Registration & Licensing
Because of the competitive tax environment in the Qatar Financial Centre and the Free Zones, more and more foreign investors are being encouraged to set up their businesses in Qatar. Afreno has long-standing and reliable liaisons with various branches of the government, which includes the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry among others. There will be various paperwork requirements that need to be submitted for the registration and the licensing of your company, and we can help you accomplish that and so much more as promptly and as cost-effectively as possible.
You will need to be able to establish your company name through the MOCI, as well as obtain your EC (Establishment Card) and CR (Commercial Registration). You will also be required to acquire a commercial license, a civil defense approval, or visas for yourself and for your employees. You can fully rely on our first-hand experience in lending our expertise to entrepreneurs in order to help you skyrocket to success.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the Qatar Financial Centre?
Establishing your foreign business with the Qatar Financial Centre provides you with a myriad of benefits like foreign ownership and tax exemptions as a company thriving in the Free Zones of Qatar.
What is the purpose of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry?
Among others, the responsibilities of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry include processing commercial documentation and certificates and attestations for export businesses.
How does the Chamber of Commerce and Industry promote economic growth?
It does so via hosting trade delegations, holding local and international exhibits and fairs, participating in conferences, research and training, publishing commercial and scientific publications, and so on.
Why do I need a Computer Card?
With this, you can hire individuals and issue exit permits as well as residence permits to employees. This card will indicate the singing authority of your company.
How can I have a seamless application process?
Have the necessary documents ready at all times, such as the IDs of your shareholders, your certificate of registration, and enough funds to pay for processing fees. Afreno can help smoothen out the whole process for you.
Why do I need a CR?
With your CR, you can open a corporate bank account, invoice payments and accept payments from clients, or buy assets under the company name.
What do I need to apply for a tax card?
Among others, you will need your application, your commercial registration, your computer card, the IDs of your shareholders, your articles of association, and so on.
In getting a signage license, what other issues should I be wary of?
Take note that your license must not cause any kind of harm to public facilities, nor should it endanger lives or property or adversely affect the city in any way. You will also need to be in charge of maintenance of the said advertising signage.
Why do I need assistance in getting a signage license?
There are many intricacies when it comes to the signage license, and violation of provisions may be subject to a fine of up to QAR 20,000 apart from the possible removal of the advertisement.
How can Afreno help me?
Afreno can provide expert consultancy services for all of your business needs, whether you’re looking to have anything registered or trying to apply for all kinds of commercial licenses. Our solid background and years of experience coupled with our good relationships with the necessary bodies of authority make us the perfect business partner to help you set up your business and guide you through every step of the way to thrive in Qatar.
Qatar Financial Centre Registration (QFC)
When you choose to set up a business in the Qatar Financial Centre, you will have access to a myriad of benefits and opportunities as a company in the free zones. Aside from numerous tax exemptions and being established in one of the most sought-after business districts and world-class investment hubs in the world, you will also have complete set up support in the one-stop shop that is the QFC.
Submitting your company details to the Qatar Financial Centre is straightforward and easy. Once you register and submit your application, you will be contacted by a dedicated relationship manager who will patiently guide you throughout the whole process. You will be assisted with the process of registration, obtaining a license, and starting your daily operations. Afreno can help you get up off your feet and lets you hit the ground running with your start-up right away, stress-free and completely hassle-free.
Qatar Chamber of Commerce & Industry Registration
The Qatar Chamber of Commerce & Industry (QCCI) is one of the oldest chambers as it was established in 1963 by virtue of the Law No (4). With its main role of representing the Qatari private sector both here and abroad, it helps organise business interests and contributes to the overall development of the country’s economy as well as the State’s economic productivity.
The Chamber utilises its advisory capacity to help businesses establish and develop stock exchanges, as well as develop ports, markets, fairs, and grant franchises and various certificates of origin for exported products. It also helps in processing attestations of data regarding signatures, stamps, contracts, and other documents related to commercial transactions, among others. With all of the essential functions of the Chamber, it’s important to have a partner like Afreno to help you liaise with them properly for a swift and hassle-free processing of registrations and licenses.
Establishment Card/Computer Card (EC)
As issued by Immigration, the Establishment Card or the Computer Card must clearly define who the signing authority is on behalf of your company. The Qatari partner of your business must be listed on the Computer Card as well. In order to apply for one, you are required to acquire an official company stamp which you will need to use on all of the official paperwork of your company. Major printing presses can fulfil your orders of an official company stamp. Be prepared to present your Certificate of Registration, your Trade License, and photocopies of the shareholders’ IDs.
At the Immigration and Passport control office, you may apply for the Computer Card with the duly filled application form as well as the copies of the IDs of the individuals listed on the Computer Card. With this, you can hire and issue RPs to your employees, as well as exit permits.
