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We have gathered commonly asked questions to provide more information about the Ministry of Economy and its services. Please enter a keyword or topic in the search box or browse the FAQs by topic.

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The official working hours in the Ministry are from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm on Monday to Thursday, and 7:30 am to 12:30 pm on Fridays.

Abu Dhabi Office: 10th to 18th Floor, Liwa Tower, Exhibition area
Dubai Office: 35th to 41st Floor, Central Park Towers, DIFC

Click here to find the Ministry's organisational structure.

  • HE Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri – Minister of Economy
  • HE Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi - Minister of State for Foreign Trade
  • Determining the general policies and strategic direction of the Ministry.
  • Supervising the development and approval of the Ministry’s strategic plans and its executive programmes and following up on their implementation.
  • Supervising and regulating the workflow and relevant decisions within the Ministry and following up on the completion of reports.
  • Preparing and implementing budget appropriations.
  • Any other functions entrusted to him by virtue of laws, decrees, or decisions issued by the UAE Cabinet.
  • Delegating some of his powers to the Director General or whomever he deems appropriate from among the specialists within the Ministry.

The Minister of State for Foreign Trade oversees the development of non-oil foreign trade sectors and the expansion of global partnerships, in addition to enhancing the investment climate in the country, to establish its position as a major destination for businesses on the regional and global levels.

Please click here to go to e-Services.

Yes. You can download the mobile app, ‘Ministry of Economy Dashboards – UAE’ from the App Store or Google Play Store. Users can use the app to access the Ministry’s e-Services, interactive user reports that indicate the tasks required to be performed by the user, as well as information about the user’s applications and payments.

You can send your suggestion/note by sending an email to info@economy.ae or through the suggestion/note cards available on MoE’s customer service centres.

Please click here to find career opportunities and job vacancies in the Ministry.

Please click the links below to go to the social media accounts of the Ministry.

Such companies can apply through the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Companies with a free zone license cannot apply for a Certificate of Origin from the Ministry.

Yes, it can be amended, but only once.

Yes, because the certificate is valid for only one shipment.

A single Certificate of Origin can only be used once to export products.

Yes, the maximum period is 180 days from the date of issuance.

The Certificate of Origin from the Ministry of Economy is exempted from customs duties, whereas the certificate issued by the Chambers of Commerce and Industry is not exempted from customs duties.

Yes, but the factory must be registered with the Ministry of Economy, and the customer must attach two invoices the factory invoice itself and the customer's purchase invoice from the factory.

To register a new patent, submit your online application via the website of the Ministry of Economy. Fill out the application and attach the required files mentioned in the service card, in addition to paying the required amount.

The International Centre for Patent Registration (ICPR) under the Ministry of Economy is the responsible authority for patent registration in the UAE.

  • Go to services.economy.ae.
  • Register on the site.
  • Go to Patents and Industrial Designs under e-Services.
  • Fill out the application forms. Completed applications shall be attached in both Arabic and English, together with all technical and legal documents.
  • Formal review and initial formal inspection of the submitted documents
  • An approval letter is sent to proceed with the next step
  • Pay the required application fees for individuals and companies
  • Attached Copy
  • Passport and ID copy
  • Passport and Emirates ID Copy
  • Agency Authorisation Letter Copy
  • Other Attachments
  • Trade License Copy
  • Authorisation Document Copy
  • Passport Copy
  • Proof of the author or right owner
  • Trade license Copy
  • Go to services.economy.ae.
  • Register on the site.
  • Go to Material Copyright Registration under e-Services.
  • Fill out the application.
  • Submit/upload documents.
  • Process payment.
  • Review of application
  • Download certification upon approval.
  • Original registry/renewal certificate in the Ministry's registry
  • A true copy of the license of pertinent authorities of the emirate
  • Annual Financial Statement of the branch
  • An official certificate by the pertinent authorities of the country indicating the name, legal status and the activities (to be submitted every 3 years)
  • If the local agent is a non-natural person, a true copy of the license of pertinent authorities of the Emirate shall be attached
  • Other Attachments
  • Trade name reservation certificate and initial approval of local pertinent authority identifying the activities
  • Initial approval of local pertinent authority identifying the activities
  • An official certificate by the pertinent authority of the country where the mother facility is registered, indicating name and date of facility, legal status, capital, business activities, and names of the facility’s owners
  • A resolution by the mother foreign facility to open a branch or an office to execute business in the UAE
  • Authorisation for the representatives
  • True copy of the agency contract between the mother facility and local agent
  • True copy of the local agent’s family registration card or identity card in case of a natural person or an owner of an individual establishment. However, in the case of a non-natural agent a true copy of the license of pertinent authorities of the Emirate and registration certificate in commercial registry must be attached.
  • Other Attachments
  • Login to e-Services site.
  • Click on the username. From the menu, select Change Password.
  • Enter the old and the new password and click on Change Password.

