Qatar limited liability company

Qatar LLC

LLC setup regulations in QatarA Qatar LLC is the most common business entity used for Qatar business setup and is allowed to engage in any commercial or industrial activity. A Qatar LLC must appoint i) a minimum of one director and two shareholders and ii) must appoint a 51% Qatari national shareholder iii) must supply a minimum paid up share capital of US$55,000 and iv) must rent Qatar office premises and hire staff.

Each Qatar LLC must apply for one or more licenses including i) a commercial license covering all kinds of trading activity or ii) a professional license covering professions and services or iii) an industrial license for industrial or manufacturing activities. Each license allows a maximum of 10 business activities.

Shareholder agreement with a Qatari national

  1. Qatari company law allows foreign companies to draft flexible, differential profit sharing arrangements, independent of the Qatari shareholding percentage. Healy Consultants will draft a legal shareholders agreement outlining terms and conditions, shareholder restrictions, expectations, and remuneration to support Qatar business setup;
  2. Through a legal shareholders agreement, the Qatari national will be designated a silent partner who will not interfere in daily activities of the Qatar company. The foreign investor legally enjoys full power to solely operate the business and bank account;
  3. The shareholder agreement will be signed by both the investor and the Qatari local partner and witnessed by two different parties from each side. The shareholders agreement is legally valid in the Qatar courts to arbitrate any dispute between the investor and the local partner;
  4. The parties to an international contract are free to choose the law and jurisdiction which will govern that contract. If they do not choose an applicable law, the contract will be governed by the Qatari Civil Code. The parties may also agree in writing to refer disputes to arbitration.

The role of the Qatari shareholder

  1. While foreign companies prefer to set up a Qatar LLC with a silent partner, there are advantages to having an active local Qatar shareholder. Advantages include i) introduction to potential customers and suppliers ii) preference in the allotment of government contracts iii) navigation through Qatar Government bureaucracy iv) assistance with immigration and visa matters;
  2. The majority of company visas and licenses are sponsored by Qatari nationals, giving the latter indirect control over the business;
  3. The share of profits of the Qatari or GCC partner in a business is exempt from tax;
  4. Qatari shares may only be transferred after they have first been offered to the other shareholders by way of pre-emption, unless the other shareholders have agreed to waive their right.

Qatar professional services company

  1. Foreign investors interested in Qatar business setup can establish a Qatar LLC to provide professional services without having a Qatari national partner. Professional services include legal and accounting consultancy, IT and management consultancy, and marketing consultancy. This Qatar business entity is also known as a civil business company;
  2. While a Qatar LLC can be 100% foreign owned from setup, a Qatari national must be appointed as a local service agent under an agency contract authenticated by a notary public.

Incorporating an industrial company

As well as the steps outlined above, the following additional steps are required for industrial companies:

  1. Apply for an industrial license along with the feasibility study to the Department of Industrial development at the Ministry of Energy and Development;
  2. Obtain a clearance from the Supreme Council of Environment and Natural Reserves;
  3. Fill and certify the establishment contract form at the Ministry of Economy and Commerce.

Incorporating a tourism company

As well as the steps outlined above, the following additional steps are required for tourism companies:

  1. Obtain a clearance from the licensing department at the Qatar Tourism Authority;
  2. Fill and certify the establishment contract form at the Ministry of Economy and Commerce.

Fees

Incorporation costs in Year 1 amount to US$13,025 and annual company costs in Year 2 and thereafter amount to US$1,400. The average total fees per Qatar engagement amounts to US$33,370, including company incorporation, resident director, corporate bank account, and virtual office address. Refer to draft invoice embedded here.

Frequently asked questions

Contact us

For additional information on our LLC setup 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