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28 January 2019 03:57 pm

Here’s how to set up your business in Qatar Free Zone

Khadiza Begum
Khadiza Begum
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Over the past years, Qatar has transformed itself into a vibrant country boasting of state-of-the-art malls, amazing stadiums, modern hotels, tallest buildings, world-class infrastructure and a big thirst for even bigger things! With these advantages along with a high standard of living, Qatar is now a major business hub and an ideal spot for setting up businesses.

There are few legal company setting options in Qatar including the Free Zones which makes the decision process much easier than any other GCC countries. These Free Zones aim at providing a level of economic security with regards to the free flow of goods to the local market, in addition to supporting the process of economic diversification. So if you are planning to set-up your company in Qatar, scroll to read about the Qatar Free zones, important steps, benefits & FAQs before you start the process.

(Qatar is now a major business hub and an ideal spot for setting up businesses)

FAQs about Free Zones in Qatar

The following Q&A that are mentioned on the QSTP website to provide you with some additional information on the requirements and additional benefits of setting up a Free Zone Company in Qatar.

What is a free zone?

Free zones are designated areas which are geographically in the territory of a country but are considered outside the country for customs purposes. Companies operating in Free Zones are released from tax, customs rules and regulations which they would otherwise be subject to.

I am planning on setting up my company in a Qatar free zone, what factors must I consider?

A number of considerations have to be taken into account when setting up any business, and these include budget, company type, and location. The initial assessment of prospective tenants will be based on their level of investment in the specified Permitted Activities. The on-going measures that will be applied to determine that the “predominant activities” of the tenant will be agreed in advance of issuance of each license on a case-by-case basis. As a means of illustration, such measures may include:

  • The number of staff directly employed in technology (product and/or process) development, technology-related consulting services or R&D.
  • Level of financial investment and resources in technology (product and/or process) development or technology-related consulting services or R&D.
  • The number of individuals that are educated and/or trained at the Licensee’s premises at QSTP.

What benefits are offered by the QSTP Free Zone?

  • 100% foreign company ownership
  • 100% corporate income tax exemption
  • 100% personal income tax exemption
  • 100% import and export duties tax exemption
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits
  • No foreign currency restrictions
  • Swift company formation
Companies operating in Free Zones are released from tax, customs rules
(Companies operating in Free Zones are released from customs rules)

What are the fees associated with company formation, branch registration and licensing?

Currently, there are no fees associated with company formation, branch registration and licensing.

What types of companies can be formed in the Free Zone?

  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Branch of Local or Foreign Company

What is the minimum capital required to set up a company in the Free Zone?

There is no minimum capital required to register a branch of a local or foreign company. The minimum capital for establishing Limited Liability Companies is QR 200,000 or US $55,000.

Do I need to rent an office to obtain a Free Zone License?

Yes, renting an office in the Free Zones is required to obtain this License

Can I purchase properties and real estate in the Free Zone?

No. All properties and real estate in the Free Zones are offered on a lease basis only.

What types of offices are available for rent in the Free Zone?

  • Fully-furnished offices in blocks of 45 square meters
  • Category A fitted-out offices in blocks of 500 square meters
  • Custom-built buildings in different sizes

When based at QSTP, is there is a designated port for the import and export of goods?

Licensed entities can import and export goods through any port or airport in Qatar after registering with the General Authority of Customs.

Free Zones locations

Two new free zones will be opened in Qatar to the local and international investors by 2019.

Port Free Zone – Um Alhoul

Area: 30.3 km2, Location: Adjacent to the Mesaieed Industrial Zone & Hamad Port

Port Free Zone – Um Alhoul
Source: http://fza.gov.qa/

The Umm Al Houl Free Zone, which is near Hamad Port, will be ready to receive investors by Q1 2019,

Suitable industries:

-Maritime Industries
-Heavy Manufacturing
-Industrial Sectors Focus
-Emerging Technologies
-Logistics Hub

Airport Free Zone – Ras Bufontas

Area: 3.96 km2, Location: Adjacent to Hamad International Airport (HIA)

Airport Free Zone – Ras Bufontas
Source: http://fza.gov.qa/

The second free zone, Ras Bu Fontas, which is near Hamad International Airport, will facilitate cargo operations and similar businesses. Ras Bu Fontas also will be launched this year and will feature advanced technologies.

Suitable industries:

-Light Manufacturing
-International Business Services
-Aviation Sector
-Emerging Technologies
-Logistics Hub

To know more about the Free Zones, visit www.fza.gov.qa and https://qstp.org.qa/free-zone/

The content of this article is intended to give you a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.