Preface: Registering a company in Dubai can be a hassle-free endeavor when you have the right guidance. Fionza Consultants streamlines the process, allowing you to allocate your valuable time and resources to more critical aspects of your business.
With our efficiency-driven approach, you can trust our team of seasoned experts to guide you seamlessly through the entire Dubai business registration process. Our primary objective is to ensure your Dubai-based company is operationally ready within the specified timeframe.
Our comprehensive service package includes all the essentials you need to establish your business in Dubai:
1.Dubai Offshore Company Registration through the Registrar of Companies
2.Registered Agent Services and a Registered Address
3.Facilitation of Corporate Bank Account Opening
4.Annual Accounting and Tax Services
HOW LONG TO REGISTER COMPANY IN DUBAI AND OPEN A CORPORATE BANK ACCOUNT?
Before commencing our engagement, it’s crucial for you to grasp the offshore company registration process in the UAE (United Arab Emirates). Given the various entity options available, our team of experts will provide guidance on the most suitable choice for your business.
Fionza Consultants commits to expeditiously completing the Dubai company registration process, typically within 3 weeks. Once we receive the necessary due diligence documents from directors and shareholders, our team will conduct a name availability check and prepare the requisite incorporation documents.
It’s worth noting that you won’t need to travel to Dubai during this setup phase.
Upon successful establishment of your Dubai offshore company, Fionza Consultants will furnish you with essential company documents, including the certificate of formation, memorandum & articles of association, and the register of directors and shareholders.
Within 4 weeks of company registration, Fionza Consultants will facilitate the opening of a corporate bank account with a reputable local or international bank.
As a result, your company can anticipate full operational status, enabling you to issue invoices within just 7 weeks of engaging Fionza Consultants.
For those seeking in-depth information on setting up a business in Dubai, Fionza Consultants has prepared a comprehensive step-by-step guide to walk you through the entire process.
WHAT IS AN OFFSHORE COMPANY IN UAE?
An offshore company is a legally registered entity established outside the country where your primary business operations are conducted. For instance, if you’re a foreign entrepreneur registering a company in the UAE, it’s referred to as a UAE offshore company since you aren’t physically present in the UAE. It’s important to note that most UAE offshore companies are not permitted to engage in business activities within the UAE itself.
The United Arab Emirates stands out as a top choice for foreign investors looking to establish offshore entities. This popularity is attributed to the ease of conducting business in the region and the appealing tax framework. Since December 1st, 2020, the UAE has eliminated the requirement for Emirati shareholders in companies, allowing foreign investors to own 100% of the business.
Dubai offshore business setup is particularly favored by entrepreneurs, offering tax efficiency and cost-effectiveness. With this corporate structure, foreign entrepreneurs can enter the Middle East market without the burden of extensive administrative obligations. Essentially, it’s a wholly-owned limited liability company exempt from taxes and annual accounting filings.
This business structure is frequently employed by business owners for international trade, real estate ventures, as well as for registering copyrights and patents. It provides a flexible and tax-efficient platform for pursuing diverse business opportunities.
TYPES OF DUBAI OFFSHORE COMPANIES TO CONSIDER WHEN REGISTERING COMPANY IN DUBAI
Before embarking on the company registration process in Dubai, it’s crucial to have a firm grasp of the various types of entities available. The three primary jurisdictions to consider are Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), and Ajman Offshore. These regions offer the enticing advantage of being tax-free jurisdictions, where businesses are exempt from income tax and corporate tax, and can fully enjoy the benefits of 100% foreign ownership.
JEBEL ALI FREE ZONE (JAFZA) OFFSHORE COMPANY
Setting up a Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) offshore company involves minimal requirements. You only need to designate one director and one shareholder of any nationality. Furthermore, there are no mandatory capital constraints for registering a company in Dubai JAFZA, and you have the flexibility to open a local UAE corporate bank account.
For those familiar with offshore structures, a JAFZA offshore company is akin to an International Business Company (IBC) in offshore jurisdictions such as the British Virgin Islands (BVI) or the Cayman Islands.
With its establishment dating back to 1985, Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) is an industrial hub encompassing one of the world’s largest shipping ports. International companies based here can reap the advantages of being situated in a free zone.
Jebel Ali enjoys a strategic location, in close proximity to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE. The presence of Al Maktoum International Airport, operational since June 27, 2010, provides convenient access for both freight and passenger traffic. This makes it a highly advantageous location for business operations.
