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DUBAI / Frequently Asked Questions

1.  What is the real use of an offshore company?
Registration of an offshore company is a recognized and effective tool for tax planning and asset protection.  Offshore companies in the UAE stand out from other alternative jurisdictions that offer registration of offshore companies.
Registration of an offshore in the UAE gives foreign shareholders – legal entities and individuals – 100% ownership with full tax exemption. There are no requirements for minimum share capital, no restrictions on capital and profits expatriation. UAE company law and banking regulation offers reliable mode of confidentiality, and a reliable and efficient banking system. The United Arab Emirates, in fact, being a tax-free country, do not fall under the category of “tax heavens” and have never been blacklisted by European countries as an offshore jurisdiction.

2. What is the real use of an onshore company in Free Trade Zone of the UAE?
Apart from significant tax optimization, an onshore company in a Free Trade Zone can greatly minimize the cost of production and/or operational control of the operative business in the country. Due to the absence of corporate tax on most types of business activities and no income taxes, minimal deductions related to the payment of wages, the UAE are a very effective place to do business.

In addition to significant tax advantages, the UAE have well-developed infrastructure, cheap energy and a favorable geographical position in the region between the West and the developing East. The Emirates are favored from other countries by progressive and friendly legal framework for doing business.

The uniqueness of onshore companies registered in the UAE Free Zones is that there are no taxes despite the fact that a company can have a real working office and actually be managed in the UAE.

On-shore companies registered in the Free Trade Zones of the United Arab Emirates – is not offshore, but a full resident company with no taxes (except taxes on the oil industry and tourism).

A company that is registered in a Free Trade Zone allows its owner to get a resident visa of the UAE and benefit from the extensive network of double tax treaties available.

3. How long have you been in the business?
The company’s shareholders have over 26 years of joint experience in this business, including accounting/audit, corporate services, management consultancy, banking, financial and legal consulting in the UK, Cyprus and the UAE.

4. Why cannot I register a company myself?
There are more than 30 Free Trade Zones in the United Arab Emirates, where it is possible to register onshore or offshore companies for almost any type of business activity. In addition, each Free Trade Zone has its own specifics. When you choose a FTZ, it is important to understand the purpose of incorporation in order to foresee any misstep, which may subsequently lead to large financial losses. Besides, a dominant number of different issues related to the company activity (including its renewal) can be solved only by personal visit to the relevant authorities, which can be handled by our Advisors. In addition, even though you can save on professional services of a consulting company, there is a higher risk that you may probably choose not the best option for the company, its license type, permitted activities, the number of visas and different expenses. In this case, eventually, there is a higher probability that you will have to pay significantly more and to deal with some unexpected questions and challenges.

5. How quickly can I open a company and a bank account in the UAE?
Time required for the incorporation of offshore companies in the UAE - around 2 to 7 working days depending under which Free Zone the company is registered with. RAK IBCs can take as little as 1 day to register, JAFZA IBCs may take up to 7 days.

Opening a bank account takes from one to three weeks, considering a period that a bank needs to activate internet banking system.

The time required for the opening of an onshore company varies from 2 to 20 days. It usually depends on type and complexity of obtaining the license, and the set of documents submitted by the Customer.

6. How many days do I need to spend in the UAE to register a company and to open a bank account?
One day. The rest of the steps to complete incorporation of your company will be performed by our Advisors.

7. Do I have to come again to renew the company?
No, you needn’t. Renewal of the company will be carried out by our Advisors for you.

8. What are the advantages of the UAE compared to other jurisdictions?
Classic offshore companies cannot be managed from the territory they are registered at (otherwise, as a rule, taxation will be applied in the country of its registration). That is why classic offshore companies can often define residence not by the country of its registration, but by country, where the company is actually controlled from.  This fact usually entails significant tax risks in relations with tax authorities in different countries. In case of registration of a company in the UAE, these risks are not applicable. If the business processes are properly structured, the company can prove its residency in the UAE without any tax complications due to the absence of taxation in this country.

The question of the actual residence of companies has recently become particularly acute. Business relationships with offshore companies have become very complex. This situation is getting even more complicated in recent months. Companies in the UAE efficiently solve this problem.

Companies in the UAE Free Trade Zones are more expensive than ones in classic offshore jurisdictions. However the absence of taxes, stability and recognition of this jurisdiction by other countries, effective banking services and availability of Double Tax Treaties outweigh the costs difference.

Onshore companies registered in the Free Trade Zones of the United Arab Emirates are not considered offshore, but a full resident company, with no tax (except taxes on the oil industry and tourism).  Unlike classic offshore companies, where any financial flows result in high attention from bank supervisory authorities, companies that are registered in the UAE, usually do not draw in any concern from authoristies.

In addition to the above:
  • The presence in the UAE may open new opportunities for new work within the GCC region.
  • Ability to transfer part of the production chain to the Free Zones without any taxes and cheap labor forces.
  • Powerful UAE logistic infrastructure can be effectively used when working with international markets.
9. What are the real business advantages of the UAE, including logistics, manufacturing etc.?
When opening a new operational business in the UAE, you can greatly minimize the costs of production and/or operational control of the business. Since there is no corporate tax on most types of activities and no income tax, absolutely little deductions related to the payment of wages, the UAE is a very effective place to do business.
Along with significant tax advantages, the UAE has an extensive logistic infrastructure and cheap energy. It also has a fortunate geographical position in the region and can be favorably compared with progressive and friendly legal framework for doing business.

