FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


You can find answers on the most frequesntly asked questions on this page covering the following categories:

 

 

Visas

  • What is the cost of obtaining a residence visa and how long does it take?
    The cost of a residence visa is approximately USD 1500. The whole process takes around 2-3 weeks, depending on the place of registration of the company.
  • How many resident visas can be opened on a company in the UAE?
    The number of residence visas related to the place of incorporation of the company, company's activity and the size of the leased premises. Please ask us about your personal case.
  • Is it possible to open a residence visa when registering an offshore company?
    An offshore company does not qualify for residence visa, eventhough it is registered in the UAE.
  • What is the validity period for a residence visa?
    2 years for employment visa and investor/partner visa in some free zones, 3 years - for most cases of investor/partner visa.
  • How can I get tourist visa to UAE?
    We are ready to help you to get your tourist visa through our reputed partners, which saves you from booking a hotel and a tour in UAE. In order to apply for a tourist visa, please send us a copy of your passport, a passport-size photo, and a ticket, if you have one. If you do not have a ticket, but definetely know the dates of your visit to UAE, the ticket is not required. All documents can be sent by e-mail. Depending on the time of application it is possible to obtain visa in the same day.
  • Which documents are required to get an Entry Permit?
    1. Passport copy
    2. Last tourist visa copy
    3. Legalised high degree deploma (for professionals)
    4. Passport size foto on white background
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    Companies

