Dubai client case studies

  • US based client opens a professional corporate consultancy entity in the DMCC Free Zone in the United Arab Emirates

    Background

    • Our Client is a US based management consultant with over 20 years’ experience in providing business development and promotional and sales strategies for major clients across North and South America, Europe and Asia;
    • He now wished to relocate to Dubai and setup a professional consultancy firm focusing on assisting private and public organizations establish strategic partnerships and grow their business in the Middle East and North Africa;
    • Our client found Healy Consultants Group through Google and visited our Dubai office in March 2018 to inquire about our service offering, recommended entity setup and A to Z support including bank account opening and dependent visas for his family;
    • Kunal Fabiani, attended the meeting with our Client and outlined the different free zone options in UAE, recommending the DMCC as the top option in accordance to his requirements, quality flexi desk options for business meetings and ease of visa applications. After the consultation, Kunal presented a roadmap for the engagement and total breakdown of costs. After careful review and comparing other competitors, in June the Client decided to engage Healy Consultants Group PLC for his UAE business setup due to transparency in terms of costs, ease of communication and ability to supply end to end support.

    Engagement planning

    • After agreeing with Kunal payment in 4 instalments, our Client supplied Kunal with the signed engagement letter and substantial KYC documentation for due diligence check;
    • Thereafter, Healy Consultants Group PLC prepared i) a detailed engagement project plan mapping out a step by step procedures and timeframes allowing our Client to plan his relocation to UAE and ii) a draft business plan, KYC form and undertaking agreement to be submitted to DMCC Authorities for pre-approval together with preferred company names.

    Company registration

    • Within 2 weeks, Healy Consultants Group obtained DMCC’s pre-approval for company formation and compiled all the necessary documents for company incorporation including the checklist of documents that required UAE Embassy legalization in USA;
    • Due to delays in arranging legalization of multiple documents from USA, our Client decided to visit Dubai in July to sign incorporation forms in front of a DMCC officer. To make the most of our Client’s trip, Kunal liaised with multiple banks and secured their interest to meeting with our Client to discuss banking facilities during his Dubai visit. Banks included Emirates NBD, Emirates Islamic and FAB;
    • Our Client visited Dubai at the end of July and Kunal accompanied him to DMCC to i) submit and sign off final company incorporation forms, KYC form and the MOA, ii) certify his passport and master’s degree and iii) finalize lease agreement for flexi desk at an approved business centre. Our Client also met with 4 different bank representatives at our Dubai office and decided to proceed with Emirates NBD for business and personal banking;
    • Within 1 week DMCC approved the registration of the new company and provided the Certificate of Incorporation for our Client. The same was also shared with Emirates NBD and bank could process bank account opening over the following 4 weeks. In the meantime, Kunal assisted our Client appoint an authorized auditor and apply for an establishment card which enabled the company sponsor visas.

    UAE employment and dependent visas

    • After the company establishment card is received, our visa applications manager, Elizabeth, compiled the required documentation from our Client to submit a complete online visa application via the DMCC portal. Since our Client and his family would be permanently moving to Dubai in mid-August, the visa application was only submitted after his arrival to avoid delaying their entry to the country;
    • In 2 weeks, DMCC approve and issue our Client’s entry visa and subsequently Elizabeth arranges our Client to have a medical fitness test and fingerprints scanning before his passport is submitted to UAE immigration for visa stamping. The passport is returned to our Client within 5 days;
    • Before our Client can sponsor visas for his dependents, he must provide a residential tenancy agreement registered with EJARI and DEWA. The engagement is put on hold for 2 months until early December as our Client and his family finalized their preferred residence in UAE;
    • Thereafter, over 2 weeks Elizabeth submitted the family dependent visas directly with General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) and liaised with immigration officers to change the visa status and secure entry permits for our Client’s wife and 4 children. This time only adults above 18 years had to undergo a medical fitness test before UAE visas are stamped on their passports.

