Business entities in Dubai in 2021

Dubai business setup options for different business entity typesSetting up a business in Dubai is complex and time-consuming for foreigners. Like other Emirates in the UAE, Dubai indeed implements restrictions on foreign-ownership except in the free zones. Foreigners are additionally required to find local sponsors, appoint local lawyers and secure costly licenses when registering a local company. For these reasons, we usually recommend our Clients to form Dubai free zone companies or to use alternative expansion strategies such as appointing a local distributor.

  • Doing business in Dubai with a locally registered entity

    • The Dubai free zone company

      • The best strategy to legally avoid the requirement to form a joint venture in Dubai is to register a company in a Dubai free zone. Such entity can be registered with i) only one shareholder; ii) one director, who can be a foreigner and does not need to be resident in Dubai and iii) a lease agreement for office, warehousing or industrial space within the free zone;
      • Healy Consultants Group will assist our Clients to find the optimal Dubai free zone corresponding to the nature of their business and to the type and size of their operations. Kindly refer to our fee page for further details on the different types of free zones available in Dubai;
      • Dubai business entities are legally exempt from corporate income tax, which does not exist in Dubai on both local and foreign sourced income. However, our Clients willing to trade with Dubai residents will be required to appoint a local sponsor before being allowed to do so. Healy Consultants Group can assist to complete such appointment if required;
      • All companies registered in the UAE must i) create and maintain a register of their ultimate beneficial ownership (UBO) and ii) submit UBO data to the relevant registrar or licensing authority
      • Best uses: Dubai Free Zone Company is an attractive vehicle to legally minimize international taxation. Setup company in Dubai free zone companies will allow our Clients to conduct business with international customers and suppliers as well as with other UAE free zone companies without the need of an Emirati partner.
    • The Dubai offshore company

      • The Dubai offshore entity is the quickest and most cost-effective way to enter the country;
      • Is suitable for those Clients looking to conduct international business only;
      • This entity cannot rent office premises within UAE, sponsor employee visas, import/export products to/from UAE nor issue invoices to UAE Clients;
      • For more information re the Dubai offshore entities, refer to this webpage.
    • The Dubai limited liability company

      • Foreign investors can form a local limited liability company in Dubai to provide professional services including legal and accounting consultancy, IT and management consultancy, and marketing consultancy. In such industries, the company can be wholly foreign-owned (but still require appointing a local sponsor);
      • In other industries, the Dubai authorities require foreigners to form a joint venture with a UAE national, who must hold at least 51% of the shares of the entity. For this reason, Healy Consultants Group usually recommends our Clients to register a company in a free zone, where such requirement does not apply;
      • Before Healy Consultants Group can complete incorporation of the company, our Clients must also sign a lease agreement for physical office space within Dubai. We can assist our Clients to find a quality office (for example shared office space) whenever required;
      • All companies registered in the UAE must i) create and maintain a register of their ultimate beneficial ownership (UBO) and ii) submit UBO data to the relevant registrar or licensing authority;
      • Best uses: registering a Dubai LLC is suitable for those Clients i) in need to issue invoices, import and deliver products to UAE mainland customers or ii) that have a reliable joint venture partner who is an Emirati national.
  • Doing business in Dubai with a foreign entity

    • The Dubai branch office

      • Establishing a Branch is one of the safest ways to enter the region as it allows our Client to retain 100% foreign company ownership in UAE. That said, the appointment of a UAE national agent (click here) is required;
      • A Dubai Branch operates under the same name and is authorized to conduct the same business activity as its parent company. A branch can i) lease office premises ii) issue sales invoice to UAE and international Clients and iii) sign local legal contracts.
      • A branch cannot engage in manufacturing, import nor export of products to/from the United Arab Emirates.
      • Best uses: registering a branch in Dubai is advisable for service entities looking to conduct business locally.
    • The Dubai representative office

      • Dubai representative office is only allowed to engage in activities such as i) promoting the business of the parent company and ii) market research. Procedures and requirements to register a representative office in Dubai is similar to those applying to a branch.
      • Best uses: a representative office recommended to our Clients who are willing to prospect the UAE market, without running yet commercial operations.
  • Dubai licensing considerations

