How to register a marine company in Qatar | PRO Partner Group

How to register a marine company in Qatar | PRO Partner Group

- Badreddine Souissi

Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita, which can largely be attributed to its natural gas reserves and the infrastructure it has in place supporting the exportation of this global commodity. In addition to this, Qatar boasts an international demographic of inhabitants and consistently ranks highly as one of the most competitive and innovative economies in the world.

The maritime logistics and marine technical services industry in Qatar, including shipping, freight forwarding, ships operations and management, trading in equipment, and engineering is therefore an opportunistic sector. This can be attributed a number of beneficial factors that Qatar has to offer businesses, such as its renowned infrastructure and its continuous exporting demands.

The steps involved with registering a maritime logistics, transportation, and marine technical services company in Qatar, under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry (MOCI), differ depending on the business activity the company is registering for. This will also then affect the requirements for registering the company, as well as the fees that are associated with its registration.

From geographical location to the differing regulatory jurisdictions within the country itself, Qatar enables companies to enjoy a choice to establish their business in a way that best suits their needs.

What are the business activities available for maritime businesses?

When establishing a maritime logistics and marine technical services business in Qatar, there are a number business activities that you can opt for. These activities determine the parameters for, not only what your business is permitted to do, but also the steps and procedures necessary in order to obtain licensing. The key business activities a marine company might select from include:

  1. Ships operations and management.
  2. Marine Goods Handling.
  3. Marine Shipping Agent.
  4. Trading in equipment, spare parts and marine mechanisms.
  5. Marine engineering and ships maintenance.

What are the approvals and requirements for registering a maritime company?

The latest requirements, as stated by the Ministry, are that some of these activities would require separate approvals. The following business activities require separate approvals:

  1. Ships operations and management; requires external approval from Ministry Of Transport (MOT)-Maritime Transport.
  2. Marine Goods Handling; requires external approval from MOT-Maritime Transport.
  3. Marine Shipping Agent; requires external approval from MOT-Maritime Transport.
  4. Marine engineering and ships maintenance; requires external approval from Ministry of Municipality-Engineers.

Further to this, these business activities would also warrant some additional requirements. For the following activities it is necessary to complete these additional requirements:

  1. Ships operations and management: profile of the ship(s) to be operated and managed by the company.
  2. Marine Goods Handling: a letter to be obtained from MOT-Maritime Transport stating a ‘no objection’ for adding this activity to the Commercial Register (CR) of the company.
  3. Marine engineering and ships maintenance: engineering companies needs to meet various requirements depending on the type of services provided, including: shareholder structure, the engineer in charge must be registered in the register of engineers, insurance is required, appropriate office space (in terms of size) required, technical staff requirements to be met, engineers need to pass an exam and provide educational documents confirming (diploma).
  4. Marine Shipping Agent:
  • Original CR with the activity (Marine Shipping agent), capital of 1,000,000 QAR and without any other activity.
  • Original bank guarantee letter for 100,000 QAR.
  • Employees list (minimum of 5 qualified employees), with experience in sea freight operation, including nationalities, CV and education certificates.
  • Copy of employees QIDs and work residence permits.
  • Office structure divided into minimum 3 departments.
  • Warehousing contract for the company (owned or rented).
  • Warehousing insurance.

When establishing a couple of the activities mentioned previously, they are required to be set up as a separate company entity, i.e. opening a separate LLC. The following activities would require a separate company:

  1. Marine engineering and ships maintenance.
  2. Marine Shipping Agent.

On the other hand, some of these activities may be grouped together to operate under the same company licence. The following activities may be grouped under the same CR:

  1. Ships operations and management.
  2. Marine Goods Handling.
  3. Trading in equipment, spare parts and marine mechanisms.

Aside from the requirements that are needed by the local governing bodies and authorities, as mentioned above, the landlord of the office space is to provide a standard list of requirements, for the purpose of issuing the trade licence:

  • Copy of identification document for each owner and managing director.
  • The building completion certificate and a copy of building owners ID.
  • Rental Form – PRO Partner Group will assist you with filling in the form if the Landlord will not.
  • Real Estate Rental Authorization Form (in case of sublease).
  • Letter of no objection (in case of sublease).
  • Civil Defence certificate.
  • Copies of the lease contract directly from the owner.
  • Copy of the most recent rental payment receipt.
  • Rental acknowledgement, ownership instrument and Civil Defence approval.
  • An external photo of the office building, showing the blue plate containing the address information.

Fees and approvals necessary for registering a marine business

To register a marine company in Qatar, depending on the business activity selected, there are government fees necessary to be paid in order to obtain the commercial registration and licence. The fees to register the company and obtain the licence are as follows:

Activity Name

Activity Fee (QAR)

Sub Location Type

Licence Fee (QAR)

External Entity Approvals and fees (QAR)

Marine Shipping Agent


Commercial office


MOT – 10,000

Ships operations and management


Commercial office



Marine Goods Handling


Commercial office



Trading in equipment, spare parts and marine mechanisms


Commercial location



How can PRO Partner Group help?

Whether you are considering setting up an maritime logistics and marine technical services company and operating in the Qatar or considering which of the Qatar’s free zones to set up in, it is important to make sure you’re fully informed and compliant while getting licenced.

Hiring a professional to guide you through the set up and walk you through the licencing process will ensure that you don’t encounter any unnecessary difficulties or unexpected delays.

PRO partner Group has close ties with key government departments in Qatar as well as an expert legal, operations and PRO team, who can advise you on the requirements and process of planning for setting up an company in Qatar.

If you need guidance on licencing in Qatar or any other related company setup, restructuring, local partner or PRO support matter in Qatar or wider Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Oman, Bahrain or KSA, then please do get in touch with us on +974 4478 8765 for Qatar office, email us at or complete the contact form below and we will be delighted to assist you.

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