    Engagement completion

    • By December end, Healy Consultants Group received the original stamped passports for all dependents and hand delivered the same together with all corporate documents to our Client and completing the engagement. If required, in the future, Healy Consultants Group may assist our Client recruit employees locally or obtain UAE visas for foreign staff as the business grows.
  • Japanese leading oil & gas company establishes a Foreign Branch in the United Arab Emirates

    Background

    • Our Client is a Japanese Oil & Gas trading company which has supplied for Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and other Asian countries’ energy security for over 50 years.
    • In January 2018, our Client decided to incorporate a Foreign Branch in Dubai to retain 100% ownership by the parent company
    • The main purpose of the Dubai branch office is to provide operational support to the parent company, including i) discharging the cargo at the port of delivery out of UAE (Bangladesh, Pakistan etc.) and ii) ensuring the cargo characteristics, volumes and quality are as agreed between Client and the parent company. In addition, Dubai Branch will promote the Liquefied Natural Gas products in MENA, South Asia region as well as Pakistan and Bangladesh. Our Client will not be involved in i) trading activities within UAE nor ii) import/export of products.

    Engagement planning

    • Healy Consultants Group prepared and emailed our Client an engagement advancement proposal including a formal invoice, the engagement letter, the due diligence checklist and a list of our existing and past client for professional refence.
    • Our Client promptly provided us with the due diligence documents and settled our complete invoice. Thereafter, Healy Consultants Group prepared i) a detailed engagement project plan mapping out by step plan to engagement completion and ii) a quality business plan to assist with corporate bank account opening.
    • Following discussions with our Client regarding his intended business and confirmation from Client they wanted to proceed, Healy Consultants Group also translated the parent company MOA to Arabic language and met with the Department of Economic Development (DED) to confirm the branch was eligible to conduct their intended business activities in Dubai.
    • Healy Consultants Group prepared a list of documents that our Client needs to i) certify by a Japanese Notary Public, ii) attest in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and iii) legalize in the UAE embassy in Japan. It took our Client one month to attest all the documents in Japan and courier it to Dubai. Thereafter, within three days Healy Consultants Group translated the documents to Arabic and attested the same in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry Of Justice in Dubai.

    Company registration

    • Within one day Healy Consultants Group reserved a branch name and submitted a quality complete branch registration application package to DED, for initial approval. Healy Consultants Group used the attested Board Resolution, which allowed us to register the Branch with the respective UAE authorities, so our Client didn’t have to travel to Dubai at this stage of company registration.
    • Within one week, Healy Consultants Group provided our Client with the initial approval certificated issued by DED. Within an additional week, Healy Consultants Group helped our Client to find the right business premises in Downtown Dubai,
    • Every foreign branch in Dubai requires to appoint a Local agent, who must be a UAE national. Healy Consultants Group therefore provided our Client the full due diligence of our trusted local agent and our Client signed a Local Service Agent (LSA) agreement. The local agent does not have voting rights nor managerial decisions, instead they just represent our Client in front of Government departments, sponsors visas and assists to review the company license annually.
    • After the local service agent agreement has been approved and signed in front of the Dubai Court, Healy Consultants Group submitted the required documents to the Ministry of Economy for pre-approval. It took the Ministry of Economy three weeks to issue the initial approval.
    • Our Client signed the lease agreement for office premises and Healy Consultants Group completed the Ejari attestation. Healy Consultants Group submitted the attested lease agreement together with the remaining documents to Dubai DED to issue the trade license. Within one day, DED approved our Client’s application and issued Dubai Branch Commercial License.
    • Healy Consultants Group submitted all documents to the Ministry of Economy for a final licensing approval. However, before the Registration Certificate can be issued, every branch must make a deposit of AED50,000 equivalent US$13,612 to the local company account and present a bank guarantee letter to the Ministry of Economy. In theory, the bank guarantee must be submitted within one month from the date of commercial license issuing date, otherwise the Ministry of Economy imposes a penalty of AED1,000 (US$274) for each month of delay. This means in theory, the bank account should be open within two weeks, so our Client has the time to make the bank guarantee deposit and the bank has the time to issue the bank guarantee letter. In practice, no bank will open the corporate bank account so fast. Consequently, Ministry of Economy penalty is unavoidable.
    • At this stage, our Client requested to assist with the employment visas. Healy Consultants Group sent to our client i) an invoice; ii) the list of documents required; and iii) the visa application forms. A UAE attested university degree is required for each managerial position, including sales.
    • Within one month, Healy Consultants Group helped our Client i) to secure the company establishment card with the Ministry of Labor; ii) to complete the office premises inspection with the local authority Taqeem, before we submit the visa applications to the immigration department.