Please contact our technical support by email at ILsupport@economy.ae and explain the issue or the error messages that appear.

You can make a complaint by calling the hotline 600-522225 or visiting the nearest Customer Service Centre (Consumer Protection Counter).

Please click here to access the Services section.

1-      Receiving complaints filed by national manufacturers against imported products from outside Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, which may pose a threat or hinder the local industry's growth and recovery.

2-      Defending national manufacturers against allegations raised by foreign authorities on UAE exports.

3-      Issuance of export permissions for wheat and wheat flour products that are processed by registered and approved companies in the UAE.

4-      Issuance of payment statement of industrial waste export fees.

5-      Issuance of export permissions and rice re-export permissions.

6-      Issuance of Letters of Undertaking for anti-dumping duties on ceramic imports.

7-      Issuance of certificates indicating non-compliance of imported shipments with anti-injurious measures, specified as exceptions in the valid ministerial circulars.

A ministerial decree was recently issued on June 19, 2023, which prohibits the export of scrap iron. This ban was in effect until September 19, 2023. However, an exception for the export of industrial waste was also made, as long as the necessary fees are paid to the Ministry of Economy.

The export service for scrap iron has been terminated and instead, a new service has been launched. It involves issuance of a fee payment statement for a total of nine different types of waste, before being exported outside the country. The collection process is facilitated by MoEc services.

The scrap iron export service has been terminated. Instead, a new service has taken its place. This new service entails issuance of a payment statement for industrial waste fees for nine different types of waste before being exported outside the country. The collection process is facilitated by MoEc.

Indeed, that is right. A final anti-dumping duty has been imposed on ceramic and porcelain imports of Indian and Chinese origins, in accordance with Ministerial Circular No. 1 of 2020, which came into effect on June 6, 2020, and will remain in effect for a period of five years.

The Ministry's website will announce all decisions regarding the imposition of anti-dumping duties on the Regulation of Business page, specifically under the Anti-Injurious Economic Practices section.

• Inquiries on imported products that are subject to anti-dumping duties by virtue of ministerial circulars.

• Factories that have been adversely affected and wish to inquire about or file complaints on matters related to anti-dumping, the increase in imports, or support, against foreign exports, excluding those from GCC countries.

 • Traders: factories;

importers: (companies and individuals);

 Exporters: (companies and individuals), and government entities.

The price list is available in accordance with Cabinet Resolution No. 131 of 2023 on export fees for industrial waste.

To apply for the service, please register on the Ministry's website and choose the services to combat harmful practices. Click on the service "Wheat Export Authorization and Wheat Flour". The list of documents needed is as follows: -

• Import and re-export cases:

Certificate of origin from import country + purchase invoice + import customs statement + re-export customs statement + trade license.

• Export cases of foreign wheat product:

Certificate of origin from import country + purchase invoice + import customs statement + export customs statement + freight policy + trade license.

• Export cases of locally processed wheat product:

UAE Certificate of Origin for Wheat Product + Purchase Bill + Customs Statement for Export + Trade License.

 

No fees have been determined for the service yet, so it is a free service.

 

Note:

It is the client's responsibility to ensure that the data entered is correct, so as to avoid any delays that it may cause.