Registering a JAFZA offshore company in Dubai is one of the most popular options when setting up business in the UAE. Jebel Ali offshore company formation allows 100% foreign ownership, exemption from import duties, exemption from corporate taxes and 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
According to Jafza Offshore Companies Regulations 2018, a JAFZA offshore company is prohibited from carrying out these activities: insurance, banking, financial, media, publishing, advertising, movie production, gambling, casino, real estate, military and education.
RAS AL KHAIMAH (RAK) OFFSHORE COMPANY
Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is renowned for its exceptional level of industrialization in the UAE, offering a business-friendly investment climate with cost-effective advantages. Establishing a RAK offshore company is streamlined, requiring just one shareholder and one director. There are no obligatory minimum share capital requirements for registering a company in Dubai RAK, and you have the option to open a business bank account with a local UAE bank.
RAK offshore company formation is accompanied by a myriad of benefits. While offshore companies typically cannot engage in business with UAE residents, RAK makes an exception. A RAK offshore company has the privilege of holding shares in both free zone and onshore companies.
The regulatory authority overseeing RAK offshore companies is known as the RAK International Corporate Centre (RAK ICC). This entity operates within Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, and operates under the regulations established by the Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone Authority International Companies Regulations of 2006.
WHICH STRUCTURE SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO REGISTER COMPANY IN DUBAI
When making the crucial decision between different jurisdictions, it’s vital to take several factors into account. If your priority is a cost-effective business setup in Dubai, Fionza Consultants strongly recommends considering RAK offshore incorporation.
On the other hand, if your business goals involve international trade expansion or property ownership in Dubai, you might find it advantageous to explore the option of incorporating a JAFZA offshore company. This choice can open doors to various opportunities in the global market.
BENEFITS OF CHOOSING TO REGISTER COMPANY IN DUBAI
There are numerous advantages associated with establishing an offshore company in Dubai. Despite its absence of corporate taxes, Dubai is not classified as a tax haven like the Cayman Islands or the British Virgin Islands. Opting for a Dubai offshore company allows you to open corporate bank accounts with well-regarded international banks, enhancing the trustworthiness of your business in the eyes of customers and suppliers.
Dubai boasts a stable and business-friendly legal system, providing an environment conducive to growth and prosperity. Registering an offshore company in Dubai grants access to a flexible regulatory framework, streamlining business operations.
Moreover, Dubai offers robust Intellectual Property laws that serve as valuable tools for safeguarding your assets. With tax neutrality on international earnings and access to global funding, conducting business through this offshore entity can lead to substantial financial benefits.
It’s essential to note, however, that setting up an offshore business in Dubai does not permit engagement in any business activities with UAE residents or within the physical boundaries of the UAE. Therefore, if your aim is to expand into the UAE market, a Dubai offshore company may not be the ideal choice.
OFFSHORE COMPANY VS FREE ZONE COMPANY
Dubai offshore companies are sometimes confused with Dubai Free Zone companies due to their many shared benefits. One key similarity is that both allow for 100% foreign ownership, eliminating the need for a local partner. However, it’s important to recognize the distinct differences between the two before deciding which suits your needs.
Dubai Free Zones primarily target businesses involved in trade and export, whereas offshore companies are typically used as holding or asset-holding entities for other organizations. While both enjoy ownership advantages, they are not direct substitutes for each other.
The most significant distinction lies in anonymity. Offshore companies maintain strict confidentiality, with their details undisclosed in the public record. In contrast, a Free Zone company’s information is available upon request. Additionally, a Dubai offshore company has the flexibility to open a bank account in Dubai, engage in international investments, and even purchase land in Dubai. Unlike Dubai Free Zone companies, offshore companies are not subject to minimum capital requirements.
However, it’s essential to be aware of the limitations of both business entities. Offshore companies cannot lease physical office space in the UAE, and Free Zone companies are restricted from conducting direct trade with the local UAE market. Free Zone companies can only engage in local business activities through locally appointed distributors. On the other hand, individuals establishing offshore companies do not automatically receive residency visas, which can potentially complicate travel to and from the UAE. Careful consideration of these distinctions is crucial when making your choice.
TYPES OF DUBAI ONSHORE COMPANIES TO CONSIDER FOR REGISTERING COMPANY IN DUBAI
Dubai offers a wide array of business structures, encompassing various forms such as companies, partnerships, branch offices, and free zone companies. Prior to commencing our engagement,
Limited Liability Company (LLC): A Dubai Limited Liability Company (LLC) offers directors protection from personal liability for business debts and obligations, limited to the declared amount of liability insurance. Different classes of members in Dubai LLCs come with specific rights, powers, and duties.
