Qatar Financial Centre (QFC)

Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) company registration is overseen by the Qatar Financial Centre Authority and is responsible for commercial license registration and authorised QFC service providers.

The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) is a global business and financial centre located in Doha, the capital city of Qatar. Its onshore platform provides opportunities to expand to and from the Middle East. The QFC was established in 2005 with the intention to provide an environment solely to attract international and domestic financial services institutions and service providers in support of those institutions. However, QFC qatar now accepts applications for business registration from other types of service providers which are not associated with the financial services sector, for example, in the fields of management consultancy, recruitment, sports and entertainment. Its primary goal is to diversify Qatar's economy and promote the growth of the financial services sector in the country.

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Company Formation in QFC

In central Doha, the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) serves as a major draw for global financial services. It offers a host of benefits including 100% foreign ownership and a zero corporate tax rate, underpinned by an English common law framework that provides a familiar legal environment for international companies. The QFC’s licensing and operational costs are structured to facilitate ease of entry and operations for financial institutions, which includes a straightforward fee model for financial and non-financial firms looking to establish their presence in the Middle East.

Firms wishing to register in the QFC can conduct a range of regulated and non-regulated activities and choose from a variety of structures including corporate HQs, family offices, trusts, foundations, holding companies and SPCs. Fees for business registration depend on the specific license type and the structure of the company, but generally include both application and annual fees.

The types of entities that can be set up in the QFC include:

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

A Limited Liability Company is a common type of business entity that combines elements of a corporation and a partnership. It offers limited liability protection to its owners (members) while allowing flexibility in management and tax treatment.

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

LLC Branch/ LLP Branch

Limited Liability Company (Guarantee) - LLC (G)

Foundations

Businesses in QFC qatar are regulated by the Qatar Financial Centre authority. QFC Authority are responsible for overseeing and governing the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC). The QFC Authority was established to create and manage the financial free zone and to ensure its proper functioning as a world-class business and financial hub. The Qatar Financial Center Authority are responsible for regulation and legal frameworks, dispute resolution, licensing, supervision and compliance and promotion and development within QFC.

Licenses available in QFC

Non-regulated business activity licenses include: 

  • Professional and business services
  • Corporate solutions
  • Family offices
  • Companies limited by guarantee
  • Ship broking & shipping agents
  • Classification services & investment grading 
  • Other grading services

Financial Services are regulated activities in QFC. This includes: 

  • Banking
  • Asset Management
  • Insurance/ Reinsurance
  • Islamic Finance
  • Alternative Finance
  • Fund Administration, advisory and fiduciary businesses
  • Representative Office

Steps in the incorporation process in QFC

Setting up in QFC has been made incredibly accessible as you can submit and track your application through the QFC qatar app. 

Businesses setting up in QFC should follow the below steps for incorporation: 

  1. Submit an expression of interest form for setup in QFC 
  2. Complete the online application form if you are applying for non-regulated business activities.
  3. Once the application form has been reviewed, if approved the entity certificate and scope of license is issued. 
  4. Once the scope of license and licensing letter has been received, you are permitted to begin operations
  5. Post incorporation steps to consider include being set up on the QFC online portal, applying for computer card for immigration purposes and opening a corporate bank account in Qatar. 

PRO Partner Group can assist with the full incorporation process in QFC and further support services to simplify the process of obtain all post-incorporation requirements for immigration support and bank account opening assistance. 

post incorporation requirement in QFC, Qatar

Key Features of Qatar Financial Center (QFC)

  • QFC is an onshore jurisdiction which allows companies registered in QFC and Qatar to align international legal and tax standards.
  • Regulatory Environment: The QFC operates under its own legal and regulatory framework, which is based on English common law. It has its own independent financial regulator, the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA), which oversees and regulates the financial activities conducted within the QFC.
  • Tax Incentives: Businesses operating within the QFC are granted various tax benefits, including a 10% flat corporate tax rate on locally sourced profits. Additionally, there are no personal income taxes for employees working within the QFC
  • Foreign Ownership: Foreign entities are allowed to own 100% of their businesses within the QFC, providing a favorable environment for international investors and companies.
  • Business Types: The QFC accommodates a wide range of financial and non-financial business activities, including banking, insurance, asset management, investment advisory services, legal, accounting, and consulting services.
  • Infrastructure and Facilities: The QFC provides modern office spaces, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and access to world-class services to support the needs of businesses operating within its premises.
  • Global Connectivity: Qatar's strategic location and excellent connectivity through its modern airport and seaport make it a desirable hub for businesses seeking to establish a presence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region

QID Renewal for QFC Registered Companies

PRO Partner Group can assist client with registered companies in Qatar Financial Center (QFC) to renew their employees resident permits for a period 1-3 years. PRO Partner Group can will approval on the number of years from the Ministry of Interior (MOI) and have been able to get approval for our clients within 24 hours.

The scope of work PRO Partner Group team provide for QID renewal: 

  1. Collecting an expired QID from a client’s premises
  2. Submitting the request for the RP renewal in the QFC portal
  3. Delivering an expired QID to QFC authorities
  4. Hourly follow up with MOI and QFC about the acceptance on the number of years for the RP
  5. Amendment of the request till the new QID issuance
  6. Collection of the new QID from QFC on behalf of the client
  7. Delivering it to the client’s premises

How can PRO Partner Group assist? 

PRO Partner Group can assist clients with incorporation in Qatar Financial Center. The process of how to start a company in Qatar can be complex to navigate and deciding which freezone to incorporate in can cause confusion. Setting up a business in Qatar's QFC has been developed to be easily accessible. PRO Partner Group can assist businesses with set up in Qatar QFC and all the continued support services required from licensing, bank account opening assistance, visa and PRO support for employers and employees.

FAQ
Does a QFC company require a Qatari partner?

Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) does not require a Qatari partner for foreign companies looking to set up their operations within the QFC jurisdiction.

Can a QFC company be 100% foreign owned?

One of the key advantages of establishing a business within the QFC is that it allows 100% foreign ownership, meaning that foreign entities can fully own and control their businesses without the need for a Qatari partner or sponsor.

Is QFC a free zone?

QFC does not consider itself a true freezone but if offers many of the same advantages as freezone models.

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