UAE company registration is in demand by those seeking business opportunities in this prosperous part of the world. In addition, the UAE offers the very popular Dubai Free Zone registration. It offers tax-free business opportunities to foreigners in certain areas of this prosperous Emerita. Below is background information on the UAE and a detailed description of starting a business in this region.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a monarchy established in 1971 on the Arabian Peninsula in the Persian Gulf. Their simple name is “Emirates.” Saudi Arabia borders them to the south. Oman lies to the east. Iran borders to the north and Qatar to the west. The estimated population is 9.3 million, with only 1.5 million UAE citizens and 7.9 million foreigners.
The UAE’s legal system follows two standards. First, Islamic Shari’a law is applied. Second, they have established a civil code with a constitution, federal laws, and regulations.
The UAE Commercial Agencies Law of 1981 regulates UAE companies. The statute defines a “commercial agency” as an arrangement in which an agent represents a foreign company to sell, distribute, provide, or offer to sell goods or services in the UAE for-profit or a commission.
The advantages of the establishment of the UAE company
UAE companies have many advantages, including
- No corporate tax or income tax. UAE companies pay income tax only in certain industries; Otherwise, the company is tax-exempt. However, U.S. citizens and residents of countries that tax income worldwide must report all income to their tax authorities.
- No capital gains tax. The UAE does not impose a capital gains tax. This is especially beneficial for real estate investors and others who usually pay this tax.
- Reasonable value-added tax (VAT) or sales tax. The UAE will be subject to a reasonable value-added tax (VAT) or sales tax from 2018.
- Free trade zones. The UAE has a number of free trade zones that allow foreign investment to be 100% controlled and have a zero tax regime.
- English is widely used. With English so widespread, it’s easier to do business in the UAE.
- One shareholder: The law allows registered companies to require at least one shareholder.
- Strategic location. The UAE is a close gateway to other Gulf states. As a result, it can serve as an entry point into other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Dubai, in particular, is a local business hub in the Middle East and North Africa.
- Business convenience: The World Bank’s Business Facilitation Report ranks the UAE as the 31st in the world and first in the Middle East and North Africa.
- Skilled workforce: The UAE provides a large number of skilled labor. As a result, the region provides an excellent workforce for any company wishing to establish a presence in the region.
- Political and economic stability. The UAE has a strong banking system and a stable political system. In addition, the UAE has the 10th largest natural gas and oil reserves in the world.
UAE company registration details
The name of the company
UAE companies must choose a unique name and cannot be similar to an existing company name. Typically, founders submit three versions of the company name in the hope that the government will approve one of them.
To register a company name, the company must obtain preliminary approval from the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) Licensing Department. For example, the DED must approve the company’s activities, trade name, and various ownership identities. After that, the mainland company formation agency can query the availability of the name on the DED website, retain the name, and even pay online for the retention of the name.
Office address and local agency
UAE companies must have a local registered agent and a local office address. The company uses this address to process delivery requests and formal notifications.
UAE companies must have at least one shareholder.
Directors and officers
A UAE company must have at least two directors, a managing director, and a secretary.
The minimum capital requirements vary from emirate to emirate (e.g. A$300,000 in Dubai and A$150,000 in Abu Dhabi).
Companies in the UAE are subject to income tax only if they are engaged in the oil and gas industry or in a foreign bank. Otherwise, the company is exempt from tax. There is no capital gains tax.
The UAE does not have direct personal taxes. However, most emirates collect municipal taxes or taxes through various fees.