Qatar’s foreign investment law allows Non-Qatari investors to invest in all sectors of the Qatar economy provided that at least 51% be held by a Qatari partner though there are provisions for 100% foreign investment in certain sectors which is subject to approval by the concerned authorities.
Business Structures in Qatar
Simple Partnership Company
A simple partnership company is formed by two or more natural persons of Qatari nationality who are jointly responsible for the company’s liabilities. The article of association and all relevant amendments must be registered in the Commercial Registration and should be published in one of the daily Arabic newspaper.
Limited Share Partnership Company
This type of company has at least one or more joint partners and at least four trustee shareholding partners.
Joint Venture Company
A joint venture company is formed by two or more natural or legal persons. For this type of an entity where there is no legal personality involved, it is not required to follow the same commercial registration as other categories of companies. If a non-Qatari is a partner of a Joint Venture Company it shall not carry out business prohibited by the law to be carried by non-Qataris.
Public Shareholding Company
A Public Share Holding Company comprises of a number of persons who subscribe for its transferable shares, and who are liable only to the extent of their shares value in the invested capital. The capital for such kind of companies shall not be less than QR 10 Million and promoters cannot subscribe for a share less than 20% or more than 60% of the companies capital. It is mandatory for a Public Share Holding Company to appoint financial auditors. Except as provided in Law No.13 for the year 2000, only nationals of Qatar can subscribe for shares in the Public Share Holding Company. The articles and memorandum of public shareholding should specify among other things, the duration of the life of.
Limited Liability Company
The most commonly used Business Entity in Qatar is Limited Liability Company which is formed by minimum 2 and a maximum of 50 shareholders with the capital of company not being less than QR 200,000 divided into equal shares of minimum QR 10 each. A Limited Liability Company is not allowed to carry out insurance, banking or investment brokerage activities whether as principal or agent.
One Person Company
A One Person Company refers to a company in which every economic activity and its full share capital is held by one natural or corporate person.The corporate governance requirements for the company are similar to Limited Liability Company.
A Holding Company is a joint stock, limited liability or one person company financially and administratively controlling one or more other companies by holding at least 51% of the shares of such company(ies) whether they are shareholding, limited liability or one person companies.
The Foreign Investment Law contains provisions that, subject to an exemption from the Minister of Business & Trade, a branch of a foreign company can be registered in Qatar if that foreign company has a contract in Qatar which is performing a specific project, which "facilitates the performance of a public service or utility". This registration does not allow for the foreign company to conduct commercial activity that is not related to the specific contract for which it is registered. Foreign companies registered under this category do not need a sponsor or Service agent. The Branch Office will be fully taxable unless it is granted a special exemption.
Article 68 Company
An Article 68 Company may (subject to approval by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce) be formed with a foreign company by either the Qatari government; or a public entity or corporation which is not less than 51% owned by the State of Qatar. However, where the State of Qatar owns less than 51% of the public entity or corporation which is forming the Article 68 Company, then Council of Ministers’ approval is additionally required.