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Where do I start?We recommend that you create a business plan to understand your company requirements. For example: Will your company be trading goods? Who is your target market? Where will you likely be located? How many staff will you require? What is your timeline? All these questions are essential to understanding how to help you.
What type of entity would be suited to my business?Depending on your business activity, one of the following licenses from the 3 main categories would be required: Professional, Commercial or Industrial licences. Dependant on the type of licence required, the type of entity can be determined, these include; Limited Liability Company (LLC), Foreign/Local Branch, Sole Establishment or Civil Partnership.
What is the difference between a Free Zone and Mainland Company?Mainland Company: A mainland establishment is an onshore setup, an onshore establishment is permitted to conduct business in the local market as well as outside Qatar, without any restrictions. Free Zone Company: Qatar has two ‘free zones’, Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) and Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) but further free zones are planned through the Qatar Free Zone Authority. QFC is not a true free zone as, although it offers 100% ownership, corporation tax applies at the same rate for mainland companies. There are also restrictions on activities in QFC, no ‘trading’ for example but, as with all free zones in Qatar, you are allowed to trade anywhere in Qatar. QSTP has 100% ownership and a zero tax regime, however, this free zone appeals to only a small number of specialised businesses. It should be borne in mind that as a general rule, government contracts are not awarded to companies that are not mainland companies with a local Qatari partner.
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