Types of Business Entities in Qatar

Types of Business Entities in Qatar

Qatar is one of the fastest-growing economies in the Middle East. Its liberal business environment and political stability make it an ideal place to invest and start a business.

Qatar offers excellent business opportunities for foreign investors and entrepreneurs. It allows them to start their ventures in the country. While registering a company in Qatar, one should be aware of the different company structure categories available for companies, industries and start-ups in Qatar.

Things to Know Before Opting for Business Setup in Qatar

Before registering a company in Qatar, the investor or entrepreneur must know the following things.

  • Local business environment
  • Business vehicles available
  • Types of licenses
  • Rules & regulations
  • Incentives offered by the government for investors in the country

To ensure the smooth & successful operation of the company setup in Qatar, you can seek the assistance of a business setup consultant.

Legal Company Structures Followed for Company Formation in Qatar

Several companies, businesses and services planning to operate in Qatar must register with government authorities and obtain permits and licences.

The business setup in Qatar differs according to the type of industry, business activity, business requirements and facilities needed. 

Following are a few legal structures used for company formation in Qatar.

The sole proprietorship or one-person company is the most common form of business structure in Qatar. An SPC follows the limited liability company structure with only one shareholder, investor or corporate entity.

The LLC structure makes the investor or corporation own the entire share capital, including liabilities, and take responsibility for the company’s obligations from one’s assets until they separate one’s interests from the companies.

A foreign company can establish an SPC as a wholly owned subsidiary if it obtains an exemption to the Foreign Investment Law. The minimum share capital required to start a sole proprietorship company in Qatar is QAR 200,000 (approximately 54,000 USD). Besides, the company's name should have the name of its sole proprietor linked with it, followed by the phrase “sole proprietorship company (SPC)”.

Along with that, explore the one-person company in Qatar.

A simple partnership company structure is formed by two or more legal persons who are personally & jointly responsible for the company's liabilities.

A company may have a unique commercial name, provided it is connected with the fact that it is a simple partnership company.

All the partners in this kind of company shall be natural persons. The company should also have a memorandum of association.

A simple partnership company might contain joint partners who actively work in the company with liability in the company’s obligations with all their assets and silent partners who have invested capital in the company but shall not be liable for the company’s debts save to the extent of their shares in the capital.

The limited liability company structure is the most popular business structure preferred by foreign entrepreneurs and investors for company formation in Qatar

A limited liability company in a partnership must have joint partners, not less than two partners and not more than fifty. This limited liability structure offers liability protection to the owners and joint shareholders of the company as the individual persons as shareholders are liable only to the extent of their shares held in the company. The joint partners are responsible only to the extent of their shareholding in the shared capital. However, the silent partners are not liable for the company’s obligations.

The LLCs might not issue a company’s tradable shares certificates or bonds even if they were freely transferable. Importantly, all of the LLC’s shareholders must be aware of the transfer, and they must all be offered a transfer by pre-emption, or they may waive their rights.

In a public shareholding company structure, the shared capital by the shareholders is separated according to their value. This company structure has a minimum of five shareholders, with foreign shareholders allowed into this partnership. The permission of foreign shareholders entirely depends upon the type of business activity sector of operation, and the final decision regarding licensing is subject to the Qatar Financial Markets Authority’s approval.

  • A publicly held shareholding company is required to be listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange within 12 months of incorporation.
  • A Public shareholding company registered on the QSE (public) must have at least 30 shareholders.
  • The public shareholding company must have a shared capital of QAR10 million (USD 2,746,574) before registration at the QSE under Article 9 of the Companies Law. For an unlisted company and QAR40 million (USD10,986,295) for a company listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange
  • The number of shareholders must not be less than five (or not less than 30 if listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange.
  • The Memorandum and Articles of Association for the public shareholding must be submitted in the prescribed form, and any deviations from such form are subject to the approval of the Commercial Companies Department at the Ministry of Economy and Commerce.

A private shareholding company has several founding shareholders; at least five persons may establish a private shareholding company. The private shareholding company shall not be publicly listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange.

The shareholders shall subscribe to all the shares of this company. The capital of the company shall not be less than two million Qatari Riyals. Except for provisions governing public subscription, listing and trading, private shareholding companies are regulated by provisions applicable to shareholding companies.

A joint venture with a Qatari is the most common approach for company formation in Qatar, where certain sectors are not permitted for foreign investors. Foreign investors choose this partnership to perform business activities only allowed with Qatari partners in the country. 

A holding company in Qatar is a shareholding, limited liability or sole proprietorship company that is allowed to handle the finances and managerially control another one or more companies. When owned by at least (51%) in shares or stakes by the holding company, the controlled companies shall become subsidiaries of the holding company in Qatar.

The Branch office can be set up in Qatar by registering it with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. A branch can generally be established to complete one or more contracts with the government to facilitate the performance of a public service or utility.

While forming a branch office, a Qatari partner is not required. The activities of the branch office are limited to carrying out the specific contract(s) on which the registration is based, and further approval is required to add or renew contracts.

The registration of the branch is valid for the term of the agreement (s) on which registration is based, and the branch must be dissolved once it has completed all such contracts, although it can extend its life by entering into new governmental contracts.

However, it should be noted that opening a branch office in Qatar will benefit you in every way.

While forming a representative trade office, certain regulations need to be followed. According to the regulations, the RTO may only be used to promote a foreign company in Qatar to introduce it to Qatari companies and projects through marketing and promotions.

The RTO is forbidden to conduct any financial transactions or commercial activities in Qatar.

It is not permitted to engage in selling or entering into contracts in Qatar.

BSW's Assistance in Forming a Company Setup in Qatar

Qatar has been keen on creating a promising and expanding investment environment to boost the economy. If you are interested in a business setup in Qatar, Business Setup Worldwide will assist you. The business advisors at BSW would be happy to guide you in every step, and feel free to contact us to carry out the same process.


How much does Qatar free zone company formation cost?

Qatar free zone company formation cost differs depending on various factors. To know about the business setup price range, you can seek the assistance of Business Setup Worldwide.

What minimum capital is required for an LLC formation in Qatar?

The company must have a minimum capital of QR 200,000 (two hundred thousand Qatari Riyals), divided into shares of equal value not less than QR 10 (ten Riyals) each.

What is the selling rule regarding the public shareholding company in Qatar?

A Company may purchase its shares to sell them per the rules determined by the Qatar Financial Markets Authority.

Is MOA necessary for a single partnership company in Qatar?


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