Qatar Financial Centre

Qatar has one of the strongest economies in the market. It is a welcoming destination for millions of expatriates. It is a country of different industries and embraces various sectors in the market. The stable business environment has given rise to many business opportunities and has also led to the formation of a Free zone which aims to attract business people from all over the world. This article will highlight the key points of the Qatar Financial Centre.

Qatar Financial Centre Free Zone

The country has established QFCs to support all types of businesses in the zone. 

In 2005, an emerging onshore financial and business centre called Qatar Financial Centre Free Zone was established. It is located in the heart of Doha, the capital city of Qatar. It is home to both regional and international businesses that can register as Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) corporations. This centre is committed to making Qatar one of the leading economic, commercial, and financial powerhouses on international levels. 

The QFC Free Zone offers a business-friendly environment and easy access to markets around the world. It encourages all sorts of companies, including start-ups and major firms that want to expand in Qatar, to enjoy benefits, including flexible legal regulations, easy incorporation, etc. When individuals work with Qatar's financial centre, they can contribute to the economy and help develop as huge hubs within the country and abroad. 

Permitted Business Activities in the QFC Free Zone

Let’s look at the necessary key points relating to business activities that are going to function while company formation in the Qatar Free Zone

The permitted activities are as follows –

a) Regulated Business Activities

  • Banking.
  • Asset Management.
  • Insurance/Reinsurance.
  • Captives.
  • Islamic Finance.
  • Investment Advices and Services.
  • Brokerage.

b) Non-Regulated Business Activities

  • Professional, Corporate, and Business Services.
  • Treasury Functions.
  • Management Activities.
  • Special-Purpose Companies.
  • Holding Companies.
  • Trust and Relevant Services.
  • Single-Family Offices.

Conditions to Conduct Regulated Business Activities

If business owners wish for a business setup in Qatar and function with specific regulated business activities, then the following must be done –

  • The entrepreneur must apply for a business license from the QFC authorities to acquire the necessary approvals.
  • Necessary documents, including essential information, need to be provided to perform the regulated activities. These documents include –
  • Details of the firm.
  • Description of the proposed business.
  • Details of the compliance arrangements.
  • Details of the firm's IT systems.
  • Documents relating to business continuity plans.

Qatar Financial Centre Authority

This authority is the independent regulator of the QFC, which is established to authorise and regulate firms and individuals conducting financial services in or from the QFC.

The authority consists of certain factors, and they are as follows –

i) Financial Sector 

The centre provides a platform for various financial services, including banking, insurance, financial management, and other related activities. It’s a huge centre for financial institutions that wish to establish in the heart of the Middle East.

ii) Regulatory Authority:

The Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority aims to establish an emerging and strong financial market in the emirate. The authority regulates and supervises the financial services, enterprises and institutions that work within the QFC.

iii) Legal Regulations:

The regulatory authority issues its own regulations to function with entities formed in the centre. These laws are different from the local legal system of Qatar. These regulations make sure to offer a friendly environment and smooth processes for most of the setting up activities.

iv) Tax Regulations:

The authorities of the Qatar Financial Centre deliver certain rules and regulations relating to taxes and certain exemptions. They are as follows –

  • Individuals can benefit from a concessionary tax rate of 0% if they are investment managers, reinsurers, or captive insurers. Provided your business must be 90% owned by a Qatari national.
  • Tax exemptions are eligible, according to terms and conditions. They are eligible if income is derived through investment funds, holding companies, and special purposes companies (SPCs).
  • Tax exemptions are applicable on certain items, such as dividend receipts, returns on public treasury bonds, or capital gains on disposals for less than 10% of majority shareholdings.
  • If tax losses occur, they must be carried forward to offset against future profits with no time limit. It cannot be carried back.
  • The policy of group loss relief is available as well for QFC-licensed companies with a 75% ownership relationship.
  • If you need certainty on how the tax regulations will impact your specific transactions, our efficient advance-ruling service can issue a ruling within 30 days. 

