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Types of Companies in Qatar

Al Tamimi & Company


A company is a separate legal entity established by a written contract between its partners, often called a memorandum of association.  It is treated as a separate legal identity from the identity of its partners, often referred to as a legal person and has its own name.  Each partner contributes a sum of money or assets or provide specific services (capable of being valued) to the company as the time of incorporation.  This contribution is known as the capital of the company.

In Qatar, there are eight types of companies recognised by the Commercial Companies Law (Law 5 of 2002):

 

 

 

  • Partnership Company

This is a company that consists of two or more persons who will all be personally liable for the debts of the company in the same way that individual owners of establishments are liable.  This type of company requires at least one of the partner’s names to be included in the name of the company, but it may be allowed to have a special trade name provided that the name is always accompanied by a statement showing that the company is a Partnership Company, which effectively means stating the identities of the partners. This type of company could be adequate for a small business between family members or close relatives but the liability of the partners will extend to all their assets and not only to their contribution in the project of the company. Back to top

  • Limited Partnership Company

This is just like a Partnership Company, although certain partners may be exempt from liability for debts beyond their contribution to the capital of the company (silent partners). This type has almost the same benefits as the partnership company with the added value of accommodating silent partners whose liability will be limited to their contribution. Back to top

  • Particular Partnership Company

This type of company consists of two or more persons but is the only type company that does not require registration.  As such it does not have a separate legal identity and creditors are only entitled to make claims against the individual partners with whom they have dealt.  As this type of company is not registered it will not be entitled to a specific name. This is a good structure for a joint venture that will be the basis of incorporating a company later on. It has the advantage of not being registered if one of the partners does not wish to publish his name on the commercial registry of a company, however, partners may be personally liable vis a vis third parties that they dealt with. Back to top

  • Shareholding Company (also called Joint Stock Company or Public Company)

A Shareholding Company is a company in which the capital is divided into negotiable shares each having equal value, the partners owning such shares being known as shareholders.  The liability of shareholders will be limited to their contribution to the capital.  There must be at least five shareholders in such a company and it is required by law to have a minimum capital of ten million QR.  This is the only form of company that can be listed on a stock exchange, although it does not have to be listed. The main benefit in this company is that it can accommodate a large number of investors, may raise capital on the stock markets, may issue bonds, and is adequate for specific types of activities such as financial or insurance activities. Back to top

  • Limited Share Partnership Company

This type of company consists of two teams of owners. One team includes one or more partners jointly responsible for the debts of the company. The other team consists of shareholders of not less than four persons but these persons are not be responsible for the debts of the company except to the extent of their contribution to the company’s capital. This could be a good structure for a family business which is seeking external investors willing to invest a specific amount in the business without being exposed to the debts of the company beyond their contribution. It is not a common structure for SMEs. Back to top

  • Limited Liability Company

This is similar to a Shareholding Company except that it cannot be listed on an exchange and can have between two and 50 shareholders. The liability of shareholders will be limited to their contribution to the capital and it is required by law to have a minimum capital of 200,000 QR. 

The benefits of this type of companies is that it provides for Limited Liability, which means that the shareholders in this company can only lose the amount invested in the company. It is easier to manage than a joint-stock company and its structure is investment friendly. Partners can divide profits in a way that is not proportional to their investment in the company. This is the most common structure used for SMEs. Back to top

  • Single Person Company

This is just like a Limited Liability Company although it only has one shareholder. The main benefit of this structure is that it is easy to start and to manage and gives its shareholder a complete control over the company’s business. Back to top

  • Holding Company

This is like a non-listed Shareholding Company with its only purpose being to own investments or portions of other companies.  It is also required by law to have a minimum capital of ten million QR. This could be a good structure to accommodate investors in the future and raise capital and financing to inject in the various companies held by this holding entity. Back to top

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