UAE company registration

DOING BUSINESS IN THE UAE

Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group has been assisting clients and businesses with company formation in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We project manage and advise on i) UAE company registration; ii) obtaining municipal and operating licences in the UAE; iii) corporate bank accounting opening services for UAE companies; iv) UAE company & license annual renewal, legal, accounting, and tax services; v) UAE company payroll and other human resource (HR) services; vi) finding UAE service agents and/or local partners; vii) UAE office space rental solutions.

Choose Healy Consultants for your UAE company formation needs and benefit from our customized services, expertise and exceptional support.

Contact us today to explore how we can support your business.

UAE company formation guide: On this page

Advantages and disadvantages of UAE company setup

Advantages of establishing companies in the UAE

  1. UAE is a low-tax jurisdiction

    The standard corporate tax rate is 9% – one of the lowest in the world. The VAT rate is as low as 5%. All UAE residents are also exempt from personal income taxes. Thus, our Clients can legally minimizing their tax liabilities and enhance their profits through a UAE company.

  2. 100% foreign ownership is allowed in all free zones in the UAE

    Businesses can register a 100% foreign-owned Dubai mainland LLC without a local partner or registered agent.

  3. UAE is the leading trading hub in the Middle East

    Due to its strategically favourable location, establishing a company in the UAE enables businesses to easily access the GCC countries as well as the African, European and Asian markets.

See more benefits

Disadvantages of UAE company setup

  1. Making business decisions can be overwhelming

    With so many free zones operating in the UAE, choosing the right free zone for your company base is crucial, but is setting up a free zone company your best option? Will it be wiser to register an offshore company, or perhaps a resident LLC, to reach your business goals?

  2. Complicated compliance requirements

    Each Emirate has its own regulations. A company registered in the UAE has to comply with the national laws and the Emirate’s laws. If it is a free zone company, it must comply with the free zone laws as well.

  3. In 2020, the UAE introduced new regulations requiring all UAE companies to maintain and submit registers of their i) Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs) or Real Beneficiaries ii) shareholders and iii) directors. Fortunately, information contained within company registers is kept confidential by the authorities.

See more challenges

Popular business entities in UAE

Doing business in the UAE with a locally registered entity

The UAE Free Zone Company

  1. This entity type is the most used in the UAE. Historically, businesses opted for this structure to avoid having to form a joint venture with a local partner. Today, it is chosen primarily for the tax advantages it offers various Clients. There are over 40 free zones located in different parts of the UAE catering to different business needs
  2. This type of entity can be registered with a single shareholder and one director, who may be a foreigner and is not required to reside in the UAE. A lease agreement for office, warehousing, or industrial space within the free zone must also be secured
  3. Healy Consultants Group will assist our Clients to identify the most suitable UAE free zone that matches the nature of their business and the size of their operations
  4. In the UAE, every registered company must establish a register for their Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) and provide this information to the relevant registrar or licencing authority. However, it is important to note that there are no public records of the company’s directors, shareholders, or UBOs
  5. Best uses: A UAE free zone company is an attractive vehicle to legally minimise international taxation. Our Clients may conduct almost any type of business activity with international parties and other UAE free zone companies without requiring an Emirati partner.

Get more insight on the requirements and pros and cons of setting up a Free Zone entity on this UAE Free Zone page

The UAE Offshore Company

  1. UAE offshore company formation is a quick and cost-effective way to enter the country. However, do note that opening a corporate bank account for this type of entity may be challenging and time consuming
  2. This entity cannot sponsor employee visas, import/export products to/from UAE nor issue invoices to UAE Clients
  3. The UAE companies law does not impose a minimum share capital requirement for offshore entity. For more information on the advantages and UAE offshore company solutions, read the UAE offshore company setup guide.
  4. Best uses: Setting up an offshore company is suitable for Clients looking to register a holding company, conduct international business, or hold real estate in the UAE