    Corporate bank account opening

    • Immediately, Healy Consultants Group submitted the business plan and the initial set of due diligence documents to one of Mashreq Bank to secure a bank account opening.
    • While the company registration was under process, Healy Consultants Group secured the work and entry permits for our client’s employees and arranged the meeting with the bank officer. The branch manager, who is a bank signatory travelled to Dubai to i) sign the bank application forms; ii) stamp the resident visa.
    • After the bank account numbers were issued, our Client deposited the amount of AED50,000 to the newly opened company account. The branch registration was on hold almost for three months due to the time it took the bank to i) complete its’ KYC check for the client; ii) issue the bank account numbers; iii) issue the bank guarantee letter. The bank explained this delay happened due to the corporate structure of the mother company has multiple layers.

    Engagement completion

    • To comply with the Ministry of Economy requirements, Healy Consultants Group i) settled the penalty of AED 5,000 (US$1,369) imposed by the Ministry of Economy and ii) submitted the bank guarantee letter to the authority. Within one week the branch registration was completed and the Registration Certificate was emailed to our Client.
    • To comply with the Ministry of Labor requirements, Healy Consultants Group assisted our client to register the branch with the Wages Protection System (WPS). An electronic salary transfer system that allows the company to pay workers’ wages.
    • Lastly, Healy Consultants Group couriered to our Client a company kit, including i) company incorporation documents; ii) company stamp; and iii) a Client feedback survey.
  • British individual establishes a company in DMCC Free Zone

    Background

    • Our client is a British national ready to register a company in UAE; Our Client will also like to secure an employment and residency visa in Dubai;
    • Their existing British company provides i) renewable energy market evaluation services ii) project management of renewable energy development and construction projects.
    • Our Client approached Healy Consultants Group late December 2017, after finding us through Google.

    Engagement planning

    • Our Client was interested in starting with setting up the UAE Free Zone entity to be able to own 100% of his business;
    • Healy Consultants Group PLC prepared and emailed our Client an engagement advancement proposal including a formal invoice, engagement letter and due diligence checklist;
    • Our Client provided us with the due diligence documents and settled the first instalment of our UAE setup fees in January 2018. Thereafter, Healy Consultants Group PLC prepared a detailed engagement project plan mapping out a step by step the engagement process.

    DMCC Free Zone LLC registration

    • Healy Consultants Group PLC firstly confirmed the Clients preferred corporate structure and confirmed with the UAE Government authorities which specific business license our Client required;
    • Healy Consultants Group PLC then prepared the required list of documents and templates and emailed the same to our Client for signature, notarization, attestation and courier return to DMCC;
    • Upon receipt of the original attested documents from our Client, Healy Consultants Group PLC submitted the complete quality LLC registration application;
    • Within 5 weeks thereafter, Healy Consultants Group PLC obtained the approval of the UAE authorities, secured the Commercial License of the subsidiary and immediately emailed our Client a scan copy of the same;
    • 3 weeks thereafter and while our Client was doing business, Healy Consultants Group assisted our Client to complete the post registrations including i) depositing the paid up share capital of US$14,000 and ii) appointing a local company auditor.

    Corporate bank account application

    • Immediately after the entity was registered, we proceeded simultaneously with i) visa application (see section below) and ii) bank account opening;
    • Healy Consultants Group PLC approached multiple UAE banks to secure in writing their interest for our Client’s business activity. Our Client decided to proceed with Emirates NBD bank;
    • Our Client travelled to Dubai and upon meeting with the bank officers at Healy Consultants Group PLC Dubai office, our Client signed the bank account opening, FATCA and internet banking forms;
    • Over the coming week, Emirates NBD reverted 2 times requesting additional information;
    • 2 weeks thereafter, Emirates NBD compliance department approved the multicurrency corporate bank account. The bank immediately emailed our Client corporate bank account numbers, followed by a courier of the internet banking token to our Client’s preferred address.

    Visa applications

    • While the company was being set up, Healy Consultants Group PLC provided our client a checklist of documents we needed from the employee for the visa application;
    • Following receipt of the above and after our Client’s company was set up, Healy Consultants Group immediately submitted the visa application together with the supporting documentation to the UAE Authorities. The client was inside the UAE during the visa application process;
    • 7 days after the visa application was submitted, the Government issued the entry visa;
    • We immediately took our Client to conduct the mandatory medical checkup and fingerprint recording;
    • Upon completion of the above, the employee’s original passport was submitted to the government authorities for visa stamping. However, 3 working days after the authority reverted requesting a new passport. Unfortunately our client did not realize the passport had run out of pages!
    • The employee renewed his passport within 3 days and we submitted the same to the authorities;
    • The UAE visas was successfully stamped to his passport. One week thereafter, we received his Emirates ID.

