News, Group, Middle East


What to do when things don’t go to plan in Qatar

Setting up a new life overseas is always going to have its ups and downs, especially if that new life involves starting a business. But, if you want to have more ups than downs, it’s best to prepare in advance, so you know exactly what to expect.

By knowing what could possibly go wrong – either in your new business or in your personal life – you may be able to avoid potential pitfalls. And, if you can’t avoid them, you will still know the best course of action to solve any problems as they arise.

If you’re considering a move to Qatar, here are some of the potential challenges you may face.

Business Life in Qatar

You’ve done your background work; you’ve developed your business case, you are prepared with all you need to know about the cost of doing business in the Middle East, and you’ve prepared your share capital. Basically, you’re all ready to go. What should you watch out for to ensure the smoothest sailing on your journey?

Document Preparation

Getting settled in Qatar often means getting your paperwork in order. Whether it concerns business or your personal life, there is a range of documentation required to allow you to get where you need to be.

Before leaving home, it’s best to know what paperwork is required – and how to get it attested so that authorities will accept it once you arrive in Qatar. To give you an idea of what’s required, check out our post on attestation of education certificates here. As every business is unique, it’s strongly recommended that you speak to your local partner or advisor for a full list of things that you need to prepare prior to your arrival.

Shareholder Decisions

Deciding on the structure of your company is one of the most important decisions you will make when starting a business in Qatar, and selecting the incorrect business setup type is one of the biggest mistakes that you can make when looking to start your business in the Middle East.

If you opt for the most common structure, the Limited Liability Company (LLC), you will need to find the right local partner to hold the 51% share of your company. Furthermore, you will have to identify whether you as a business, or you as an individual will be the 49% shareholder.

Staff Requirements

Unless you are starting up a one-person business, you will need to understand all requirements for the staff members you plan to take on board. Whether you’re thinking of hiring foreigners or locals, there is plenty of essential paperwork to sort through to ensure each team member has satisfied all the local legal requirements.

It’s also worth pointing out that as Qatar has different labour laws to the ones you have at home, you will be required to understand what is expected of you as an employer to ensure your business stays on the right side of the law.

As your local partner, managing these staffing requirements is something that Fusion Middle East can handle for you, so that you can focus on running your business with peace of mind.

Business Setup

When starting a business in Qatar, there are certain procedures to follow, which must be completed in the correct order. For example, you cannot get a Trade Licence in Qatar without first obtaining the commercial registration and prove that you have rented office space.

Not only that, but you must prove that the office space you have hired is fit for purpose, and it suits the activities of your new business.

To ensure your business setup goes as smoothly as possible, you need to understand which steps you need to take – and in what order. To get a rough idea of what those steps might be, take a look at our step-by-step guide to starting a business in Qatar, which can be found here.

Discovering Solutions

It’s safe to say that quite a lot of things can go wrong when starting a business, especially when it’s all happening in an unfamiliar country, such as Qatar, or the UAE. One of the keys to success, though, is to know what can go wrong, and to do everything possible to avoid those situations.

We’ve outlined just some of the expectations you will face as a new business owner in Qatar. Quite honestly though, we haven’t been able to cover them all in this blog post alone! However, we cannot overstate how important it is to ensure that you conduct research on the market, and speak to an experienced local partnership company who can talk you through the additional points to watch out for, as per the specific needs of your company.

With an expert team on hand, offering a wealth of experience and local know-how, we know all that’s worth knowing about starting a business, both in Qatar and in the UAE. Setting up your business with a local partner will offer you much more security and transparency than one with an individual partner, too. However, to read up more on these options, take a look at our Local Agent v Local Partner blog post here. As your local partner, we will ensure you are aware of all the essentials prior to setting up your company here.

Looking for a guide that can support you through business setup in Qatar? That’s us! Contact us today to find out more about what you need to set up successfully in Qatar, and arrange your free, no-obligation consultation.

Personal Life in Qatar

This brings us to your personal life. What is it that you need to know when it comes to you and your family in the Middle East? Ensuring the success of your business means setting up a home life as well – for you, and for your family.

If you are bringing your family over to live with you, you will need to understand the visa process. Take a look at how we can help with family visas here. A couple of other important processes include applying for your Hamad Medical Card (read more about that here), and opening a bank account (found here).

For more handy info, check out the rest of our blog posts, and keep an eye out for new posts we publish!

And, what if things do go wrong?

Life isn’t always smooth sailing. Sometimes no matter how prepared you are, things still go wrong. It’s at times like these that having a local partner becomes especially valuable. For our clients, we are available 24/7 to assist with any cases of emergency, so that you’re never alone or unsupported.

Here are the top 2 noteworthy questions that we get asked regarding things that could go wrong while living and working in Qatar.

What if you get into debt or end up owing money?

Debt is taken seriously in Qatar, with bounced cheques being considered a criminal act. It is crucially important that individuals and companies alike pay all fines, pay off their debts, and keep on top of your finances to avoid getting into trouble.

What is the process in the unfortunate case of death?

Even death is not without its paperwork. Fortunately, Qatar simplified its repatriation procedures for expat workers in 2016. Now, all services relating to repatriation are under one roof, and can be found in the office behind Hamad General Hospital mortuary.

However, if you have a local partner, they will assist you throughout this process, so that you are completely supported.

For any questions on these matters, or if you’re looking to get started in Qatar, get in touch with us today!