The UAE Mainland Company

  1. Foreign investors can form a local Limited Liability Company (LLC) in the mainland to provide professional services or trade with other UAE mainland companies
  2. Most type of business activities can be 100% foreign owned and do not require the appointment of a local Emirati agent. However, there may be certain exceptions
  3. To complete the company incorporation, businesses must sign a lease agreement for physical office space within the UAE. We can help our Clients to find quality office arrangements, including shared office spaces, to fulfil this requirement
  4. Similar to the free zones, all mainland companies registered in the UAE mainland must create and maintain a register of their UBO. Companies must also submit the UBO data to the relevant registrar or licencing authority
  5. Best uses: Registering an LLC is suitable for Clients who need to issue invoices, import and deliver products to UAE mainland customers, or bid for Government contracts

Doing business in the UAE with a foreign entity

The UAE Branch Office

  1. Establishing a Branch is a safe way to enter the region as it allows businesses to retain 100% foreign company ownership in the UAE. That said, the appointment of a UAE national agent is required
  2. Operating under the same name and business scope as its parent company, a UAE Branch is required to lease office premises. It is also authorised to issue sales invoices to clients in the UAE and internationally, and to enter into local legal contracts
  3. While a Branch of foreign company has no paid-up share capital, our Client must deposit a bank guarantee of AED50,000 (US$13,650). In addition, the process involves a bank fee of AED7,000 (US$1,920) for the issuance of a guarantee letter that verifies the deposit. Both steps are prerequisites for the Ministry of Economy to issue a branch approval certificate, allowing our Client to commence business operations
  4. The AED50,000 bank guarantee will be frozen in your UAE corporate bank account, restricted from being used for branch office expenditures, and refunded only upon branch deregistration
  5. A monthly fine of AED1,000 (US$274) is charged by the Ministry of Economy for the time it takes a bank to open your UAE corporate bank account. Given that this process typically spans between eight to ten weeks, Clients are advised to allocate funds for two months’ worth of fines
  6. A branch cannot engage in manufacturing, import nor export of products to/from the UAE
  7. A Branch established by a foreign entity is not considered a separate company but rather a part of the foreign entity. Thus, the foreign entity is considered to be directly doing business in the UAE and has unlimited liability for the operations of the branch office
  8. Best uses: Registering a branch in Dubai is advisable for service entities looking to conduct business locally and for a specific period

The UAE Representative Office

  1. A representative office is only allowed to engage in activities such as promoting the business of the parent company and conducting market research. The registration process and requirements for a representative office are similar to those required for a branch
  2. Best uses: A representative office is suitable for Clients looking to assess the UAE market without engaging in commercial operations

Comparison of UAE entity types

Compare different UAE entities Resident LLC / Subsidiary Free Zone LLC Branch office Offshore LLC
Summary
Best use of company?