 

The adoption of Ministerial Decree No. 144 of 2022, amending Ministerial Decree No. 72 of 2022 deregulates imports and exports of wheat and wheat flour from other countries. Currently, the restriction is limited to India only. Therefore, there are no restrictions on the export of wheat and wheat flour to and from other countries. Kindly explain to companies that they can export freely and without the need for export license whenever the source of wheat is imported from any other country, except for India. The current prohibition is limited only when imports of wheat are of  Indian origin.

Yes, the export and re-export of rice was temporarily suspended outside the country for a period of 4 months from July 20, 2023. According to the decision, the period automatically gets extended until a decision is issued to cancel the suspension.

The Ministry also notes that companies wishing to export or re-export rice varieties and products not originating in the Republic of India must apply to the Ministry for export permission outside the country.

Yes, the import of scrap from the following countries: Yemen, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Congo has been halted.

 

We would also like to highlight the following points:

1. The directives did not specify a time period for the application of the procedures, in addition, we do not have any information about any updates to them.

2. The above directives are specific to imports and do not include exports.

3. The directives were issued to prevent the import of scrap and did not contain a description of the name or customs code of the product.

4. The directives included specific countries to prevent the import of scrap: Yemen, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Congo.

The application is denied if the shipment is of Indian origin and imported after July 20, 2023. The application can be denied if the customer fails to enter the data into the application form correctly, or fails to attach the required documents after being granted opportunities for modification.

The request is rejected if the request is found repeated, either for applications previously approved, or the customer deletes the application after returning to amend it. We therefore advise the client to send an email to the Department's email id, highlighting the old application number and the new application number to assist him.

Pursuant to Cabinet Decision No. 118 of 2023 on the Controls of Industrial Waste Valuation Policy, they are 9 types: iron scrap, paper waste, used cooking oils, raw leather, scrap and waste electrical and electronic equipment, air tyre waste, solid plastic waste, aluminum waste, and  copper scrap.

The Industrial Waste Payment Statement Service is available as part of the Ministry's online services and can be found under the ‘Harmful Practices Services’ category.

The procedures for business incorporation in the UAE are subject to the requirements of each emirate. We recommend visiting the official website of the Department of Economic Development in the concerned emirate; however, in general, businesses are incorporated in the UAE through one of two options:

Business Incorporation Online
The federal government provides the “Basher” platform for businesses, which is a comprehensive e-Service that enables investors to establish their companies in the UAE online through the unified digital platform fully integrated with the relevant local and federal government entities concerned with licensing economic activities in the UAE. This can be done within minutes and using a quick, convenient and secure process, without the need for investors to physically visit any government agency.
https://basher.gov.ae/invest/#/

Business Incorporation through Conventional Methods
The process of incorporating a commercial business in the UAE goes through a number of steps that include the following:

  • Identify the nature of the activity.
  • Determine the legal structure.
  • Register the trade name.
  • Request for initial approval.
  • Choose the location or address of the commercial activity.
  • Obtain additional government approvals.
  • Submit documents and pay the required fees.

On June 1, 2023, the UAE began implementing corporate tax, which is a direct tax imposed on the taxable income of companies according to the following rates:

  • No tax on income bracket up to AED 375,000.
  • 9 per cent tax on the income exceeding AED 375,000.

 For further details, please visit the official website of the Federal Tax Authority  www.tax.gov.ae

Based on the provisions of Federal Decree-Law No. 26 of 2020 amending the provisions of Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 on Commercial Companies, Federal Decree-Law No. 19 of 2018 on foreign direct investment FDI has been cancelled based on the provisions of Clause 2 of Article 6. Based on this, any decision issued pursuant to Federal Decree Law No. 19 of 2018 on FDI is now null and void, i.e., Resolution No. 16 of 2020 on the Determination of the Positive List of Economic Sectors and Activities Eligible for FDI and percentage of their ownership is considered null and void.

The FDI Law was replaced by a number of amendments to the Commercial Companies Law, the most prominent of which are:

1- Amended provisions of Article 10 in Federal Decree Law No. 26 of 2020 not to specify the percentage of national contribution and limiting it to a list of sectors with strategic impact through a committee by virtue of a UAE Cabinet decision. The committee includes representatives of the competent authorities, in addition to being from the competent local authority has the power to determine a specific percentage for UAE citizens’ contributions to the capital or boards of directors of all companies established within its jurisdiction.