The requirements for setting up a limited liability company in Dubai vary between Dubai and its free zones. In Dubai, the company must have at least two shareholders, whereas in a Dubai free zone, a minimum of one shareholder is sufficient. There is no mandated minimum share capital for a Dubai LLC, although free zones may have specific requirements. Both Dubai and free zone LLCs require a registered address and a local bank account, and Fionza Consultants can assist with obtaining a local registered agent and establishing the local bank account.
Civil Company: A Dubai civil company offers 100% foreign ownership and full access to the local UAE market but involves unlimited liability, where investors can be personally liable. These companies are typically formed by professionals who agree to perform specific professional activities and be liable to third parties for compensation.
Setting up a Dubai civil company requires a Dubai Local Service Agent, who does not hold a stake in your company and primarily liaises with government departments on your behalf. The setup process is quick, affordable, and does not necessitate an upfront share capital, allowing for complete foreign ownership.
Joint Venture Company: A Dubai joint venture company provides foreign entrepreneurs the opportunity to collaborate with a local company and enjoy the benefits of a limited liability company. To establish a Joint venture company in Dubai, a local partner holding 51% of the shares is required, and the agreement must be registered with the Department of Economic Development.
While structural differences between a joint venture company and a limited liability company are minimal, it’s essential to consider several factors. Joint ventures in Dubai do not require a specific license, simplifying the setup process. Although local equity participation is mandatory, profit and loss distribution can still be customized to some extent.
General Partnership: A Dubai General Partnership is jointly owned by two or more partners, but it does not provide limited liability protection. In this structure, partners assume unlimited liability for the company’s obligations, but they also share in its profits. All partners actively participate in the management of the business. It’s worth noting that Dubai General Partnerships can only be established by UAE nationals and are not open to foreign investors.
Limited Partnership: Dubai Limited Partnerships are distinct legal entities comprising both general partners and limited partners. General partners and limited partners differ in terms of their liability for the company’s debts and obligations.
General partners retain full liability for the company’s obligations, while limited partners have limited liability, capped at a specified amount of declared liability insurance and protection from their own wrongful acts. However, limited partners typically do not participate in the management of the company.
Importantly, only UAE nationals are permitted to be general partners in a Dubai Limited Partnership, marking a notable contrast with the regulations in many other countries.
Establishing a Dubai branch office offers foreign entrepreneurs the opportunity to own a licensed entity in another burgeoning economy while maintaining full ownership by the parent company. The branch continues to operate under the same registered name and primary business activity. Additionally, Dubai branches can engage in supplementary activities focused on promoting the organization’s core products and services.
To initiate a Dubai branch office, a national service agent is a mandatory requirement. This agent, whether an individual or a company, plays a role in facilitating the setup process but does not hold any ownership rights in the company. It’s important to note that the agent must be of UAE nationality.
For entrepreneurs seeking to expand into the Middle East with their existing product line, Fionza Consultants highly recommends considering the establishment of a Dubai branch. This option allows for 100% foreign ownership, setting it apart from other business entities and providing greater flexibility and control for your expansion endeavors.
FREE ZONE COMPANIES
Establishing a business in Dubai Free Zones holds significant appeal for many entrepreneurs. Dubai Free Zone companies enjoy several advantages, including the absence of foreign ownership restrictions and being predominantly governed by an independent Free Zone Authority. However, it’s important to clarify that while Free Zone companies share structural similarities with offshore companies, they possess distinct characteristics.
Dubai Free Zone company formation permits 100% foreign ownership, allows for the repatriation of capital and profits without corporate or personal income tax, and does not impose currency restrictions. Furthermore, shareholders, directors, and employees can benefit from residency visas.
To register a Dubai Free Zone company, a minimum of two shareholders is typically required, and a comprehensive business plan may be requested. If needed, Fionza Consultants can assist in developing the business plan. After the company is formed in Dubai, it’s essential to prepare operating licenses and leasing agreements.
However, it’s worth noting that if your intention is to sell products within the UAE, this business form may not be suitable. You will likely require a UAE official agent to obtain an operating business license in Dubai, or you may need to establish a joint venture, which can result in additional expenses. Careful consideration of these factors is essential when determining the most appropriate business structure for your objectives.
HOW TO REGISTER A COMPANY IN DUBAI?
