The UAE is home to thousands of companies requiring accountants, auditors or tax consultants to represent them. Submission to an independent annual audit is a requirement for keeping a license in specific industries, making the use of such services compulsory.
It offers an excellent opportunity for UAE entrepreneurs with a head for numbers. Although some extra steps are required, it is still reasonably straightforward to apply for a license to practice as an accountant, tax consultant, bookkeeper, or auditor.
You will also have to have specific qualifications in your profession, as well as a business license. To start with, here's what you need to know.
Starting Your Business in the UAE
If you want to start an accounting firm in Dubai, start an audit firm or plan to create your own bookkeeping business. You’ll need to take a few steps before making your license application.
The first is to determine the operation of your company. To ensure that you are appropriately certified, any practice you choose to conduct - tax consulting, auditing, accounting etc. - must be specified.
Choosing a company name is the next step. In the UAE, this takes a little more thinking than in other parts of the world. Since the UAE has a set of naming conventions that are rigid but simple to follow, a business formation specialist will help you make sure you follow them.
In short, you can avoid any language which is offensive or profane. When naming your business after yourself, avoid names of well-known organisations and avoid abbreviations. You must also verify the availability of your preferred name for registration.
Next, you can determine if you want to create a free zone on the UAE’s mainland.
Both have many benefits. Free zones such as Fujairah Creative City offer advantages such as short and straightforward incorporation, ongoing business support and financial services such as tax exemptions and zero currency restrictions.
On the other hand, the mainland’s creation enables you to trade directly with the UAE market and take on potentially lucrative government agreements.
The configuration that works best for you will largely depend on the nature and scale of your company. A specialist in the business formation may advise on the best approach.
Applying for Your License
Once you have chosen the right setup, outlined your operations and picked your company name, you will build your business license application. In most situations, you will need a professional services certificate to trade as either an auditor, accountant or tax consultant in the UAE.
You may apply either directly to the Department of Economic Development (DED) or directly to one of the several free zones in the UAE for a professional services license.
Free zones are also the simplest and most cost-effective way to set up in the UAE, providing many attractive advantages, including a zero per cent tax on personal and corporate income and a 100% customs tax exemption. UAE free-zone companies also benefit from the right to repatriate all invested resources and earnings, unlike in many other nations. There are also no foreign exchange controls or currency restrictions.
You may require further accreditation to work in finance-related occupations, as well as your license. Depending on the nature of your business, the exact demands will differ.
Starting an Accounting Business
The criteria for opening an accounting firm are reasonably clear in Dubai and the UAE. As well as taking the steps above, you will also need to hold a related accounting qualification.
It could be a degree in accounting or related qualification. You can sit exams in the UAE to improve your chances of being accepted for your accounting license or bookkeeping license if you don't have such a certification.
How to Register as an Auditor in the UAE?
To get an audit license in Dubai, UAE, you will have to hold an accounting degree or a similar qualification once again. You should also be able to demonstrate relevant experience in the financial/auditing industry. Finally, you must pass an exam before you can obtain your auditing certificate.
How to Start a Tax Consulting Business?
The steps needed to start a Dubai tax consulting company are similar to those described above. Besides having a certificate for professional services, you may also need to show that you possess an accounting degree or a related area of expertise. To become a licensed tax advisor, you will also be expected to pass an exam.
Cost of Starting an Auditing, Accounting or Tax Consultancy Firm
The cost of starting a UAE accounting, audit or tax consulting firm would depend on various factors, such as particular business operations and the company’s size and position.
If you want to set up in Fujairah Creative City Free Zone, for instance, you can expect to pay in the region of AED 19,000-AED 25,000 to obtain your license and visa. More specifically, AED 20,575 would be the approximate cost of setting up a single shareholder eligible for single access as a tax consultant in Fujairah Creative City, plus the use of co-working space.
Ready to Start your Accountancy, Audit or Tax Consultancy Firm in the UAE?
While the steps necessary to start a business in the UAE are not too complicated, a degree of prior knowledge of the process is required. Moreover, it is essential to remember that the application process is only easy if the business application is complete and free of errors at the time of submission.
It's a good idea to consult with a business formation professional while forming a new company in the UAE to help you ensure that this is the case.
We are Commitbiz, Fujairah Creative City Free Zone's official representative office for Dubai. We will help if you want to register a new company in Dubai, get a Dubai trade license, a free zone license or start a small business in Dubai. We handle everything, from visa applications to all the required admin tasks, leaving you open to get on with your business.
If you are one of the interested entrepreneurs/investors who are eager to start this business, we at Commitbiz can help you with it. Contact us today- we'd be happy to help you.