Business Structure

a) Local business entities

A local business entity in Qatar can be a sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company and Public Limited company. The companies can be 100% Qatari owned or need a local sponsor having minimum 51% holding except for those registered in Qatar Science and Technology(QST) Park or Qatar Financial Center(QFC), where 100% foreign shareholding is permitted and does not require a local sponsor . The Limited liability Company (WLL) is the most prevalent structure in Qatar. The minimum share capital required for WLL Company is QR 200,000 which has to be deposited prior to the registration of the entity and after the name approval.

Local companies after their registration are required to have their registered office approved and registered with the Municipal authority.

Running the affairs of the company depends upon the agreement entered into with the Qatari partner with respect to operation of company, general management, bank account bank etc.

b) Repatriation of profit and salaries

Dividends can be freely repatriated and there is no withholding tax on dividends under the Qatar Tax Law. Salary in Qatar is nontaxable and can be fully repatriated with no withholding tax.

c) Visa

Visa for non-Qataris is to be obtained after sanction from the authorities. Initially a person has to come on temporary work visa and later after completing the formalities (health checkup and finger printing) he can get a permanent residential visa.

d) Banking in Qatar

Both local and foreign banks (HSBC, Standard Charted) are operational in Qatar. The banking sector is supervised by Qatar Central bank (QCB) which was incorporated in 1993. Qatar national Bank (QNB) is the first national and largest bank in Qatar. Up until 1995, interest rates on both time deposits and credit facilities were controlled by QCB regulations. In 1995, following the introduction of QCB discount rate, all restrictions on interest rates on credit facilities was lifted. In February 2001, the QCB removed its ceiling on interest rate for local currency deposits, thereby freeing the banking system from all interest rate policy restrictions. Banking in Qatar has expanded to more branches within and outside the country and has now become fully automated.

The Qatari Riyal is pegged with the USD where USD/QR is 3.64 and is almost equal to 1 AED which is pegged to USD at 3.6725.

e) Listing on Qatar Stock Exchange

Listing of a company on a stock exchange in Qatar is governed by Law no. 33 of 2005 Amended by Decree-Law no. 14 of 2007 regarding Qatar Financial Market Authority and Qatar Securities market. The Doha securities market or Qatar exchange currently have around 50 listed companies comprising from sectors like banking and financial Services, Consumer goods and services, Industrials, insurance, Real estate, telecom and transportation.