2- Cancellation of the provision that mandated the appointment of an Emirati sponsor for the branches of foreign companies in the country.

Issued on 20 September 2021, the Federal Decree-Law No. 32 of 2021 on commercial companies, introduced several amendments to the Commercial Companies Law.

 

The establishment of a company in the UAE is a well-defined process comprising several steps. Additionally, digital platforms offer the convenient option to complete these procedures online and get a commercial license issued. The procedure involves collection of required documents and submission of the application, after which, the applicant will receive the licence issued within minutes. You can also apply in-person through the Department of Economy & Tourism service centres in the emirate in which you plan to establish your business. Investors can also apply through legal offices or companies specialized in providing business set up services. The process of setting up a company in the UAE commences with the selection of the desired region/location for establishment and specifying the nature of the economic activity. It concludes with the payment of fees and the issuance of the commercial license.

For more information on establishing a business in the Emirates, please visit the “Grow in UAE” page on the official website of the Ministry of Economy through the following link:

https://www.moec.gov.ae/web/guest/establishing-companies

The Cabinet Resolution No. 65 of 2022, which issued the executive regulations of Federal Decree Law No. 29 of 2021 on the entry and residence of foreigners, has enabled some groups of skilled professionals who excel in higher professional levels to get the 10-year golden residency. These groups are based on the professional classification approved by the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation. These include:

A. Presidents and CEOs at the highest position level.

B. Specialists at the second highest level in various categories, as stated in the above-mentioned resolution.

To learn more, please visit the official website of the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Port Security.

Based on the provisions of Federal Decree-Law No. 26 of 2020 amending the provisions of Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 on Commercial Companies, Federal Decree-Law No. 19 of 2018 regarding foreign direct investment FDI has been cancelled based on the provisions of Clause Two of Article Six. Based on this, any decision issued pursuant to Federal Decree-Law No. 19 of 2018 regarding FDI is now null and void, i.e., Resolution No. 16 of 2020 Concerning the Determination of the Positive List of Economic Sectors and Activities Eligible for Foreign Direct Investment and Percentage of their Ownership is now considered null and void.

The FDI Law was replaced by a number of amendments to the Commercial Companies Law, the most prominent of which are:

1-Amended provisions of Article 10 in Federal Decree-Law No. 26 of 2020 not to specify the percentage of national contribution and limiting it to issuing a list of sectors with strategic impact through a committee by UAE Cabinet decision. The committee includes representatives of the competent authorities, in addition to being from the competent local authority has the power to determine a specific percentage for Emirati citizens’ contributions to the capital or boards of directors of all companies established within its jurisdiction.

As far as the telecommunications sector is concerned, it is one of the sectors with strategic impact identified by Cabinet Decision No. 55 of 2021 on activities with strategic impact, which allows foreign investors to own in sectors with strategic impact after the approval of the relevant authorities that regulate these sectors.

To learn more about the benefits offered by the UAE to foreign investors, please visit the "Grow in UAE" page on the official website of the Ministry of Economy.

With regard to investments in the country's agricultural field, kindly direct the client to both the Ministry of Climate Change and the Environment and the Economic Development Department of the particular emirate, as they are primarily concerned and competent in the agricultural sector and its specific requirements.

With regard to investment procedures in the UAE in general, please visit the "Grow in UAE" page on the official website of the Ministry of Economy for more information.

In light of the Federal Law Decree No. 26 of 2020 amending Certain Provisions of Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 on Commercial Companies, the Federal Law Decree Law No. 19 of 2018 on FDI was abolished, pursuant to Article 6, clause No. 2. Accordingly, any decision issued under the Federal Law Decree Law No.19 of 2018 on FDI shall be deemed null and void. The Federal Law Decree Law No. 16 of 2020 on ‘Positive List of Economic Sectors and Activities in which Foreign Direct Investment is Permitted’ with the ownership shall accordingly be deemed null and void.
A number of amendments on the commercial companies replaced the Law of Direct Foreign Investment, as follows:


1- Amending provisions of Article 10 of the Federal Law Decree no. 26 of 2020 providing not to specify the share of national contribution and to be limited only to the issuance of a list of strategic sectors through a panel to be formed by the Cabinet. The Panel shall be composed of two members representing the competent authorities, where the national competent authority will have the authority to specify a certain share of contribution by nationals or all companies’ Board of Directors established within the scope of its jurisdiction. 
2- Abolishing the Article stipulating that a local service agent from the UAE is required.
On 20 September 2021, a Federal Law Decree no. 32 of 2021 on Commercial Companies was issued. It includes all amendments made to the Commercial Companies Law.

