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DUBAI FREE ZONES COMPANY FORMATION

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VAT in the UAE

12 February 2017

As announced in February 2016 by the UAE Minister of State for Financial Affairs, His Excellency Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, the UAE will introduce a Value Added Tax (VAT) of 5% beginning January 1, 2018. The six other states that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region will also be implementing a VAT during this time and/or by January 1, 2019 at the latest [...]

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UAE Free Zones – The Key for Fulfilling Economic Substance Requirement

1 September 2016

Incorporating in the UAE offers the leverage to foreign businesses to keep up with the requirements of tax authorities for economic substance through its free zone (FZ) structures. Businesses of any size can now take the opportunity to locate their business functions in the UAE and benefit from substantial tax savings, while satisfying the criteria for economic substance. [...]

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FREE ZONES, ONSHORE, OFFSHORE: WHAT ARE THE

DIFFERENCES?

Free zone entity (FZE)

Dubai has multiple free zones on its territory. The main characteristic of a Free Zone entity is that it allows the client to own 100% of the corporation. Therefore there is no need for a local sponsor. The Free zone entity is allowed to transact within the free zone and internationally.

An office space is mandatory and residence visas are possible depending on the size of the office / work premises.

There is a mandatory need for accounts to be kept and audited yearly.


Onshore

This type of incorporation entails the use of a Local person as a partner or an agent, depending on the type of incorporation. This local partner or agent is entitled to a yearly fixed fee, which is usually predetermined by contract. The advantage is that this type of incorporation allows for the conducting of business throughout the UAE and internationally.

An office space is mandatory and residence visas are possible depending on the size of the office / work premises.

There are no accounting or auditing requirements.


Offshore

This follows your typical offshore IBC type incorporations, there is no need for an office to be rented and therefore it does not allow for the issuance of residence visas for this type of incorporation.

There is no accounting or auditing requirements.