Incorporating your business brings along a lot of advantages for carrying on your business like unlimited life, transferability of shares, ability to raise investment capital. In order to get started one need to have solid understanding of the local registration requirements, instructions, fees structure and mandatory forms or documents.
Our business incorporation services bring you flexibility based on your business needs of incorporating in a freezone, mainland, offshore or as a branch and representative office.
Branch & Rep. Office
Mainland Company Formation
To establish a Mainland company in the UAE requires adequate information about the workings of the UAE market. Our team will guide you through the process and will help you identify the right location, structure or license required for commencing your business.
Mainland company benefits:
An Offshore Company
‘Offshore’ relates to activities of management, registration, conduct or operations in a country other than its own to derive benefits from it, often of finance, legal and tax.
An ‘Offshore company’ is a company incorporated thereby to carry out substantial business activities in a country outside of its registration or formation, to legally enhance its wealth by following no tax jurisdiction laws to reduce tax payments and derive other benefits from it.
Why do companies prefer going offshore?
Going offshore is an interesting strategy for companies, closely related to the reasons why they grow their business, expand it or buy more than one home in their own home countries. They have always believed that they would go towards a market that provided them with more favorable conditions, without forgetting their roots behind.
It simply involves a global expansion of its business operations while avoiding unnecessary cumbersome regulations and taxes present in the home country.
When companies operate offshore, their primary motive lies in securing confidentiality over their finances and gradually increasing their wealth without inhibitions. Operating in these companies actually reduce plenty of tax payments like property sales, capital gains, VAT etc.
Some of the benefits include:
Using the offshore company wisely can reduce and sometimes eliminate taxes that would otherwise involve high-tax jurisdiction payments. Although these are reasons to show a sign of relief, the owner will still have to deal with personal taxes in the home country.
Some of the common reasons to hold an offshore company include holding trademarks, copyrights and other IPRs, hold interests in companies through various jurisdictions, and also to be a holding company for franchises. Any income that flows into the offshore company through taxable jurisdiction is not taxable.
The offshore company has the ability to mitigate taxes to its beneficiaries. If profits are arranged for are attributed to a company that is incorporated elsewhere, residents of high-tax countries can reduce the tax they pay as this attribution prevents them from paying income tax earned outside of the territory.
Benefits of going offshore:
Offshore companies are used for:
Lawman Consultants provide a comprehensive range of offshore services that have been professionally structured over their 8 years of formation and management experience. A team has been dedicated to help in setting up these offshore companies in local and global jurisdictions. Lawman Consultants helps those clients who are looking for solutions to reduce taxes, protect assets and reduce liabilities.
Branch or Representation Office in UAE
Foreign companies are now adopting the popular method of opening a branch or a representative office to ensure full ownership. Although these offices aren’t considered a separate legal entity, they are treated as extensions of the foreign company and will still be parented by them.
The Branch and Representative offices share common features as they both operate under the authority of commercial registration. They are licensed under the name of the foreign company and are mandated to appoint a UAE based- Local Services Agent (LSA).
Recently, HH Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE made a significant move by issuing a new licensing law, to better the licensing process in the Emirate of Dubai. This new law aims to organise the economic activities in the Emirate of Dubai and streamline the licensing process by facilitating coordination amongst various government entities in Dubai, amongst other things.
For more details, please view the eighth issue of the local law series.
Setting up Branch/Representative Office in UAE
Step 1: Get a Local Services Agent
The Branch and Representative offices are both required to appoint a local services agent (LSA). The LSA must either be a UAE national or a company wholly owned by UAE nationals.
The LSA functions around obtaining licenses, permits, visas etc., in return for a fee. Under no circumstances will the LSA participate in any operations, management or ownership of the office and cannot be held responsible for the same.
Once the LSA is identified, a written agreement is created to seal the contract. The agreement requires the signature of the parties involved and notarisation in the relevant Emirate. There is no prescribed form of agreement and it will therefore be a matter for negotiation.
Step 2: Trade Name
The next step includes making an application to the relevant Department of Economic Development for the reservation of a Trade Name. The company is also required to get the initial approval of the proposed Branch/Representative office registration.
Step 3: Make an application to the Ministry of Economy
Once the initial approval is received (as per Step 2), an application is to be made to the Ministry of Economy (MOE) (the UAE Commercial Companies Law, article 314).
The Application requirements:
The application form must comprise of the following:
The form must be accompanied by the following documents:
Following the successful application submission, the MOE will issue their initial approval. Once approved, hard copies of the following documents must be submitted to them:
After the MOE receives the documents, the Branch/ Representative Office establishment will be approved. However the Business will commence after the following steps have been completed.
Step 4: Commercial License
The MOE will issue a formal approval to either the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development or the Dubai Department of Economic Development, as appropriate (collectively referred to as the DED here).
Once the DED has received this approval, the applicant will then need to make an application to the DED and submit similar documents as done to the MOE. Additionally, the applicant will need to include the proposed UAE office address.
Documents to be sent along with application:
A commercial license will then be issued by the DED to the Branch/Representative office, valid for 1 year and renewable annually.
Step 5: Entering the Lease
Post the commercial license issuance, the foreign company may focus on completing administrative tasks as it enters into the proposed lease for office space. They can focus on opening bank accounts and obtaining visas and labor cards for its employees.
Step 6: Register as a Member
The final step is for the Branch or Representative office to register as a member with the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (or the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, whichever appropriate). The procedure involves completing an application, providing copies of the commercial license and office lease agreements and passport copies of the authorised signatories of the branch or representative office.
The fee payable during the process varies from one Emirate to the other. (MOE fees are standard).
Depending on the activities that need to be undertaken at the UAE, commercial license fees might vary as well.
Notarise and translate your documents
The foreign company will have to present the documents listed above for authentication at the foreign ministry of the country in which the company is incorporated and subsequently to the UAE consulate. Before they can be presented to the authorities in the UAE, they must also be translated into Arabic by an official translator. If the responsible UAE embassy is not located in the country of incorporation, the process may be delayed.
Mainland Company Formation in:
Abu Dhabi Mainland
Ras al-Khaimah Offshore
British Virgin Islands
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