How to set up a business in Qatar / Starting a business in Doha

amnesia's picture

How to set up a business in Qatar / Starting a business in Doha

I had a lot of people ask me this so now here's a nice little chart :)


Sorry for the typo in 1. It should say 'No Q-man, no business"

shijiko_7's picture

good one.. and complicated too.. :)

paperboy's picture

nice one :) There's a spelling mistake though. Instead of To it should be No

amnesia's picture

updated :)

amnesia's picture

updated :)

Timebandit's picture

A valuable document! I see requests for this information all of the time. 10 out of 10 amnesia ;)

ExpatMum's picture

Is there a list of available licenses (in English) anywhere on the internet?

With respect to the logo, if I have a general idea of what the logo will be and then the final design changes is that OK?

amnesia's picture

Not as far as I know.

If you want to change the logo, you need to register a new one, which means that it's an additional cost.

ExpatMum's picture

With respect to the licenses, how do prospective business owners know what to apply for if they don't speak/read Arabic? :S Good grief. . .

paperboy's picture

that's why you've got the arabic partner :P

However, I'm not sure, but perhaps the book is translated in english as well

sonafoptic's picture

Hi everybody,
I'm looking to buy an optical practice in Doha, is there a way to know where I can get classifieds of this type of business? thanks

amnesia's picture

I'm sorry I don't understand the question.

smoke's picture

(tu) Great post and very informative....seems like too much hassle though :P

Good Fortune always comes knocking at your door...when you are sh*tting in the toilet!! :)

Good Fortune always comes knocking at your door...when you are sh*tting in the toilet!! :)

helpline's picture

A to Z assistance to setup all kinds of business activities in QATAR Assisting in setting up Trade / Professional / WLL / Industrial License.

Branch office / Foreign Company Representative office setup.

Real Estate Services ( Rental offices, Ware houses,flats, Villas)

Side agreement with local sponsor – For the security of investment, we arrange for side agreement by the Investor with the Sponsors.

Assist in establishing sole Proprietorship for G.C.C Nationals.

Joint Ventures/ Investment in Business.

Quick approvals will be obtained from all Ministries and Govt. Departments.

Attestation of Documents in various departments

Arrange Consultation with Lawyer and Auditor wherever required.

Buying / Selling existing business.

Assist in converting licenses to W.L.L. category.

Feasibility Study / Project Report to start a new company, for Industrial License or to be presented to the Bank for loan or Investment.

For more details Tel:44919214

eurodesert's picture

Hello all,

I know this topic is fairly old now, but I have a couple of questions I would be grateful to receive some answers please :)

First of all I would like to say thank you to Amnesia for posting the article in the first place, very informative and to Helpline for, well, the helpline advice!

I am an expat here in Qatar, have my residency permit and everything like that, working for a very large company over here, my wife is planning on joining me in the new year due to her work commitments back home.
Back in the UK she teaches specialised well being, on a visit here we were talking to a lot of different people and the general consensus being that it could be an attractive business proposition taking into account rental costs, refurbishments, advertisements etc.

We both read the article posted by Amnesia and we both came to differing conclusions. I read the article and assumed the sponsor had to be a Qatari national therefore trying to find a Qatari to go into business with and then giving them 51% of the profit, not very attractive proposition as far as I am concerned.
My wife read the article and assumed I could be the sponsor seeming as I have a residency permit and I get 51% of the profits (a much more attractive proposition to me!)

If someone could clarify, I would be eternally grateful,
Kind regards,


amnesia's picture


Hey there, the rules haven't changed yet although there are two sectors, biochemical and I think research facilities that do not need Qatari partners.

There are some companies that offer 'sponsorship', but it's still the same situation where a Qatari partner is a sponsor, except the admin work is managed by a middle-man. Can cost anything from 5-30k per month.

There is a difference between 51% ownership and division of profit.

What this means is that the Qatari takes majority in legal responsibility. You could always decide that the partner takes as low as 1% of the profit.

Many expats see this from an expat point of view only, but it's equally as 'dangerous' for a local who's sponsoring.
For example, the Qatari partner would end up taking legal responsibility so that if the foreign partner took a loan of (for example) 1million QR and then fled the country, the Qatari would be the one who goes to court.

It's a risk from both sides.

In regards to you sponsoring her for an RP, yes you can do that. But that only entitles her to live in the country.
If she were to work, she'd need a Work Permit.
If she were to set up a company, she'd need a Qatari partner.

diridicci's picture

the old topic is sure interesting and informative.  I wonder if i ever could get a reply from @amnesia who gives cool info.  I would like to set up a business to a place where i work at present somewhere Sailiya 17 that is aligned to warehouses with a considerable huge number of expatriate working and living there. my place is strategic to open a barber shop where there is none around but mini store.  Do they allow to mix this kind of business to queue along warehouses? am greatful to know b4 a business proposal to my sponsor. 



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