Company formation in the UAE

UAE company incorporation packages

Advantages for life

  • High level of life comfort, access to excellent infrastructure and service industry.
  • Developed healthcare system.
  • Access to international education system: educational institutions of English-speaking and other countries of the world have their schools and universities in the UAE.
  • High level of security.

How to incorporate an onshore company in the UAE?

You can select the most appropriate package below and create a new onshore company using our services.

Sharjah Media City Free Zone company registration packages

Services GOLD
5900 USD
PLATINUM
9800 USD
Incorporation ✔︎ ✔︎
Original documents ✔︎ ✔︎
Company stamp ✔︎ ✔︎
1 License ✔︎ ✔︎
Flexi-Desk office lease ✔︎ ✔︎
E-channel deposit ✔︎ ✔︎
Resident visa (1 person), including:
– ALL government fees
– Documents preparation
– Execution and submission of application
– Personal meeting support services
  ✔︎
Total cost 5900 USD 9800 USD
Annual renewal fee 5800 USD 9700 USD

Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone (UAQ FTZ) company registration packages

Services GOLD
5600 USD
PLATINUM
9500 USD
Incorporation ✔︎ ✔︎
Original documents ✔︎ ✔︎
Company stamp ✔︎ ✔︎
1 License ✔︎ ✔︎
Flexi-Desk office lease ✔︎ ✔︎
E-channel deposit ✔︎ ✔︎
Resident visa (1 person), including:
– ALL government fees
– Documents preparation
– Execution and submission of application
– Personal meeting support services
  ✔︎
Total cost 5600 USD 9500 USD
Annual renewal fee 5500 USD 9400 USD

Hamriyah Free Zone company registration packages

Services GOLD
4910 USD
PLATINUM
7810 USD
Incorporation ✔︎ ✔︎
Original documents ✔︎ ✔︎
Company stamp ✔︎ ✔︎
1 License ✔︎ ✔︎
Flexi-Desk office lease ✔︎ ✔︎
E-channel deposit ✔︎ ✔︎
Resident visa (1 person), including:
– ALL government fees
– Documents preparation
– Execution and submission of application
– Personal meeting support services
  ✔︎
Total cost 4910 USD 7810 USD
Annual renewal fee 4570 USD 7470 USD

Ajman Free Zone company registration packages

Services GOLD
5270 USD
PLATINUM
9170 USD
Incorporation ✔︎ ✔︎
Original documents ✔︎ ✔︎
Company stamp ✔︎ ✔︎
1 License ✔︎ ✔︎
Flexi-Desk office lease ✔︎ ✔︎
E-channel deposit ✔︎ ✔︎
Resident visa (1 person), including:
– ALL government fees
– Documents preparation
– Execution and submission of application
– Personal meeting support services
  ✔︎
Total cost 5270 USD 9170 USD
Annual renewal fee 5270 USD 9170 USD

How to incorporate an offshore company in the UAE?

You can select the most appropriate package below and create a new offshore company using our services.

Ajman (AFZA) offshore company registration packages

Services GOLD
3500 USD
PLATINUM
3880 USD
Company registration including government fees ✔︎ ✔︎
Registered address for 1 year ✔︎ ✔︎
Company seal ✔︎ ✔︎
Provision of professional director for 1 year   ✔︎
Total cost 3500 USD 3880 USD
Annual renewal fee 3100 USD 3480 USD

Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) offshore company registration packages

Services GOLD
2500 USD
PLATINUM
2880 USD
Company registration including government fees ✔︎ ✔︎
Registered address for 1 year ✔︎ ✔︎
Company seal ✔︎ ✔︎
Provision of professional director for 1 year   ✔︎
Total cost 2500 USD 2880 USD
Annual renewal fee 2750 USD 3130 USD

Free Consultation

Why open a company in the UAE?

Main advantages of doing business in the UAE:

  • No tax on profit, dividends, interest, repatriation or other income.
  • High degree of confidentiality: there is no public register of companies.
  • Quite stable banking system and high probability of opening an account with banks of the UAE.
  • Possibility to work with US dollars.
  • Quick company incorporation (about 10 workdays).
  • No foreign exchange controls.
  • The UAE has double taxation treaties with over 100 countries.
  • Possibility to create substance in the country of incorporation.
  • Possibility to obtain a resident visa for company’s shareholders and employees, and their families.
  • The UAE acts as a regional harbor for business of the Middle East and North Africa, which ensures access to the markets of countries of the region.
UAE, Dubai Marina

Advantages of setting up a company in the UAE with us:

  • Our company has its own office in the UAE: we work directly, without intermediaries. We assist in and control the whole process of incorporation of a company from start to finish.
  • The cost of the service package includes full support at the location, including transport, accompanying to medical examinations, interpretation services (if required), any interaction with state authorities and banks. All this is included in the stated cost; there are no hidden fees.
  • We provide a complex of company incorporation services: we have our own auditors and tax consultants, and we do not involve third-party specialists. We also advise, register and file reports regarding VAT.
  • As for opening bank accounts, we have over 20 years of experience in working with foreign banks, a large number of contacts and relevant experience in opening accounts throughout the world. Our consultants will help you choose a bank in the UAE as well as other countries.

