Operating a Business

flag Qatar Qatar: Operating a Business

In this page: Setting Up a Company | The Active Population in Figures | Working Conditions | Cost of Labour | Social Partners


Setting Up a Company

General Partnership
Number of partners: Two or more partners
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital required
Shareholders and liability: Shareholders are jointly and personally responsible for the liabilities of the company
Simple Partnership Company
Number of partners: Composed of two types of partners: Joint Partners and Trustee Partners
Capital (max/min): Company should have a minimum capital of QAR 200,000
Shareholders and liability: There are two types of partners and responsibilities: “joint partners” - who are empowered to administer the affairs of the company, and are jointly and personally responsible for the company’s liabilities - and “trustee partners”, who contribute to the company’s capital and whose responsibility is limited to the value of their shares in the capital
Private Shareholding Company
Number of partners: Minimum of five shareholders
Capital (max/min): The capital should not be less than QAR 2,000,000. The capital divided into equal shares of value and are transferrable.
Shareholders and liability: Shareholders liability for the company’s obligations is limited to the amount of the nominal value of the shares for which they subscribe.
Limited Liability Corporation (with Limited Liability)
Number of partners: Minimum two and maximum fifty partners. Foreign investors are allowed to hold a maximum of 49% in the company and the LLC must have one or more Qatari partners.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital required
Shareholders and liability: Limited to the value of shares held in the company.
Sole Proprietorship Company
Number of partners: One natural or corporate person
Capital (max/min): Company must have a minimum capital of QAR 200,000, paid in full
Shareholders and liability: The company’s owner shall be personally responsible for company obligations, unless he separates his personal interests from that of the company.
Holding Company
Number of partners: A joint stock, limited liability or one-person company financially and administratively controlling one or more other companies by holding at least 51% of the shares of such companies
Capital (max/min): Company must have a minimum capital of QAR 10,000,000 (to be opened as a public shareholding company)
Shareholders and liability: Depending on the type of the controlled companies, as the case may be.
The Competent Organisation
Companies must be registered under Qatar's Ministry of Economy and Commerce, the Commercial Registration and Licenses Department.
Setting Up a Company Qatar Middle East & North Africa
Procedures (number) 8.0 6.3
Time (days) 8.7 19.5

Source: Doing Business.

Business Setup Procedures
Consult Doing Business Website, to know about procedures to start a Business in Qatar.
UHY Ammo & CO Qatar, a guide to starting a business in Qatar.
Ministry of Economy and Commerce, procedures to start a new business in Qatar.

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The Active Population in Figures

Labour Force 2,085,1532,124,2622,146,738

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

Total activity rate 87.55%87.50%87.67%
Men activity rate 94.94%95.07%95.45%
Women activity rate 58.53%58.11%57.89%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

For Further Statistics
Planning and Statistics Authority

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Working Conditions

Legal Weekly Duration
8 hours of work per day, 6 days per week. During Ramadan working hours are generally reduced to 6 per day. If a worker works more than the allotted regular schedule, the employer is required to pay overtime pay. However regardless, the employee must not work more than 10 hours daily unless absolutely necessary. Friday is the rest day, unless the worker is a rotation shift worker.
Retirement Age
Qatari citizens employed by the government are eligible to receive a state pension at the age of 60.
Foreign citizens are not entitled to pension.
Working Contracts
Employment contracts can range from a limited period (with a maximum term duration of no more than five years) to an indefinite one. If any stipulations arise that are proven to go against the Qatar Labor Law then these shall be considered void unless said stipulations are for the benefit of the employee.
Labour Laws
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the labor regulations that apply to local entreprises.

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Cost of Labour

Minimum Wage
A monthly minimum wage of QAR 1,800 per month (with allowances of at least QAR 300 and QAR 500 for food and accommodation respectively), has recently been introduced for all workers, of all nationalities, in all sectors (ILO, 2021).
Average Wage
The average annual salary is 11,183 Qatari riyals (ILO Global Wage Report 2020-21).
Social Contributions
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers: Employers are not required to pay Social Security Contributions for the foreign labor force they recruit.
According to Law No. (24) of 2002, employers are obliged to contribute to a pension fund in respect of Qatari workers at a rate of 10%.
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employees: The level of contribution is set at 5% of the employee's gross payroll.

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Social Partners

Social Dialogue and Involvement of Social Partners
According to Qatari law, workers are allowed to form trade unions and professional associations. The formation of worker’s committees in various organizations is deemed permissible by law provided that no less than one hundred Qatari workers are part of such an organisation (Law n. 14 of 2004, art. 116). For more information, Qatar's labour laws are available online (ILO).
Labour Unions
International Trade Union Confederation
Unionisation Rate
Trade Unions were banned in 1957 as a result of larger worker strikes against the national Qatar Petroleum Company. They were reestablished by the Emir with the chapter 12 of Law n. 14 of 2004, however these regulations are hardly enforced.
Labour Regulation Bodies
Qatari Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

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Latest Update: March 2024