Qatar Free Zone Authority (QFZA)

Qatar Free Zone Authority (QFZA)

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.

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    QATAR FREE ZONES

    Ras Boufantas Free Zone

    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. 

    Best for industries in:

    • Emerging tech,   
    • Aviation & Business   
    • Light manufacturing 

    Umm AlHoul
    Free Zone

    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. 

    Best for industries in:  

    • Heavy Manufacturing   
    • Industrial sectors  
    • Emerging tech 
    • Logistics hub 
    • Downstream petrochemical 
    • Maritime industries & services 

    Document Requirements:

    These are the documents required for business formation in Qatar. Differences may occur depending on the type of corporate structuring, which is below:

    If the shareholder is a Body Corporate incorporated outside Qatar: 

    1. Certificate of Incorporation 
    2. Certificate proving good standing of the Company (if available) 
    3. Memorandum / Articles of Association 
    4. KYC Form of the Company 

     

    If the shareholder is a Body Corporate incorporated in Qatar:  

    1. Commercial Registration issued by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry 
    2. Valid Trade License issued by Ministry of Commerce & Industry 
    3. Articles of Association of the Company 
    4. Copy of a valid Establishment Card 
    5. KYC Form of the Company 

     

    If the shareholder is a Natural Person: 

    1. Valid passport copy of individual shareholder(s) 
    2. KYC Form of shareholder(s). [Notarized OR Signed before QFZA] 
    3. Copy of Qatar Identity. (applicable if the individual is a Qatari National / Resident)

    Required Documents
    For QFC Applications

    Company formation in the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) may require a different set of requirements.

    Additional Requirements

    • Entities must file annual tax returns. The income tax rate in the QFC is 10% on locally-sourced profits.
    • After securing the business license, companies must also acquire Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII).
    • Businesses set up in the QFC need an annual audit of financial statements.

    General Document Requirements 

    • Proposed QFC company name 
    • Proposed company legal structure (LLC/Branch) 
    • Proposed company activities 
    • Contact person full name 
    • Phone 
    • Email 
    • Passport Nationality of the founder(s)

    Steps and Timelines

    1

    Memorandum of Association (MOA) or Articles of Association (AOA) DraftingThis document outlines a Qatar company’s relevant details and objectives. It is completed with the assistance of a legal advisor, before being submitted to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) and attested by the Ministry of Justice. 

    2

    Company Name ReservationCompany names must comply with Qatar’s naming rules. Once a name is chosen, it’ll be reserved through MoCI.

    3

    Commercial Register Application – Qatar businesses need a Commercial Register (CR) from MoCI to open a corporate bank account, transact with customers, buy or own assets under the company, among others.

    4

    Office Space Securing Mainland Qatar businesses are required to have a physical office before they apply for a trade license. 

    5

    Tax Certificate Application Businesses must apply for a Tax Certificate within 30 days of getting the CR, to avoid penalization from the Ministry of Finance. 

    6

    Trade License Application If business formation is happening in mainland Qatar, the trade license will be obtained for MoCI. Meanwhile, each free zone has an authority that oversees applications. Either way, our business setup advisors will assist.

    7

    Computer Card Registration Computer Cards are necessary to hire employees and issue Residence Permits, while also indicating who can sign on its behalf. This document is obtained from the Qatar Immigration and Passport Control Office.  

    8

    Corporate Bank Account Opening Qatar businesses can open a bank account with the many local and international banks in the country. This is a necessary step prior to starting business operations.

    9

    Company Seal Application – Once the above steps are complete, Qatar companies can now get a company seal.