In light of the Federal Law Decree No. 26 of 2020 amending Certain Provisions of Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 on Commercial Companies, the Federal Law Decree Law No. 19 of 2018 on Direct Foreign Investment was abolished, pursuant to Article 6, clause No. 2. Accordingly, any decision issued under the Federal Law Decree Law No. 19 of 2018 on FDI shall be deemed null and void. The Federal Law Decree Law No. 16 of 2020 on ‘Positive List of Economic Sectors and Activities in which Foreign Direct Investment is Permitted’ with the ownership shall accordingly be deemed null and void.
A number of amendments on the commercial companies replaced the FDI law, as in following:
1- Amending provisions of Article 10 of the Federal Law Decree no. 26 of 2020 not to specify the share of national contribution and to be limited only to issuing a list of strategic sectors through a panel to be formed by the Cabinet. The Panel shall be composed of two members representing the competent authorities, where the national competent authority will have the authority to specify a certain share of contribution by nationals or all companies’ Board of Directors established within the scope of its jurisdiction.
2- Abolishing the Article that stipulates that a local service agent from the UAE is required.
On 20 September 2021, a Federal Law Decree no. 32 of 2021 on Commercial Companies was issued. It includes all amendments made to the Commercial Companies law.

In light of the Federal Law Decree No. 26 of 2020 amending Certain Provisions of Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 on Commercial Companies, the Federal Law Decree Law No. 19 of 2018 on FDI was abolished, pursuant to Article 6, clause No. 2. Accordingly, any decision issued under the Federal Law Decree Law No. 19 of 2018 on FDI shall be deemed abolished. The Federal Law Decree Law No. 16 of 2020 on ‘Positive List of Economic Sectors and Activities in which FDI is Permitted’ with the ownership shall accordingly be deemed abolished.
A number of amendments on the commercial companies replaced the FDI Law, as follows:
1- Amending provisions of Article 10 of the Federal Law Decree no. 26 of 2020 in a provision not to specify the share of national contribution and to be limited only to issuing a list of strategic sectors through a panel to be formed by the Cabinet. The Panel shall be composed of two members representing the competent authorities, where the national competent authority will have the jurisdiction to specify a certain share of contribution by nationals or all companies’ Board of Directors established within the scope of its jurisdiction.
2- Abolishing the Article providing that a local service agent from the UAE is required.
On 20 September 2021, a Federal Law Decree no. 32 of 2021 on Commercial Companies was issued. It includes all amendments made to the Commercial Companies law.

Following the issuance of Federal Decree-Law No. 26 of 2020, which amends certain provisions of Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 regarding Commercial Companies, the Federal Decree-Law No. 19 of 2018 concerning FDI has been revoked. This resolution is based on the provisions of the second clause of Article 6. As a result, any resolution made under Federal Decree-Law No. 19 of 2018 regarding Foreign Direct Investment is no longer valid. This includes Cabinet Decision No. 16 of 2020, which specified the positive list of sectors and economic activities eligible for foreign direct investment and their ownership percentages.

 

It is important to note that the Foreign Direct Investment Law has been replaced by making a number of amendments to the Commercial Companies Law, the most prominent of which are:

1-      Amendments to the provisions of Article 10 of Federal Decree-Law No. 26 of 2020 by not specifying the percentage of national contribution and restricting it to the issuance of a list of sectors with strategic impact by a committee by a decision of the Cabinet, including representatives of the competent authorities. In addition, it is within the competence of the competent authority local to determine a specific percentage for the contribution of UAE citizens in the capital or boards of directors of all companies established within its jurisdiction.