    • All companies registered in Dubai are required to obtain at least one operating license, even if they are registered in a free zone. The three types of business licenses in Dubai:
      • Commercial licenses – to conduct commercial operations and invoice customers;
      • Industrial licenses – to conduct productive operations, such as manufacturing or re-packaging products;
      • Professional licenses – to offer professional services, such as consultancy, accountancy or law services.
    • All licenses must be renewed every year;
    • Such operational licenses are not to be confused with regulatory licenses which may be required to provide/produce certain types of products and services, such as banking services for which a banking license must be granted by the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates.
  • Doing business in Dubai without a local company

    • To minimize business setup costs, our Client can alternatively sign an agreement with a local partner who will distribute their products, hire local staff act as their company representative in Dubai and provide other corporate services which may be required for the specific business purpose seek by our Client;
    • Healy Consultants Group will assist our Clients to sign a quality agreement by i) sourcing different quality potential business partners who have the experience and network of contacts needed by our Client ii) conduct due diligence on the top candidates iii) draft a legal agreement protecting our Client’s interest and iv) negotiate the best possible fees for the services rendered by the local partner;
    • For additional information on this alternative strategy, kindly refer to our agents, distributors and sponsor page.
  • Table of comparison between different Dubai entities

     LLCFree zoneBranchRep officeOffshore
    Also known as:Dubai LLCDubai Free ZonesDubai Branch officeDubai ROJebel Ali Offshore
    How long to set the company up?2 months2 months3 months2 months2 weeks
    How long to open company bank account?5 weeks5 weeks5 weeks5 weeks6 weeks
    Legal liability?LimitedLimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedLimited
    Minimum shareholders?11Parent companyParent company1
    Wholly foreign owned?Yes, a professional service LLCYesYesYesYes
    Minimum share capital for registration?US$1variesUS$1US$1US$1
    File annual tax return?YesYesYesYesNo
    Corporate bank account options?ADIBNoor BankEmirates IslamicADIBEmirates NBD
    Does our Client need to travel?NoNoNoNoNo
    Resident director required?NoNoNoNoYes
    Local shareholder required?YesNoNoNoNo
    Local sponsor required?YesNoNoNoNo
    Minimum directors allowed?11112
    Corporate shareholders allowed?YesYesYesYesYes
    Individual shareholders allowed?YesYesNoNoYes
    Dubai corporate tax rate?0%0%0%0%0%
    Annual financial statements required?YesYesYesYesNo
    Statutory audit required?YesYesNoNoNo
    Allowed to issue sales invoices in Dubai?YesYesYesNoNo
    Allowed to sign contracts with UAE entities?YesYesYesYesNo
    Allowed to import and export goods?YesYesUsually noNoNo
    Can rent an office in Dubai?YesYesYesYesNo
    Can buy UAE property?YesYesYesNoYes
    Can own equity in other UAE companies?YesYesYesNoYes
    Total Dubai business setup costs in Yr. 1US$22,980US$25,550US$35,450US$26,200US$18,300
    Subsequent annual costs (excl. accounting and tax fee)US$4,900US$6,520US$8,300US$4,900US$7,450
    Sample engagement fee invoiceView invoice PDFView invoice PDFView invoice PDFView invoice PDFView invoice PDF

Recruitment questionnaire: Dubai




  • Message from our Chairman

    Dear candidate,

    In 2021, Healy Consultants Group PLC is increasing the strength of our Dubai team. We are currently seeking multiple positions to join our Firm. We work Sunday to Thursday, 9am to 6pm.

    Healy Consultants Group PLC is the best in the world at project managing business set up in every country on the planet. Since 2003, we assist Clients with subsidiary incorporation in every country in the world, together with legal, accounting and tax and banking support.

    Aidan Healy

    Aidan Healy

    Business owner

  • Message from our CEO

    Dear candidate,

    If you are interested in applying for a position in a young, dynamic international high-tech e-commerce consulting company, please complete the 5 minute questionnaire below. Within two days thereafter, our HR Department manager will email you to arrange a video call interview. Before your interview, it is wise you are familiar with our business web site.