    Engagement completion

    • Healy Consultants prepared the i) company kit comprising original corporate documents and iii) Client satisfaction survey to our Client’s preferred address from our Dubai office;
    • During the collection of the Company Kit, our Client informed Healy Consultants Group he needed our assistance for additional services in UAE. Healy Consultants Group was delighted to continue working with our Client;
  • Australian individual establishes a company in DMCC Free Zone

    Background

    • Our client is an Australian resident ready to register a company in UAE; Our Client will also like to secure 2 employment visas in Dubai;
    • Their existing Australia provides i) student recruitment services for Australian education providers ii) risk management for student applications received by Australian education providers.
    • Our Client approached Healy Consultants Group in June 2016, after finding us through Google.

    Engagement planning

    • Our client was interested in starting with setting up the UAE Free Zone entity to be able to own 100% of his business;
    • Healy Consultants Group PLC prepared and emailed our Client an engagement advancement proposal including a formal invoice, engagement letter and due diligence checklist;
    • Our Client provided us with the due diligence documents and settled the first instalment of our UAE setup fees in January 2017. Thereafter, Healy Consultants Group PLC prepared a detailed engagement project plan mapping out a step by step the engagement process.

    DMCC Free Zone LLC registration

    • Healy Consultants Group PLC firstly confirmed the Clients preferred corporate structure and confirmed with the UAE Government authorities which specific business license our Client required;
    • Because our Client was in a hurry to start conducting business, we agreed to use Healy Consultants professional passive nominee directors and shareholders;
    • Healy Consultants Group PLC then prepared the required list of documents and templates and emailed the same to our Client for signature, notarization, attestation and courier return to DMCC;
    • Upon receipt of the original attested documents from our Client, Healy Consultants Group PLC submitted the complete quality LLC registration application;
    • Within 5 weeks thereafter, Healy Consultants Group PLC obtained the approval of the UAE authorities, secured the Commercial License of the subsidiary and immediately emailed our Client a scan copy of the same;
    • While our Client was conducting business as normal, we spent the next 3 weeks removing Healy Consultants Group passive nominee directors and shareholders and appointing our Client.

    Corporate bank account application

    • After our client was appointed as sole director and shareholder of the entity, we proceeded with i) visa application (see section below) and ii) bank account opening;
    • Healy Consultants Group PLC approached multiple UAE banks to secure in writing their interest for our Client’s business activity. Our Client decided to proceed with Emirates NBD bank;
    • Healy Consultants Group PLC then prepared the required bank due diligence, including bank account opening forms and scheduled a meeting with Emirates NBD in our office;
    • Our Client travelled to Dubai and upon meeting with the bank officers at Healy Consultants Group PLC Dubai office, our Client signed the bank account opening, FATCA and internet banking forms;
    • Over the coming week, Emirates NBD reverted 2 times requesting additional information;
    • 2 weeks thereafter, Emirates NBD compliance department approved the multicurrency corporate bank account. Healy Consultants immediately emailed our Client corporate bank account numbers, followed by courier the internet banking token to our Client’s preferred address.

    Visa applications

    • While the company was being set up, Healy Consultants Group PLC provided our client a checklist of documents I needed from the 2 employees;
    • Following receipt of the above and after our Client’s company was set up, Healy Consultants Group immediately submitted the visa application together with the supporting documentation to the UAE Authorities;
    • The UAE Government reverted 2 times during the engagement requesting additional information. Fortunately, our Client had the information on hand and therefore, we supplied the same within 1 day;
    • 10 days thereafter, the visas for the 2 employees were approved. The 2 employees travelled to Dubai to conduct the mandatory medical checkup and fingerprint recording and within 4 working days thereafter, their UAE visas were stamped to their passports. One week thereafter, we received their 2 Emirates ID;

    Engagement completion

    • Healy Consultants couriered the i) company kit comprising original corporate documents ii) bank correspondence and iii) Client satisfaction survey to our Client’s preferred address in Australia.
  • American PLC establishes a subsidiary in UAE Free Zone, India and China

    • Our client is a USA PLC company founded in Utah, United states. The company has fully owned subsidiaries in Germany, France, Brazil, Russia, the USA and Canada;
    • As a market leader, the company’s end goal is focused on developing cutting-edge conferencing and collaboration products.
    • They engaged Healy Consultants Group PLC to register a i) Dubai entity in early 2017 and thereafter ii) a China subsidiary in Shenzhen in mid 2017 and iii) a subsidiary in Chennai, India in late 2017. In 2018 they re-engaged our Firm to assist with a de-registration of a Hamriyah Free Zone company;
    • In the UAE, they only wanted an entity to provide marketing and promotion services in GCC countries. They also wanted to relocate 3 employees with their families to the UAE;
    • In India and China they wanted fully fledge offices.

