The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) is a business and financial hub located in Doha. Established in the year 2005, QFC provides legal and business infrastructure for financial services. The main aim behind launching QFC was to enhance growth and diversification in Qatar’s economy and at the same time provide an attractive platform for the firms to incorporate their business in Qatar and the region. Initially, it was set up to offer domestic and international firms an opportunity to establish and provide a broad range of financial services related to banking, asset management, and insurance businesses.
Now, the Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA) has expanded the scope of its permitted activities to include non-regulated activities that are not related to finance.
Activities Allowed in QFC
The services currently permitted in Qatar Financial Centre are:
- Asset Management
- Islamic finance
- Investment advice and services
The following activities fall under non-regulated activities in QFC:
- Professional, corporate and business services
- Company headquarters, management offices, and treasury functions
- Special-purpose companies
- Holding companies
- Trusts and trust services
- Single-family offices
Advantages of Setting Up a Business in QFC
- The centre offers its own legal, regulatory, tax and business infrastructure, which allows for 100% foreign ownership
- Unlimited repatriation of profits and income
- 10% corporate tax on locally sourced profits
- The economic zone operates in more than 50 locations all over Doha, with no restrictions on currency in which companies may trade
How to Set Up a Business in QFC?
Setting up a business in the Qatar Financial Centre is clear and straightforward. After you submit your application, the process of registering, obtaining a license, and beginning the operations is hassle-free.
The steps to be followed to register your company in QFC for a non-regulated activity are as under:
- If an applicant intends to carry on non-regulated activities then they must apply for a license from QFCRA by filling the appropriate form which is easily available at the official website of QFC
- The form asks for general information that establishes the applicant’s identity and its proposed business activities as well as general background information of the applicant
- The completed form must be then submitted to the QFC Regulatory Authority who will undertake the initial processing of the application on behalf of the QFCRA
- Next, the application will be reviewed to gain an understanding of the activity for which the license is being sought and whether the applicant is suitable to be granted with the same
- In order to get the license to carry out the non-regulated activities in the QFC, the applicant must also make an application to the Companies Registration Office (CRO) to establish in the Qatar Financial Authority either by incorporating as an LLP, LLC or by registering a branch office
The steps to be followed to register your company in QFC for a regulated activity are as under:
- If an applicant intends to carry on regulated activities then they must apply for a license from QFC authorities by filling the appropriate form which is easily available at the official website of QFC
- The form includes the following information:
- General information about the firm
- A detailed description of the proposed business
- Details of the firm’s compliance arrangement
- Information on the firm’s IT system
- Financial information about the firm
- Details regarding business continuity plans
- The information is required in order to assist the Qatar Regulatory Authority in identifying the Regulated Activities for which the authorization is being sought, to understand how those activities will be carried on and whether the applicant is suitable to be granted with the same
- As noted earlier, the applicant must also apply to the CRO in order to establish a legal presence in the QFC
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