractive destination for businesses looking to start a business setup in Qatar.
At present, QFZA manages three free zones namely the Ras Bufontas Free Zone, the Umm AlHoul Free Zone, and the Qatar Science and Technology Park.
Qatar Media City (QMC) is a media hub in the capital city of Doha, Qatar. It is designed to be a one-stop shop for media production companies and professionals looking to work in the region. QMC is a state-of-the-art facility that offers a wide range of services and resources to support the media industry.
Media City (Qatar) is a media and technology ecosystem with a futuristic vision aimed at the international creative industries in the heart of the Middle East. Qatar has a track record of successful large-scale industry projects such as Al Jazeera Media Network, Qatar Airways, Qatar Foundation, and the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Qatar Media City (QMC) is expanding this vision in media, technology, and entertainment locally and globally.
Qatar Media City follows an internationally recognized ethical code and aims to become a hub for engaging international media networks, technology companies, and research and training institutions. Additionally, QMC will serve as a platform for nurturing creative talent and incubating emerging social media and technology innovation projects, which may include AI and robotics.
One of the key features of Qatar Media City is its Free Zone status, which means that foreign companies can operate within Qatar Media City without the need for a Qatari partner. It is an attractive location for international production companies accessing the Middle East market. The Free Zone status also provides a range of tax incentives and exemptions for companies operating within Qatar Media City.
Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) is an innovation hub in Doha, Qatar, that aims to foster the development of technology-based businesses in the country. In addition to providing state-of-the-art facilities and resources for research and development, QSTP also acts as a licensing authority for intellectual property in Qatar.
QSTP was established in 2009 by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development. It is located within the Qatar Foundation’s Education City complex. QSTP provides services and resources to support the development of technology-based businesses, including office and lab space, access to funding and investment opportunities, and support with legal and regulatory matters.
As a licensing authority, QSTP manages and protects intellectual property rights, including patents, trademarks, and copyrights of businesses operating within its facilities. QSTP works with companies to identify and protect their intellectual property and assists with licensing agreements and commercialisation strategies.
In addition to its role as a licensing authority, QSTP is also involved in various research and development activities. It has established partnerships with universities and research institutions worldwide to collaborate on research projects and provides funding and support to local startups and entrepreneurs.
Qatar Mainland, also known as “onshore entities,” refers to the non-free zone areas of Qatar, where businesses operate under the regulations and laws of the Qatari government. Companies operating under Qatar Mainland are required to have a Qatari national as a majority shareholder, with a minimum ownership stake of 51%.
Through the sponsorship system, foreign businesses can establish a company under Qatar and obtain a Company License with 100% ownership, which also allows them to access other benefits, including Qatar Mainland’s strategic location, competitive workforce, and diverse consumer market.
While businesses operating in Qatar Mainland are subject to various government regulations, including labor laws, tax laws, and commercial laws, the government is committed to streamlining the setup process and making it easier for businesses to operate in the country.
Strategically located next to the Hamad International Airport, Ras Bufontas Free Zone offers businesses a convenient access to air transportation. This free zone has dedicated sections for various industries, providing a conducive environment for optimal cluster growth and infrastructure development that caters to specific business needs. Whether companies require custom-built facilities or prefer to choose from a selection of pre-built options, the QFZA is available to provide support, including designing and building facilities depending on the needs of the business.
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The Umm Alhoul Free Zone spans a 32km area sitting beside near the Hamad Port, which is the largest greenfield port in the world. The free zone is an ideal choice for industries that rely on sea freight and shipping routes. Umm Alhoul Free Zone is equipped with advanced smart technologies, including intelligent street lighting, smart waste bins, and addressable advertising panels, among others.
Recently, Umm Alhoul free zone has added MARSA, the free zone’s newly established maritime cluster, which is situated adjacent to the Hamad Port, and just a 20-minute drive from the center of Doha.
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Located in Qatar’s Foundation Education City, the Qatar Science and Technology Park was established in 2009 with the aim of providing a home for technology-based companies. QSTP offers a state-of-the-art infrastructure, and resources to conduct research and develop products and services that is inclined with advanced technology. QSTP is home to some of the world-renowned companies, including Microsoft and Shell.
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Interested in setting up a business in Qatar but don’t know where to start? One of our accredited advisors will be happy to walk you through the process of business setup in Qatar, while offering initial guidance based on your business activities and what requirements you need for your new company.
Easy License Renewal Options
It is mandatory for both mainland and free zone companies to renew their licenses annually. Though the process seems straightforward, delays are costly and can affect a company’s operations, visas, and corporate bank account. Also, changes to the license, like switching local sponsors, can create complications leading to missing renewal deadlines and incurring large fines.
At QIncorp, our PROs take care of your business renewals, well ahead of the deadline. We manage every step, including handling your paperwork and meeting the concerned governmental departments, letting you focus on running your business.
Whether you simply need to renew your mainland or free zone trade license or you want to make some changes with your renewal, our team of experts gives you a hassle-free experience. Want to know more? Fill out our form below for more information about trade license renewal.
Easy License Amendment, Sponsor or Address Changes
As your business scale, you might want to modify your license by adding or removing an activity, changing your sponsor or company name, and/or updating your address. Managing the process requires submitting applications and supporting documents as well as working with governmental entities and online portals. At QIncorp, we assist you in processing any type of license modification whilst making sure your business operations run smoothly. Whether you need to make a small change or you require several amendments, we manage the entire process for a quick and comfortable experience.
Want to know more? Fill out our form below for more information about trade license modification.
Hassle-Free License Cancellation
Cancelling your trade license is a difficult choice one might have to make and requires help from professional experts as the process might be slightly more complicated. Some requirements are easy to fulfil like stopping utility services but some others are more complex and time-consuming like getting a No Objection Certificate from different governmental authorities.
Carrying out the task of terminating your license needs deep knowledge of the procedures and familiarity with the relevant authorities.
At QIncorp our expert professionals work with you at each stage, helping to organise your application and gather necessary documentation and approvals so that your experience is as quick and easy as possible.
Want to know more? Fill out our form below for more information about trade license cancellation.