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United Arab Emirates – Company Incorporation

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We specialise in incorporating companies in the Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre (DMCC) and Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Free Trade Zone

It will take 6 – 8 weeks to incorporate your UAE company

UAE Fees to IncorporateUAE Annual Maintenance Fees
Company Formation – (standard activities) – (AED10,010) – £2150Business Centre/ Serviced Office License – (AED50,265) – £10,805
Company Formation – (General Trading, Business Centre, Hotel Licenses) – (AED29,000) – £6230Annual Company Licensing fee:  (AED20,265) – £4360
Initial Approval Fee – (AED1015) – £220Shareholder & Directors Register Maintenance –  £170
Annual Company Licencing Fee – yearly – (AED20,265) – £4360
Trading and Service License – (AED20,265) – £4355
General Trading License – (AED50,265) – £10,805
Business Centre/ Serviced Office License – (AED50,265) – £10,805
Three year Investor visa and Emirates ID – (AED12,000) – £2580
Bank Account Introduction – (AED4000) – £950
Establishment Card fee – (AED605) – £131
Memorandum of Association Fee – (AED2010) – £435
Administration Fee – (AED210) – £45
Shareholder & Directors Register Maintenance –  £170

UAE Free Zone Companies enjoy all the benefits and are allowed all the functions of offshore entities with the only major differences and added advantages being:

  • Activities are restricted to the scope of a specific license type applied for
  • A fixed place of business is required– office or flexi-desk
  • Entitlement to a 3-year investor visa and ‘Emirates Id’ for each investor (inc. spouses and dependants
  • These are onshore tax resident status with access to tax treaties and issue of certificate of tax residence.
  • They can trade with other free zone companies within their free zones or with companies in other UAE Free zones, as well as internationally.
  • A license is issued at any Free Zone Authority of choice and this entitles trading with Free Zone Companies in all the Emirates. Additionally branches or subsidiaries of this FZ company can be set up in any other free zone area if a physical presence is required in more than one free zone.

Simple application to the authorities, requiring only activity, bank references, passport copies and utility bills for the ultimate beneficial owners / shareholders and managers

Company Name approval required first

Then licensing approval is required (business plan is required to be submitted). This can take some time depending on specific activity / project / circumstances – approximately 1 month.

Company registration follows and need for physical visit to sign Memorandum of Association.

Residence VISA for owners and staff (number of staff depends on size of space / premises opted for) can be processed. One week timeline, approximately and need for physical visit and can be combined with the bank account visit.

Emirates id is given after 30 days from visa approval.

Fees and Costs for a small company with minimum space requirements – for each license:

1st year – $8,450 (our fees: $1,450 for formation, $5,500 licensing – government fees and first year + $1,500 government fees – premises cost).

2nd and subsequent years – $5,450 (our fees $1,450 + $2,500 licensing – government fees and first year + $1,500 government fees – premises cost)

RESIDENCE VISA (3 YEARS RESIDENCE VISA AS AN INVESTOR OR PARTNER) – optional – but strongly recommended: $3,450 per person = our fees $1,450 + government disbursements $2,000 (number of visas depends on size of space / premises opted for).

Bank accounts:

We can assist you on this (introduction to the bank, arrange an appointment with our Bankers) at the cost of 345 USD with Mashreq Bank and with Habib Bank. Due to our strong local contacts, we are able to effectively introduce clients and drastically reduce compliance and account opening to 3-4 days on average, as opposed to normal opening which might take several weeks.

Documents requested:

– A clear copy of the passports of all the investors/ managers as well as the page with entry stamp in the UAE.
– CV of all the investors/ Managers and a copy of the University Certificate of all the investors/ Managers.
– A recent personal bank statement with at least 20.000 Euro (or the equivalent in any other currency) for all the investors/ Managers.
– A paragraph of what the main business activity of the new Free Zone Company will be.
– The Authorities want the business plan (one for each Company) for the business activity of the UAE Company not the Companies abroad that the investor may have. Important note: in case you have difficulties to do it or you have no time, please let me know and if you wish I can assign this to our Consulting Department to prepare it. This will cost 1450 USD per business plan per Company. Please advise.