    Engagement planning

    • Our client was interested in starting with setting up the UAE Free Zone entity. China and India were registered later in the year;
    • Healy Consultants Group PLC prepared and emailed our Client an engagement advancement proposal including a formal invoice, engagement letter and due diligence checklist and a list of our existing and past client for professional refence;
    • Our Client promptly provided us with the due diligence documents and settled UAE fees in full. Thereafter, Healy Consultants Group PLC prepared a detailed engagement project plan mapping out a step by step the engagement process.

    Subsidiary Free Zone LLC registration

    • Healy Consultants Group PLC firstly confirmed the Clients preferred corporate structure and confirmed with the UAE Government authorities which specific business license our Client required;
    • Healy Consultants Group PLC then prepared the required list of documents and templates and emailed the same to our Client for signature, notarization, attestation and courier return to DMCC;
    • Upon receipt of the original attested documents from our Client, Healy Consultants Group PLC submitted the complete quality LLC registration application;
    • Within 5 weeks thereafter, Healy Consultants Group PLC obtained the approval of the UAE authorities, secured the Commercial License of the subsidiary and immediately emailed our Client a scan copy of the same.
    • Our Client did not want us to open corporate bank accounts in the UAE, since they have all payments centralized out of the USA.

    Visa applications

    • Healy Consultants Group PLC provided our client a checklist of documents I needed from 3 employees and their respective families;
    • Following receipt of the above, Healy Consultants Group immediately submitted the visa application together with the supporting documentation to the UAE Authorities;
    • The UAE Government reverted 2 times during the engagement requesting additional information. Fortunately, our Client had the information on hand and therefore, we supplied the same within 1 day;
    • 10 days thereafter, the visas for the 3 employees were approved. The 3 employees travelled to Dubai to conduct the mandatory medical checkup and fingerprint recording and within 4 working days thereafter, their UAE visas were stamped to their passports. One week thereafter, we received their 3 Emirates ID;
    • Following the above, we submitted the dependent visas applications to the Government. The dependent visas were approved within 2 weeks.

    Engagement completion

    • Healy Consultants couriered the i) company kit comprising original corporate documents ii) bank correspondence and iii) Client satisfaction survey to our Client’s preferred address in America. Other documents remained with us, since we need them for subsequent engagements in China and India.
  • Gold and commodities trader moved to Dubai

    Background

    Craig, a major commodities trader in Australia, approached Healy Consultants to expand his company into the UAE in order to have a tax efficient base for operations in the Middle East and Africa. Craig also wished to move himself and his family to Dubai as he liked the Western atmosphere and thriving metropolis.

    Engagement planning

    Appoint a nominee director for company in DubaiThe planning phase for this engagement was extensive, as Healy Consultants guided Mr. Anthony in selecting the most efficient corporate structure. Healy Consultants had multiple Skype and telephone meetings with our Client to determine the optimal free zone company. Healy Consultants advised our Client of several of the commodity and trade-based zones such as Ras al-Khaimah and Hamriyah. These free zones allowed for 100% foreign ownership, but prohibited trade inside the UAE. Craig liked this option, but also wished to sell to the wealthy UAE market.

    Other options discussed included a local branch of his pre-existing Australian company and representative office. As the branch office would still require a local agent and was longer to incorporate and the representative office could only be used for market research, these options were sidelined.

    Upon understanding Craig’s goal to purchase property, apply for entrepreneur visas, and trade gold and gemstone, Craig decided that incorporating a resident Dubai company with local sponsorship was most efficient. Following, a 10 page engagement strategy was researched and planned for one week with constant communication with the Client.

    Local sponsor

    In order to conduct business within the UAE, a 51% local sponsor was needed. Healy Consultants contacted several of our former Clients and contacts in the UAE to discern their interest in serving as this local sponsor. We provided Craig with three options engaged in similar industries as gold trading. Craig flew to Dubai prior to company incorporation to meet with his preferred sponsor, Mr. Abdullah, a local commodities trader. The two met and discussed the sponsorship arrangement and agreed to a Declaration of Trust on behalf of the Dubai company.