2-       Cancellation of the article that mandates the appointment of a local agent for the branches of foreign companies in the UAE. On September 20, 2021, Federal Decree-Law No. 32 of 2021 on Commercial Companies was issued, which include all amendments made to the Commercial Companies Law.

 

To learn more about the law, please visit the “Grow in UAE” Legislative Environment page on the Ministry of Economy's website.

 

 

Please visit the official website of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security:

https://beta.smartservices.icp.gov.ae/goldenservices/web/landing

 

Ten days in high-income countries, or four days in the UAE via the economic departments, or just 15 minutes online through the Basher platform.

 

You can apply electronically through Basher platform or electronically through the economic development departments of the UAE:

Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi - Department of Economic Development in Dubai

Department of Economic Development in Sharjah - Department of Economic Development in Ajman

Umm Al Quwain Economic Development Department - Ras Al Khaimah Economic Development Department

Municipality of Fujairah

You can apply in attendance during a visit to one of the following offices:

Service centres.

Tasheel offices.

OnTime Government Services Offices.

Legal Services Offices.

Customer Happiness Centres of Economic Development Services in all UAE.

Companies and investors from different nationalities are permitted to have full ownership in all economic activities as specified by the relevant local authorities, and as outlined in the list of activities with strategic impact.

Investors, entrepreneurs, talented individuals, scientists, experts, top graduates, humanitarian workers, and frontline personnel can apply for a golden residency permit based on specific criteria for each category. For further details, you can visit the official website of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security:

  https://beta.smartservices.icp.gov.ae/goldenservices/web/landing

 

You can find out more about the eligible categories for obtaining the golden residency permit by visiting the website of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, and Ports Security.

 

https://beta.smartservices.icp.gov.ae/goldenservices/web/landing

Renewing a golden residency does not necessitate having a sponsor or host within the country. However, the criteria and conditions that led to the grant of the golden residency must be met, along with the payment of the applicable fees.

Yes, it is necessary to hold a bachelor's degree in accounting. In case of any other specialization, please attach the equivalent of at least 15 credit hours in accounting courses.

The Emirates Association for Accountants and Auditors.

Yes, the auditor is required to complete 30 training hours to renew their registration. The requirement is as follows: 12 accredited training hours from the Emirates Association for Accountants and Auditors and 18 accredited training hours from any other institutes in the field of auditing. Alternatively, they can complete all 30 training hours through the Emirates Association for Accountants and Auditors itself.

In any case, when establishing an auditing company, all partners, whether citizens or non-citizens, must obtain the accredited auditor certificate from the UAE.

The application can be submitted through the Ministry's website: E-Services - Auditors' Services - Request to Submit a Complaint Against an Auditor.

Yes, according to the following guidelines:

  1. Attach a clear copy of the insurance document issued in the name of the entity through which the auditor operates.
  2. If the total annual revenue is less than AED 20 million, the insurance coverage limit should be equal to 100% of that revenue.
  3. If the total annual revenue is more than AED 20 million, the insurance coverage limit should be equal to 120% of that revenue.
  4. The statutory auditor is required to submit the annual statement starting from the end of the second year of registration, adhering to the prescribed percentage for insurance coverage.
  5. The insurance coverage limits are set at AED 500,000 for individual entities and AED 1 million for any type of company.

The MoEc website (service outputs).  

In no circumstances can another party be delegated to sign on behalf of the auditor.

It is the signature of the auditor that is adopted in the reports issued by him and is consistent in the records of the Ministry.

Yes, but all partners must be registered in the auditors registry, with the national participation not less than 25% of the total capital.

It is not required to have the experience certificate accredited by any department or ministry within the country if the experience is within the UAE. However, if the experience is outside of the UAE, it must be authenticated by the relevant authorities.

The practical experience in the field of accounting audit must be at least 5 years after obtaining the academic qualification. For non-citizens of the country, the required practical experience in the field of audit is as follows:

  1. One year if their experience outside the country exceeds 10 years.
  2. Two years if their experience outside the country is between 5 and 10 years.
  3. Three years if their experience outside the country is between 2 and 5 years.

 

It is required to attach a clear copy of the annual statement (revenues of the previous year).

