The advanced infrastructure, tax benefits, great architecture, easy access to the world, etc. are just some of the reasons why many businessmen consider setting up a company in the Emirates. However, it is never easy doing business in a country where you don’t live. If you are thinking about starting a full-fledged business or a UAE offshore company, make sure to consider the following aspects:
1. Your Customers Are Based in UAE
If you have customers in the country, you can form an LLC (Limited Liability Company) with minimum 2 equity holders, one resident national of the UAE (who will hold 51%) and one foreign partner (with maximum 49% share equity).
2. Your Customers Are in UAE and You Have an Existing Overseas Company
You can set up a branch of your foreign entity and gain 100% ownership. The parent company should be in business for more than two years and the branch must have the same name as the parent company.
3. You Have a Profession or a Service Business
You can opt for a sole proprietorship, also known as a professional license. You will get 100% foreign ownership but will need to appoint a local agent.
4. Your Customers Are Based Only in Free Zones
You can set up a business entity as a Free Zone Establishment, a Free Zone Company or a branch of a foreign company. In all 3 cases, you must lease land in the free zone, which can be one of the most expensive components of the registration process. You will get 100% ownership in all 3 cases, but if you want to conduct business outside the free zone, you will have to hire a distribution agent, which might cost a lot of money.
5. Your Customers Are Not Based in UAE
A UAE offshore company is the best option in this case as you can get 100% foreign ownership along with the chance to open an offshore bank account. You need not lease an office space in UAE and can avail a quick set-up option with no residency requirements. You will also enjoy 100% tax-free operations in this case. The only drawback is that you don’t qualify for a resident visa in UAE and you cannot conduct business within the Emirates.
Company formation in UAE can be a time consuming and complicated process. Taking the assistance of experts and understanding all the pros and cons of different options is the best way to start your operations and ensure success.