All products and services

To conduct local business

To sign Government contracts

All products and services

To do global trading

To conduct same business as the parent company in the UAE

All products and services

Only international business

Permitted to do business in the UAE mainland? Yes Yes, with some exceptions Yes No
Allowed to sign contracts with and issue invoice to local Clients? Yes Yes, with some exceptions Yes No
Does our Client need to travel for company setup? No No No No
Reputable by Government and banks? Yes Yes Yes No
Can secure UAE work and residency visas? Yes Yes Yes No
Access to DTAAs? Yes Yes Yes No
Enjoys limited liability? Yes Yes No Yes
Public register of shareholders and directors No No No No
Minimum paid-up share capital? US$1 Depending on the free zone Depending on the location US$1
Can bid for UAE Government contracts? Yes Yes, with exceptions Yes No
Can secure trade finance? Yes Yes Yes Yes
How long to set the entity up? 5 weeks 6 weeks 6 to 8 weeks 2 to 4 weeks
How long to open corporate bank account, after company registration? 8 weeks 8 weeks 8 weeks 10-12 weeks
Average total engagement period? 3.5 months 3.5 months 4 months 3 to 4 months
Company law
Regulated by which government body? Department of Economic Development (DED) Free Zone Authority Depends on the location Free Zone Authority
Resident director/manager required? No No Yes No
100% foreign ownership allowed? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Local shareholder required? No No No No
Minimum number of directors? One One One One
Minimum number of shareholders? One One Parent company One
Individual shareholders allowed? Yes Yes No Yes
Corporate shareholders allowed? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Resident company secretary required? No No No No
Foreign director needs a residence visa? Yes, required by the bank Yes, required by the bank Yes, required by the bank No
Security deposit to be kept with Government? No No Yes, if registered in mainland No
Must sign an office lease agreement? Yes Yes Yes No
Temporary physical office solutions available? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Corporate shareholders and directors' documents to be attested? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Migration
What probability I need a UAE residency / work permit? 80% 80% 80% N/A
How easy is it to secure a residency and work permit? Easy Easy Easy Not possible
Residency/work visa validity Two years Two years Two years N/A
How easy is it to renew the visa Easy Easy Easy N/A
Can the entity hire expatriate staff in the UAE? Yes Yes Yes No
Expatriate to local staff ratio? No No No No
How long to get work permit approved? 6 weeks 6 weeks 6 weeks N/A
For how long does our Client need to stay in the UAE to finalise the visa process 2 weeks 2 weeks 2 weeks N/A
How much does a two-year residency and work visa cost? US$4,950 US$4,950 US$4,950 N/A
Minimum statutory annual salary? US$0 US$0 US$0 US$0
Accounting, compliance, and tax considerations
Corporate tax registration mandatory? Yes Yes Yes Yes
VAT payable on sales to local customers? 5% 5% 5% N/A
Annual financial statements to be submitted Yes Yes Yes No
Audit of the financial statements required No Depending on the Free Zone Depending on the location No
ESR return and UBO filing required? Yes Yes Yes Yes
This entity enjoys Government incentives? Yes Yes Yes No
Withholding tax on payments to shareholders? No No No No
Average customs duties suffered on imports? 5% 5% 5% N/A
Overseas remittance currency controls? No No No No
Banking considerations
Multi-currency bank accounts available? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Corporate visa debit cards available? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Quality of e-banking platform? Good Good Good Good
Do I have to travel to UAE before bank account is open? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Crowdfunding available? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Timeframe
How soon can you invoice Clients/sign sales contracts? 5 weeks 6 weeks 8 weeks 2 to 4 weeks
How soon can you hire staff? 6 weeks 6 weeks 8 weeks 2 to 4 weeks
How soon can you sign a lease agreement? 3 weeks Three weeks 4 weeks 2 to 4 weeks
How long to supply corporate bank account numbers, after company setup? 8 weeks 8 weeks 8 weeks 10-12 weeks
Other information
This country is a member of WIPO/TRIPS? Yes
This country is a member of the ICSID? Yes

UAE business licencing considerations

  1. All companies registered in the UAE are required to obtain one operating licence. The three types of business licences in Dubai include:
    • Commercial licences – Allow businesses to conduct commercial operations and invoice customers
    • Industrial licences – Intended for productive operations like manufacturing or repackaging products
    • Professional licences – Suitable for providing services in fields such as consulting, accounting, or law
  2. All licences must be renewed every year
  3. Such operational licences is not to be confused with regulatory licences which may be required to provide/produce certain types of products and services. For example, a company looking to offer banking services must obtain a banking licence from the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates
  4. Typically, a company based in the Dubai mainland is not permitted to possess two distinct licences under the same corporate entity. Therefore, it may not be able to engage in two different business activities such as product trading and management consulting.

Typical UAE company incorporation steps and timeline

The procedure for company formation in the UAE varies for each Emirate. Below are the common steps to register a company in the UAE:

  • Agreeing with the UAE corporate structure;
  • Documents preparation, translation and legalization;
  • Obtain a preliminary approval from Department of Economic Development (DED) or Free Zone authority of the Emirate;
  • Secure business premise and open corporate bank account;
  • Apply for trade license, industrial license or professional license;

View all steps

Typical UAE free zone company formation timeline

Start
Engagement Planning

1 week

Company incorporation

6 weeks

Corporate bank account approval

8 weeks

Corporate internet banking approval

1 week

Engagement completion

1 week

4 months

Compare timelines with other type of businesses in UAE

UAE accounting & tax considerations

9%

Standard corporate tax from 1 June 2023

0%

Personal income tax for residents

0%

withholding taxes

5%

VAT

signed DTAs

Learn more

Opening a corporate bank account in UAE

Healy Consultants Group recommends these 7 banks to our clients i) Emirates NBD; ii) First Abu Dhabi Bank; iii) Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank; iv) HSBC Middle East UAE; v) BNP Paribas Dubai.

