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Company registration in Dubai

How to register a company and open a bank account in Dubai jurisdiction

For the registration of companies in Dubai, it is necessary not only to have a knowledge of the procedure for opening a business in Dubai, but also to understand the importance of how the corporate structure is properly structured.

In the UAE there is an establishment of 3 types of firms with the most common organizational and legal forms:

  • off-shore;
  • an enterprise on the territory of a free economic zone;
  • a firm that has a local partner.

Brief description of each species

Off-shore in the UAE – registration of a legal entity in offshore zones is the most economical solution. For registration it is necessary to pay one-time, and also every year to prolong and support the firm. This form is ideal for those who plan to engage in international trade and conclude deals.

Offshore has such opportunities:

  • doing business only outside the country;
  • opening an account with the bank of the Emirates;
  • registration of up to five licensed types of activities;
  • joining the circle of shareholders of any company in the UAE.

There is no right to:

  • conducting activities in the country;
  • leasing an office in the UAE;
  • registration of resident visas for their employees;
  • obtaining the status of a tax resident of the state;
  • receiving money transfers from other companies in Dubai.

An enterprise established in a free economic zone receives the status of a resident of the country and allows absolute possession of foreigners.

The company’s capabilities in the free-zone:

  • activities both within the country and abroad;
  • work with legal entities from other free zones and with local enterprises, when rendering services
  • within their office (for example, consulting, assistance in developing websites, online marketing services, etc.);
  • the recruitment of employees, the issuance of resident visas and the rent of offices;
    obtaining a certificate of a tax resident.

Entities in the free zone is not entitled to:

  • Office rent outside the frieze in which the firm is registered;
  • work outside the free zone, even if you need to provide services on the client’s territory (outside the free-zone) – to repair, install equipment, deliver the parcel;
  • trade and distribution of products outside the free zone where the company is registered (if such
  • activity is necessary, it is carried out with the help of a local distributor company);
    participation in state partners.

If this form of organization does not suit you, there is an opportunity to create a local company.

A local company is a company that is registered outside any free economic zone, a frequent condition is an obligatory partnership with an UAE citizen who holds 51% of the total shareholding.

The costs for registration of this version of the organization will be significant, both for the organization of the company and for the annual maintenance of the enterprise’s activity.

The local firm has the right to everything, including: to rent an office in any part of the UAE, to take part in state partners.


Conditions for opening a bank account

In Dubai, there are many local and international banks, whose activities are supported by local authorities, which adhere to the policy of loyal taxation of banking institutions.

To open an account with a bank in Dubai, you need to provide:

  • a copy of the passport;
  • photo;
  • certificate of residence in the territory of the Emirates

According to the rules, foreign citizens must have a resident visa for opening a bank account. But some organizations make an exception without requiring a visa, and offering in this case a limited package of services for a bank account.

There is also a real opportunity to open an account with an international bank in the territory of one of the emirate’s offshore zones. In such a case, it will be sufficient to provide a standard working visa, but representatives of the UAE (shops, other banks) will regard your account as international, and this is fraught with additional commissions.

The package of documents includes:

  • certificate of employment (provided by the employer);
  • certificate of residence (you can specify in the contract).