MoCI announces launch of provisional commercial licence service
* Initiative comes in co-operation with Interior, Labour ministries
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI), in co-operation with the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and Ministry of Labour (MoL), has announced the launch of a service to issue a provisional commercial licence for all commercial activities such as hotels, health facilities and others, excluding commercial licences for the administrative offices category, such as contracting, limousine and cleaning services.
This initiative comes as part of the national efforts to support the private sector and facilitate the procedures for doing business in Qatar, the MoCI said in a statement Sunday.
The ministry stressed the need to meet the following conditions when issuing a provisional commercial licence:
* The provisional licence remains valid for one year only, and it can only be renewed with the approval of the competent department.
* The provisional licence is issued without external approvals, provided that approvals are obtained when the final commercial licence is issued.
* The provisional commercial licence does not permit launching operations. It rather offers a period to facilitate establishing business sites
and obtaining approvals from third parties related to issuing the final licence to practice commercial activities (establishment registration/labour approvals/ obtaining raw materials imported for the commercial project/bank procedures).
* A note shall be placed in the title description (a provisional licence, valid for one year from the date of issuance of the commercial licence. Practising the commercial activity is prohibited before all requirements are met).
The MoCI has also referred to the stages to issue an provisional licence, namely:
* Stage I, in which the following requirements are met: licence application form (provisional licence); lease agreement acknowledgment form; construction completion certificate, a building permit or a contract with the State; and a copy of the identity card.
Accordingly, a provisional commercial licence is issued.
* Stage II: the MoCI indicated that after the expiry of the provisional commercial licence, valid for one Gregorian year only, all documents required to issue a final licence shall be submitted, namely – Civil Defence Certificate; construction completion certificate (if not submitted in Stage I).
Moreover, the ministry stressed the need to abide by Law No. 5 of 2015 on Commercial, Industrial and Similar Public Stores and Street Vendors,
which states in Article No. 7 that:
* The competent department decides on the licence application, and informs the licence applicant of its decision on the day of submitting the licence application, as long as the applicant provides the documents and data requested by the competent department.
* The licence applicant is obligated to fulfil all general and special requirements according to the type of licensed activity. Applicants can practice the commercial activity only after obtaining all the approvals required by law from the competent authorities, provided that they commit to submitting these approvals upon renewal of the licence.
The MoCI also underscored the need to comply with Article No. 19 of the same law, which states that:
The licence shall be revoked, by a decision of the competent department, in the following cases:
* If the licensee makes an amendment to the business site, or engages in any activity other than that licensed, without having obtained the approval of the department concerned.
* If the business becomes inoperable, or does not meet the conditions stated in the licence.
Additionally, the ministry stated the need to comply with Article No. 20 of the said law, which states: “The licence shall be revoked in cases other
than those stipulated in the previous article, if the public interest so requires.”
The MoCI also confirmed that it would take all legal measures in the event of violating Law No. 5 of 2015 on Commercial, Industrial and Similar Public Stores and Street Vendors, by applying Article No. 26 of the law, which states:
Without prejudice to any severer penalty stipulated by another law, a penalty of imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year, and a fine of not more than QR50,000, or either of these penalties, shall be imposed on any individual who violates any of the provisions of Articles 3 (first paragraph) and 7 (second paragraph) of this law.
The director of the Commercial Registration and Licences Department at the MoCI, Ayed al-Qahtani, said the launch of the commercial permit service comes in the framework of the national efforts dedicated to supporting the private sector and promoting the business environment in Qatar. He pointed out that the service will reduce the time taken for procedures and subsequently give the investor adequate time to proceed with the procedure and establish his/her business activities for one year, non-renewable unless the consent of the authority concerned is primarily secured, Qatar News Agency reported.
In a press conference held on the MoCI premises, al-Qahtani added that this permit is considered a fruit of the joint, persistent communication and co-ordination between the MoI and MoL to expedite and shorten the investor’s transactions in Qatar. He noted that the joint initiative contributes to developing the business environment in accordance with a clear strategy to build an evolved national economy that primarily achieves Qatar National Vision 2030 and consolidates Qatar’s status as a regional and global hub for investment.
For his part, director of the Recruitment Department at the Ministry of Labour, Nasser Abdullah al-Mannai, confirmed that the MoL is expediting the procedures for employers through fast-track operations from the recruitment department based on the enforced measures, indicating that if any queries arise about the nature of these services, the ministry stands ready to lend assistance and provide further clarifications.
Lieutenant-Colonel Tariq Issa al-Aqidi, officer from the Public Relations and Information Office at the General Directorate of Passports, confirmed that the MoI is fully committed to expediting the procedures in the best interest of the public. This involves the swift accomplishment of their procedures through electronic services in co-operation with the relevant government authorities to achieve the key objectives pursued by the ministry in the framework of the set goals of Qatar National Vision 2030.
He pointed out the importance of streamlining the procedures for entrepreneurs in a way that contributes to developing investment movement, explaining that the issuance of temporary establishment registration numbers for some commercial activities of companies under construction essentially helps those companies to accomplish their projects easily and swiftly without any potential hurdles or obstacles.
The director of the Prevention Department at the General Directorate of Civil Defence (GDCD), Captain Ahmad Khalid al-Ghanim clarified that the GDCD – represented by the Prevention Department – is set to approve the issuance of the said permit pending completion of the procedures related to the opening of a bank account or recruiting employees by the commercial activity owner. He indicated that such an approval shall not be considered final, but requires the obtainment of a final permit from the civil defence by the activity owner to initiate his/her activity after completing all the required procedures.
Last updated: June 12 2022 08:49 PM