How to start a business in Qatar free zone

Qatar is a gulf country reputed for its fabulous corporate establishments, strong infrastructures and rich life style. The country is getting good attention for its prominent business opportunities in its two free zone areas. Every year thousands of business investors gather here with various business plans and start ideas from all around the world. The aim is to set their dream business in one of the two Qatar’s free trade zones. Now you must be wondering why free zones? Free zone in contrast with economic zone offer more advantages to business initiators. Here are some of the advantages:

Advantage of business setup in Qatar free zone

  • 100% Tax exemption for the company established in this zone
  • Absolute foreign ownership for limited liability companies
  • Free Import export facilities
  • You can do all the transactions with dollars in Qatar and don’t have to exchange with local currency.
  • Low price for electricity, fuel etc. for you company.
  • Ensures secure environment for both business and living
  • The company setup process is much faster compare to economic zones in Qatar
  • Obtaining various licenses and approvals are less time consuming

Free trades zones in Qatar

There are only two free zone areas in Qatar. You have to choose either one of these two free trade zone to start your company in Qatar. It must be noted that, each zone is governed by its own Free Zone Authority (FZA). The FTZ is free from central government and they set rules and implement those for all companies operating in these zones. The two free zones in Qatar are:

1. Port Free Zone: Um Ahoul

Port Free Zone is the biggest free trade zone areas in Qatar. It is massive and spread more than 30.3-square kilometer area near Mesaieed industrial zone and Hamad port.

2. Airport Free Zone: Ras Bufontas

The Airport zone is smaller in compare to the Um Ahoul.  This zone is meant for small to mid size business establishments. The radius of this particular zone widens about 4-square kilometer of area. It is located near the famous Hamad International Airport in Qatar.

Setup process of business in Qatar free zone

To start a company in Qatari free zones, you need many documents and follow several steps. Below are the list of paperwork needed and then registration steps in Qatar:

Documents needed for business setup in Qatar

  • Description of business plan
  • Information of the company in details
  • Bank account statements and approval certificate
  • All information of shareholders involved with the business

Steps of company formation in Qatar free zone

  • The first task is to get in touch with a business registration expert in Qatar, and follow instructions.
  • Next reserve unique company name and apply for name registration.
  • Submit the paid-up capital through bank drafts.
  • Draft and AoA and MoA.
  • Verify and get AoA approvals for your company from the Commercial Companies Control Department in Qatar.
  • Submit MoA, AoA with all other paperwork prepared to the Commercial Companies Control Department in Qatar.
  • Get trade license and other approval certificates from the free zone authority.
  • Obtain signage license from the Municipality of Doha
  • Collect Trade Identification Number (TIN) which has to be registered with the Authority of taxation and revenue body.
  • Register the company with Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Qatar
  • Obtain company seal for business usage.

How much I have to invest for Qatar free zone company setup?

The company setup cost depends on various factor; for instance: company type, in which area in Qatar you are setting up your company, how much you are investing for premises, utilities, furniture, establishments and so on. In an average a company setup process in Qatar asks for US$ 50,000 to $60,000, this cost may go even higher if the company requirement asks more. However, this cost is much lower in Qatar free trade zone areas.

Below we have given a cost list that shows an average business establishment cost that you have to bear if you want to start a business in Qatar free zone:

  • Trade name proposal- $1000/year
  • Company registration fees at Qatar free zone- $13000/year
  • Government license, approval fees- $10,000/ year
  • Opening a bank account at Qatar corporate bank- $5000/ Year
  • Arranging office premises in free zone- $1500/year
  • Project Management fees per two months- $4500/year

So, the cost figure for setting up a typical business in Qatar free trade zone sums up to be only $35000/ Year which is much lower than economic zone where the setup cost starts from $50000/Year. This tells us that registering business in free zone area is much convenient than other areas in Qatar.