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UAE’s most dynamic free zone jurisdiction

22 November 2017

As the rapid success of the UAE continues, Ras Al Khaimah provides spectacular economics opportunities. Ras Al Khaimah is a place great to live with its high quality and affordable housing, shopping malls, and lots of family activities; it could offer a fabulous lifestyle matched only by an environment that is a great place to conduct business [...]

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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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Contact us for Free Consultation

SFM provides complimentary consultation to its existing and potential clients on UAE incorporations. Since the UAE laws are quite diverse and there are so many different options for incorporations, with the added element of residency laws and labor affairs.

This advice can prove very beneficial for a new company wishing to enter this lucrative market and to help them navigate through the red tape and complicated procedures.

From Free zone entities to local onshore incorporations, we at SFM are up-to date with the new laws and regulations. We put all of this information at your disposal, so that you may be able to focus on the management of your company and not to waste time dealing with different government entities or formal processes.

The advantages of a UAE incorporation for businessmen can be summarized as follow:

  • With strong and reliable banking and a currency that is pegged to the US Dollar, this is a good banking environment
  • Couple with strong banking, is liberal laws and absolute free movement of funds, there are no restrictions on capital and profit repatriation
  • Since UAE is not a tax haven per se, it is easy to use UAE company formations to deal with different clients worldwide
  • The history of import – export and the strong trading tradition of UAE make this a very attractive location for any company dealing with trading and other such related activities
  • The very strong construction industry is well documented and provides a huge market for all construction related activities to prosper and operate in very dynamic environment
  • A UAE corporation, is free to hold accounts in many parts of the world, giving you a respectable institution with access to various bank accounts worldwide. We at SFM pride ourselves in our banking introduction abilities and look forward to providing this service to our clients for their benefits





Select your Company Type

There are very many jurisdictions and incorporation options here in the United Arab Emirates. Within those different jurisdictions, there are decisions to be made on the type of entity and the different types of offices / warehouses / showrooms.

Following that there are visa formalities and medical examinations:

All this may sound over whelming but as an SFM client, you will be guided every step of the way. You will not need to go to any unnecessary departments to submit or sign documents. The majority of the work will be done by ourselves, only asking you to attend when it is mandatory.

From amongst all these different possibilities, SFM endeavors to advise you on the most suitable package for your specific needs and to ensure the success and continuity of your venture. Whether it be a General trading license, a specialized trading license, industrial license, professional service licenses or other forms of incorporations, the choices are many and we aim to provide you with the most relevant information.

The various free zones that are available all offer similar incorporation but which one is most beneficial to your specific needs?

Which one is geographically located in proximity to the areas of business that most supply your needs?

How will the incorporation process be affected by the documentation that you are able to provide?

What number of employees do you wish to accommodate in your office and is this possible with the incorporation package that you are considering?

All these questions and many more will arise once you begin to look at incorporating in UAE. We will be on standby in order to provide the relevant information at your convenience.





Get a License Notification

Once all the necessary documents have been obtained and formalized, the initial application process will begin at the relevant issuing authority. The formal name of the company is also addressed here. This stage is quite crucial in that it paves the way for the final fees to be clarified and the final acceptance of the proposed activities of the company.


Once the initial approval is granted, we would then be able to settle the final fees and expect the incorporation certificate to be issued. Throughout this entire process, you will be guided and steered in the right direction by a dedicated SFM Corporate Service Officer. The summary of different companies available for you to incorporate are as follows:

Limited Liability Company

  • Very versatile company
  • Sponsor is needed
  • The foreigner can only be maximum 49% shareholder
  • Office space is required (we can arrange virtual offices also)
  • Residence visa is provided depending upon the license
  • Able to open UAE accounts and accounts worldwide
  • Has access to other GCC markets through its UAE incorporation
  • Has the ability to register at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce


Professional License company (no limited liability)

  • Only able to conduct business in the specific area of expertise of the license owner / manager
  • A local service agent is needed
  • The foreigner may be 100% shareholder
  • Office space is required (we can arrange virtual offices)
  • Residence visa is provided
  • Able to open UAE accounts and accounts worldwide
  • Has access to other GCC markets through its UAE incorporation
  • Has the ability to register at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce


