Qatar free zones in 2023
Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP)Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) is ideal for tech and innovation start-ups. Existing tenants include multi-nationals such as Chevron, Cisco, GE, Microsoft, Rolls-Royce, Tata, ExxonMobil, Vodafone, Shell and Williams F1.
Advantages of setting up a business in QSTP
Setting up Qatari business in the QSTP
- QSTP-resident companies can be 100% foreign-owned;
- QSTP-licenced companies are legally tax-exempt in Qatar, and pay no customs duties on goods imports/exports;
- While it is mandatory to rent an office in QSTP, it is not necessary to hire local staff;
- QSTP-licenced companies often partner with the local branches of reputable global universities like Cornell, Georgetown, Texas A&M and Carnegie Mellon. As a result, they are able to benefit from knowledge and research and development (R&D) activities;
- QSTP companies can freely repatriate capital and profits from Qatar to other countries;
- QSTP companies can access Qatar’s 60 double tax treaties, thereby minimising withholding tax;
- Eligible QSTP start-ups can access funding schemes.
Best uses of a QSTP company
- Because QSTP companies have access to accelerator programs and incubation centres in the park, it is ideal for start-ups in i) energy ii) environment iii) health science iv) information communication technology (ICT).
Criteria to set up a business in QSTP
- To obtain a QSTP licence, the majority of the company’s activities must contribute to advancing science and technology;
- Projects that collaborate with universities and research institutes in Qatar are encouraged;
- Licences are granted on a case-by-case basis. The assessment will be based on i) scope of business activities ii) scale of investment iii) the number of individuals benefitting from education or training via the project, iv) the number of staff directly employed in technology development, technology consulting or R&D.
Steps to complete QSTP business setup
- To set up a business in QSTP, applicants must submit i) a detailed business plan and ii) research plans to QSTP management. See entry criteria here;
- Once QSTP approval is granted, the applicant chooses whether they wish to incorporate an LLC or register a branch office. QSTP LLCs must have at least one shareholder and a minimum capital of US$55,000;
- Once the entity is setup and licence approval has been granted, the applicants must sign a lease agreement within QSTP;
- A QSTP company must submit annual audited financial statements to QSTP management;
- The licence is renewable annually.
Umm Alhoul free zoneUmm AlHoul is a newly development hub equipped with a 32KM ² free zone near Hamad Port, making it the largest greenfield port in the world. Capturing 27% of the GCC region’s trade and offering an opulence of connectivity and resources.
Advantages of setting up a business in Umm Alhoul:
- Umm Alhoul-resident companies are 100% foreign owned
- Umm Alhoul-licensed companies are exempt from corporate taxes
- Has direct access to Hamad Port
- Home to MARSA, a new marine cluster dedicated to serve as a base for foreign companies, enabling them to carry out diverse maritime services such as maritime research, safety training, ocean vessel building and boat brokerage.
Best uses of an Umm Alhoul companyBeing characterised by accelerated growth and technology, it is ideal for companies within the sectors of i) Maritime Industries and services ii) Polymers and plastics iii) Heavy manufacturing iv) Logistics hub v) Industrial sectors vi) Downstream petrochemical
Criteria to set up a company in Umm Alhoul
- The company needs to fulfil the Licensing Regulations (2021) and Companies Regulations (2021), both of which explains the regulatory background within which the QFZA considers and processes an application by an investor to set-up in its Free Zones
- Each plot developer is required to comply with a 1-star minimum GSAS rating.
- Needs to have at least one office outside of Qatar.
Steps to complete an Umm Alhoul business setup
- Investor is required to submit soft or a hard copy of the Investor Application Form and pay the required fee
- Once the Letter of Intent has been issued there is a need to incorporate the Company or register the Branch Entity.
- Investor is required to sign a Lease agreement to enable QFZA to issue the Licence of the newly registered Free Zone Entity.
- After the lease agreement is signed, QFZA will Issue the Licence of the newly registered Free Zone Entity.
- Upon registration of the Free Zone Entity, QFZA will issue a letter to facilitate the opening of a bank account.
Ras Bufontas free zoneLocated 6KM away from the award-winning Hamad International Airport, it is a pioneer in freight and passenger operations with 4KM² of serviced plots It also provides unparalleled access to efficient customs processing times and air transportation.
Advantages of setting up a business in Ras Bufontas
- Direct access to Hamad international airport
- Ras Bufontas is situated 6KM away from world-renowned Hamad International Airport. As a leader in freight and passenger operations and efficiency, let Ras Bufontas and Hamad international airport take your business to new heights.
- Set up to incorporate autonomous warehouses and drones, as well as smart customs and insurance solutions.
- Tailored infrastructure dedicated to upcoming industries, allowing for perfectly tailored infrastructure and facilities and optimal cluster growth
- Fully serviced plots come in different sizes to suit specific industry needs
- Facilities are flexible; companies can either choose to build their own, can hire QFZA to build it for them to exact specifications, or can elect to use pre-built facilities.
Best uses of a Ras Bufontas companyAs innovators in technologically advanced and sustainability-oriented facilities, it is ideal for companies within the sectors of i) Aviation and business ii) Light Manufacturing iii) Emerging technology
Criteria to set up a company in Ras Bufontas
Steps to complete a Ras Bufontas business setup
- Investor is required to submit soft or a hard copy of the Investor Application Form and pay the required fee.
- After the lease agreement is signed, QFZA will issue the License of the newly registered Free Zone Entity.