    The local sponsor introduced Craig to his local real estate broker and several influential jewelry traders in the area. Craig later employed this real estate agent to purchase his apartment on Palm Jumeriah Island. Mr. Abdullah attended the signing and notarization of company documents during the incorporation process and provided references for bank account setup. While Mr. Abdullah does not serve an active role in Craig’s business, the local sponsor has been readily available to provide local contacts and sign any necessary forms.

    Office space

    Because our Client was consolidating his global trading business to new headquarters in Dubai, adequate office space was essential. Craig engaged Healy Consultants to locate an office capable of holding 25 employees and near his home in Palm Jumeriah. We then proceeded to engage local real estate agents and toured several office facilities on our Client’s behalf. We provided the Client with detailed reviews, pictures, and pricing of the properties until Craig was satisfied with a 185 square meter office space in the Jumeirah Village. A lease was signed for 12 months and provided to the Department of Economic Development for company incorporation.

    Company incorporation

    After locating suitable office space, Healy Consultants applied for the company name with the Department of Economic Development and had our Client sign the incorporation forms at the Dubai courts.

    After bank setup and licensing approval, the company was registered with the Company Registry Office of the Ministry of Commerce. The registration certificate was received within 3 working days and Healy Consultants subsequently registered the company with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) – Dubai and Labor Department for future work permits.

    The license application for gold trading was submitted to the Dubai Economic Department along with the MOA, name approval certificate, lease agreement, and certificate of paid up share capital. Two weeks later, the Economic Department granted the license.

    Family visas

    Healy Consultants assisted Craig apply for a 3 year entrepreneur visa for his new company. We prepared a high-quality visa application, complete with GDRFA registration of his company, work credentials, business plan, and evidence of UAE national hiring. As Craig was the sole shareholder of his large company and purchased several properties in Dubai, his visa was quickly approved by the Ministry of Labor and GDRFA in 3 weeks. Craig’s family moved 7 weeks after Mr. Anthony moved to Dubai and established his residency and company operations. Healy Consultants helped successfully apply for dependency visas for Craig’s wife and two children. These visas then enabled his wife to work and his children to attend an international school in Dubai.

    Conclusion

    Following engagement completion, the Client was presented with a complete company kit. Our Client provided positive feedback in a client questionnaire and referred his business associate to our firm for incorporating another company.

    Over the coming years, Healy Consultants will complete the Dubai annual accounting and auditing obligations together with license renewals.

  • Software management solutions firm set up global headquarters

    Background

    Michael Hellier is an entrepreneur from the United Kingdom who provides software management solutions for global call center systems to improve service quality. Michael’s company, originally based in Glasgow, wanted to enter the emerging markets in the Middle East but was unsure which corporate structure would be most beneficial for his business.

    Michael approached Healy Consultants for advice. He was referred to us by a business associate who had set up a Singapore branch company through us. It was also important to our Client that the business be strategically-located in the Gulf, and projected a strong image to his Clients. Michael was initially attracted to Dubai, primarily because he had many business associates who had successfully set up operations there. With this in mid, he contacted Healy Consultants to find out how we could assist him to fulfills his objectives.

    After discussing the potential corporate structures and locations with Aidan Healy, the managing director of Healy Consultants, it was agreed that Michael would pay Healy Consultants a retainer fee of US$2,000, for which we would undertake relevant research and revert with recommendations and a clear business setup strategy. Healy Consultants began a detailed investigation into the various options in the UAE, based on Michael’s requirements and budget. Aidan and Michael agreed that locating the company in a free zone would be most advantageous, and as such our Dubai team prepared a table outlining the relative advantages of locations such as Sharjah Airport International Free Zone, Ajman Free Zone, Jebel Ali Free Zone, and Dubai Internet City (DIC). Once the research was complete, it was emailed to Michael for his review, and we suggested we talk again once he had done so.

    Two weeks later Michael called our Dubai office, confirming his intention to set up a company in DIC, which appeared to offer the strategic advantages, as well as image, he needed for his new company. DIC boasts the Middle East’s biggest Internet Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure built inside a free trade zone, and according to the DIC Authority, it offers a strategic, cost-effective platform for ICT companies targeting emerging markets in a vast region extending from the Middle East to the Indian subcontinent, and from Africa to Central Asia. Michael believed these credentials would suit his burgeoning software development company.

