Phase One of the Single Window goes online

Feb 27, 2020

By: Omar Qouteshat, Associate

A few years ago the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (“MoCI”) launched the Single Window initiative. The main purpose of establishing the Single Window is to have all governmental and semi-governmental entities related to investor’s businesses in one place in order to ease registration and operation procedures and save time. Recently, the MoCI launched Phase One of the online portal for the Single Window.
Phase One allows the establishment of new companies online starting with the reservation of trade name to obtaining the trade license without the need to visit any of the ministries or governmental entities. This is considered as a huge step for the efficiency of the legal system and will save time and effort for investors seeking to establish companies in Qatar.
However, one concern with respect to establishing a company online relates to signing the articles of association. The online platform allows for the use of the smart Qatari ID (“QID”) to sign the articles of association without the need to appear before a notary at the Ministry of Justice (“MoJ”). This might raise some concerns since some QID holders may not want to share their QIDs and the passwords with their investors representative companies/employees. The MoCI representatives confirmed that they are considering this matter and might require a One Time Password (OTP) as added security for signing the articles of association. Additionally, the MoCI confirmed that individuals who do not have QIDs still need to visit the notary at the MoJ in order to sign the articles of association.
The portal of the Single Window does not provide for bespoke articles of association yet, hence shareholders of companies that require bespoke articles of association cannot complete the process online and they will be required to print out the articles of association attend the notary at the MoJ to sign the same.
It is worth mentioning that the MoCI is considering waiving all governmental fees for incorporating companies in the future. The MoCI is aiming to provide a friendly environment for the investors and to raise their satisfaction by avoiding the need for multiple visits to the ministries and governmental entities.

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