Dubai has long been famous as a world center for trade, finances and businesses of all kinds; a true Mecca for investment and all kinds of lucrative business opportunities. It stands to reason that this kind of structural development and financial affluence would not be possible without an efficient and uncomplicated system for getting your company up and running. Indeed registering your firm in Dubai is a non-complicated straight forward affair that will have your business registered and operational in no time at all.
There is a plethora of different firms and services that offer both on-line registration or for those that prefer it, a face to face approach. Whatever kind of firm you are thinking of registering it is advisable to first get yourself acquainted with local corporate laws as requirements for new companies differ through different branches and corporate structures.
UAE laws permit two different types of companies to be registered by foreigners: Onshore companies and offshore companies. The main difference between the two is the structure of ownership. Foe offshore companies there is no ownership limitation and they can be fully owned by someone who lives outside of UAE but onshore companies have to have a local “sponsor” as they don’t allow full foreign ownership. If you plan on doing business within UAE itself (your customers are mainly in the UAE) an onshore company is a better choice, while if you plan on doing business elsewhere and only plan on taking advantage of no-tax Free Zones in UAE you should go for an offshore company.
Setting up an offshore company can be done without traveling to the UAE. You only need to send all the pertinent documentation to your registration service of choice and their skilled business specialists while act on your behalf and do all the company formation procedures for you. Some of the benefits of registering your company in one of the Free Zones include 0% corporate tax, total foreign ownership, full repatriation of profits and capital, no minimum share capital, total business confidentiality, a very business-friendly environment as well as flexible jurisdiction. There are 45 Free Zones in total and more than 20 of them are located in Dubai, each one catering to a different type of business so make sure you choose the one that benefits your firm the most.
For onshore firms there are more requirements but also greater benefits. On shore companies can be incorporated in different forms but they all must have at least one UAE national partner holding at least 51% of the paid-up capital. You will also need a license that is appropriate for the type of business you are registering. The Dubai trade license is required for businesses involved in trading activities within the UAE, the manufacturing or industrial license is for businesses engaging in investments in the manufacturing industry and professional licenses awarded to onshore companies that offer services such as consulting, education and so on. Onshore companies enjoy the benefits such as skilled Dubai workforce, owning real estate in Dubai, tax-free economy and simple regulatory system.