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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Dubai enjoys a central location between Europe, Africa and Asia;
  • Dubai’s highly regulated environment adheres to international best practices;
  • Zero personal and corporate tax rates, as well as 100% capital repatriation with no currency restrictions;
  • Dubai is a leading commercial center with a state-of-the-art infrastructure and outstanding business environment;
  • Strong and reliable banks;
  • Currency pegged to dollar;
  • Free movement of funds (no restrictions on capital and profit repatriation);
  • No tax haven status;
  • Historic import – export jurisdiction.
  • Free Zone Entities – allow 100% foreign ownership of the companies, and are exempt from corporate and personal taxes. These entities are not licensed to do business in the UAE (except for in the free zones). They are most commonly used to import/re-export or for industrial and/or manufacturing companies. Many service related companies also use the free zones as their base of operations.
  • Onshore structures – Mandatory to have a nominated ‘local sponsor’ so that there is a liable person, in the UAE, whom is able to provide answers and direction where the foreign owner is unable or unwilling to. The company is formed with the local sponsor owning 51% of the shares, however the profits of the corporation need not be distributed in proportion to the shareholder holdings. The local sponsor is paid a yearly fixed fee to use his name.
  • The professional license – requires the owner to be professionally qualified in the line of business contemplated. The owner is allowed to own 100% of the shares with the local sponsor only designated a ‘local service agent’. This entitles the ‘local service agent’ to a yearly fixed fee for his role as a sponsor.
  • Representative office license – The company is allowed to engage in marketing and gathering information on behalf of a parent company. A ‘local service agent’ is required’ who is not obliged to be a shareholder of the company.
All companies registered in the UAE require a physical office.
  • In order to live and work in the UAE a residence visa is required. The manager of an entity must have a residence visa in order to employ staff. UAE free zone companies allow for the issuing of residence visas the amount of visas depend on the size of the rented or purchased premises of the establishment. For UAE offshore companies there is no need to have a residence visa.
  • No corporate or personal taxes are payable in the UAE. There is however a 5% import duty on goods moved from the UAE free zone port into the UAE.
  • Emford Global can assist with the opening of bank accounts. If you require a bank account in the UAE, you will meet the bank’s representative just for one day as per Central bank rule. We normally arrange this meeting at our office for the sake of convenience.
  • UAE Offshore companies – no need for a face to face meeting.
  • UAE free zones and onshore jurisdictions – require face to face meeting. With a power of attorney, legalised by a UAE embassy, we would be able to complete the incorporation procedures without your physical presence in the UAE.
  • All corporate documents that are to be used during the incorporation process and residence visa process, will need to be legalised at a UAE embassy or consulate in the country of the document origin. These documents must then be attested by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If you are incorporating a UAE company, then you don’t have attest the documents.
  • Yes, this is a mandatory requirement for a bank account in the UAE.
  • Emirates NBD
  • NOOR Bank
  • Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
  • First Gulf Bank
  • All banks offer online banking and debit cards.
  • For a free zone company you need an office space. However, if you wish to minimise cost, flexi desk and small office space is available. For an offshore company, you cannot have a physical office in the UAE.
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