Free Zone Company

  • Only able to trade within the specified free zone and to operate worldwide
  • Goods exiting the free zone to enter mainland UAE must pay a 5% customs duty
  • No sponsor is needed
  • Foreigner can own 100% of the license
  • Residence visas are issued
  • Office space is required within the free zone and this is strictly enforced
  • Able to open UAE bank accounts and accounts worldwide
  • Has the option of becoming a member of the Chamber of Commerce through the relevant office in the specific Free Zone


Offshore company

  • Only able to trade outside of the UAE
  • No residence visa is issued except in the case of a JAFZE offshore license with an office space inside JAFZA
  • No local sponsor needed
  • Foreigner can own 100%
  • Able to have UAE bank accounts
  • Able to have accounts worldwide






Rapid Bank Account Opening

At SFM we consider a company to be impractical unless it holds a corporate bank account. The exceptions are holding companies that are created with the sole purpose of holding shares in other companies. Thus we have developed a banking network and expertise which enables us to open accounts for all companies we register. Obviously, the final decision to open an account depends on the bank. So far, our opening success rate, in the UAE, is 100%.

Our professional status «International Corporate Service Provider» and our signing of a good conduct charter give us the status of «eligible introducer» in the eyes of financial establishments in general. As a result of this, opening an account and managing the dossier are much simpler, we send the banking file directly to our clients. We can open bank accounts by correspondence for the majority of banks with whom we work internationally. However, in the UAE the law requires that the client has to meet in person with the bank. We therefore arrange this meeting for our clients, in our own offices, to ease the process. You are also able to open personal bank accounts for you and any of your relatives / employees at this stage. The account will be active about 5 working days after the visit and you will then be given all your online access and your requested cards will be dispatched to your specified address or delivered to you in person.

As a general rule the following facilities are available from the financial establishments with whom we work :

  • Multi-currency accounts
  • E banking
  • Trading in currency, shares and other titles
  • Interest bearing accounts
  • Credit card and debit card
  • Letter of Credit
  • Structured products
  • Capital Guaranteed products


With our fifteen years of experience in the field, we were able to select banks that are secure; provide excellent services, as well as numerous banking facilities (e-banking, credit cards, letters of credit etc.).

How do we choose our banks?

In addition, other important characteristics were studied before selecting a bank, such as :

  • Bank confidentiality to preserve the privacy of our customers
  • Financial guarantees of the bank to avoid the risk of bankruptcy
  • Excellent reputation of the institution
  • Wide range of financial products offered.

The SFM customer profile is very varied and includes among others, entrepreneurs, pensioners, shareholders, import-export businessmen, heirs, consultants, patent owners, etc. We have therefore developed a banking network where an account can be opened for any type of activity and to suit our diverse clientele. We shall arrange all the relevant paperwork to open the bank account and this will allow our clients to simply focus on the development of their business strategy whilst they rest assured that the administrative process is being dealt with by us.





Visa Processing & Stamping

There are a few mandatory formalities that must be completed before you are able to have your UAE residence visa issued. Our clients can expect that they will be guided step by step through the immigration formalities of the UAE. Our specialized team of public relations officers will endeavor to make the process as streamlined and fast as is possible. Allowing our valued clients to focus on their companies’ performance. We will also provide you with immigration advice concerning your family and staff, should you require such assistance.

The immigration process falls under two basic categories one being the residency and the other combining the residency with the work permits to be able to work commercially in the country. The various entities involved are the Naturalization and residency departments and the Department of Labor, the Ministry of Interior is also a party to these formalities.

Once a company has been formally incorporated in any of the UAE jurisdictions. It is then possible to start the residency visa process. This is quite a simple process involving the medical exam, which is mandatory for all and subsequent application to issue residency for the individual.

Generally the medical examination takes a maximum of 5 working days, although this can be expedited in most cases with an urgent medical application.

Once the residence visa has been approved it is a simple process of entering it into your passport whilst simultaneously obtaining your emirates identification card. For persons wishing to take up employment there is a mandatory requirement to obtain a labor card from the labor ministry.

SFM dedicated corporate service officers will be at hand throughout the entire process to assist you and to speed up the process where possible.