The United Arab Emirates is ranked at the top in the Mena region in the World Bank’s list of ease of doing business, and 31st globally in 2015, says an article published in Gulf News Economy in October 2015. Although the seven emirates have a common federal structure, each has additional rules and regulations that are specific to them. Therefore, the procedure to setup an enterprise is different for each one of them. However, finance companies in the UAE provide different types of business finance for start-ups as well as established firms. One can choose from both secured and non-secured loans.
5 Things Foreign Investors Must Know
Listed below are a few things that you must consider before establishing your enterprise, especially if you are an expat:
1. Partnership – There are two main ways of establishing an enterprise in the UAE. The first is with a UAE national as a partner/sponsor. This partner should own 51 percent (majority) stake in the company. The second way it to have complete ownership under one of the many free zones. The only limitation with a free trade company is that you are bound by the regulations of that particular free zone. Also, if you want to establish a branch outside the free zone, you will have to undergo the entire procedure of registering your company all over again. Also, finance companies in the UAE are more than willing to offer loans to Limited Liability Companies that have a UAE national partner or sponsor.
2. Location – You must ascertain a location that is likely to be profitable for your business. You might want to register a logistics company within a free trade zone, but if it does not permit export and import, it wouldn’t be a feasible option. Also, opt for a location within the city that is known for products or services similar to those that you wish to sell. It would be favourable for your enterprise.
3. License – There are hundreds of licenses to choose from. You must choose a license category that lets you carry out all the entrepreneurial activities required for your business, without hindrance, while also offering you an opportunity to add products/services in future.
4. Visa Requirements – It is essential that you have a visa that permits you and your employees to work in the UAE. The visa permission depends on various factors, such as size of the office, nature of the establishment, category of the employee and investors. Also, your license might limit you to hire only up to a certain number of expat workers.
5. Finance Options – Apart from the self-financing option, you can also look for various categories of business finance, their preconditions and various charges that must be incurred by you to maintain a corporate account.