Commercial Registration (CR)
Issued by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC), the Commercial Registration indicates that your legal entity is owned by enumerated shareholders. You will first need to acquire a trade name for your business—one that is unique and preferably has a meaning in Arabic as well. You will also need your Articles of Incorporation, which should clearly list down all of the shareholders and their ownership stakes in the company. Be prepared to identify your business activities as each sector has a specific charge. Is your company all about digital marketing, clothing retail, trading, food, and such? Some businesses will need to be approved first, like if you are opening a medical clinic, you will need approval from the Ministry of Health. The CR is also normally valid for a year, and you can accomplish the renewal process easily online. Afreno can assist you with all of these processes for your peace of mind.
Commercial License (CL)
Your commercial license or your trade license will allow you to have an office space in order to conduct your business activities as approved by the MEC. You can submit your application to the MEC along with a copy of your CR, your Articles of Incorporation, a photo of your office both from the outside and from the inside (this must show your signage with your business name on the office door), and a copy of the IDs of the authorized personnel in your company. The building completion certificate as well as the building owner’s ID must also be presented.
Aside from these, you will need your rental acknowledgement, your Civil Defense approval, and your ownership instrument. Then, an inspection will be conducted on the site to see if your office is appropriate. You can rely on Afreno’s expertise in helping you process all of these documents and so much more.
There are many licenses that you will need to apply for and submit when registering and trying to acquire licensing. Having an actively operating business license allows you to carry out your regular day-to-day tasks in your business as seamlessly and as hassle-free as possible.
With Afreno’s dedicated team of experts, you won’t have to worry about missed deadlines, incomplete requirements, missing approvals and signatures, and going back and forth between various government agencies just to get your documents processed. You will also be able to skip all of the long lines and save time instead of wasting your precious hours away while queuing. Afreno takes pride in its long-standing relationships with various government agencies and the relevant bodies of authority to help facilitate the processing of all of your paperwork, where we can help you with everything from translations to authentications of all kinds of legal, financial, and commercial documents.
According to Qatar Tax Law, if you are a taxpayer in Qatar, you are required to have a tax card. If you are involved in any kind of business activity that lets you earn some taxable income, your tax card if of extreme importance.
Time is of the essence when applying for a tax card. Within 30 days of obtaining your commercial registration, you or your auditor must be able to register with the Public Revenue and Taxes Department (PRTD) and apply for your tax card. If not, you will be charged a penalty of QAR 5,000 if you fail to register for a tax card in time. With your tax card, you will be able to receive payments free from withholding tax for goods and services. You will need your completed tax card application form, your appointed auditor’s mandate, and a copy of your commercial registration (this should have a validity of six months) among others.
When you apply for any kind of visa, you can easily track the status of your application through the MOI. The Ministry of Interior provides Visa Approval Tracking services simply via online procedures. You can fill out an online application form, enter your application number, key in your application date or the QID of the sponsor or the person in charge, choose your visa type and the nationality of the applicant, and enter your verification code.
MOI approval is important when you are acquiring all types of visas for yourself, your family, or your employees. Ensuring that all of the paperwork for all parties involved are completed and accounted for makes sure that you won’t be encountering any documentation issues down the road when your business is already operating daily and is already up and running. With Afreno, you can rest assured that we can handle all of these requirements comprehensively and thoroughly.
Civil Defence Approval
When you set up your business in Qatar, you will need to acquire Civil Defence approval for existing or new buildings and for your products. Afreno can assist you with obtaining all kinds of approvals for your company products and equipments, as well as approvals for Existing or New buildings. This includes villa complexes, schools, hotels, malls, factories, industrial projects, restaurants, commercial buildings, residential buildings, offices, and commercial buildings. You will also be needing assistance with building safety inspections, engineering drawings, fire safety certifications, hazardous materials permits, fire alarm systems, ventilation systems, and so on.
Afreno’s quality services will help you acquire the necessary qualifications in order to receive the Civil Defence approval for your goods and buildings. Not only can our team of experts provide you with comprehensive assistance in all manner of technological and industrial things, we can also ensure that you won’t encounter any further issues down the road.
According to the Law No (1) of 2012 regulating the control and placement of advertisements (Advertising Law), any means of communications that is meant to inform the public must first obtain a license. This license should be acquired from the Relevant Municipality where the advertisement is set to be placed. Insurance charges and other fees must be paid as well, along with a dully accomplished application form and a proposed sketch that provides complete details regarding the content of the advertisement.
Other prerequisites include not being offensive to Islam or other religions, not being in any way similar to traffic signs and other official signage, and not being contrary to public order, customs, morals, or traditions. The primary language of the signage must be in Arabic. Afreno can help you with the processing of the licensing requirements, as well as with the translations of all pertinent documentation for the signage license.