    Engagement planning

    Michael settled our engagement fees, signed our client engagement letter, and provided the due diligence as outlined in the engagement letter, firstly by email, with the originals by standard mail. The first step was for Healy Consultants to prepare a detailed business plan for the new company in DIC’s required format. The business plan included information on the company’s planned activities, its products and services, its clients and a market analysis, its competitors and a risk analysis, details on its management team, and its operational strategy. To accompany the business plan, Healy Consultants’ staff prepared a detailed financial projection (in Microsoft Excel format) for the first three years of business, again in the format required by DIC. Once the business plan and financial projection were complete (within four working days), we emailed them to Michael for his review and comments. He required minor amendments to the business plan, and he also supplied additional financial information which he requested we add to the projection. With these amendments complete, we again sent the documents to Michael for his approval, signature and return to us.

    Along with the business plan and financial projection, further information was needed for the DIC application. This included proof of the minimum capital requirement of 50,000 UAE Dirhams (US$13,615), a copy of the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association and passport copies of the directors and shareholder (in this case, Michael would be the sole shareholder and director), along with specimens of his signature. In addition, the application included confirmation of the type of office accommodation Michael’s company would require at DIC – to this effect, Healy Consultants forwarded a standard DIC lease agreement to Michael for his review. To obtain proof of payment of capital, our Dubai office visited a local bank branch in Dubai to open an ESCROW account, and was issued with a certificate of deposit on the same day.

    Company incorporation

    Healy Consultants visited the DIC Authority to submit the application documents in person. It took two weeks for Healy Consultants to receive approval from DIC, when Healy Consultants received a provisional letter of acceptance along with a list of other legal documents which needed to be submitted, along with a deadline for submission. These documents included a personal sponsor agreement and an employment contract with accompanying terms and conditions, which were reviewed by Healy Consultants for any discrepancies. Michael, who was busy in Glasgow negotiating a new contract with an international client, was grateful that Healy Consultants was able to undertake miscellaneous tasks such as this on his behalf.

    It took two weeks for Healy Consultants to collect all the additional legal documents for submission to DIC, because they had to be certified by a notary public in Dubai, prior to submission. Two weeks later DIC issued a final approval letter to Michael, at which point Healy Consultants paid a 20% deposit (as required) for the office premises, as well as the DIC license fees, on Michael’s behalf (he had remitted these fees as part of the total engagement fees). Once the DIC had confirmed payment of the initial 20% deposit, Healy Consultants sent the receipt to Michael in Glasgow, and requested that Michael return the signed lease agreement by courier to our Dubai office. Although as with every stage of the engagement Michael was not required to visit Dubai to complete this task, he nevertheless chose to visit on this occasion, since he planned to visit a potential client in Oman and also wanted to make arrangements to move to Dubai.

    Healy Consultants picked Michael up at the airport in Dubai, and accompanied him to DIC to submit the lease agreement. At this stage, Michael also settled the remaining 80% of the DIC annual fees, and upon receiving a receipt and the keys to his office we were able to move to the next phase of the engagement.

    Office furnishing

    Since Michael was traveling to Oman and then back to the UK at short notice, he requested Healy Consultants’ assistance in furnishing the office. We use an office retailer in Dubai who supplies, delivers, and fits high quality office furniture in the UAE, and they were able to provide a package according to the specifications and budget laid out by Michael. Likewise, an office IT equipment supplier was engaged to deliver and install IT hardware and software to the office, making it ready for use.

    Staff recruitment

    In the meantime, Healy Consultants had been asked by Michael to assist with recruiting a suitable expatriate sales and marketing manager, as well as a receptionist, to enable the company to begin operations. We first arranged to place a recruitment advertisement in two UAE newspapers – the Gulf Today and the Khaleej Times – advertising the positions. Our remit was to field and filter the applications, drawing up a shortlist for when Michael was next visiting Dubai.

    As expected, we received more than 200 applications for the sales and marketing position, eight of whom were invited to Healy Consultants’ office in Dubai for a preliminary interview. Once this process had taken place, we short-listed six of the most suitable candidates, and their details were forwarded to Michael in the UK for further action. Michael conducted a telephone interview with all six candidates the following week, and then narrowed the field down to three people, who he arranged to meet the following week in Dubai. As planned, Michael visited Dubai the following week, conducting the final interview for his sales and marketing position. With this complete, Michael instructed Healy Consultants to obtain a work and residence permit for the successful candidate, a British national named Mark, as well as for himself.