    Chrissi

    Chrissi

    CEO

  • Your contact details

    To help our in-house Human Resource Department communicate with you, I would be grateful if you complete this form:

    1. Your name?*
    2. In which city do you live?
    3. What languages do you speak?
    4. What is your highest level of education?
    5. Your email address?*
    6. Your Skype video call ID?
    7. Attach your resume here*
    8. Your cell phone number?*
    9. Your preferred date and time for a video interview?
  • Working with Healy Consultants Group PLC

    To help our in-house Human Resource Department evaluate your ‘fit’ in the organisation, I would be grateful if you complete this form:

    1. What are your monthly salary expectations?*
    2. Are you familiar with our Staff bonus policy (click link)?*
       Yes No
    3. Are you most motivated by results, relationships, or data?*
       Results Relationships Data
    4. How soon can your start work with Healy Consultants Group PLC?*
    5. Are you comfortable reporting to a Manager that is in a foreign office?*
       Yes No
    6. Indicate proportion of time you want to spend communicating with our multinational Clients and international Staff?
      StaffClients'
    7. Indicate proportion of time you want to spend working in a team or independently?
      Team 0%Independent 100%
    8. Rate your proficiency with using Microsoft Office?
      Poor 0%Expert 100%
  • Jobs at Healy Consultants Group

    We are currently looking for candidates for different roles. From the job you are applying for, complete the role specific questionnaire below. Thank you

  • The accounting role

    We are looking to hire 2 senior accountants, to support our Dubai office. Read this web page to learn more about the role. In the meantime, please answer the questions below. Thank you:

    *Fill in NA or No if you are not applying for accounting position

    1. Are you interested in learning about accounting and tax practices across multiple different countries?*
       Yes No
    2. Are you interested in learning about legal and compliance practices across multiple different countries?*
       Yes No
    3. Do you enjoy preparing financial statements?*
       Yes No
    4. Do you enjoy preparing corporation tax returns?*
       Yes No
    5. Are you interested in internal audit?*
       Yes No
    6. What accounting software are you familiar with?*
    7. Are you interested in researching and writing local and global tax and accounting centric content for our business website?*
       Yes No
    8. Are you interested in posting updates on Healy Consultants Group PLC social media platforms?*
       Yes No
  • The Legal & Compliance Officer role

    We are looking to hire 1 compliance officer, to support our Dubai office. Read this web page to learn more about the role. In the meantime, please answer the questions below. Thank you:

    *Fill in NA or No if you are not applying for the legal & compliance officer position

    1. Are you interested in learning about legal and compliance practices across multiple different countries?*
       Yes No
    2. Are you interested in learning about legal and compliance regulations across multiple countries?*
       Yes No
    3. Do you enjoy reviewing due diligence documents of Clients, third-parties and suppliers?*
       Yes No
    4. Do you enjoy conducting KYC checks on individuals and legal entities?*
       Yes No
    5. Are you interested in reviewing Client files and conducting on going checks?*
       Yes No
    6. What AML-database/software are you familiar with?*
    7. Are you familiar with AML/CFT regulations of DMCC?*
       Yes No
    8. Are you ACAMS qualified?*
       Yes No
    9. Do you have prior experience working with a Corporate Service Provider?*
       Yes No
    10. Are you interested in researching and writing local and global compliance regulations content for our website?*
       Yes No
    11. Are you interested in posting updates on Healy Consultants Group PLC social media platforms?*
       Yes No
  • The HR Officer role

    We are looking to hire 1 HR officer to support our Dubai office. Read this web page to learn more about the role. In the meantime, please answer the questions below. Thank you:

    *Fill in NA or No if you are not applying for HR officer position

    1. Are you interested in learning about human resources practices across multiple different countries?*
       Yes No
    2. Are you interested in learning about labour law regulations across multiple countries?*
       Yes No
    3. Do you enjoy reviewing employment contracts for internal applicants as well as for clients? *
       Yes No
    4. Do you enjoy hiring, developing and looking after employees?*
       Yes No
    5. What HRMS software are you familiar with?*
    6. Are you familiar with labour law regulations of DMCC?*
       Yes No
    7. Are you interested in researching and writing local and global human resources and labour law regulations content for our website?*
       Yes No
    8. Are you interested in posting updates on Healy Consultants Group PLC social media platforms?*
       Yes No
  • Conclusion

    Thank you for completing and submitting this questionnaire. It will help Healy Consultants Group PLC’s Human Resource Department more accurately identify candidates that are suitable for our Dubai office. Please submit this form now.

Contact us

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