Onshore company registration in the UAE

Onshore companies are companies that are registered in free zones. Currently, there are around 50 such zones in the UAE and their number is constantly growing.

Activity of companies incorporated in free zones is regulated both by the federal legislation and by laws of those zones. 

In order to make international transactions and conduct business such companies need a license, which is obtained upon incorporation. An office is also required.

Onshore companies may only conduct their business in the territory of their free zone or outside the UAE.

Resident visas may be obtained for onshore companies’ shareholders, employees and their family members.

Each free zone has its requirements as to the number of shareholders and directors, having a secretary, amount of the authorized capital, accounts, audit and other conditions.

The following types of companies may be incorporated in a free zone:

  • Free Zone Establishment (limited liability company with one shareholder);
  • Free Zone Company (limited liability company with two or more shareholders);
  • Branch or representative office of a foreign company or other UAE freezone company.

Offshore company registration in the UAE

Activity of offshore companies is regulated by the federal legislation and legislation of respective emirates and free zones regarding such companies.

Incorporation of such a company does not require participation of local partners as shareholders.

An offshore company may not conduct business in the territory of the UAE, but their activity outside the country is not restricted. 

Visas may not be obtained for directors and employees of an offshore company, unlike onshore companies.

Offshore companies may own real estate in the territory of the UAE.

Such companies are completely exempt from taxes, and provisions of double taxation treaties do not apply to them.

Audit and accounting

All onshore companies must keep accounting records that are sufficient to prove their financial position and that show up-to-date information on the company’s assets and liabilities. Moreover, directors of the company must prepare its financial statements for each reporting date. However, there is no obligation to file financial statements with state authorities. Most free zones require filing of audited financial statements, but there are some zones where there is no obligation to file financial statements at all.

Requirements regarding audit are set in each free zone.

The first reporting period of a company starts at its incorporation and lasts at least 6 and at most 18 months. Each subsequent reporting period lasts exactly 12 months starting from the date when the previous period ends.

An offshore company has no obligation to file accounts with any state authorities in the territory of the UAE, but under the law a company during 10 years must keep documents on its business activity to the extent that allows its directors to determine financial position of the company. And like in onshore companies, directors of offshore companies must annually prepare financial statements and provide the company’s shareholders with them.

Disclosure of Information

Today, there are no public registers in the UAE: information on shareholders, directors and beneficiaries of both onshore and offshore companies may only be obtained at the request of a local court.

Taxation of UAE companies

The tax system of the UAE is very different from generally accepted international standards. Tax burden as such does not exist for companies or individuals. There is no federal legislation on income tax.

Some emirates have their own (local) income tax acts. However, they do not apply in practice, except for certain activities: banking and oil industry.

There is no personal income tax.

Companies incorporated in the UAE are exempt from profit tax, capital gains tax, property tax and other taxes. The exception is VAT.

Value-Added Tax (VAT)

Value added tax was introduced in the country on 1 January 2018. In order to administer VAT, the Federal Tax Authority was established.

VAT, as a general consumption tax, applies to all transactions with goods and services unless such transaction is exempt or taxed at the rate of 0%.

The standard VAT rate is 5%.

An obligation to register for VAT purposes arises when the turnover in the territory of the country exceeds 375,000 AED (~100,000 USD).

Registering as a VAT payer is compulsory in the following cases:

  • there is reason to believe that during the following 30 days taxable turnover will exceed the registration threshold (for example, a contract is entered into);
  • at the end of the month taxable turnover for the preceding 12 months actually exceeded the registration threshold;
  • the company receives services that are subject to inclusion in accounts under the reverse charge and that are worth over the registration threshold.

Voluntary registration is also possible after the taxable transactions threshold of 187,500 AED (~ 50,000 USD) has been exceeded.

After the registration with the Federal Tax Authority and obtaining a VAT payer number, a company must quarterly (and if its annual turnover exceeds 150,000,000 AED ~ 40,830,900 USD, then monthly) prepare and file a VAT return, and pay arising VAT within 28 days after the end of the VAT period.

