UAE client case studies in 2023
US based client opens a professional corporate consultancy entity in the DMCC Free Zone in the United Arab Emirates
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.