A branch office in Qatar represents one of the most popular forms of business through which foreign corporations undertake their activities in this country. There is not a requirement for a local citizen to have an interest in a branch, however, a branch can usually be set up only to complete one or several contracts with the local government or with a governmental agency to effectuate a public service or utility. In this article, our company formation consultants in Qatar explain different aspects related to establishing a branch in this country. You can also be guided if interested in immigration to Qatar.
For foreign countries
Best used for
– financial operations,
– specific projects
Minimum share capital
|Time frame for the incorporation (approx.)||
Around 3 months
|Legal representative required||
|Local bank account||
|Independence from the parent company||Dependent on the parent company|
|Liability of the parent company||Full liability for the branch office’s debt and obligations|
|Corporate tax rate||10%|
|Possibility of hiring local staff||Yes|
Table of Contents
How to register a branch in Qatar in 2023
To register a branch in Qatar in 2023, the company has to obtain a Ministerial Decree first, which enables it to set up a branch that is entirely owned by foreign citizens. To obtain the approval registration for a branch in Qatar, the following documents must be submitted:
- an application form, in Arabic;
- a copy of the Certificate of Registration for Foreign Shareholder from the country of origin;
- a Power of Attorney from the parent company in favor of a representative of the foreign shareholder for utilization in Qatar, as well as a copy of his or her passport;
- the Memorandum and/or the Articles of Association of the foreign investor;
- a board decision of the foreign investor which confirms his or her wish to set up a branch in Qatar;
- the contract with the government or with the governmental agency. It has to be translated in Arabic;
- any other documents the Ministry might require.
After the approval is issued, the parent company has to obtain a commercial registration by filing certain documents. Our Qatar company formation advisors can provide all the necessary information on what these documents consist of and can collaborate with our immigration lawyers in Qatar for the relocation of a business. We also offer assistance for foreign investors to open a company in Qatar and information about taxation in this country, respecting the procedures for 2023.
Branches in Qatar can be 100% foreign-owned which represents quite an advantage for international entrepreneurs looking for safe and appreciated business conditions in this part of Asia.
Activities of a branch in Qatar
The activities that a branch may effectuate in Qatar are limited to effectuating specific contracts on which the registration is made. Further approval is needed to undertake other or to renew contracts. The registration of a branch is valid for the duration of the contract or contracts on which the registration is made and the branch has to be dissolved after completing these contracts, even though it can extend its activities by signing new governmental contracts. Our Qatar company formation agents can provide more details about the branch formalities for 2023. Plus, our immigration lawyers in Qatar are at your disposal for the relocation process of a company in Qatar.
If you are among the local or foreign entrepreneurs who want to open a business in Qatar, we recommend you benefit from the services offered by one of our accountants in Qatar. Our specialists have the necessary experience to deal with important procedures such as bookkeeping, payroll, annual financial statements, or tax minimization methods. Contact us and learn more about our services.
Once the Chamber of Commerce in Qatar issues the Commercial registration for a branch the business owner is obliged to sign a 12-month lease agreement for a based office in the selected city for incorporation.
A short guide to opening a branch in Qatar
Many international companies are found as branches in Qatar. If you, as a foreign investor in Qatar, are interested in such a structure, we recommend that you read the following guide:
- Branch application submission – This first step involves filling out an application with information about the branch you want to establish, as well as details about the parent company and its owners. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Qatar provides the necessary approvals in this regard.
- Preparation of documents – The Memorandum of Association, a power of attorney, the board’s decision to open such a structure, and a copy of the Certificate of Registration of the parent company are among the most important documents for opening a branch in Qatar. Our local agents can draft the required documents and represent your business interests in this country.
- Commercial residence requirements – To be able to open a branch in Qatar, you need to obtain commercial residence approval from the above-mentioned Ministry.
- Opening a bank account – As for any other type of business, the opening of a bank account is also required for the branch in Qatar. It is used for financial transactions registered in the company.
- Application for licenses – Depending on the specifics of the business, it is necessary to apply for special licenses and permits. In the case of branches, you must already have a signage license and commercial license in Qatar.
- Registration for paying taxes – Another important step in opening a branch in Qatar is registering for paying taxes. This is where VAT and income tax come into question.
- Employment of foreign staff – It is necessary to prepare immigration documents for foreign staff who will work in the Qatari branch. Work and visa permits, alongside residence permits, are the most important. In this matter, you can be helped by one of our immigration lawyers in Qatar.
- Hiring an accounting firm – Companies registered in Qatar are subject to accounting laws, both local and international. You can consider the services of an accounting firm in Qatar, in exchange for a department of this kind.
- Choose the company management – Your branch in Qatar can have local management for the activities undertaken. It is not necessarily an obligation in this sense, but rather a recommendation.
- Appoint a legal representative – The registration of a branch in Qatar is done with the help of a legal representative, in charge of varied paperwork. Get in touch with us and find out how you can help in this important endeavor.
So, these are some important steps to keep in mind when opening a branch in Qatar. Normally, there are no complications if you receive the necessary approvals from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Qatar, but to ensure the smooth running of the procedures, we invite you to contact our company registration agents in Qatar. Below you can find a video presentation that might be helpful:
It is good to note that the tax card is proof that your branch in Qatar is registered for taxation. Once the formalities are fulfilled, the business owner or the manager needs to select and appoint an auditor no more than 30 days from the date of incorporation.
Invest in Qatar
Qatar is one of the most popular business destinations that attract the attention of international investors. With a huge development potential in all fields, Qatar offers optimal infrastructure and business conditions for investments and their development. And to give you an idea of the economic direction in Qatar, we present some figures:
- The total FDI stock recorded in 2021 in Qatar exceeded USD 27.5 billion.
- September 2021 only registered an increase in FDI, of about USD 8.2 million.
- Japan, US, Singapore, and South Korea are among the most important investors of Qatar.
A residence permit in Qatar can be obtained in a maximum of 4 weeks from the date of application if all documents are accepted. Among these, the proof that you have registered your presence in this country, that you have a domicile and a work contract, is the information required by the authorities. You must bear in mind that certain medical tests are also required, but all aspects can be detailed for you by one of our local lawyers with experience in immigration issues.
If you need to know more about branches in Qatar, or for help in setting up such an office in this country, please talk to our company registration representatives in Qatar. Our local advisors can also offer information about immigration to Qatar, so contact us right away. We can also help you with company formation in other countries, such as Georgia, through our local partners.