Learn more

UAE visas for businesses

Long term residence visa

UAE issues 5-year and 10-year residence visas to eligible investors, entrepreneurs, and special talents. The benefits of this visa are extended to the spouse and the children as well.

Employment visa

Company owners can apply for this visa when hiring foreign employees.

Learn more

UAE company formation 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 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 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;
    • 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 one of the top banks in the UAE 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 certificate was shared with the bank to process the 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 reference;
    • 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 the leading local banks in Abu Dhabi 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.
  • UK Sports Consulting Company Establishes a Branch in Dubai

    Background

    Our client, a global sports consulting and management conglomerate with their headquarters in the UK and with subsidiaries in Latin America and the Middle East wished to establish a presence in Dubai to venture into the untapped niche market in the region. Having found Healy Consultants Group business website through Google, our Client approached Healy Consultants in February 2017 to determine the ultimate corporate structure and Dubai free zone to register their business. After expert analysis and deliberations with Healy Consultants’ UAE business setup experts, our Client decided to register a branch office in the Dubai Media City Free Zone.

    Engagement planning

    Healy Consultants Group 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 our fees in full. Thereafter, Healy Consultants Group prepared a detailed engagement project plan mapping out a step by step plan to engagement completion as well as a quality business plan to assist with corporate bank account opening in Dubai.

    Branch registration

    Healy Consultants Group firstly confirmed with the Dubai Media City Free Zone Authority the optimum cluster suitable for our Client’s business and informed our Client of the same. Healy Consultants Group then prepared the corporate structure, obtained the necessary branch registration documents from the DMC, prepared the board resolution and emailed the same to our Client for signature, notarization and attestation in the UK and courier back together with other additional parent company documents. Upon receipt of the original attested documents from our Client, Healy Consultants Group submitted the complete quality branch registration application with the DMC FZA. Within 1 week of application submission, Healy Consultants Group obtained the approval of the DMC FZA, secured the Commercial License of the branch office and immediately emailed our Client a scan copy of the same.

    Corporate bank account opening

    With the branch registered and commercial license obtained, Healy Consultants Group approached multiple Dubai banks to secure in writing their interest for our Client’s business activity. Healy Consultants Group then prepared all the required bank due diligence documents and scheduled multiple meetings with Dubai banks in accordance with our Client’s preference. Upon meeting with the bank officers at Healy Consultants Group Dubai office, our Client decided to proceed with a leading UAE bank as their preferred banking institution and signed the necessary bank forms. Further, the bank advised that parent company documents had to be notarized and attested in UK and originals couriered bank to Dubai.

    Upon receipt of the signed, notarized and attested documents, Healy Consultants Group assisted our Client to complete the legalization process with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in UAE. Healy Consultants banking team thereafter submitted a quality corporate bank account application to the bank for consideration. Within 2 weeks thereafter, the bank’s compliance department approved the multicurrency corporate bank account and directly emailed our Client the bank account numbers. The bank then couriered the internet banking token to our Client’s UK address within the subsequent 3 weeks.

    Engagement completion

    To conform to the DMC’s statutory requirements, Healy Consultants Group procured and provided our Client with a company stamp from a UAE Government approved agent. Upon receipt of all the corporate documents, our Client’s legal representative collected all the original branch office documents from Healy Consultants Group’s Dubai office.

  • Securing UAE Tax Residency Certificate with India

    Background

    Our Client contacted Healy Consultants
    for assistance in securing a UAE Tax Residency Certificate (TRC) with India by August. Our Client facilitates delivery of global technologies with customized local solutions for Bauxite & Alumina and wider Mining, Minerals and Chemicals industry. It is based in San Francisco and has a major partner located in India.

