Pro's and Con's of starting a business in Qatar
Mr. Kapoor had finally finished his comprehensive notes on the processes involved in forming a company in Qatar. He is a calculative man who loves to weigh out the pros and cons of any decision before executing it. This new business venture in Qatar is no exception. A few hours of Googling later, Mr. Kapoor had collected all the information needed and converted it into a handy list to aid his decision making.
1. Qatar’s economy in 2020 has been growing steadily.
2. The state is consistent in improving its infrastructure making life easier for industries, companies and encourages foreign direct investment into the country through a set of laws that allows non-Qatari citizens to invest, own or register a business in Qatar.
3. To encourage foreign direct investment in the country, the government has revised the rules & regulations set by Law No 12 of 2000, by issuing Law Number 1 of 2010 on the 1st of Feb 2010 authorizing the non-Qatari investment into the country and allowing 100 percent foreign ownership for businesses operating in Qatar
4. The law supports the business operations in the country by providing them with various incentives and gives investors the freedom to repatriate all the capital profits gained from their Qatar business to their country of origin without any taxes.
5. Open trade policy which facilitates international trade
6. Zero percent tax on exports
7. No income tax or social security deductions payable on wages and salaries
8. State-of-the-art modern telecommunications infrastructure
9. Excellent and well-connected transport system
10. High quality, modern offices, and luxurious residential accommodations
11. Qatar has Luxury hotels, hospitals, schools, shopping malls, and many more facilities
12. Lowest corporate tax on foreign companies 10 percent (as of 1 Jan 2010)
13. Foreign investors are permitted full repatriation of capital and profits overseas in foreign currency
14. Access to double taxation treaties with Algeria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Cyprus, France, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tunisia Turkey, and Venezuela
1. The administrative and registration process is long winded and complicated
2. You need to make a big investment up front to be able to even set up your business. From paid-up capital requirements to mandatory office space and trade licence fees entrepreneurs need to set aside as much as $10,000 (QAR36,415) in annual costs depending on the kind of company they are starting.
3. Operational finance may be a problem. Many companies use personal resources or loans from friends and family to start businesses. This is largely because banks in the country have a limited appetite for lending to start-ups, preferring to examine business performance for a couple of years before approving a loan.
4. Efficient and talented employees are hard to find. Talent in Qatar is also expensive to hire as the job market is dominated by high paying MNC’s which makes it hard for smaller start-ups to hire employees.
5. The set-up process can be complicated and information about it can be hard to find. It is almost a given that you need to engage PRO services and work with firms that specialize in company set up to get your business going.
6. The cost of living in Qatar is very high. Those starting businesses without external investment will therefore need to have enough in the bank to support their lifestyle for up to a year.
As Mr. Kapoor came to see, setting up a company in Qatar isn’t a cakewalk but the benefits and pros far outweighed any difficulties that may happen. Moreover, meeting risks head on is an essential characteristic of any entrepreneur, or at least of the successful ones!
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