Benefits Of Starting A Business In Abu Dhabi

by Zaara 25, Mar 2020

Benefits Of Starting A Business In Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is located where you will find the best work/life balance, is also home to nearly 3 million people worldwide.

You will be in a thriving business territory by setting up your business here,

  • Home to all federal government offices, the capital of the UAE in terms of a pop income and GDP, is the wealthiest Emirate of the UAE that contributes 65 percent of the UAE's economy.
  • In 2018, it was voted first in the Arab world for 'ease of doing business,' by the World Bank.
  • The economic growth along with cutting-edge infrastructure and direct flights to the world's major capitals.
  • The largest Emirate - accounting for 87 percent of UAE territory because of the strategic location between East and West, Abu Dhabi covers a 24-hour business clock.
  • The country is multi-cultural and English speaking.
  • Financial plans have been announced for Abu Dhabi in June 2018 aimed at accelerating the economic growth of small as well as medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs.
  • Registration and license fees are now waived to all new businesses and freelancers for their first two years, effective from 1st December 2018.

General Requirements

Expatriates wanting to launch a business in Abu Dhabi need to associate with an Emirati. The Emirati associate or associates must own at least 51 percent of the company's capital.

The business of the trading agency in the UAE shall be bound to UAE nationals only is what the Law on the Regulation of Commercial Agencies specifies, for commercial agencies or branches of foreign companies.

The legal forms of companies that are accepted in Abu Dhabi are Limited Liability Company (LLC), Limited Partnership Company, Partnership Company, Public Shareholding Company, and Private Shareholding Company.

Both national and foreign investors need to join the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry to perform any economic activity for the renewal or issuance of a business license in the Emirate, a certificate of membership is deemed to be necessary.

Steps to Start a Business

Starting a business in Abu Dhabi mainly involves six critical phases in general:

Regulating The Commercial Activity

Before you initiate the procedures for issuing the business license, it is essential to decide on the activity/activities of the calculated business as the legal requirements and fees vary according to the nature of the action.

To facilitate the process of regulating the activity, the investor can visit the concerned authority to enquire about the activities available for licensing. Besides, he/she can use the convenient electronic services such as the Economic Consultation provided by the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Business Consulting service, which is available exclusively for Emiratis conditioned by the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development.

Regulating Legal Form of Business

Some various legal forms and structures are appropriate to the needs and nature of your business. Different rules and regulations apply to each right kind and ownership type, which include:

  • Establishment
  • Branch
  • The company should take one of the following forms:
    • Limited Liability Company
    • Partnership Company
    • Limited Partnership Company
    • Private Shareholding Company
    • Public Shareholding Company

Trade Name Registration

After selecting the activity and legal structure of the business, a trading name that distinguishes the firm from others and conforms to the nature of the action and legal form should be selected.

Obtaining Initial Approval

After securing the trade name certificate, the investor can start the procedures for issuing the initial approval. The initial support is the certificate that enables an investor to proceed with the formalities of issuing a business license and to approach the relevant authorities for getting their approval for practicing the required business activity. For foreign investors, obtaining the consent of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) is mandatory.

The capitalist can also rent the site of his business at this stage. To see if the proposed site connects the conditions and specifications set and whether it is worthy of the activity type, he can visit the Commercial Protection Division at DED and the pertinent authorities.

Obtaining Approvals from Concerned Authorities

After receiving the initial approval, the investor can visit the authority to get the support and fulfill the legal demands. It is worth mentioning that DED has joined forces with some entities to facilitate the issuance of authorizations electronically, and these entities are :

  • Department of Transport
  • Supreme Petroleum Council
  • General Authority of Youth & Sports Welfare
  • Abu Dhabi - Public Health Division (Abu Dhabi Municipality)
  • Waste Management Center
  • Western Region – Public Health Division (Abu Dhabi Municipality)
  • Abu Dhabi Safety center and Environment Health
  • Abu Dhabi Center for both Vocational and Technical Education and Training
  •  Al-Ain – Public Health Division (Abu Dhabi Municipality)
  • Abu Dhabi Sewerage Service Company
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • General Directorate of Civil Defense

However, some business activities need only the agreement of the Department of Economic Development (DED).

Issue of Business License

The investor can visit the DED and attain all legal requirements and pay fees for issuing the business license after obtaining the agreement of the relevant authorities if any,

The permits granted by several licensing authorities in Abu Dhabi include Agricultural License, Commercial License, Vocational License, Professional License, Industrial License, and Tourism License. 

Free Zone Company

The Free Zone offers benefits such as providing tax exemptions, facilitating the import and export process, allowing foreigners to own capital, and is an economic zone that attracts foreign investments.

Abu Dhabi has four free zones: Masdar City Free Zone, Science and Technology Park, Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad), Abu Dhabi Airport, and

twofour54 (the Media Zone Authority).

Any company that is operating in the Free Zone will be considered an LLC and will be subject to the laws and regulations of the Free Zone in which it was established.

Advantages of Free Zones

  • One hundred percent ownership of the company
  • Ability to transfer capital and profits from the Free Zone
  • Exemption from import and export taxes
  • Exception from personal income tax and corporation taxes
  • They are facilitating the acquisition of permits and licenses required
  • Access to suitable workforce accommodation

Approach Towards Assistance

Get in touch with a UAE based business consultant Commitbiz- who are market leaders in the sector and have assisted successful business setup in the UAE and can guide you professionally with the entire procedure. Contact us today to avail our exceptional services.

Start your Entrepreneurship Journey Today in UAE at AED 5,500

Commitbiz will help you with every step of your success journey. You can get one-on-one mentorship from our experts and get guidance on how to clear the legal proceedings and grow your business.

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