The Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) has decided to issue licences for practising commercial activities at homes, as part of the ministry’s initiative to encourage small businesses and self-employment.
The new measure is part of the ministry’s Decision No 242 for 2016 to promote low cost commercial activities, which are basically based on personal skills, and where the use of equipment that cause inconvenience to others or hazardous materials are not involved.
“Besides, the practice of these activities would help having a considerable profit margin for the licensee and his family,” a statement issued by MEC said.
The activities that fall under this initiative include sewing and embroidery; services related to celebrations such as photography of weddings and parties, making gifts and artefacts and packaging them, manual design of gifts and cards, flower arrangement (natural or artificial); electronic services which include computer generated designs, with the exception of architectural and engineering designs which is part of the work of engineering offices; service businesses such as cooking, printing, photo copying and binding of textbooks; making of beauty products such as perfumes, incense, and other cosmetics; processing of food items like coffee beans, spices, herbs; and making of meals.
To be issued a licence to practise such commercial activities at home, the applicant must be not less than 18 years of age, be a resident of the targeted house and the requested activity should be operationally compatible with the nature of the surrounding community. The applicant should get the necessary approvals to practise the targeted activity from the entities concerned in the country, submit a building accomplishment certificate and the Civil Defence clearance certificate in case of cooking activities.
According to the general regulations of the initiative, the licence shall be limited to one activity only, the licensee shall not be issued more than one licence for a single house, the licensee shall have to display an information board at the entrance of the house showing the commercial name of the project and the licence number but no advertising or promotion boards, flags, or digital display on the outer walls of the house. The requested activity should not impact the traffic flow in the area or cause any inconvenience to the neighbours, and the applicant shall not sell directly from the house to customers but will have the option of home delivery.
MEC has set the annual fees for issuing such a commercial licence at QR1,020, which can be subsequently paid during each yearly renewal.