You do not need a sponsor for opening a branch office in Qatar. Qatar business governing authorities register the opening of a new branch office in Qatar. The foreign owners have 100% stakes in that branch office. Also, importantly from a legal viewpoint, a branch office is not considered a separate business entity from its principal company.
Foreign companies can open a branch office in Qatar if they need to fulfill a legal contract in the country. This contract has to facilitate the completion of a public service or utility.
Foreign companies that want to work on Qatar government projects can set up a branch office in Qatar. The branch office needs to follow the relevant business regulations set by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The office will remain open till the project is finished. After the completion of the project, the branch will be closed unless there is another ongoing project in parallel that is still in progress.
Conditions for Operating a Branch Office in Qatar
- There are no minimum capital requirements for opening a branch office in Qatar.
- Unless exempted, branch offices in Qatar need to government taxes.
- A branch office in Qatar needs authorization from the Ministry of Economy and Commerce in Qatar.
- A branch office is only allowed to operate in Qatar if it has to complete a government project (s). Qatari government authorities do not consider the branch office as a permanent business establishment.
- The branch office will not be considered a separate business entity instead of a branch and part of the main office of the company located elsewhere overseas.
- Branch offices cannot undertake any commercial activities in Qatar falling outside the scope of the contract. It cannot accept any working or tender opportunities with the private sector.
- The life of the branch office cannot exceed the life of the government project or projects that it is established to fulfill. It will be closed after the completion of the last project.
- Therefore, branch offices are set up in Qatar for specific projects and may not necessarily replace the need of having a separately established Qatar-bound business entity.
How to set up a branch office in Qatar?
Ministry of Commerce and Industry approves establishment of a branch office in Qatar. A business setting up office will need to obtain commercial registration.
Steps to Opening A Branch Office in Qatar
Step 1:Filling Application Form
Filling out the application form that includes details about the company. It also details shareholders opening the branch in Qatar. Documents required for registration include (for updated information please visit this Qatar government portal for more information).
Details about the parent company that you need to provide:
- Power of Attorney
- Board Resolution
- Certificate of Incorporation
Other details that you need to provide include:
- Passport copy of the individual holding power of attorney.
- License Application of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- Awarding body’s letter of support.
- Details of the contract awarded by a Qatari government entity.
Step 2: Drafting of Memorandum of Association and the Articles of Association
The branch office needs to draft the Memorandum of Association and the Articles of Association.
Step 3: Approval
Once the Ministry gives the approval, you need to apply for the Commercial Registration or CR. The application form needs to be in the Arabic language and has to be signed by authorized company individuals. The company also needs to get registered with Qatar’s Chamber of Commerce for obtaining the membership.
Step 4: Obtaining the Trade License
The Municipality gives the trading license. The company applying for a trade license must have a 12-month lease agreement for setting up a branch office in Qatar.
Step 5: Issuance of Computer Card and Registration with Qatar’s Ministry of Interior
Ministry of Interior registers the company for a computer card. Once the branch office in Qatar is registered with Qatar’s Labor Department, it has to apply for the quota and vises to get its employees registered that they need for fulfilling the government project.
Step 6: Applying for TIN (Tax Identification Number)
The next step in opening a branch office in Qatar is to identify for a TIN or Tax Identification Number and a permanent tax card. The branch office also needs to assign an Auditor in Qatar within 30 days of getting its Commercial Registration.
Get Professional Help from Excel Consultants & Partners LLC in Opening a Branch Office in Qatar
Qatar remains one of the top destinations for businesses for opening a branch office. However, the process of opening a branch office in Qatar can be tedious and complex.
Read more on this topic by following our blog category on company formation in Qatar.
You can also read our previously written blog posts on company formation in Qatar.
- How to start LLC (Limited Liability Company) in Qatar?
- Types of Companies in Qatar
- Open a Company in Free Zone Qatar
- Shelf Company in Qatar
You can reach us at info[at]ExcelConsultants.org or call us at +974.70268254.
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