Steps to Incorporate Companies in the Qatar Financial Centre

The authorities of the centre issue an organised procedure for company formation in Qatar. They wish to maintain the standards of the rules made and the reputation of the financial centre. The steps are as follows –

1) Selection Process

When it comes to incorporating a business in Qatar, the first few steps are about choosing certain factors to function with the further steps and activities. The factors are as follows –

a) Choose a Business Activity

  • Entrepreneurs must discuss and decide on the type of business activity for the companies in Qatar. 
  • It must be selected according to the objective, purpose and nature of the business. 
  • The selected activities must adhere to the local laws of the country.

b) Choose a Legal Structure

  • The next factor that must be chosen by the entrepreneurs is the legal structure of the company. 
  • The structure (i.e., sole proprietary, partnership, limited liability company, etc.) must be selected after learning about their pros and cons.

c) Choose a Business Name:

  • Choosing a business name is another essential factor because it provides an identity to the business. 
  • The name must be unique and certain and adhere to the set laws. 

2) Submit Necessary Documents

After seeking pre-approval from the authorities of Qatar, business owners must submit the required documents, such as –

  • Memorandum of Association.
  • Articles of Association.
  • Passport Copies of Shareholders and Directors.
  • Proof of Address for Shareholders and Directors.
  • Business Plan
  • Pre-Approval from QFC Authority.

3) Fill Application Forms:

The management must fill out the required application forms along with the documents to the Qatar Financial Centre authority to obtain necessary approvals and licenses for the business.

4) Register your Company:

Now, your company is ready for registration. Register your company with the authority to function legally in the market. 

5) Create a Bank Account:

It is beneficial when companies open a business bank account to facilitate business transactions and maintain multiple accounts.

6) Regulatory Framework:

Lastly, it is highly essential for companies to ensure compliance with business operations as per the applicable laws of the Qatar Financial Centre Authority.

Benefits of Setting Up Companies in the Qatar Financial Centre

Let’s look at the benefits involved with Qatar Financial Centre Companies

  • Fastest Growth Rates.
  • 100% Foreign Ownership.
  • Competitive Tax Systems.
  • Onshore Jurisdiction.
  • 100% Repatriation of Capitals and Profits.
  • 10% Corporate Taxes.
  • One-stop shop for Establishments, Licenses, and Support Activities.
  • English Common Law.
  • No Currency Restrictions.

Therefore, the above benefits, steps and details about businesses in Qatar are major reasons for establishing various types of companies. The thriving economy and business-friendly policies make Qatar financial centre a profitable and favourable option for entrepreneurs. 

However, it is essential to understand Qatari law and follow the set rules to function with the businesses without any issues. The easiest way is to seek assistance from the top-ranked consultancy firm.

We at Commitbiz have been helping entrepreneurs for many years. 

We assure you that we provide all types of business services in Qatar. Book a free consultation call with our experts and get answers to your queries.


When was the Qatar Financial Center (QFC) established?


What are the advantages of setting up a company in the QFC Free Zone?

The advantages are as follows:

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits
  • 10% corporate tax
  • One-stop shop for the establishment, licenses, and support activities
  • English common law
  • No currency restrictions.

What are the permitted business activities in the QFC zone?

The permitted business activities are as follows:

  • Banking
  • Asset Management
  • Insurance/ Reinsurance
  • Captives
  • Islamic Finance
  • Investment Advice and Services
  • Brokerage.

What are the main divisions of the Qatar Financial Center Regulatory Authority (QFCRA)?

The main divisions are as follows:

  • Division of Financial Sector Development and Policy
  • Division of Authorization and Regulatory Services
  • The Division for the Supervision of Financial Institutions
  • The Division of Legal and Regulatory Compliance.

Where to get the form to apply for obtaining a license from the QFC zone?

The form is easily accessible on the QFCRA website.