Qatar Free Zone (QFZ)


The Qatar Free Zone (QFZ) is one of the main free zones in Qatar. Companies in QFZ can benefit from 100% foreign ownership, 20-year tax holidays and other incentives for local and foreign direct investment.

Qatar Free Zone (QFZ)

QFZ offers a broad portfolio of Free Zones which are strategically located in proximity to ports and commercial zones. QFZ is made up of two free zones that are focused and centred around four main sectors of emerging technologies, industry, logistics and maritime. The first free zone, Ras Bufontas – the airport free zone, is connected to and supported by Hamad International Airport. The second free zone, Umm Al Houl – the seaport free zone, is next to and supported by a greenfield deep-seaport. From these two free zones, from time-sensitive products to heavy machinery, they’re able to supply industries worldwide. The free zones are a gateway for the world to the Middle East and the possibilities, opportunities and potential growth for investors are limitless.

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Requirements to set up in QFZ

There are 2 main steps involved in starting your business in a Freezone in Qatar (QFZ) – application stage and registration stage. Both stages are handled by liaison with QFZA (Qatar Freezone Authority) or through a company service provider like PRO Partner Group. Note that PRO Partner Group (PPG) Qatar can act as your agent to assist with the set up and liaison with Qatar Freezone Authority to ensure the correct and timeline set up of the freezone company in QFZ. PPG can act as your main point of contact through the process.

Ras Bufontas Free Zone

Situated adjacent to Hamad International Airport, Ras Bufontas Free Zone spans 4 km² and offers exceptional logistics capabilities due to its proximity to one of the world's busiest airports. It specialises in sectors such as logistics, consumer products, light manufacturing, technology, and pharmaceuticals, with a focus on emerging technologies like AI, robotics, and cybersecurity.

The area includes 24 light industrial units, extensive serviced land plots, and flexible office accommodations that can be custom-built or pre-configured by the QFZA to meet specific business needs. The free zone offers significant benefits like 100% foreign ownership, full repatriation of investments and profits, access to investment funding, no currency restrictions, and a competitive corporate tax rate of 10%. Businesses can apply for a range of licences, including professional, trading, commercial, industrial, e-commerce, and can establish foreign branches.

Umm Alhoul free zone

Established in 2010, Umm Alhoul Free Zone, is strategically located beside Qatar's Hamad Port, one of the world’s largest greenfield ports. Covering 32 km², this zone is designed to support a wide range of industries with a focus on maritime services, heavy manufacturing, and logistics. Umm Alhoul is particularly advantageous for businesses that benefit from proximity to major shipping routes and custom clearance facilities.

The zone specialises in sectors such as heavy manufacturing, with a dedicated 5-6 square kilometer cluster for manufacturing and chemicals companies. This area offers new infrastructure and specialised logistics to cater to startups, SMEs, and large corporations.

Key industries in Umm Alhoul include maritime industries, logistics, emerging technologies, and downstream petrochemical sectors. The free zone also offers significant incentives like 100% foreign ownership, complete repatriation of investments and profits, access to investment funding, and no currency restrictions.

Businesses can choose from 1.8 km² of serviced land plots or 14 light industrial units, providing flexible property solutions for a variety of operational needs.

What is the QFZ Application process

QFZA has set out the below list of permitted activities:

  • Consumer Goods
  • Energy & Environmental Technologies
  • Food & Beverages
  • ICT
  • Pharmaceuticals, Life Sciences & Medical Services
  • Industrial Products & Services
  • Professional & Business Services
  • Leisure & Hospitality
  • Automotive & Transport Equipment
  • Logistics & Warehousing
  • Marine Activities & Services
  • Aerospace & Aviation Activities

This process includes obtaining general information on the company, financial and employment forecasts and a business plan detailing proposed operations and activities.

    The documents that you will be required to submit at this stage are:

    • A copy of your company registration (If the company is already registered in Qatar)
    • Audited financial statements or a shareholder’s financial statement from the last 3 years
    • Copies of ID documents for all the directors of the proposed company
    • Proof of payment for the application

    Registration of QFZ company

    The licence types available in QFZ include: 

    • Trading 
    • Services
    • E-commerce (online portal activities – requires experience with managing these platforms)
    • Industrial

    The documents that will be submitted at this stage depend on the proposed business activity and structure.

    QFZ LLC Formation

    For incorporation of an LLC in QFZ, you will require all the documents relating to the free zone entity. These are:

    • Articles of Associations (AoA), which must be signed by shareholders or authorised representatives of the shareholders on every page
    • Documents pertaining to the incorporation of the free zone entity and appointment of an authorised representative (shareholder’s resolution)
    • All governmental documents that relate to the company shareholders

    Note that where shareholders may be corporate entities then the relevant Board Resolution and Power of Attorney must be obtained from the country of origin and Notarised, Legalised and Attested through the Qatar embassy in that country. PPG can fully assist with this process as needed.

    QFZ Branch Formation

    In order to register a branch office in the Qatar Freezone, you must provide the following:

    • All documents that relate to the authorisation for incorporation of a free zone branch
    • Any documents that are connected with the appointment of a manager
    • Any other constitutional documents that are related to the originating parent company

    With setting up Branch office in QFZ the relevant Board Resolution and Power of Attorney must be drafted from the parent company and obtained from the country of origin and Notarised, Legalised and Attested through the Qatar embassy in that country. PPG can assist with this process as needed.

    Benefits of setting up in QFZ

    • QFZ utilise the wage protection system (WPS). It might be helpful to engage with us for Payroll Services in Qatar to ensure the correct and timely payment of employees.
    • QFZ and the Qatar Airways provide well connected networks which investors would have access to which expands their reach to many regional markets worldwide.
    • Qatar is strategically positioned between the producing-East and consuming-West markets
    • QFZ is able to offer fully serviced offices, units and land plots within a dedicated zone
    • World-class infrastructure and logistics connectivity by land, sea and air - combining its strategic location with this large storage capacity could improve target global supply chain ensuring availability and speedy delivery of its products
    • 100% Foreign Ownership of your business
    • Full capital repatriation
    • 20 year corporate tax holiday
    • No rule round minimum number of local employees
    • Zero customs duties for in/out of free zones, but 5% customs duties apply when sold into Qatar

    How can PPG assist in Qatar?

    Our team on the ground in Doha have assisted in the set up of many Qatar free zone companies including in Qatar Financial Centre. QFC has grown in popularity for incorporation in recent years and having a knowledgeable partner in Qatar during the company formation process is essential. The team can also provide important guidance and advice about on-going maintenance requirements. Schedule a free consultation with our team in Doha today. 

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