    Engagement planning

    Our Firm confirmed that a TRC can only be issued to an active company that is at least 1-year-old. Unfortunately, our Client did not meet this requirement and consequently we suggested our Client to buy a ready-made company that complied with the minimum requirements. Our Client agreed and our Senior Manager of Client Engagement, Ms Chrissi Zamora started sourcing and shortlisted 6 suitable companies. Eventually, our Client chose to proceed with an Umm Al Quwain (UAQ) company that was 1.5 years old.

    Company purchase and TRC application

    Healy Consultants conducted a due diligence check of the company including audited the company’s financial statements. Healy Consultants emailed our Client the results of our due diligence check and concluded the company was in good standing.

    Immediately after, we prepared and submitted a TRC application to the UAE Ministry of Finance. The application included i) company documents, ii) audited financial statements, iii) 6-month bank statements, showing operational activities and iv) the personal information of the resident manager. Luckily, UAE Ministry of Finance approved the application in five days.

    Right after we secured the TRC, we made changes to the company’s corporate structure to appoint our Client’s preferred new managers, directors and shareholder. The process was successfully finalized within 2 weeks.

    Bank account

    During our engagement planning, we agreed with our Client that we would assist our Client to change the bank signatory of the existing corporate bank account at an Islamic Bank in Dubai and also open a new commercial bank account with a local bank.

    Our Client travelled to Dubai in early September and met with our preferred bank officers. The bankers conducted a due diligence check following which i) he was successfully appointed as sole bank signatory to the Islamic bank’s existing corporate account within 5 days and ii) a corporate account with a regional bank was successfully opened within 9 days.

    Engagement completion

    In September, we couriered a company kit to our Client and received excellent feedback with regards to the services provided by Healy Consultants. For more information on this engagement and/or to obtain the contact details of our Client, please contact our Senior Manager of Clients Engagements, Ms Chrissi Zamora.

UAE company setup: frequently asked questions

  • Will there be restrictions on ownership if foreigners set up a UAE company?

    Certain UAE business entities will require our Clients to appoint Emirati shareholder(s). Therefore, if you wish to proceed with UAE business setup, it is important to choose the optimal business entity to suit your corporate needs.

  • What company types in the UAE require me to have UAE national shareholders?

    These UAE corporate structures will include i) joint ventures; ii) limited liability trading companies; iii) public shareholding companies and iv) private shareholding companies.

  • How many UAE resident shareholders will I need to set up a limited liability company in the UAE for my business?

    UAE business setup will require 51% shareholding by the UAE citizen(s).

  • Can my company be 100% foreign-owned?

    Yes, if incorporating in a UAE free trade zone.

  • I want to know how to register a company in the UAE free trade zone; what are the steps?

    For incorporation of a free zone entity in the UAE, Healy Consultants will i) obtain the necessary permissions from the relevant authorities; ii) reserve the company name; iii) prepare the incorporation documents; iv) notarize the documents at the public courts; v) apply for the business license; vi) register the company for VAT (if required); and vii) obtain work visas for our Clients and their employees.

  • What will be the benefits if I start a free zone entity in UAE?

    UAE free zone companies offer several benefits including i) no requirement of a resident shareholder i.e. a FZ company can be 100% foreign-owned; ii) no obligation to hire staff; iii) no customs duties on goods entering/leaving the zone and iv) high quality infrastructure.

  • How many directors will I be required to appoint in order to register in a UAE free trade zone?

    Only 1 director is required for UAE free zone company formation.

  • How many shareholders are required to incorporate in a UAE free trade zone?

    Only 1 shareholder is required for starting a free zone entity in UAE.

  • Am I required to visit UAE to incorporate a company there?

    No, Healy Consultants can legally incorporate your UAE company without you needing to travel.

  • I want to form a company in Dubai. How can I find an agent in Dubai?

    Healy Consultants will assist our Clients in finding the right agents based on their business activities and requirements in Dubai.

  • What is the minimum number of directors required?

    Under statutory regulations, all jurisdictions in the UAE require a minimum of one director.

  • Is a resident director required?

    No.

  • What is the minimum number of shareholders required?

    All companies require a minimum of one shareholder.

  • Are shareholder/director details available for public viewing?

    No.