Yes, but under the following conditions:

  1. The license must be valid in the country of the expatriate's nationality.
  2. The company must have practiced the profession in its home country for a period of no less than ten years.
  3. Each branch in the country must have an authorized representative registered in the auditors registry for natural persons practicing the profession in the country, according to the provisions of this law.

The main office: - Refers to a local auditing office or company.

The branch: - Refers to a branch of the main office or company.

The AML-CFT Law (Federal Decree-law No. (20) of 2018 on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Illegal Organisations) defines money laundering as engaging in any of the following acts wilfully, having knowledge that the funds are the proceeds of a felony or a misdemeanour

  • Transferring or moving proceeds or conducting any transaction with the aim of concealing or disguising their illegal source
  • Concealing or disguising the true nature, source or location of the proceeds as well as the method involving their disposition, movement, ownership of or rights with respect to said proceeds
  • Acquiring, possessing or using proceeds upon receipt
  • Assisting the perpetrator of the predicate offense to escape punishment

The crime of Money Laundering is considered an independent crime. The punishment of the perpetrator for the predicate offence shall not prevent his punishment for the crime of Money Laundering.

No. in order to be considered money laundering, it is not necessary for any of the stipulated acts to involve only money or monetary instruments per se, but any number of tangible or intangible assets such as, but not limited to:

  • Funds bank or other financial accounts, including virtual or so-called crypto currencies
  • Financial instruments or securities, such as shares, bonds, notes, commercial paper, promissory notes, IOUs, share warrants, options, rights (including land rights), or other transferrable securities or bearer negotiable instruments
  • Contracts, loan instruments, titles, claims, insurance policies, or their assignment
  • Intellectual property (including but not limited to patents or registered trademarks), royalties, licenses, or the rights thereto
  • Physical property, including but not limited to commodities, land, precious metals and stones, motor vehicles or vessels, works of art, or any other goods exchanged as payment-in-kind

The AML-CFT Law defines the financing of terrorism as:

  • Committing any act of money laundering, being aware that the proceeds are wholly or partly owned by a terrorist organisation or terrorist person or intended to finance a terrorist organisation, a terrorist person or a terrorism crime, even if it without the intention to conceal or disguise their illicit origin
  • Providing, collecting, preparing or obtaining proceeds or facilitating their obtainment by others with intent to use them, or while knowing that such proceeds will be used in whole or in part for the commitment of a terrorist offense, or committing such acts on behalf of a terrorist organisation or a terrorist person while aware of their true background or purpose.

The AML-CFT Law defines the financing of illegal organisations as:

  • Committing any act of money laundering, being aware that the proceeds are wholly or partly owned by an illegal organisation or by any person belonging to an illegal organisation or intended to finance such illegal organisation or any person belonging to it, even if without the intention to conceal or disguise their illicit origin.
  • Providing, collecting, preparing, obtaining proceeds or facilitating their obtainment by others with intent to use such proceeds, or while knowing that such proceeds will be used in whole or in part for the benefit of an Illegal organisation or of any of its members, with knowledge of its true identity or purpose.

The Governor or his delegate shall have the right to freeze suspicious funds deposited at financial institutions for no more than (7) seven working days, in accordance with the rules and controls stipulated in the Implementing Regulation of the present Decree-Law, renewable by order of the public prosecutor or his delegate.

  • Imprisonment and fine of no less than AED100,000 and no more than AED1,000,000; or
  • Any of these two sanctions
  • Imprisonment for no less than six months and a penalty of no less than AED100,000 and no more than AED500,000; or
  • Any of these two sanctions.

Its purpose is to provide guidance and assistance to supervised institutions that are DNFBPs, in order to assist their better understanding and effective performance of their statutory obligations under the legal and regulatory framework in force in the UAE.

