Qatar Expansion Guide
Global Upside helps companies set up, hire, and operate in Qatar. Set up a legal entity quickly and easily with our solutions for branch, subsidiary, and rep office. Looking for an alternative to permanent establishment? Hire and pay employees in Qatar without a legal entity by using our PEO & employer of record services. Once your business is set up, our teams can support with recruitment and staffing, human resources, employee benefits, payroll, accounting, and tax.
With a population of around 2.8 million, Qatar is the richest Arab country. It is also the richest nation in the world. The unemployment rates of the country are the lowest (at less than 1%). Even though oil and natural gas have dominated the market, Qatar has also diversified its economy through industrialization and manufacturing.
- Qatar ranks as the 54th largest economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP.
- Qatar ranks as the 20th largest economy in Asia.
- Qatar ranks as the 45th best county for business.
- Qatar ranks as the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas.
A Sole Proprietorship Company (SPC) is the most common form of a business entity set up in Qatar. It follows the LLC structure with one investor who can be an individual or a company. The investor owns the total share capital and is liable for all obligations.
A Simple Partnership Company is an entity setup that is formed by more than two legal associates who are jointly and personally liable for all obligations of the organization. This kind of establishment may have joint partners but not liable for the company’s obligations.
A Public Shareholding Company (PSC) is a form of an entity set up that needs a minimum of 5 shareholders with a foreign investor. The shared capital is differentiated according to the value.
A Private Shareholding Company/Limited Share Partnership is a form of establishment that needs at least 5 investors. This kind of entity cannot be publicly recorded in the Qatar Stock Exchange.
It takes approximately four to eight weeks to establish a legal entity set up in Qatar.
In Qatar, the Labor Law sets the fundamental rights, benefits, and obligations for the employees thus outlining legal rights for both the parties.
The legal system is divided into two sections: i) Sharia Court (or Islamic Court) and ii) Adlia Court (or Civil Courts) for non-Muslims.
All employment agreements need to be in written format and the language should be Arabic.
The terms that need to be stipulated in an employment contract in Qatar are:
- Name of the employer and employee
- Job location
- Qualifications of the employee
- Employee’s nationality
- Residence and profession
- Contract duration
- Nature and kind of work
- Date of commencement of work
- Remuneration and payroll system
- End of service benefits
As per the Commercial Law No. 5 of 2002, all listed companies are required to prepare the consolidated and distinct company financial reports in compliance with the accounting principles approved internationally. Guidelines of the Qatar Financial Markets Authority have determined this to mean IFRS Standards.
Law No. 13 of 2016 Concerning Personal Data Protection referred to as the Data Protection Law has been implemented in Qatar. With this, Qatar became the first GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) member state to ratify a generally applicable data protection law.
The Data Protection Law furnishes that each individual shall have the right to the confidentiality of their personal information.
Anti-Bribery & Anti-Corruption Law
There is no autonomous law for bribery in Qatar. Nonetheless, corruption and bribery are forbidden under a wide array of laws primarily designed for Qatari public officials. Under the Issuance of the Penal Code, Qatar Law No. 11/2004 contains the major laws that govern bribery and corruption.
1. Bribery of Public Officials:
i) Imprisonment for up to 10 years
ii) A monetary fine of QAR5,000.
iii) Removal from holding any position in the office
iv) Confiscation of all received benefits
2. Bribery of Private Officials
i) Imprisonment for up to 3 years
ii) A monetary fine of up to QAR15,000
iii) Confiscation of all received benefits