This information highlights all the essentials that are required for a business investor to know before proceeding towards setting up a business in Qatar. If you are severe regarding incorporating your business in the Kingdom of Qatar, then you are in the right place. Let’s start by understanding which business one can register in Qatar.
Different types of business entities in Qatar
A business investor in Qatar can select any one of the business entities:
1. One Person Company
As the name suggests, a One-Person Company in Qatar is owned by a single natural person or corporate entity, that is to say, the company’s entire share capital and economic bearing are held by that one person or corporate entity. The company’s owner is responsible for company obligations from one’s own assets unless he/she separates one’s interests from that of the company.
The minimum share capital required to start a One-Person Company in Qatar is QR 200,000 (approximately 54,000 USD). Also, the name of the company should be linked with the name of its sole proprietor, followed by the phrase “One Person Company (O.P.C.)”
2. Simple Partnership
A Simple Partnership in Qatar is a company formed by 2 or more natural persons who are personally and jointly responsible for the liabilities of the company, i.e., they bear unlimited liability.
The name of the partnership should be composed by reference to the name of all its partners, or one partner, followed by the phrase “And Partners”. It can have a special commercial name, provided that name is connected with the fact that it is a simple partnership company.
3. Joint Partnership
A Joint Partnership in Qatar is similar to a simple partnership, except here, it has two types of partners:
(1) Joint Partners
The one who bear unlimited liability for the company’s liabilities, and
(2) Trustee Partners
These partners bear the responsibilities of the company only to the extent of the respective value of their shares in the capital. A trustee partner may not indulge in the management affairs of the company.
4. Limited Liability Company (LLC)
A Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Qatar can have between 2 to 50 partners, whose respective liabilities are limited to the value of shares they hold severally in the company. The name of such a company should be succeeded by the phrase “Limited Liability Company”. The shares of an L.L.C. in Qatar are not freely transferable. The minimum capital required to start an L.L.C. in Qatar is QR 200,000, divided into equal-value shares of not less than QR 10 each. In Qatar, an L.L.C. is not allowed to engage in the Banking, Financial Services & Insurance (BFSI) industry.
5. Public Shareholding Company (P.S.C.)
A Public Shareholding Company, also known as a Joint Stock Company, in Qatar is a company whose capital is distributed into transferable shares of equal value. Such a company must have at least 5 shareholders. The minimum capital required to form a Public Shareholding Company in Qatar is QR 10 million and the name of the company should be followed by the phrase “Qatari Public Shareholding Company”.
6. Limited Share Partnership
A Limited Share Partnership in Qatar is a company formed between 1 or more joint partners (who must be Qatari citizens) and at least 4 trustee partners. The trustee partners bear limited liability for the company, while the joint partners are responsible for the debts and obligations of the company in a personal capacity. The minimum capital required to start a Limited Share Partnership in Qatar is QR 1 million, divided into equal-value shares that are transferable.
7. Joint Venture
A Joint Venture Company in Qatar is an unincorporated entity without legal personality. However, it has to specify its objectives as well as rights and obligations of the partners, and how profits and losses would be distributed between its partners, who are required to be 2 or more in number. Foreigners may be partners of a joint venture; in which case the company can only carry out those activities permitted for non-Qataris under the country’s laws.
8. Holding Company
A Holding Company in Qatar is a company that has financial and management control over other companies by owning at least 51% of one or more Shareholding, Limited Liability or One-Person companies. The minimum capital required to form a holding company is QR 10 million. The name of such a company should be followed by the phrase “Holding Company”.
9. Branch of a Foreign Company
A Branch of a Foreign Company in Qatar is an offshoot of a company abroad, facilitating the performance of a public service or utility. Such an office does not call for a Qatari partner to be set up, is entitled to carry out only certain activities specified in its registration contract, and are required to be authorized by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. A Branch Office of a Foreign Company in Qatar is fully taxable unless granted any special exemption.
10. Representative Trade Office
A foreign company can register its Representative Trade Office in Qatar to market and promote its business in the country. A representative office is required to be registered in the Commercial Registry, and is not permitted to export, import or sell goods/services.