Double Taxation Treaties

Today, the UAE has tax agreements with 106 jurisdictions.

Among them are 99 Double Tax Conventions (DTC) and 8 Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEA) and the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (MAC). Below you can find a list of all countries with which agreements have been entered into.

The UAE signed the MAC on 21 April 2017, deposited its instrument of ratification on 21 May 2018, and the MAC entered into force on 1 September 2018.

Obtaining a visa in the UAE

In the UAE there is no such thing as residence permit. Its analogue is a resident visa. 

A resident visa may be obtained on the following grounds:

  • investor’s visa – owning an onshore company incorporated in the UAE (issued for 3 years);
  • work visa – entering into an employment contract with an onshore company incorporated in the UAE (issued for 2 years).
  • Owning real estate

A visa may only be obtained after the company has been incorporated.

First of all an Establishment Card is obtained (the migration file of the company is opened). On average, it takes 10 workdays. This document is necessary to enable the company to apply for resident visas in the future.

Then documents for a resident visa are submitted and an Entry Permit is obtained. It takes 1-2 weeks. To obtain a resident visa it is necessary to enter the UAE on an Entry Permit.

Then it is necessary to visit the UAE to obtain a resident visa – in most cases a visa may be obtained within 5 workdays. During that visit it is necessary to undergo medical examinations (blood test and fluorography) and give biometric data (retina scan and fingerprints).

Once the passport with a resident visa in it is received, the country may be left.

The last step is obtaining a resident’s Emirates ID. The card is issued a few days after the issue of the visa. Personal presence is not required to receive it.

Permanent residency in the UAE is not required; however, a resident visa will be cancelled if the person who obtained it is absent from the UAE for over 6 months.

Opening a bank account in the UAE

The UAE banking system is stable and the probability of opening an account is high.

Most banks offers quite a wide range of financial services, including letters of credit, credit cards, low-interest loans for legal entities and individuals, asset management products, attractive interest rates on deposits (in case of depositing significant amounts) and others.

All banks also grant convenient and effective access to accounts through online banking (normally, it works in English).

Another advantage is that the UAE has no foreign exchange controls.

An account with banks of the UAE may be opened by:

  • onshore and offshore companies incorporated in the UAE;
  • companies incorporated outside the UAE (in certain banks and subject to certain conditions);
  • individuals resident in the UAE;
  • individuals non-resident in the UAE (if such persons own immovable property in the territory of the UAE
UAE, Abu Dhabi Company Formation

Free Consultation

 

General information

Total area 83.600 sq. km
Population 9.771.000 (2019)
Capital Abu Dhabi
Unemployment 2,57% (2018)
Corruption perceptions index rank 21 (2018)
Government type Combination of republic and monarchy
Executive branch Cabinet headed by Prime Minister
Legislative branch Unicameral Federal national council
Judicial branch Union Supreme Court
GDP per capita rank 25 (2018)

Shares and share capital

Minimum authorized share capital 0-1.000 AED (offshore company), 10.000-300.000 AED (FTZ)
Minimum issued share capital N/A
Minimum paid share capital 0-1.000 AED (offshore company), 10.000-300.000 AED (FTZ)
Authorized capital payment deadlines N/A
Bearer shares permitted No
Issued capital payment deadlines N/A
Standard currency AED
Standard authorized share capital 10.000 AED
Standard par value of shares 1.000 AED
Shares with no par value permitted No

Taxes

Min. rate for corporate tax No
Capital gains tax No
VAT 5%
Withholding tax No
Exchange control No
Personal tax No
Corporate tax (in detail)
Capital gains tax. Details
VAT. Details Introduced in 2018 at the rate of 5%
Other taxes real property tax, municipal duties
Government fee No
Stamp duty No

Accounts

Requirement to file accounts No
Publicly accessible accounts No
Audit required No
Requirement to file Annual Return No
Publicly accessible Annual Return No
Requirement to prepare accounts Yes
Double tax treaties network 99
Tax Exchange Information Agreement network 8
OECD member No

International law relations

Party to the Hague Convention (Apostille) No
Legal system mixed legal system of Islamic law and civil law
Double tax treaties network 99
OECD member No
Offshore/onshore status according to the RF laws Yes

Tax treaties entered

Double Tax Convention (DTC) Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Burundi, Canada, China, Comoros, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guinea, Hong Kong (China), Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea (Republic of), Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet nam, Yemen
Tax Exchange Information Agreement (TEIA) Argentina, Colombia, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden