Opening a bank account
You can open personal or company bank accounts in any local or foreign bank operating in the UAE. Use of International Bank Account Number (IBAN) is mandatory for all transactions and wire transfers from and to the UAE.
- Passport copy
- UAE visa copy
- Emirates ID copy
- Salary certificate or NOC letter from sponsor
- Trade licence copy (for a company)
- Additional requirements may apply on a cases to case basis
Wages Protection System (WPS)
Read about the Wages Protection System (WPS).
Read about health insurance.
Financing your business
Depending on your company's activity, banks in the UAE offer several financing options that will stimulate the growth of your business.
For documents and procedures, you can check with the respective bank as these will vary since financing products are backed by different assets.
You can obtain financial products which are in compliance with the Islamic Shari'a banking guidelines.
It is important to remember to settle payments on time to avoid penalties.
Know entities and programmes supporting SMEs in the UAE.
Advertising your business
There are several ways to market your products or services in the UAE. You could fulfil the marketing efforts on your own or through an outsourced agency specialised in marketing. In both cases, some forms of advertising require a coordination and approval of government entities concerned. A marketing agency will be helpful since it is aware of the procedures and regulations needed for each type of marketing.
Handling legal issues
There are three primary sources of the UAE law:
- federal laws and decrees (applicable in all emirates)
- local laws enacted by the individual emirates
- Sharia'h (Islamic law)
In addition, there are arbitration centres established by the individual emirates' Chambers of Commerce and Industry, specialised in reconciling commercial disputes before going to the courts.
It is important to choose the right law firm, as you will need to obtain legal consultation for a variety of business decisions including disputes, contracts, employment and copyright and intellectual property.
Get legal advice and counselling from government entities.
Doing business with government bodies
You need to register with government body you are planning to do business with. The government body will verify your company and then your company will appear in its 'list of approved suppliers'.
This will entitle you to bid for tenders as per the guidelines shared along with the invitation to bid. The government bodies follow a fair and transparent procedure while issuing contracts.
Several government bodies provide online registration. Some government bodies even publish invitation to bid on their websites.
You are advised to check the websites of federal and local government bodies.
Read about government tendering and awarding.
Conducting foreign trade
You can import goods into and exports good from the UAE through the airports, seaports and roadways. You need to comply with the local laws and customs' procedures to import and exports goods legally into and from the UAE.
Find information and services about customs clearance.
Cargo and freight services
Complying with health, environment and safety regulations
Read about complying with health, environment and safety regulations.
Is it possible to renew the licence a month or two before its expiration date?
Should a foreign company translate all its documents into Arabic if it wishes to open a branch in Dubai?
What are the conditions for obtaining a consulting licence?
You need to have the requisite educational qualifications and obtain necessary approvals.
What are the fees for issuing a licence for the different activities and legal forms of a business?
The fees are not constant. They differ according to the different types of licences. The licence owner can check with the DED in the respective emirate.
What is the difference between a commercial name and a trademark?
A commercial name is the name on the licence plate on the shops, while the trademark is the logo that distinguishes each company.
Updated on 26 Feb 2024