Ras Al Khaimah : RAK International Company

The RAK International Companies Registry allows foreign investors to register offshore companies as RAK Offshore, RAK companies offer some outstanding advantages over other offshore companies:

  • Directors and shareholders are not listed in a public register
  • Although the Registrar has to be aware of the identity of the ultimate beneficial owner this will only be released if the courts rule that crime was involved
  • No requirement to publish annual accounts
  • Compared to other types of companies in the UAE, the RAK company allows the highest degree of confidentiality, and is the most flexible

Incorporating a Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Company

After you have submitted the name of your RAK Company to us, we submit an application and proposed company name for an initial approval. We then draft the company’s Memorandum of Association and have it notarised. Deposit the share capital in a bank and obtain a certificate and submit the documents. File company documents and obtain copies of Trade licence and Commercial Registration Certificates. Deliver the copies of the documents and register. Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone is one of the fastest growing, most cost-effective free zones in the UAE..

RAK Free Trade Zone offers the following licenses :

Commercial License : Export, Import, distribution or warehousing of goods. You are allowed to have two different activities or seven similar activities
General Trading : Export, Import, distribution or warehousing of goods. You are allowed to have more than seven different activities
Consultancy License : any type of management , marketing, academic, business or industrial consultancy
Industrial License : Import of raw materials , manufacturing , processing, assembling , packaging , export of finished products

  • Advantages of the RAK Free Trade Zone:
  • 100% tax exemption
  • 100% foreign ownership
  • Transparent laws and regulations
  • 100% capital & profit expatriation.

Please note that we recommend you to proceed with a RAK Free Zone Company, with a Trading License (Wholesale of Unworked Gold and Precious Metals Trading as the activity of the License) . The RAK (Ras Al Khaimah) is by far the best value for money in the UAE and we command a very strong position on the ground with solid contacts in all areas.

Incorporating in the Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre (DMCC)

The DMCC offers substantial benefits over other Free Zones regarding the incorporation process as it offers a one stop shop in house incorporation so that registration, incorporation, licensing, visas and all other related government services are administrated by the same governing body.

Key Benefits

  • 100% foreign ownership permitted
  • No corporate tax (Guaranteed for 50 years)
  • No personal income tax (Guaranteed for 50 years)
  • Able to apply for resident and/or employment visas
  • Exemption from all import and export duties
  • Wide range of business activities permitted for a company registered in the DMCC
  • No currency restrictions
  • 100% capital repatriation
  • No publicly accessible records
  • General meetings may be held anywhere
  • No disclosure of beneficial owners
  • No currency exchange controls

UAE Licensing

All companies registered in the UAE must obtain one of the following three licences depending on the business activities.

Trade Licence – This licence allows the entity to practice any trade activity through buying or selling goods and services. For example, wholesalers, banks, insurance companies, hotels and transport.

Industrial License – The entity is licenses to practice any form of investment activity with the objective to discover natural resources or to transform raw material into manufactured products.

Professional License – The entity is licences to practice any profession in which the activities depend on physical or mental efforts rather than depending on cash capital. For example auditing forms, business consultancy, medical services and educational services.

Incorporation Process in the DMCC

The DMCC is a prestigious Free Zone in the UAE and the process of incorporation consists of four stages. Once all four stages are complete the company is fully registered and incorporated in the DMCC Free Zone of the UAE and authorised to start conducting business activities.

Stage 1

This first stage begins puts things in place in order to start the incorporation process.

  • Company name reservation form must be completed
    • Can be done online
    • Once the name is approved it can be reserved for 60 days, in which time the company can be incorporated
  • Supply passport copies of shareholders, director and company officers
    • Applicable for UAE residents

Stage 2

The second stage is the company registration process and after completed, the company will be registered with the DMCC Companies Registry. Upon completion of the following items the DMCC registry will issue the Provisional Approval and Bank Letter.

  • Complete a licence application form
  • A Know Your Clients (KYC) form for each director, shareholder and officer must be completed and signed
  • Business plan is sometimes required, depending on the business activities
  • Supply original passports of each shareholder, director, officer or legal representative accompanied by a UAE visa
    • Visa page must be signed by DMCC Member Services Executive or must be notarised to prove authenticity
  • Specimen signatures form must be completed by each shareholder, director, officer and secretary.
    • This form must be signed in the presence of a DMCC Member Service Executive or be notarised
  • Proof of permanent physical address for each director, shareholder, officer and secretary
    • For example a utility bill
    • Not older than 6 months
  • Complete and file a shareholders’ resolution
    • Must be signed in the presence of a DMCC Member Services Executive or notarised
  • Prepare and file Memorandum and Articles of Association
    • These documents must be prepared by DMCC and then signed in the presence of a DMCC Member Service Executive or notarised by a public notary
  • New company undertaking letter must be completed
  • Payment to the DMCC for registration

Stage 3

All companies are required to have a licence in the DMCC. When the items below are completed the DMCC registry will issue the Company licence, Memorandum and Articles of Association, Share Certificates, Certificate of Registration and other statutory company documents.

