Establishing a Franchise in Qatar
With its expanding population and fast-growing economy, Qatar could be thought of as the ideal destination for foreign investors to set up shop. For some, that may mean starting a business, while for others, it may mean investing in a franchise.
So, what are the benefits (and the risks) of investing in a franchise over starting a business
While the prospect of owning a business can, and should be, an exciting time, it cannot be overstated that there are many risks involved and it will take a lot of work no matter what type of business structure you choose.
If you are trying to decide whether you should open your own business or if you should buy into a franchise, here are a few things that you should consider before getting started.
Independent Business Ownership
Firstly, as an independent business owner, you are in control of everything! You can create and change things at your will without the need to seek further approval. For example, if you’re a restaurant and you want to add a new item to your menu, or if you’re a boutique and want to add a new product or service to your range, then you are at liberty to go ahead without hesitation: freedom is wonderful and you alone are in charge.
However exciting it may be to get your business going, in your new business there will be no proven systems or strategies for how to grow your brand, no historical data to refer to, and no management or marketing support. You’ll be learning as you go along (which can be a great thing).
The following are some of the areas you will have to navigate through:
- Real Estate: finding somewhere to set up your office and or shop
- Construction build out: does your shop space have all the
- Interior Design: what will your shop look like?
- Branding Elements
- Marketing Plans
When buying a franchise your risks may decrease in certain areas. That’s not to say that it will be an easy road ahead, however, what you are buying with the franchise fee is access to proven systems, and established brand, and market recognition.
The ongoing fees associated with being part of a franchise also provide you with access to a staff of brand subject matter experts. It is important to note that when entering into a franchise agreement, you are aware that you are making a commitment to follow all the processes and procedures that have been firmly established by the franchise brand.
Depending on the company size, location, and industry, the brand standards may vary, however they will be necessary to follow whatever the case may be. The rules and regulations that apply to franchise owners are specifically designed to protect the company brand and the other franchisees associated with it: consistency is critical.
The reality is whether you choose to be an independent owner, or you choose to buy a franchise, the success of your business ultimately depends on you. Robert Purvin, the chairman of the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers was quoted as saying, “Franchising is just a way of doing business; it’s not a script for success”.
The bottom line is: if you want freedom to create a new business model and change it as you go along then independent ownership is for you.
If you want to own your own business but would like a road map to follow, then buying a franchise could be a better option for you.
Either way you accept the financial risks, and hopefully the rewards, of being an entrepreneur.
a person who organises and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.
How do you invest in a franchise in Qatar?
There are plenty of franchises available in Qatar, with some of the most popular being fast food outlets. However, there are lots of non-fast food options as well, such as car rental centres, retail and apparel stores, fitness centres, language learning centres and real estate firms.
With most franchise opportunities, the franchisee will pay a fee in return for ownership of a business that is proven. This franchise fee may also be accompanied by a percentage of the revenue, but with each franchise, the expectations will vary.
Franchising relies on finding the right brand for the area. Qatar not only has a large expat population, it also has a very wealthy population. In fact, Qatar is the world’s wealthiest country per capita. The right brand and the right franchisee could take advantage of this.
It’s worth bearing mind that Qataris can be sensitive to businesses owned or operated in Qatar by neighbouring countries or nationals, so it may be worth considering investing in a local franchise over a regional master franchisee looking expanding to Qatar.
That being said, American fast food restaurants are very popular in Qatar, especially with the younger generation. The expat population may also be interested in buying from a brand that they recognise from home.
When investing in a franchise, take care to note that there is no specific franchise legislation enacted in Qatar. Franchise operations and their structure simply need to comply with a collection of laws and regulations regarding commercial law and trade, commercial relationships, foreign investment and shareholder rights and obligations, which you can seek advice on how to navigate with relative ease compared to other markets.
It is important to make sure that as a franchisee, your franchise agreements provide you with as many rights as possible. The protections afforded elsewhere, to parties such as commercial agents and distributors will not be open to you. Be sure to consult a lawyer before agreeing to anything.
How do you get your franchise business started?
If you’re considering investing in a franchise in Qatar, Fusion Middle East can help you. With extensive experience in helping companies set up in the region, our dedicated team can take you through all of the steps and help you navigate the laws and regulations, ensuring that your business investment is secure.
Get in touch with us today to find out how we can assist you.