  • Which type of company can trade in the UAE?

    Only an LLC is allowed to trade in the UAE.

  • Do I need to rent a premise for my company?

    All companies except Dubai offshore company needs to rent premises in the UAE.

  • How can I register a tax-free UAE offshore business?

    In order to incorporate a UAE offshore business setup, our Clients will be required to i) reserve the business name; ii) prepare the incorporation documents; iii) register a UAE offshore business address; vi) notarize the documents; and vii) secure a business license.

  • How many shareholders are required for an offshore company in UAE?

    Only 1 shareholder is required for starting an offshore company in UAE.

  • Will I be required to get a full audit if I set up a small business in UAE?

    Yes, most of the entities will require an audited financial statements.

  • What are the tax implications of a UAE company setup?

    Most of the UAE registered companies are exempted for taxes in UAE. Depending on the volume and nature of the business, some companies are liable for VAT and/or customs duties.

  • Why is tax planning important for my UAE company?

    UAE tax legislation allows a company to be completely exempt of all taxes, if structured properly. Therefore, it is important that our Clients engage in proper tax planning. Healy Consultants offers professional corporate tax planning service to all our Clients wishing to incorporate in the UAE.

  • Is a UAE company required to submit an annual tax return and/or financial statement?

    All companies in the UAE are obliged to submit annual audited accounts to the government.

  • How much tax does a UAE company pay?

    There is no corporation tax in the UAE.

  • I am interested in UAE business banking solutions. Which banks would you recommend?

    Although several local UAE business bank account options will be available, Healy Consultants recommends that all our Clients opt for international banks including i) Emirates NBD; ii) First Abu Dhabi Bank; iv) Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank; v) HSBC Middle East UAE; vi) BNP Paribas Dubai. These banks are renowned for providing good customer service, which will be essential when starting a new business in UAE.

  • I want to know how to open an offshore bank account in UAE; what do I need to do?

    For opening an offshore bank account in the UAE, our Clients will not be required to register a local company. However, the KYC procedures will be more stringent than when opening a bank account for a resident company. Attestation documents will also be required. Please refer to our section above to read our bank account opening guide for UAE companies.

  • I want to use Islamic Banking services in UAE. Can Healy Consultants help my firm?

    Yes, Healy Consultants can assist our Clients with their Islamic banking needs.

  • How long will a UAE residence visa be issued for business purposes?

    UAE business residence permit are typically issued for 2 to 3 years.

Getting a residence visa
To help you and your family relocate to this country, please answer the following questions, then press the Send button at the bottom of the page.

Within 1 business day, our international migration expert Mr. Simon will ring you to discuss your migration plans.







    • To get a residence visa

      What skills do you have?
      What family relatives are already there?
      Do you have friends already there?
      In what city do you plan to live?*
      Do you need a job or will you start a new business?
      What US$ savings are you bringing with you?
      What family members will be accompanying you?
      Do you plan to purchase or rent local housing? If so, what is your US$ budget for this project?
      Do you need Healy Consultants to find a school for your children?

      Do you need Healy Consultants to assist finding employment for your spouse or children?

    • Tell us about you?

      Where are you currently living?*

      What is your nationality?*

      Do you have a second passport?*

      How old are you?
      How many years are you married?
      What is the nationality of your spouse?

      Do you have children? If so, how old are they?
      What is your current employment situation?*
      What is your previous work experience?
      Are you currently the owner of a business?
      Are you currently the manager or the director of a business?
      What was your US$ annual income in the previous year?
      Do you also plan to start a local business? If so, what is your US$ budget for this new business set up?
      If so, do you already have customers and suppliers in the country of registration of the business?
      If so, how many local staff do you plan to hire i) one month and ii) one year after business registration?

    • Your preferences

      For now, do you prefer Healy Consultants Group staff to phone you, or just email reply some visa solutions?
      If a phone call, on what number can our senior Consultant call you?*
      If an email, what email address can our Consultant email you at?*
      An alternative email address our staff can email you at?*
      What is your preferred date and time for a phone call?
      In what language do you prefer Healy Consultants Group to communicate with you?

    Contact us

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