10. How to open a bank account in the UAE?
Given the fact that each bank is unique – different sets of services – from classical retail to full corporate or private banking, different documentation requirements and minimum balance, different tariffs, specialization in certain sectors or countries, etc., correct choice of bank is the key to continued success of cooperation with it. Taking into consideration the specificity of each bank, it becomes noticeable that opening a bank account abroad is an important step in the structuring of foreign business and tax planning. It requires serious analysis and approach in each case, as well as proper preparation of all necessary documents for the bank.

Basing on your preferences (reliability and prestige, the bank’s rating, a set of services provided by the bank, the minimum deposit required, the costs of banking services, etc.), our Advisors will provide you with a choice of reliable banks in stable and economically developed countries, following a strict privacy policy. They will make all the necessary steps to open accounts in the UAE and will prepare the necessary documents for you. At the same time, if necessary, they will give you an opportunity to open an account without visiting the bank. You can familiarize with the basic set of documents for opening a bank account here (link).

11. Obtaining residence permit in the UAE.
One of the most important factors in the further successful development of Dubai is a liberal policy of the state in relation to foreigners, who lives, works, or just visits the country. That is why Dubai has become home to more than 150 nationalities. The local population is currently slightly more than 11%, the rest people are arrived foreigners. At the same time the UAE have created such conditions for life and work that no one feels like a foreigner in this country.

12. What are the taxes for companies and individuals?
The UAE has no income tax for individuals. As for the tax on corporate profits, it is charged only from banks and the activities related to oil industry and tourism.

Companies registered in the UAE Free Trade Zones are not taxable; there is no either VAT or fees related to the payment of wages. In addition to the above, companies have significantly reduced paperwork with regards to invoicing, acts of completion, reporting to different institutions. There are no tax inspections, audits, any risk of bribes or any other risk that the company will be blocked from trading working for any reason. If your business is well set up, the necessary licenses are in acquired, your business will be traidng on a going concern!

13. How comfortable is it to live and work there?
The United Arab Emirates is a unique combination of opportunities for business and recreation. You can be amazed by entire business areas, including financial districts with a modern stock exchange, wonderful stadiums, theatres, museums and recreation parks, expanding of the existing airport and building of another one (the largest in the world), modern logistics and manufacturing facilities in the Free Economic Zones, well-developed all business and social infrastructure – all of them are put into operation.

14. What are the living costs in the UAE?
Dubai is very diverse in all aspects of life. This diversity is affordable for people of completely different income and social statuses. This can be easily seen in a huge prices range. For example, a prestigious restaurant of the highest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, keeps very high, ”royal” price bracket. At the same time, another restaurant, with spectacular views on the musical ”dancing” fountain, can offer delicious food at very reasonable prices for you. The same principle is true for each emirate. When you arrive in the UAE, you will be able to choose from the most expensive to the cheapest market segments. But even the quality of the last ones will leave you more than satisfied.

Statistics show that the annual population growth rate is 7%. It points out the dynamic development of the UAE, and that residence in this country becomes more and more comfortable.

Your attention can be grabbed by the fact that luxurious lifestyle in the UAE costs much cheaper than in Western or Eastern Europe. Let us take an example of purchasing a prestigious and expensive vehicle: a car, selected in a price range from 120 to 150 thousand dollars in Vienna, will cost $ 80-90 thousands in the UAE. The same formula is valid for the prices in luxurious restaurants and everything that involves the concept of “luxury.” A similar difference is applied to the prices of economy class.

In the UAE, people are really caring of children and, therefore, pay great attention to their education and their leisure time – whether it is malls, recreation areas, parks or restaurants. On the other hand, you can rest assured regarding developing part of your children’s lives, because children’s education in the UAE is presented very diversely. You can select from different branches of prestigious schools and universities of the USA, Canada, Australia, Britain France etc.

15. My knowledge of the language - how to deal with everything?
The UAE is a multinational country and everybody speak English. It is perfect if you know English language at advanced level, you know how to write, read, and easily speak. However, even if you took only several language courses, you can come to the UAE without any hesitation. People here got used to different accents, and you will not feel that sort of inconvenience and discomfort that you usually come with communicating amongst English-speaking society, when you are always afraid that you say something wrong.

An important advantage in the UAE is that you can be served by people, who speak almost any language of the world at all basic services (shops, pharmacies, doctors, hairdressers, etc.).

16. Confidentiality.
The company’s shareholders, who have many years of experience in bank sector, legal and financial consulting, where confidentiality policy is an indicator of professionalism and absolutely essential part of business, incessantly have followed and continue following the regime of maintaining of absolute confidentiality of client information and embody the principle of this approach at all levels of our company.

17. Can you provide a complete back office, including the preparation of accounts, contracts, and other issues?
Our office can take on all aspects of your company's administration from starting from setting up your company maintaince of records as well as preparation of accounts, audit, general administration and management advice.  Click here to for list of services.