A Step-by-Step Guide on the Requirements for Company Formation in Dubai for UK Nationals
This article aims to provide valuable insights into the requirements for company formation in Dubai for UK nationals, including the entire process that must be followed for a hassle-free experience.
Dubai has emerged as a thriving global business hub, offering diverse opportunities across various industries and trades. With its numerous advantages, including full foreign ownership, zero tax, and exemption from customs duty, Dubai attracts entrepreneurs from around the world.
Furthermore, the recent establishment of the Dubai Chambers office in London signifies the growing commercial ties between the UK and Dubai, providing even more opportunities for UK nationals in Dubai. The newly opened Dubai Chambers office in London strengthens the opportunities for UK nationals to engage in business activities in Dubai, the UAE is the UK’s largest trading partner in the Middle East. The office focuses on building relationships with key stakeholders and supporting UK companies interested in relocating or expanding into Dubai. The number of UK companies registered with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce has increased by 69% since 2016. This is reflecting the growing interest in Dubai’s dynamic economy.
Types of Trade/Business Licenses in Dubai and Where to Operate:
To operate a business in the UAE, obtaining a business license is crucial. Dubai offers six types of licenses: industrial, commercial, crafts, tourism, agricultural, and professional licenses. In this article, we will focus on the three most popular ones: industrial, commercial, and professional licenses.
Additionally, businesses in Dubai can choose between operating in the mainland or a free zone. Each location has its own advantages and disadvantages. Mainland businesses have no restrictions on trading within and outside Dubai but require a local sponsor who holds a 51% stake in the company. On the other hand, free zones allow 100% foreign ownership. However, businesses are limited to trading within the free zone and outside the country.
Requirements for Company Formation in Dubai for UK Nationals:
Setting up a business in Dubai as a UK national is a straightforward process. The first step is to
- choose your business activity from over 2,000 options available in the UAE.
- decide on the legal structure of your business, such as LLC, FZE, or PJSC. This will determine the regulatory body you’ll need to apply to for a trade license. If you opt for a free zone, you’ll apply directly to that specific free zone authority,
- secure a unique and available trade name for your business,
- prepare the necessary documents, including passport copies,
- business plan,
- Memorandum or Articles of Association (MoA or LSA). Once you receive approval, you’ll obtain your trade license, enabling you to open a corporate bank account and apply for visas for yourself and your employees.
Moving an Existing Company from the UK to Dubai:
With a majority of the UAE’s population being expatriates, starting a business as a foreigner in the country is commonplace. Moving an existing UK company to Dubai requires specific documentation. These include
- a standard company setup application,
- passports of Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) shareholders, directors, and General Manager,
- legalized and attested UK company document copies,
- a comprehensive business plan,
- two years’ audited financial reports or a certificate of reference from a personal bank,
- you may also need a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your current sponsor, if applicable. Once the process is complete, you can utilize your business license to open a corporate bank account by providing the necessary UK and UAE company documents.
About Requirements for Company Formation in Dubai for UK Nationals:
Are there any tax implications for UK nationals doing business in Dubai?
One of the key advantages of doing business in Dubai for UK nationals is the favourable tax environment. Dubai offers a tax-efficient framework that can benefit UK businesses. Here are some important points regarding tax implications:
Corporate Tax: UK nationals operating businesses in Dubai can benefit from a zero or low corporate tax rate. This is providing a significant advantage compared to many other jurisdictions.
Personal Income Tax: Individuals working in Dubai and deriving income from their businesses are not subject to personal income tax. This is allowing for increased personal income retention and financial flexibility.
Value Added Tax (VAT): While Dubai has implemented a Value Added Tax (VAT) system, it is important to note that the standard rate is relatively low at 5%. Most goods and services are subject to this VAT rate. However, there are certain exemptions and zero-rated supplies in place, which can help mitigate the impact of VAT on businesses.
Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs): The United Arab Emirates has entered into Double Taxation Agreements with various countries, including the United Kingdom. These agreements aim to prevent double taxation and provide mechanisms for businesses and individuals to claim tax relief or exemptions in their home country.
Can UK Nationals move an existing company from the UK to Dubai?
Yes, UK nationals have the option to move an existing company from the UK to Dubai. To initiate the process, certain requirements must be met. These typically include
– submitting a standard company setup application,
– providing the passports of the ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs), shareholders, and directors,
– presenting legalized and attested UK company document copies,
– submitting a comprehensive business plan,
– providing two years’ audited financial reports for corporate entities or a certificate of reference from a personal bank for individual shareholders,
– and obtaining a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the current sponsor, if applicable.
After completing the necessary procedures, the company can open a corporate bank account in Dubai. By fulfilling these requirements, UK nationals can successfully move their existing company from the UK to Dubai. After that, they are ready to explore new business opportunities in the UAE.
Hire Us for Business Setup Needs:
Start Business Advisory LLC, based in Dubai, is a team of experts offering legal advice and services for businesses in Dubai and the UAE. We specialize in assisting UK businesses looking to establish a presence in Dubai. With our extensive knowledge and experience, we can guide you through the entire process. From selecting the right free zone to organizing the required documentation, we guide you all the way. Our tailored services are designed to meet your specific business needs, ensuring a stress-free experience when moving your company to Dubai. Contact our team today at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive assistance with your business setup needs.
Setting up a business in Dubai offers UK nationals a wealth of opportunities in a thriving global business hub. By understanding the various license types, choosing the right location, and fulfilling the necessary requirements, UK nationals can successfully establish their ventures in Dubai. With the expertise and support of [Company], the process becomes even more streamlined, ensuring a seamless transition for businesses looking to expand into the UAE.