Single-activity limit for home business acts as 'stumbling block' Jan 11, 2017 0 885 12345 Malek HelaliDohaThe Ministry of Economy and Commerce's (MEC) recent decision to legalise household businesses has elicited much enthusiasm among residents, who have taken to social media to welcome the move.However, reservations have been expressed regarding the necessity to install indicative signs at the residence as well as the limitation of only one business activity per house.The MEC on its official Twitter account recently announced the procedure for getting licence for home-based businesses.The owner of"Alrazza" virtual shop, who started the business of renting plates for weddings, advertises about the business through friends and acquaintances as well as paid advertisements on blogs and popular Instagram accounts. When asked about her plans about opening a commercial shop, she expressed her unwillingness to do so mainly because of the high rents. "I support the ministry's recent regulations and I think it will protect our rights," she said.However, she herself against the requirement of installing indicative signs at residences since"home businesses are still viewed as below dignity within the Qatari society."She said limiting the household to a single activity might lead to disagreements among family members sharing the same house and owning separate home businesses."I have been awaiting such a regulatory procedure, especially to regulate businesses offering food in order to ensure the quality of their products but I hope the conditions and restrictions for obtaining the licence would be reviewed for convenience," she said.Another Qatari entrepreneur, who owns a shop"Regal" specialising in making gifts expressed similar views. She is a university student who started the shop as a hobby and aspires to own a commercial shop in the future."I have not heard of the licensing procedure but from what I read I think that the main difficulty would be installing the indicative sign," she said. Similarly, owner of a cooking business 'Nagwa' say the license would be beneficial if the restrictions were more lenient.Another shop owner suggested that it would have been beneficial if the government was to facilitate the procedures of starting a small business with a traditional commercial licence and provide the entrepreneurs with adequate funding. Thirty-three-year-old owner of previously home-based business who expanded her project by obtaining a commercial licence and renting an office came up with the idea of a mobile application 'Fwalah' that would help provide materials such as boxes, wrapping papers, bags and so on for the owners of home-based businesses. "The procedures for obtaining a commercial license are long and confusing and that is the reason why entrepreneurs prefer home businesses. In neighbouring countries like Kuwait where small businesses are flourishing, the procedures are simplified and the costs of starting a project are much lower than those in Qatar. Moreover, business licences are obtainable electronically," she said.In its announcement, the MEC defined home businesses as"home-based activities that do not require extensive financial resources and that are based primarily on personal skills without the need for inconvenient equipment or dangerous substances in order to generate profit and provide for the licence owner."The law aims to encourage and regulate these investments within a legal and monitored environment in an effort to diversify the local economy.The activities qualified for the yearly renewable licence are said to include: tailoring, events photography, gift making and wrapping, natural and artificial flower organising, computed electronic designing excluding architecture, cooking, book wrapping, making perfumes and cosmetics, making coffee and spices and printing.Numerous general restrictions were set by the MEC for obtaining the licence such as an age limit of 18 years old for the practitioner along with the necessity of receiving the required approval from the authorities concerned depending on the activity to be licenced. In addition, certain procedures must be followed like committing not to sell directly from the residence but rather through delivery and installing an indicative sign stating the name and licence number of the business. Interestingly, the entrepreneurs interviewed were not familiar with Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC) founded in 2013. It offers support services, a work space, entrepreneurial financing opportunities and coaching by experts and mentors to entrepreneurs looking to start a business or grow an existing one. Moreover, submitting an application to be considered for incubation can be done electronically through their user-friendly website. Among many others, QBIC is a valuable opportunity for young businesses to grow and expand. POST A COMMENT RELATED ARTICLES Violations detected at Shop Qatar festival Jan 11, 2017 0 532 Qatar boasts of 87 public parks Jan 11, 2017 0 338 Aoun's visit marks start of new era in Qatar-Lebanon ties, says envoy Jan 11, 2017 0 531 Israeli settlements making 2-state solution impossible, says Obama Reuters JERUSALEM US President Barack Obama, in an interview aired on Israeli television on Tuesday, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu policy backing settlements in occupied territory is making a future .. Blasts in 3 Afghan cities kill 50 AFP Kabul Bombings across three Afghan cities including Kabul killed around 50 people and wounded 100 others Tuesday, in a day of carnage as Taliban insurgents escalate a deadly winter campaign of violence. At least 11 .. Emir chairs SCEAI meeting Doha The Emir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, Chairman of the Supreme Council for Economic Affairs and Investment (SCEAI), chaired the Council's first meeting for 2017 at the Emiri Diwan on Tuesday. The Deputy .. 3-month deadline to make employment contracts electronic DOHA The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA) has notified the government, private institutions and companies to turn the expatriate labour contracts, which were concluded .. Qatar, BRF to buy Turkish firm Banvit SAO PAULO Qatar's sovereign wealth fund and Brazilian food processor BRF SA agreed to buy the operations of Turkish poultry producer Banvit in a joint venture, BRF said in a securities filing on Monday. page 17 Expect strong winds on weekend: QMD Doha Many areas in Qatar are likely to experience strong winds ranging between 12 and 22knots inland and reaching 35 knots offshore from Wednesday night until Saturday due to a ridge of Siberian high pressure system, the .. Qatar condemns Kandahar attack Doha Qatar has condemned and denounced the heinous attack on the home of the Governor of Kandahar, which resulted in the injury to the Ambassador of the UAE to Afghanistan and a number of Emirati diplomats. In a statement on ..