  • Main differences between an offshore company and a company registered in a Free Zone?
    An offshore company is not allowed to conduct any activity on the territory of the United Arab Emirates. Such company can conduct activity in any other countries in the world. An offshore company is also NOT eligible for obtaining a residence visa of the UAE. A company registered in a Free Zone has a right to conduct the business activity on the territory of the Free Zone and worldwide. These kinds of companies are permitted to apply for visas for their employees.
  • When is it necessary to register a company with a local partner?
    Some of the activities require the direct access to the UAE market. Such activities include retail trade in the UAE, professional services such as consulting, legal services, restaurants, health and beauty services, and a few others. These kinds of activities can only be conducted by the companies registered in the UAE mainland (outside Free Zones), which requires mandatory participation of a citizen of the UAE.
  • What are the risks of a local company (LLC) registration with a local partner, UAE citizen?
    In accordance with the UAE Commercial Companies Law 2015 (New CCL or CCL 2), at least 51% of a local company (LLC) registered outside the free zones, i.e. in "mainland", should belong to a UAE citizen. However, alongside with the company’s Memorandum of Association a side agreement is commonly signed. There the local partner states that he does not pretend on the profit and management of the company. Note that, as this kind of side agreement contradicts the above-mentioned law, it cannot be certified and used as a legitimate instrument in the event of litigation, however, it can be taken as an indirect proof of the cooperation agreement on special conditions between the partners.
  • Is it possible to open a company without the participation of a UAE citizen as a partner outside free zones?
    For most types of commercial licenses a UAE citizen participation as a partner with a 51% stake and LLC legal form are mandatory. However, there are some professional services, such as dentists or management consultancy, which imply the registration of a company as a Sole Establishment (one owner, 100% foreign ownership) and the presence of a UAE citizen as a local agent. In this case the local agent is not a partner, and performs exclusively representative functions in local government authorities, such as Immigration Department and the Ministry of Labor. The only exception, which completely eliminates the involvement of UAE citizens in such companies, is the registration of the company with a legal consulting license.
  • What is the difference between a commercial and professional license?
    A professional license allows the company to provide professional services (medical, consultancy, engineering and others) in the UAE. Such companies are allowed to have 100% of foreign capital. Companies with commercial licenses may only carry out commercial activities (trading, construction, leasing) and the share of foreign capital in these companies is limited to 49%.
  • Is it possible to register a company without renting an office?
    Yes, It is possible. Many Free Zones have such an option of registering a company with a "virtual office".
  • What is the cost of registering a company in the UAE?
    Registration cost varies greatly depending on many factors:
    1. Activity of the company
    2. Where will the business be conducted (internationally, UAE territory or some specific place)?
    3. The number of shareholders and ownership structure.
    4. Requirements to the office.
    5. Plans for further expansion.
    6. Intention to hire staff and to receive additional resident visa.
    We will help you to calculate the final registration cost taking into account all the factors. For the general information about the registration you can see the following page.
  • How long does it take to register a company in the UAE?
    Depending on your choice of the legal form of ownership and place of incorporation of the company, it can take from a week to a month and a half. Please, seek a consultation with us and we will promptly answer your questions.
  • Is it possible to register a company in the UAE without physical presence of the owner?
    Physical presence of the owner of the company is not mandatory for registering an offshore company. It is necessary only for some free zone companies and also for an LLC (company with local sponsor) Physical presence is needed for 1-2 days only for signing of the memorandum of association of the company or for the attestation of Power of Attorney for the consultancy company, who will take care of the process of registration of the company.
  • How many days do I need to sign the documents for a company registration and opening a bank account?
    In most cases, it is enough to come just for 1-2 days. Note that the registration of the company, depending on the choice of the place of registration, type of company and the complexity of each case can take from one day to one month; account opening - from 5 to 20 days.
  • Is the owner’s presence necessary for license renewal?
    We can arrange license renewal without the physical presence of the company owner in UAE. All formalities can be completed distantly.
  • What is the standard share capital of the company and do I have to pay it?
    Deposit of share capital is not required when registering a company with a local partner (LLC), but nominally it is indicated on the level of AED 300 000 (approximately USD 81 700). Each free zone, in its turn, sets its own requirements towards the size and the need to pay the share capital. Payment of the share capital of the company is not required in many free zones. You can send us a query regarding this in relation to any UAE free zone.
  • What taxes and duties are applied in the UAE?
    Companies registered both in the UAE mainland and within Free Zones are completely exempted from tax. Taxes are implied only on several industries such as: oil and gas industry, banking, hospitality and catering. Also trading companies are required to pay duty charges when importing goods into the UAE domestic market, which is maximum 5% of the declared value of goods.
  • Is there a need to submit a quarterly or annual audit report?
    The requirements to provide audited balance sheet for the last financial year for the company’s license renewal exist in such free zones as DMCC and Hamriyah FZA. There is no such requirement in many other free zones. For companies registered in the mainland (outside free zones) such as LLC an audit is not required. However, in accordance with the New Commercial Companies Law UAE 2015 (New CCL or CCL 2) local companies are required to keep all financial information for a minimum period of 5 years in the head office of the company (Article 26). The owners of offshore companies are recommended to keep financial records for 5 years without any reference to the place.
  • Who can be the founder/shareholder of the company?
    The founder/shareholder of a company in the UAE can be either a legal entity or a physical individual of at least 18 years of age. However, the Immigration Department of UAE thoroughly examines the applications from citizens of those countries with current military or political conflicts.
  • What documents are required for registration if a shareholder is a legal entity?
    In order to register a company in UAE, we would you will need the following documents of the mother company, attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country of registration, in the Embassy of the UAE in the country of registration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the UAE:
    1. Article of association
    2. Registration certificate or license
    3. Resolution of appointments and changes of directors and founders
    4. License or certificate with information on the legal status of the company (certificate of good standing)
    5. Board of Directors Resolution to open a branch or subsidiary in the UAE, including the decision on opening a bank account with transferring the authority to the manager, and power of attorney to the manager accordingly describing his powers.
  • Can a company conduct multiactivity?
    In cases with offshore companies, yes. In case of onshore (local or free zone) companies, the company's license should reflect a specific activity. Including of additional related activities into the license is subject to approval by the registering authority. It is very likely that one company may include several close activities into one license.
  • Can an offshore company registered in the UAE operate in the UAE?
    An offshore company cannot conduct business activities in the UAE. However, it can can have a bank account in the UAE and own real estate property in certain areas.
  • Does the Free Zone license allow renting an office outside the Free Zone?
    The companies of such type may only rent offices on the territory of the same free zone.
  • Is nominal service commonly provided in the UAE?
    There is no trust law in the UAE, therefore nominal service is not applicable when registering an onshore company. However, it is possible to have a nominal service for an offshore company with several restrictions.
  • Can I open a company in the UAE myself?
    Registration of an onshore (local or free zone) company is possible, but is associated with certain difficulties. It should be noted that UAE - a fairly young country - keeps developing very rapidly. This is inevitably reflected in the adoption of certain legal acts, refusal of outdated laws, competition between free zones (there are over 30 of them in UAE), which makes the process of registration and service companies to change not only in the procedural, but also in the legal way from time to time. You need to have a very serious and time-consuming research done before making a decision on registration. It is important to understand and properly evaluate legal, economic, image and other features of each potential jurisdiction for the registration of a legal entity. Incorrect choice could easily be reflected in losses that greatly exceed the cost of providing professional services for registration. Incorporation of international (offshore) companies is only possible through a special registration of agents such as Inter Consult. Please follow this link to learn more about it.
  • How many shareholders can be in a company?
    For offshore company – maximum 50. For onshore company (free zone and LLC)- maximum 5.
  • How many directors can be in a company?
    For offshore company – maximum 7. For onshore company (free zone and LLC) - maximum 5.
  • Which documents are required in case if the shareholder is a physical person?
    1. Passport copy with the latest UAE entry stamp (if any)
    2. Short CV describing your educational and work background
    3. Proof of current residence (for example, utility bill)
    4. Bank reference letter confirming the personal account of the applicant
    Please note: authorities keep the right to ask for more documentation if they decide it is necessary.
  •  

