Establishing a Business in Qatar
In order to obtain a Commercial Registration for a company, you will need to lodge and have approved the company’s articles of association. This document needs to be signed by all the shareholders in front of the public notary at the Ministry of Justice and identity documents will be needed for all the shareholders as well. Also where a minimum capital is required like in a Shareholding Company or a Limited Liability Company, you will need to obtain a letter from the Ministry of Business and Trade authorising a bank in Qatar to open a temporary bank account in the name of that company and then to deposit that sum of money in the temporary account. Once the funds have cleared, the bank will need to give you a letter confirming the deposit which you will need to give that confirmation to the Ministry of Business and Trade in order to finalise registration. Because of these additional requirements you should allow for an additional period of at least two weeks from start to finish of the registration process. For a step-by-step guide to this process, please see our 12-Step Registration Details.
Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry membership
All businesses must become members of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This is organised by completion of an application (available on www.qatarchamber.com). The application form and the fee of between 560 QR to 5,510 QR (depending on the capital and the activities of the business) are lodged at the Ministry of Business and Trade at the time of finalising Commercial Registration. Refer to step 9 in the company registration process.
Trade licence and signage licence
All businesses require a trade licence, which is approved on the basis of the business premises being suitable for the type of business proposed. If a business moves to new premises, a new trade licence has to be obtained for the new premises. Trade licences are approved by the Ministry of Business and Trade and are made on an application form obtained from the Ministry (available Here) and should be accompanied by evidence that you have a right to occupy the proposed business premises, for example a land title deed in your name, or a lease from the owner of the property. It is important to verify that the premises are capable of qualifying your business for a trade licence, so before signing any lease it is prudent to contact the Ministry and find out if the premises are zoned commercial and whether your proposed business can lawfully be conducted from that site.
At the same time as applying for the trade licence, you will need to apply for a signage licence as well approving the signs you plan to affix to the business premises. Apart from the application form (available Here) a photo containing an image of the premises with the proposed sign superimposed on the photo is also required.
The annual fees for a trade licence and a signage licence are respectively 10,000 QR and 50 QR (plus an additional 20 QR per square metre of signage.