To successfully register your business in Dubai, you should follow these essential steps:
Step 1: Selecting the Appropriate Business Structure
Dubai offers various business structures, including Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Company, Free Zone Company, Offshore Company, Branch Office, Representative Office, and others. Fionza Consultants will carefully assess your business model, objectives, and requirements to recommend the most suitable structure for your needs.
Step 2: Meeting Pre-Registration Requirements
Fionza Consultants will begin by verifying the availability of your chosen business name and securing its reservation with the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED). We will then guide you through the preparation of necessary documents, which may include the Article of Incorporation, proof of address, financial statements (if required), and personal information of directors and shareholders.
Step 3: Business Registration
Once all pre-registration requirements are met, Fionza Consultants will compile the necessary documents and submit them, along with the application, to the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED). Upon DED approval, we will obtain the Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum and Articles of Association, and other essential incorporation documents on your behalf and arrange for courier delivery to your preferred address.
Step 4: Opening a Corporate Bank Account
Leveraging our extensive banking network, Fionza Consultants will facilitate the opening of a corporate bank account for your newly incorporated business.
Step 5: Fulfilling Post-Registration Obligations
Fionza Consultants will acquire the appropriate business license for your specific activities and location. We will also register your business with the Federal Authority to obtain a VAT number, which is essential for conducting business in Dubai. If necessary, we will assist with work visa applications.
Step 6: Ensuring Ongoing Compliance
Following the incorporation process, Fionza Consultants will continue to monitor and ensure your business remains compliant with government regulations. This includes assistance with financial statement preparation, tax return filing, and other regulatory requirements to maintain your business’s legal standing.
WHY REGISTER COMPANY IN DUBAI?
Dubai serves as a pivotal gateway to the Middle Eastern and North African regions, making it a preferred destination for many business owners seeking company formation opportunities. Its robust economy, well-developed infrastructure, and favorable tax environment have drawn entrepreneurs from around the world. If you are considering expanding your business into Dubai, you’re in the right place. Beyond the economic advantages, there are a multitude of additional benefits to be gained.
However, before embarking on Dubai company registration, it’s essential to gain a comprehensive understanding of the local business landscape. This knowledge is crucial to ensure that your newly established entity can operate securely and compliantly while aligning with your long-term business objectives. By taking these steps, you can position your business for success in the dynamic Dubai market.
There are several compelling reasons, including political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental factors, to consider when registering a company in Dubai:
Political Reasons: Dubai boasts a stable political climate with a business-friendly government that actively encourages business development.
Dubai is highly ranked in terms of global efficiency and tax system, as per the 2018 IMD Dubai Competitiveness Report, outperforming many countries including Singapore, Switzerland, and most European Union nations.
However, it’s worth noting that Dubai has also faced criticism for lax restrictions, earning a reputation as a “money laundering paradise,” according to Transparency International.
Economic Reasons: Companies registered in Dubai can benefit from favorable tax conditions, as they are not subject to income or corporate taxes when structured correctly. There are also no trade barrier quotas or foreign exchange controls, allowing for the repatriation of profits.
Dubai’s abundant oil resources provide access to government-subsidized low-cost energy, resulting in cost-effective production, particularly advantageous for energy-intensive businesses.
Social Reasons: Dubai is renowned for its low crime rate and robust security system, creating a safe environment for conducting business.
It ranks as the top country in the Middle East for the best quality of life, offering a high standard of living.
Registering a business in Dubai can also lead to a UAE Residency Visa, enabling expatriates to lease apartments, own properties, and travel freely within the UAE.
Technological Reasons: Dubai is ranked 27th in the Digital Competitiveness Ranking, offering access to a strong physical technological infrastructure.
Legal Reasons: The UAE is actively working on reforms to improve legislation and aims to top the World Bank’s annual ease of doing business ranking.
Dubai’s free zones are increasingly popular due to their tax-free and cost-effective benefits. However, each zone operates under different rules and regulations, requiring careful consideration when choosing the right zone for your business.
It’s essential to be aware that Dubai’s free zone laws can be intricate, and establishing a branch office in the free zone may not be permissible, impacting your plans for local business affiliation.
Environmental Reasons: Dubai, once heavily reliant on oil, has transitioned towards a more sustainable future with initiatives like the Sustainable City, which recycles and produces more energy than it consumes.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW TO REGISTER COMPANY IN DUBAI
Feel free to get in touch with us to discover further information about the process of registering a company in Dubai. Our team of experienced experts will respond to your inquiry within the next 24 hours. We are here to assist you with all your Dubai company registration needs.