    Employment visa application

    To achieve this, Healy Consultants approached the DIC Authority for assistance with the application. DIC provided the necessary application forms for an employment visa and residence permit, as requested. Once the application forms had been completed, Healy Consultants sent one to Mark in Dubai, and the other to the UK for Michael’s signature. Once the signed forms had been returned to us, Healy Consultants submitted them to the DIC, along with:

    • Two copies of each applicants’ passports;
    • Three passport photographs per applicant;
    • Photocopy of educational certificates for Mark and Michael – these were provided at the same time as the signed application forms;
    • A processing fee of US$73.50.

    Once the employment visa was issued (via an Employment Entry Permit), we requested Michael to visit the UAE to obtain his residence permit (Mark was already in the country). The residence permit application includes the application form, the original passport of each applicant, the Employment Entry Permit, five passport photographs per applicant, an original medical fitness certificate and one health card photocopy, a security form, along with fees of US$205 for a two year permit.

    Michael is now based in Dubai full-time, and is happy with the way the smooth company setup process and Healy Consultants’ additional services.

  • Electrical components manufacturer opened Dubai facility

    Background

    Mr Malhotra is the owner of a successful electrical components manufacturing and distribution company based in India. A recent US$20 million investment saw the company’s manufacturing facilities modernized and expanded, and the electrical components produced at the factory in Chandigarh, northern India, met strict international export specifications. For strategic reasons, Mr Malhotra sought a way of accessing global markets for his company’s products, which are applied in heavy industries such as oil refineries, petrochemical plants, and water desalination facilities. In particular, he was keen on setting up an entity in Dubai. With this in mind, he approached Healy Consultants to discuss his strategic objectives.

    Engagement planning

    Mr Malhotra visited Healy Consultants in Dubai, where our consultants advised him on the different corporate structures and relevant trade licenses available in Dubai, as well as the costs of company set up. Given the nature of his business, it became clear that a free zone establishment (FZE) would be the most suitable structure to meet the company’s international business objectives, primarily because the Client wished to retain full control of the company (he would also be the sole shareholder), and because he was not intending to trade within Dubai or the UAE. Because he also needed a facility with excellent global communications, Mr Malhotra indicated his wish to set up an FZE in Dubai Airport Freezone.

    Company incorporation

    The engagement formally began when Mr. Malhotra signed Healy Consultants’ client engagement letter, settled our fees, and supplied the due diligence outlined in the engagement letter. At the same time, Healy Consultants completed a Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA) application form. To accompany the application, a detailed business plan was prepared by Healy Consultants, outlining the company’s activities, its clients and suppliers, an analysis of the market, financial projections, and details on shareholders and directors. The application and business plan was submitted to the DAFZA Sales Department, along with a copy of Mr Malhotra’s passport, a bank reference letter, and resume (which we had originally asked for as part of our internal due diligence requirements).

    Trade license application

    Healy Consultants applied for a Trading License for Mr Malhotra’s new company, paying the 10,000 Dirham license processing fee to the DAFZA. Approval was granted for the FZE within four days.

    Warehouse/office space

    Healy Consultants visited DAFZA to arrange for a warehouse plot to be allocated. A lease agreement was sent to our Client for his signature and return, along with an invoice for office rental fees, which required settlement within 30 days.

    Corporate banking

    Following incorporation, Healy Consultants proceeded to open a corporate bank account in Dubai to support our Client’s business. To accompany the bank account application, an abridged version of the DAFZA business plan was prepared to accompany the account application form. The complete application included the application form, business plan, the company’s DAFZA trade license, the warehouse lease agreement, a copy of Mr Malhotra’s passport, and bank reference letter (from Citibank in India). Healy Consultants also attended an interview on our Client’s behalf, explaining to a bank officer why the FZE required a corporate bank account.

    After approximately two weeks, Healy Consultants’ Dubai office received account approval notification, allowing our Client to conduct international financial transactions. Two weeks later, we received (in sealed, separate envelopes) internet banking and ATM card PIN numbers along with other necessary documents, which were kept safely at our office for Mr Malhotra’s collection.

    Mr Malhotra successfully launched his international electronic components business from Dubai, and currently has customers in Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. As he spends much of his time traveling around Asia, Mr Malhotra hired a general manager to oversee the Dubai operation.

Contact us

For additional information on our company registration services in Dubai, please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
client relationship officer - Chrissi