  • Provide one of the following
    • Property lease agreement of property within the DMCC – Original document is required for verification by a DMCC Member Services Executive
    • Evidence of property ownership – must be in company name, must note size of property and be valid for a minimum of 12 months
    • DMCC Flexi Desk contract
  • Provide the Certificate of Conformity
  • Third party approvals from relevant authority – only required for certain industries

Stage 4

Once the business licence has been issued the following items must be completed. Once this stage is complete the company is fully incorporated in the DMCC and authorised to begin conducting business activities.

  • Provide bank share capital deposit letter
    • Must be provided within 3 weeks from licensing
  • Sample company letterhead with stamp
    • Must include new DMCC company name
  • Share certificates with company stamp
  • Letter appointing an external auditor
    • Must be provided on auditor company letterhead

DMCC Office Requirements

It is mandatory to have an office space to open a new company in DMCC. DMCC office requirements depend on the number of employees and type of activity conducted by the company.

A company may choose from the property below:

Flexi-desk (sharing) 
DMCC flexi desk can be used on a part-time basis while giving the companies a full-time physical address and professional appearance.
1 work station not dedicated
AED. 18,000-19,000/- approx. per year

Serviced Desk 
For companies with full-time staff who requires a dedicated desk which can be perfectly tailored to their needs, including access to shared spaces.
1 dedicated work station
24/7 access to office
No additional cost for utilities
AED. 22,000-35,000/- approx. per year

Fees & Costs

Fees payable to the UAE government AED 32,240 (€6,500).

Example fee structure payable to the UAE government for incorporating in the DMCC.

  • Annual company licence fee AED 20,010 (€4,050)
  • One-off registration charge AED 10,010 (€2,025)
  • Memorandum of Association charges AED 2,010 (€400)
  • Administration charges AED 210 (€40)

The annual company licence fee of AED 20,010 is payable every year the company is incorporated and, starting from the second year after incorporation, an annual administration fee of AED 5,000 (€1,000) is payable to the government.

Company Name

Your company name may be in any language provided a translation is approved first. Your company name must contain the suffix: Limited or Ltd. Name approval process takes less than a few hours, and your name may be reserved for up to 10 days.

Company Directors

  • Directors may be of any nationality
  • Only one director is required
  • The names of directors do not appear in public records

Company Shareholders

  • Shareholders may be of any nationality
  • Only one shareholder is required who may be the same person as the director
  • The shareholder can be a person or a corporation

Share Capital

The minimum share capital required is AED 50,000

Registered Office

You must have a registered agent and registered office in the UAE and we can provide this service.

United Arab Emirates – Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Company Formation

Company Incorporation Documents

Once incorporated we provide a set of corporate documents for your United Arab Emirates company which, includes the Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum of Association the Articles of Association, first minutes and share certificates. Copies of the company incorporation documents are sent via email and the originals from the companies registry are sent to you in a corporate folder.

Registered Office

Your United Arab Emirates company must have a registered office, which must be a physical address in United Arab Emirates. The registered office is where documents may be legally served on the company, we provide this registered office service in United Arab Emirates.

Company Directors and Shareholders

  • Directors and Shareholders may be of any nationality
  • The names of directors and shareholders are filed at the companies registry
  • There is no requirement to appoint a United Arab Emirates resident director
  • The shareholders of the United Arab Emirates company can be either corporations or individuals

Residence Visa (3 Years Residence Visa as an Investor or Partner)

Visas are granted depending on the amount of office space (100sqft = 1 visa) visa costs are currently AED4000

United Arab Emirates Ready Made Company

The United Arab Emirates consists of seven Emirates – Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah, Ajman, Fujairah and Umm al-Quwain.

Specific requirements differ for each emirate, so ready made companies are only available in some Emirates.

Due to the complex nature of ready made companies in the UAE we recommend forming a new company.