How to register a branch office in Qatar
Qatar is a country currently undergoing rapid economic growth. Hosting the FIFA World Cup this year has necessitated major development of the country’s infrastructure and has brought with it investment opportunities in a diverse range of industries.
If you’re looking to take advantage of these opportunities and are considering expansion into a new foreign market, a branch office is a good setup option to consider.
What is a branch office?
A branch office in Qatar is a registered company, separate from the main office (or headquarters) where business is conducted. A branch office will often contain multiple departments or divisions that are key to helping the business function and these teams will typically have a branch manager who will report to a more senior leader in the main office.
Branch offices are especially useful if your business runs nationally (or even internationally) and you need operational or logistical management in several geographical areas.
In Qatar, branch offices can be 100% foreign-owned, without the need for a Qatari partner. However, their activities must be deemed to ‘facilitate the performance of a public service or utility’ and they must be authorised by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. There is no share capital requirement to set up a branch office in Qatar, but it has full tax liability unless a special exemption has been given.
What is the Qatar registration process?
If you’re looking to register a branch office in Qatar, there are a few things you should be aware of.
To set up a branch office in Qatar as a foreign company, you will first need to obtain permission from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Step 1: Ministry Application
You will need to submit an application outlining the details of the company and any of its stakeholders.
There are several documents that you will need for this part of the process. These include:
- Documents relating to the parent company (certificate of incorporation, board resolution, power of attorney)
- Contracts awarded by a government entity (and evidenced support from that body)
- Licence application to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry
Step 2: Commercial Registration (CR)
Once you have ministry approval, you will then need to complete Commercial Registration (CR) and join the Qatar Chamber of Commerce. The registration part of the process requires an application form in Arabic signed by the designated representatives of your company.
Step 3: Trade Licence
Once the business has joined the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and completed CR, you will need to obtain the correct licence. You will need a trade licence from the Municipality. For this to be agreed, the company must sign a 12-month lease for a Qatar-based office or company premises.
Step 4: Resource Licensing
Governmental policy in Qatar requires companies to get a computer card (costing QR 200) before they are allowed to hire employees. It’s an easy process and doesn’t take too long.
You will also need to register with the Labour Department to hire employees.
Step 5: Register for a Tax Card
The company needs to apply for both a permanent tax card and a tax identification number. You must also appoint an auditor within 30 days of commercial registration.
How can PRO Partner Group help?
PRO Partner Group can offer you a reliable hassle-free solution to this otherwise time-consuming and complex task, by taking care of processes and identifying documentation required. We have in-depth knowledge of business practices and incorporation requirements in Qatar as well as direct contact with many key government departments. We can advise you on the best company structure for your business venture and provide ongoing support and administration to ensure compliance with all local laws and regulations.
If you need guidance on setting up a branch office in Qatar or any other related company setup, restructuring, local partner, or PRO support matter in Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the wider UAE, Oman and Saudi Arabia, then please do get in touch with us on +971 (0)4 456 1761 for Dubai or +971 (0)2 448 5120 for Abu Dhabi, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the contact form below and we will be delighted to assist you.