Once your company is incorporated through MEC (Ministry of Economy) or QFC (Qatar Financial Centre) we offer a full range of corporate support services, such as acting in the role of company secretary, and helping with all the paperwork surrounding filing financial statements and tax returns. We can make sure all your company practices and documentation are in compliance with legal requirements, both local and international. You can consult us for the drafting of agreements, and we can have documents translated and attested. We also deal with all aspects of immigration, residence and HR for your employees, visiting all the government ministries needed for obtaining certificates and approvals on your behalf.
Many of the documents needed for running a business in Qatar have to be renewed regularly – we can keep you informed on all the protocols and make sure you renew on time. If your company wants to submit a bid for a tender, we can ensure that all your documentation is in order to maximize your success.
What ongoing management support can Afreno offer once my company is established?
Everything from accounting and tax filing to HR and Payroll, from renewal of licenses to immigration issues and visas.
Can my foreign registered company have a presence in Qatar without me being there if I appoint a local representative?
This is a service we can provide by setting up a trade representative office.
Can I have documents both translated and attested if requested by government authorities?
Yes, we offer a complete service which covers translating and accreditation of all your documentation.
What’s the best way to avoid penalties when filing corporation tax returns in Qatar?
You can consult us for the latest information on filing deadlines, and ask us to assist in preparing documents; you can rely on us to submit them on time.
Does Qatar have VAT?
At the moment Qatar does not charge VAT, nor does it have personal income tax.
What is the taxable period in Qatar?
The taxable period is the same as the calendar year, with tax returns due within 4 months of a company’s accounting period.
How long do accounting records have to be retained in Qatar?
Accounting books and documents must be retained for 10 years.
In what way does my company have to be classified in order to bid for tenders?
Your company has to be designated as a service provider, supplier or contractor, and meet the specifications of each category to qualify as eligible to bid.
What forms of tender exist currently in Qatar?
There are 3 types: general/public, limited tenders and local tenders.
It is extremely important for businesses to submit annual and ad hoc filings on time in the correct manner to the applicable authorities. Complying with these requirements will assure that a licensed and registered corporate entity is not subject to penalties or any other negative repercussions, and that it maintains its good standing in whatever legal context it is permitted to carry out its particular business activities.
There are a number of services we provide to support these requirements: we can file annual returns and audited financial statements, along with performing ad hoc filings for changes of personnel such as director or secretary, changes in activities or senior executive function, alteration of registered office, or adjustments to share capital, etc.
Legal Regulatory & Compliance
Our work in the legal realm includes every aspect of dealing with agreements, from drafting and preparation, to negotiation and review, whether the transactions are of a local or international nature, and whether they are in the commercial or corporate arena. The practical implications of local laws and regulations can all be explained to you in terms of their relevance for your business, and when there is the need for regulation filings in compliance with the necessary entities, we can take care of it.
We can help you make sure you are in compliance with local tax laws with respect to regulations governing withholding tax so that you avoid the eventuality of having to pay a penalty. The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) has its own regulatory authority and a court that resolves commercial and civil disputes for local and international entities licensed by them to operate in Qatar. New laws are being introduced at a greater pace than in the past in order to meet standards of objectivity, transparency and professionalism, but we keep ahead of all new developments so that we can give the most up to date advice to our clients.
Tendering & Company Classification
We can put together all the information and documents you need to bid for tenders and submit them to the Government Procurement Regulatory Department at the Ministry of Finance. Whether you are a foreign or local company and wish to bid for government contracts, you will have to be given a classification by the GPRD as a service provider, contractor or supplier. A contractor who is applying to be officially recognized as eligible for consideration will have to provide details about their team i.e. the individuals in charge of all the different areas of the project, engineers, technicians, laborers and other staff.
Part of this process could involve translations and attestations to confirm the credentials of the applicants; we can offer this as part of our service. If you are applying through the private sector to the Central Tenders Committee at the Qatar Chamber, there are a number of steps to go through: providing a letter of guarantee from a local bank; making the bid valid for 90 days; complying with the last date for submission of tenders. We can support you in acquiring all the necessary documentation, ensuring that you meet the deadline
At any point in your establishment of a commercial activity in Qatar, whether it’s a small company or one with a lot of employees, you are bound to need translation services for much of the documentation required by government departments. Before you can even get started you may have to get company records translated to satisfy prospective business partners. Even signing a lease for your business premises will require a contract in English and Arabic. We can supply accredited translations for any legal issue you encounter in starting up or running your company.
