The Qatari government announced, on 18 June, that the scope of its ‘Single-Window platform’ services had been expanded to company incorporation and registration procedures. It provides a single integrated online interface for the submission and approval of applications, allowing investors to submit and sign applications and pay fees electronically from anywhere in the world.
The Single-Window initiative is a national project begun in 2019 and led by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) that is aimed at simplifying the procedures for starting a business in Qatar and directing investments to the priority sectors identified in the National Development Strategy.
Previously, investors were required to apply separately to a range of different government departments to secure the necessary permissions and approvals to complete incorporation and registration. The single-window platform allows them to access the services of 18 government agencies in one place.
For straightforward set-ups that require no additional approvals, the Single-Window system can process company registration and licensing within hours, although there are two requirements that an applicant must have met prior to the application:
- Lease Agreement for office space or premises – if a lease has not been agreed then the company can only obtain Commercial Registration (CR) and a Company Establishment Card. A valid Lease Agreement is a requirement for obtaining a Trade Licence.
- The General Manager (GM) or Administrative Manager (AM) must have a Qatar Identification (QID), an 11-digit identification number issued to citizens and residents of Qatar for various government-related functions such as residency, employment and healthcare. Where this is not possible, PRO Partner Group can offer a GM / AM service for initial set up.
If these two requirements are met in advance, the Single-Window system will enable the issue all three registrations/licences in one go – Commercial Registration (CR), Trade Licence and Company Establishment Card/Immigration Card – following the signing of the company’s Articles of Association.
Initial tax registration can also be completed at the time of company registration and, if the applicant has all the correct documentation in place, the Labour Quota can be applied for simultaneously. This will further decrease the time required to start operating the business and onboard employees.
Where additional approvals or authorisations are required for licensable activities, these should be obtained before using the Single-Window platform, which is based on the trade name reservation. This will ensure that your company set-up process is smooth and efficient, regardless of your specific requirements.
The Qatar Single-Window system has been designed to make the incorporation process significantly easier and faster for foreign businesses setting up in Qatar. PRO Partner Group can assist clients to navigate this Single Window system and ensure that all the correct documentation is collated for the application process.
Following registration, PRO Partner Group can further assist businesses with continuous support from incorporation through to bank account opening assistance, visa and PRO, employee onboarding and other related HR services.
“Setting up a new company in Qatar has often been a time-consuming and bureaucratic process, involving several weeks or even months of paperwork, approvals and waiting periods,” said Paulina Zalewska-Dzieciuchowicz – Country Manager, Qatar.
“The new Single-Window system offers instant company registration and licensing. It is a game-changing system that allows foreign investors to establish their businesses in Qatar within a couple of hours. PRO Partner Group has had successful experience with completion of the full incorporation process within two hours.”