Published: Mar 14, 2023

Family Businesses – A Qatar perspective

Family run businesses play a vital part in Qatar’s robust economy. Businesses which started as small enterprises rose to become multinationals with companies in various sectors and complex governance rules. Add into that mix, multiple owners (including often times minors) and it becomes imperative for the owners to plan for the future so that as the family businesses grow and further develop, business can continue to run smoothly from one generation to the next. The same is true for Qatari owned entities which are new and recently established since both the first owners and their future heirs would benefit from proper and well planned business structures if these are put into place from the very beginning.

With the above in mind it becomes imperative to establish clear family arrangements which would help owners to structure or restructure their businesses in the most efficient manner and to plan for the future and put into place workable and effective governance structures and succession arrangements. This would not only protect the assets and business but would also help mitigate discord amongst the first owners and their heirs who may not always have the same vision for the business. All in all, a well-structured family business would be beneficial not only for the shareholders but also for the continued success and expansion of the business.

Qatar has in place Law No. 22 of 2006 which governs marriage, inheritance, custody, maintenance, wills, and other matters pertaining to Qatari national familial relations. Although the family law does not directly relate to corporate structuring, however there are some issues which may be considered to be connected such as the devolution of the shares to the heirs upon the death of the owner. Accordingly, having a proper succession plan in place would assist in the heirs being made aware of their rights and obligations and would reduce the potential of conflict arising between them.

How can we help?

Al Tamimi & Company is well aware that each family business has its own dynamics and is run in a unique way. We are pleased to provide bespoke advice for the structuring or restructuring of your businesses which is workable, efficient and in conformity with Qatar laws and compliant with Sharia.  We can advise on matters such as developing framework for decision-marking and resolving any conflicts, identifying key assets and key-risks, and how to best resolve these through having in place proper arrangements and agreements, setting up of entities and holding structures in Qatar whether mainland or in other jurisdictions such as the Qatar Financial Centre, and structuring and restructuring of businesses whether in terms of assets or sectors of activities. We can also advise in all aspects of inheritance, guardianship of minors and estate planning for stakeholders in family businesses.