This applies also to your line of work: whether you are opening a private school or travel bureau, engaging in medical or scientific research, or producing an innovative technological product or device, you will need translations that are accurate and reflect your level of professionalism. Publicity for your venture is also likely to be a priority; in this case we can provide translations of advertising material and press releases.
Beyond the visionary and creative aspects of setting up a new company, even in such a business-friendly country as Qatar, there are always formalities to deal with. One mistake a lot of people make is to try to attempt to do it all themselves, often wasting a lot of time; another common error is to consult different kinds of experts, one for legal matters, another for translations, another for legalization of documents, and so on.
The huge advantage we offer our clients is the possibility of taking care of all these elements in one place, promptly and efficiently. This applies to authentication of documents or certificates of any description, i.e. commercial, financial, legal or personal. Our service includes attestation, i.e. legalizing a document which will be valid for use in any country. It also includes securing apostille, in other words a legal certification that makes a document from one country valid in another. We can handle validation or notarization of any document relating to business (or living) in Qatar.
The Qatar Police Clearance Certificate reveals an individual’s criminal record, in most cases confirming the absence of any criminal wrongdoing. Police clearance is essential for employment purposes, and the documentation required varies according to the purpose it is applied for, whether for commercial activities, educational purposes, marriage, or migration. Expats who have resided in Qatar for at least months can apply for the QPCC.
If you are opening a new business in Qatar you will need a PCC for yourself and also for any employees. Expatriates need to supply a letter from their employer to CEID at the Ministry of Interior, along with other supporting documents including identification papers. We have many years experience advising companies on the regulations involved and can advise you on the current procedure. We can also carry out the entire process for you, making sure the application is filled in properly, translating or attesting documents as necessary, and visiting the various government departments for submission of documents, and later to collect them.
Payroll & Wage Protection System (WPS)
We have developed a fully integrated in-house payroll and WPS salary processing system to process the salaries of your employees in accordance with the directives of Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
Our in house payroll and WPS salary process system has been designed to process your employees’ salaries in compliance with Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs directives. The payment of wages to workers is monitored and documented by the Ministry and the Qatar Central Bank through a comprehensive electronic system for payments in institutions regulated by the 2004 Labour Law No. 14. This makes sure that employers are in compliance with Labour Law Regulations, and commit themselves fully to the wage payment process in a systematic way.
HR & Immigration
We can act as sponsor and advise your company on all the official procedures needed to make sure your employees’ immigration, residence and employment status is legal. The Qatari government sets quotas for different categories of jobs: we can keep you informed on all the latest news regarding quotas, as well as visa regulations which are subject to change. Prior to being granted a work permit by the Ministry of Labour your prospective employees will have to pass a medical test, have their fingerprints recorded and provide a number of documents including their passport and visa to obtain a residence permit.
The QID (identification card) is issued by the Ministry of Interior as part of the residence application process. This is a plastic card that is an essential document for opening a bank account or applying for a driving license or renewal. The ‘smart card’ version speeds up immigration at Doha airport through its e-Gate system. When your employees are fully documented we can also help with all aspects of HR such as employment contracts, which have to be written in English and Arabic.
Government Liaison (PRO)
We can act as your company’s PRO (Public Relations Officer or Government Liaison Officer) to represent you with government departments, taking care of all the paperwork that comes with applications for documents, approvals and renewals. Obtaining official documents can be complicated enough, but what some foreign companies who are unfamiliar with the system are unaware of is that most registrations and certificates have to be renewed regularly. The Establishment Card, for example, lasts for three years.
Some renewal processes, as in the case of vehicle registration, are being speeded up by new online services, but others like civil defense certification renewal can involve inspections of premises which have to be arranged at regular intervals with the MOI. We can oversee these arrangements, as well as supervising the procedures for de-registration or liquidation of a company, which are no less complex than what is required to set a company up; a letter in Arabic explaining the reasons for the dissolution, as well as tax clearance have to be presented to the Commercial Registry.
De-Registration & Liquidations
We can undertake the entire deregistration process for companies registered in the Ministry of Economy & Commerce as well as the Qatar Financial Centre ensuring that the company is struck off in accordance with the requirements of the licensing jurisdiction.
The deregistration process of companies registered in the Ministry of Economy & Commerce or the Qatar Financial Centre, for example, has to be conducted in a formal manner according to strict rules defined by whatever jurisdiction a business is incorporated in.
We are able to appoint a liquidator, file paperwork and rule out the existence of outstanding mandates from the licensing authorities in these cases, for the satisfaction of requirements implied by the formal procedures of deregistration should a company wish to take this route.