    Bank Accounts

  • Are there any restrictions on banking transactions?
    Generally banks of the United Arab Emirates do not control the flow of funds from the accounts of their customers, but, in some cases (for example large transactions),bank may require to present copies of the contracts for incoming transactions.
  • Is it possible to open a bank account for a non-resident in UAE?
    Opening an account for a non-resident, physical or legal person is possible in some UAE banks. Please send us a query.
  • Which documents are required for account opening?
    1. Original passport
    2. Bank statement for the last 3 months, showing the current balance and transactions
    3. Utility bill
    4. Short CV
    5. Short activity description
  • Is it possible to open a bank account without a personal visit of the signatory?
    In order to open a bank account it is neseccary for the signatory to visit UAE. All the documents are signed in personal presence of the banquer. It is enough to visit UAE for 1 day only to sign all the required documents.
  • Are there any requirements for monthly average balance on the account?
    Yes. Depending on your choice of the bank, the monthly average balance may vary between AED 20 000 and AED 250 000.
  • Is it possible to open a multi-currency account?
    Yes, it is possible.
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    Documents Legalization

  • Which kind of documents legalization is acceptable in UAE?
    In general consular legalization is acceptable in UAE. Due to the fact that UAE did not join the Haague Convention about Apostile, all documents must be legalized through convinient Embassies. Please read the procedure description on our website
  • Which documents Ministry of Foreign Affairs of UAE considers to be personal?
    Such documents as marriage certificate, birth certificate, degree documents attestations, and other certifications are considered to be personal documents. Please contact us in order to obtain detailed information about your case.
  • Which documents are considered to be corporate?
    Corporate documents include: Memorandum of Asociation, Certificate of registration or a license, register of directors, register of shares, share certificates (if any) generally speaking all documents that were obtained after the comany registration. In some cases the authorities can ask for more certificates such as Certificate of good standing, or a certificate of incumnebcy. For detailed information, please contact us.
  • What is the time frame for legalization?
    If the document has already gone through the legalization in the country of origin, UAE legalization part will only take 1-2 days. If the document requires full legalization, it can take up to 2 weeks.