Business Formation

Applies to women only: Obtain husband’s permission to leave the house to register a company

Agency: Domicile

According to the Family Law, No. 22 of 2006, Art. 69(2) and (5) married women shall be dis-entitled to marital support if she leaves the matrimonial home without the permission of the husband, or if she works outside the home without the permission of her husband.

Time and cost: 1 day, no charge

Reserve a unique company name at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI)

Agency: Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI)

The applicant submits to the officer in charge at the Commercial Registry at the MEC the suggested name and activities of the company. In case the name is available at the Commercial Registry and at the Trademark Department, the name will be reserved in favor of the applicant and the officer in charge at the Commercial Registry at the MEC will provide the applicant with a certificate. This certificate will state that the name is reserved for the respective period and includes the activities that will be under taken by the company. In this respect, the applicant can reserve the name for 3 days at no charge or can choose to pay an amount of QAR 1,000 to reserve the name for a period of six months.

Time and cost: Less than 1 day (online procedure), QAR 0 for 3 days, QAR for 180 days

Bring the Articles of Association to the Single Window at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (one-stop-shop counter at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry)

Agency: Ministry of Commerce and Industry

Once the name is approved, the Article of Association (AoA) are usually downloaded and printed out by the entrepreneur through the portal: invest.gov.qa. Then, the entrepreneur fills them out and brings them to the counter of the Single Window of MOCI for its approval. The AoA are in Arabic and English.

The unsigned AoA are submitted to the officer in charge at the designated counter of the Single Window who will provide approval.

Time and cost: 1 day, QAR 1,500

Authenticate the Articles of Association at the Ministry of Justice (one-stop-shop counter at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry)

Agency: Authentication Department of the Ministry of Justice at one-stop-shop counter at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry

Once the articles of association are approved, the entrepreneur needs to bring them signed at the counter of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) at the Single Window building for its authentication. All authorized signatories must be present before the notary of the Ministry of Justice at the designated one-stop-shop counter for the authentication process.

The articles of association must include the following information:

  • Company name, annexed with “with limited liability”
  • Company location/head office address
  • Objectives of the company
  • The fixed term of duration
  • The startup capital and the manner in which it has been subscribed
  • The restrictions on the transfer of shares
  • Names of all shareholders
  • The manner in which profits or losses will be distributed between the shareholders
  • Names of persons entrusted with the company’s management
  • The capital structure

If any shareholder is an entity rather than a natural person, the entity will need to provide the following documents to the Ministry of Justice before signing the Articles of Association:

  • Duly legalized and authenticated Board/Shareholders Resolution approving the incorporation of the company and appointing a representative to sign the Articles of Association
  • Duly legalized and authenticated Certificate of Incorporation or equivalent document
  • Duly legalized and authenticated Articles of Association of the entity
  • A passport copy of the representative authorized to sign the Articles of Association on behalf of the company

Time and cost: 1 day, QAR 10 for the document and QAR 9 for each additional shareholder

Register with the Commercial Registry and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the one-stop-shop of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry

Agency: Ministry of Commerce and Industry

The entrepreneur proceeds to the same previous single counter at Single Window of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in order to register with the Commercial Registry and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Prior to May 2011, the entrepreneur had to go to 2 different counters to register with each of the Commercial Registry and the Chamber of Commerce.

The following documents must be submitted for registration with the Chamber of Commerce & Industry:

  • Duly completed application form signed by the appointed managers and company representatives
  • The Chamber of Commerce authorized signatories form
  • The original authenticated articles of association, along with the approved draft
  • Copies of authorized signatories’ ID cards

The following documents must be submitted for registration with the Commercial Registry:

  • Duly completed application form
  • Copy of the memorandum and articles of association
  • Copy of the receipt confirming the payment of the administrative fees due for the review of the memorandum and articles of association
  • Copy of the certificate of deposit of the startup capital at an approved bank in Qatar
  • Copies of the partners’ ID cards

The fee for registering the company at the Commercial Registry depends on the company’s scope of activity. The fee to register with the Chamber of Commerce & Industry depends on the capital of the company.

It is to be noted that there are no certificates to be issued from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, however it will be mentioned on the Commercial Registry certificate itself of the company that the latter was also registered at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

It is to be noted that the entrepreneur receives a temporary tax card besides the commercial registration number, nonetheless the entrepreneur still has to obtain a permanent tax card at the Tax Authority.

Time and cost: 1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure), QAR 2,200 (Chamber of Commerce) + QAR 500 – 5,000 (Commercial Registration)

Obtain the trade and signage licenses from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (one-stop-shop counter at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry)

Agency: Ministry of Commerce and Industry

The following documents should be submitted to a separate counter at the Single Window at MOCI.

Required documents to obtain a trade license:

  • The original signed lease agreement of the offices where the company’s head office will be located. The said agreement should be in Arabic or dual language English/Arabic.
  • An indoor and outdoor photo of the building where the offices will be located.
  • A copy of the certificate of ownership of the leased property.
  • A copy of the certificate of building completion.
  • A copy of the Commercial Registry of the company.
  • The ID copy of the person who will sign the application forms.
  • A copy of the civil defense certificate: there should be one certificate for the property and another one for the leased office.
  • In case the owner of the leased offices is a company, the following documents are required:
    • A copy of the Commercial Registry certificate of the owner of the leased offices; and
    • ID copy of the authorized signatory on behalf of the owner of the leased offices.
  • The Trade License application forms.

The trade license is issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The following documents should be submitted to issue the signage license and are issued by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment:

  • The sketch for the signboard where the name of the company should be written in Arabic and English; and
  • The signage application form.

The fee for obtaining a new trade license is QAR 10,020.

Both documents are collected at the counter at the Single Window of MOCI.

The municipality usually sends inspectors to the contemplated premises of the company prior to granting the Trade License.

Time and cost: 1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure), QAR 10,020

Inspection of business premises

Agency: Ministry of Commerce and Inudstry

An inspector from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry visits the business premises. This inspection is a requirement in order to obtain the trade and signage licenses.

Time and cost: 1 day, no charge

Register for taxes and obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN)

Agency: Public Revenues and Tax department at the Minsitry of Finance

To register for taxes at the Tax Department of the Ministry of Finance, the following documents must be submitted:

  • Articles of Association;
  • Copies of the ID cards of the company founders and partners;
  • The Commercial Registration of the company (CR);
  • Trade License;
  • Certificate of the company premises’ registration (and registration number) at the Water and Electricity Authority (Kahramaa);
  • Certificate of appointment of the company auditors.

According to the tax law, every company must register for taxes at the Tax Department; otherwise, it will be subject to a fine. This step must be completed within a month of incorporation; the company can start business operations upon obtaining the trade license.

Please note that entrepreneurs get a temporary tax card when registering the company, but a permanent tax card is still required for business to formally operate.

Time and cost: 1 day, no charge

Make a company seal

Agency: Seal maker

In practice, every company makes a company seal. This is mainly because certain documents must be stamped by the company seal before submission to governmental agencies.

The stamp will be needed mainly to stamp the documents that must be stamped by the company seal before submission to the competent authorities. In order to make a stamp, the following documents will be in principle submitted to the respective shop:

  • A letter signed by any authorized signatory on behalf of the company requesting from the shop to make a stamp for the company;
  • The ID/passport copy of the authorized signatory who signed the letter mentioned under item 1 above; and
  • A copy of the Commercial Registry of the company.

Time and cost: 2 days, QAR 150