Accounting and legal

Accounting and tax

    Corporate taxation in Qatar
  1. Oil and petroleum companies are taxed in Qatar at 35%. All companies will be taxed at the standard rate of 10%;
  2. Resident companies will not be required to pay VAT in Qatar;
  3. Capital gains by resident companies will be taxed at the corresponding corporate tax rate. However, capital gains for foreign companies selling their shares in Qatari resident companies will be taxed at 10%;
  4. No withholding tax is levied on dividends in Qatar;
  5. Withholding tax is levied on royalty payments and interest payments at 5% and 7% respectively;
  6. Resident companies can only carry forward their business losses for up to 3 years. Carry back of business losses will not be permitted;
  7. All Qatari employers must contribute 10% of the basic salary of their employees to social security;
  8. There is no capital duty, payroll tax, property tax, transfer tax or stamp duty levied in Qatar;
  9. Resident companies must file their tax returns within 4 months after the end of the accounting year. While all companies must file audited financial statements, they are free to choose their accounting period which must be more than 6 months and less than 18 months;
  10. Canada has signed DTAs with 58 countries including Australia, China, Singapore, United Kingdom and United States to reduce withholding tax on payments abroad;
  11. Healy Consultants’ Compliance Department will assist our Clients with i) documenting and implementing accounting procedures ii) implementing financial accounting software iii) preparation of financial accounting records and iv) preparing forecasts, budgets and sensitivity analysis;
  12. For an active trading company, these accounting and tax fees are an estimate of Healy Consultants’ fees to efficiently and effectively discharge your annual company accounting, auditing and tax obligations. Following receipt of a set of draft accounting numbers from your company, Healy Consultants will more accurately advise accounting and tax fees. For a dormant company, Healy Consultants’ fees are only US$950;
  13. It is important our Clients’ are aware of their personal and corporate tax obligations in their country of residence and domicile; and they will fulfill those obligations annually. Let us know if you need Healy Consultants’ help to clarify your annual reporting obligations.

Legal and compliance

Healy Consultants’ Compliance Department assists our Clients efficiently and completely discharge their Qatar legal and tax obligations to support Qatar company registration.

  1. The Commercial Companies Law was established in 2002 and covers establishment, structure, and governance of private businesses in Qatar;
  2. Qatar is a civil code jurisdiction although common law principles have some influence given Qatar was a British protectorate. The legal system and its key laws are modeled on those of Egypt which, in turn, was modelled on the Napoleonic Codes of France. As is the case in most civil jurisdictions, courts in Qatar do not rely on a formal system of precedent and there is no formal reporting of court decisions, which lead to unpredictability in litigious matters. All laws issued in Qatar are issued in Arabic and formal translations are generally not made available by the Qatari authorities. Also, proceedings before the Qatari courts take place in Arabic;
  3. Consequently, foreign entrepreneurs doing business in Qatar usually select binding arbitration as the method of dispute resolution. There are three possible centers of dispute arbitration in Qatar i) the Qatar International Centre for Arbitration (QICA) in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry ii) the QFC Tribunal and iii) arbitration centers in Europe or North America. The majority of foreign entities doing business in Qatar select well-established arbitral rules including those issued by the LCIA, ICC or UNCITRAL;
  4. A Qatar company formation of an LLC is required to submit an annual tax return. If annual profits exceed QR100,000, the declaration should be accompanied by audited financial statements prepared by an auditor registered in Qatar;
  5. Qatar has acceded to the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (1958) (the New York Convention). Therefore, arbitration awards made in countries that are party to this convention should be enforceable in Qatar according to the provisions of the convention;
  6. Qatar became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1994. It is a member of the GCC, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) in addition to the Arab League and the United Nations;
  7. Qatar joined the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 1976. They also signed Arab agreements protecting the author’s rights since 1986 as well as the agreement of Berne, which protects the literary and artistic compilations in 2000. Qatar also signed the agreement of Paris for the industrial property protection in 2000. Qatar acceded to the Patent Cooperation Treaty. However, Qatar is currently not a signatory under the Madrid Convention;
  8. Qatar company directors are appointed, replaced, and dismissed by the shareholders. Only the directors have the power to manage the day to day operations of the company. The identities of shareholders and directors are on the Qatar public register;
  9. The memorandum of association is a contract between the shareholders and comprises i) company activities ii) registered office address iii) shareholder and director details iv) share capital v) profit distribution method vi) the fixed term of duration of the company viii) the names of persons entrusted with the company’s management;
  10. Each Qatar business setup must appoint a manager. The manager is appointed by the memorandum of association or by a separate management contract. Unless otherwise stated in the MOA, the company manager shall enjoy full powers of administration, and his acts shall be binding to the Company, provided that it is supported with stating the capacity he enjoys;
  11. Every company must lodge an annual return confirming relevant details of the company for the public register including names and addresses of all directors, address of principal place of business, and details of shareholders and their shareholdings;
  12. All business activities conducted in Qatar receive government approvals and permits and licenses. There is an obligation to register particular products with the government, including food, medical equipment, cosmetics, and medicine;
  13. Qatar is a full member of i) the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) ii) the World Trade Organization (WTO) iii) the Paris Convention iv) the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) v) the WIPO Copyright Treaty vi) the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) and vii) the Rome Convention;
  14. Foreign countries may only conduct business registration in Qatar after it is licensed to so by the Department of Economic Development (DED). The DED is the statutory body that regulates and controls the licensing procedures for all Qatar entities. Every Qatar company registration entity must apply for one of the following licenses:
    • A commercial license for buying and selling of goods including wholesale or retail trade enterprises, contractors, hotels, transport and storing establishments, etc; or
    • An industrial license to discover natural resources or transform raw materials into manufactured products; or
    • A professional license to practice any profession such as engineering consultancy, auditing and accounting, business set up, medical, and educational services.
  15. A Qatar company formation of an LLC is required to transfer 10% of net profits each year to a legal reserve until such reserve reaches a level of 50% of the paid-up share capital;
  16. The Department of Economic Development does not permit two different classified business activities under one license e.g. trading and manufacturing;
  17. The process of deregistering a company is dictated by the Government. This process will take a minimum of 6 months. Healy Consultants fee to project manage company de-registration is US$1450. During this 6 months period it is mandatory to maintain a resident company secretary and a legal registered office;
  18. In accordance with Qatar Commercial Companies Law No(5) of 2002, The minimum share capital of a LLC company in Qatar is US$55,000. In any case, the share capital must be deposited to the corporate bank account before company incorporation is complete. To expedite the incorporation process, Healy Consultants can deposit these funds on our Client’s behalf;
  19. According to the Qatari Foreign Investment Law No. 13 of 2000, a Qatari national is required to hold at least 51% of the equity of a Qatar LLC, unless the entity is in a free zone. Healy Consultants will be happy to act as passive nominee shareholder or director for your Qatar LLC. To ensure your assets are fully protected, the nominee will not be a bank signatory, nor will he have an active role in daily corporate activities. Our fees for this service depend on nature of business, but our average nominee shareholder fee in Qatar is US$41,320.

Contact us

For additional information on our accounting, tax and legal services in Qatar, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Karen Lee, directly:
client relationship officer - Karen