Welcome to Qatar Lawyers, the one stop site for information about Qatar Lawyers, where to find one and if you need one. We also provide local knowledge of the law and practises and how to find a lawyer in Qatar.
Important Laws / Practice Areas in Qatar
Law firms specializing in the following laws and practice areas have considerable experience as advisors and attorneys in Qatari courts. Right from conducting businesses, drafting contracts, handling legal suits linked to personal and company relationships and advising on financial matters, these law firms are an expert guide for any corporate establishment or common man.
Civil Law: In 2004, Qatar enacted a new Civil Law that set guidelines for the defendant and plaintiff. The definitions also help with determining the basic elements of contracts such as, agreeing to terms and conditions of the contract, subject of the contract, contractual liability on both the parties, and contractual responsibilities. It also involves cancellation and annulment of contracts. It also makes decision on unjust practices, lease, insurance, attachment of property, land law, mortgage, legacy, etc.
Commercial Law: The amendment of the Commercial Law in 2006 legalizes deals confirming commercial activities, contracts, trade names, obligations on the part of the buyer and seller, brokerage and commission. The law also regulates commercial transactions associated with the banking sector.
Commercial Companies Law: The Commercial Companies Law enacted in the year 2002 regulates the formation & working of the companies under the pre-designed laws. Generally, companies are established as limited liability or shareholding companies.
Foreign Investments: The law looking over foreign investments in Qatar prescribes foreign companies may invest in all sectors except commercial and real estate agencies. Under a general rule, 51% stake of the business capital should be owned by a Qatari national while the remaining 49% by foreign ownership. However, under certain circumstances, the stake can be increased to 100% if permitted by the Ministry of Economy.
Tax Law: Tax is levied on economic transactions of foreign entities including sale of company assets, service fees, property rents, use of IP rights, profits from liquidation, commercial agency commissions etc. Personal Income from wages and allowance is not taxed. There are no taxes levied on companies owned solely by Qatari nationals. In addition, there is no property, municipal or sales tax.
Customs Law: A custom duty of 5% is charged on goods imported into Qatar. No duty is charged on goods imported from GCC nations. In addition, duty exemptions are granted to key national projects and their contractors. There are no custom duties on goods imported for temporary use and then re-exported. Also, there are no export taxes.
Labor Law: The Labor law regulates the relationship between an employer and his employee (whether unskilled or skilled). This law excludes Government and its corporations. It is mandatory on the part of the employer that the employment contract is in Arabic text. The employment contract can be indefinite or for a fixed term, but the term should not exceed 5 years. Use of language in addition to Arabic is allowed. The working week may consist of six working days, eight hours a day. During the month of Ramadan, working hours per day is reduced to six.
Intellectual Property: The law on Protection of Copyright and Neighboring Rights allows authors of literary and artistic works to protect their titles under this law. The act envelops books, photographs, literature, lectures, music works, and computer software. The economic rights of the owner until his/her death + 50 years after his/her death are also protected under this law.
Environmental Legislation: The Environmental Legislation Law was established to protect endangered wildlife and resources to achieve sustainable development. The law may impose regulations on use of materials or activity that could lead to environmental damage.
Free Zones: The establishment of Free Zones entitles them not to comply with any of regulations under the Commercial Companies Law. Entities established in the free zones may be non-Qatari firms and are not required to obtain any license to carry out any of its activity. There are many incentives for Free Zone entities: no taxation laws for 20 years and exemption from export and import duties. The Qatar Free Zone Authority supervises licensing to entities in Free Zones.
Family Law: The Supreme Council for Family Affairs is established to deal with, protect and maintain family relationships under Sharia Law. Under the law, the mother has the custody of her daughter until she reaches the age of thirteen and/or puberty and until the age of eleven for a boy. The mother will lose custody if she remarries someone who is not related to the child. The mother should also be physically and emotionally healthy. The father is the natural and financial guardian of his children. In his absence, the paternal grandfather should perform his duties. The guardian should be a Muslim.
Immigration Law: A working, non-Qatari national can enter Qatar either on Business/Work visa or on sponsorship by the employer. Tourists can arrive in Qatar on an .on-arrival. visa. After the employee ceases to be employed and is unable to be sponsored by another employer then he must leave Qatar with 90 days. After leaving Qatar, if he fails to return within six months, his residence permit is automatically cancelled. Spouses and dependents arriving on sponsorship do not require exit visas. Now, both women and men can sponsor their spouses (including foreign husbands) and children.