  • Auditors and accountants
  • Lawyers, notaries and other legal professionals and practitioners
  • Company and trust service providers
  • Dealers in precious metals and stones
  • Real estate agents and brokers
  • Any other Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) not mentioned above
  • Identifying and assessing ML/FT risks 
  • Establishing, documenting, and updating policies and procedures to mitigate the identified ML/FT risks 
  • Maintaining adequate risk-based customer due-diligence (CDD) and ongoing monitoring procedures 
  • Identifying and reporting suspicious transactions 
  • Putting in place an adequate governance framework for AML/CFT, including appointing an AML/CFT Compliance Officer, and ensuring adequate staff screening and training
  • Maintaining adequate records 
  • Complying with the directives of the Competent Authorities of the State in relation to the
  • United Nations Security Council resolutions 
  • Financial audits related to a client’s books, records, and annual and periodic accounts
  • Operational audits related to a client’s internal controls, governance structures, and risk management processes and procedures
  • Compliance audits related to a client’s adherence to legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Brokers and real estate agents when they conclude operations for the benefit of their customers with respect to the purchase and sale of real estate
  • Lawyers, notaries, and other independent legal professionals and independent accountants, when preparing, conducting or executing financial transactions for their customers in respect of the purchase and sale of real estate.

The goAML system is an integrated digital platform through which Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) can be submitted by financial institutions, designated non-financial businesses and professions, and the relevant authorities. The Financial Intelligence Unit uses it to quickly and efficiently receive, analyse and distribute suspicious transaction reports. It is currently used by a large number of financial information units worldwide, and the UAE is the first Gulf country to implement this modern system.

All Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) must register on the goAML portal. Please read your Trade/Commercial license and complete the DNFBP questionnaire on the MOE website to help determine if you are a DNFBP or not.

  • The first stage is the registration in the protection system, Services Access Control Manager (SACM) of goAML portal.
  • The second stage is the registration in the goAML system. 

To open the goAML portal, you need to pass through the SACM portal by putting the username that you will obtain from the registration stage of the SACM protection system and the password from the Google Authenticator application.

SACM can be accessed at the following link: https://eservices.centralbank.ae/sacm
Click here for more information on SACM.

  • Authorisation letter from the institution you represent 
  • A copy of your passport, resident VISA, Emirates ID
  • A copy of the commercial trade license (for companies)

Download the "Google Authenticator" application on your phone. (This application contains the password for the SACM protection system, which is a password that changes every minute)

Contact number of the person in charge of the company, with the power to make decisions on behalf of the company; either the owner or the manager, and could be the financial manager or the compliance officer.

The regulations apply to fiscal years starting January 1, 2019. Establishments that fall under these regulations must submit an annual notification to their regulatory authority within six months of the end of their fiscal year. They are also required to prepare and submit a report on their actual economic activity to the same regulatory authority within 12 months after the end of their fiscal year (i.e. by December 31, 2020 for establishments ending their fiscal year on December 31, 2019).
 

Example 1: A UAE company's fiscal year starts on January 1, 2019, and ends on December 31, 2019:

The initial evaluation period is from January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2019.

Example 2: A UAE company's fiscal year starts on April 1, 2019, and ends on March 31, 2020:

The initial evaluation period is from April 1, 2019, to March 31, and there is no need to comply with the regulations for the period from January 1, 2019, to March 31, 2019. Example 3: A UAE company's fiscal year starts on July 1, 2018, and ends on June 30, 2019
The initial assessment period runs from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2019, and there is no requirement to adhere to the regulations for the period from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019

The activities mentioned in Cabinet Resolution No. 100 of 2020 are required to notify the Ministry. For more information, please visit the following website: https://mof.gov.ae/economic-substance-regulations-ar/. Headquarters operations.

 Shipping operations.

 Holding company operations.

 Intellectual property (IP) operations.

 Distribution or service center operations

There are no specific procedures, but companies are required to submit the notification if failed to do so.

Failure to provide notification will lead to an AED 20,000 fine.

For further details on fines and appeals under the Real Economic Activities Regulations, please visit the Federal Tax Authority web page on Real Economic Activities via the following link:

https://tax.gov.ae/ar/esr/economic.substance.regulations.aspx

Fine for failure to notify: AED 20,000.

Fine for not submitting a report: AED 50,000.

There is no exemption from fines.

For more information about fines and appeals under the Real Economic Activities Regulations, please visit the Federal Tax Authority’s web page on Real Economic Activities via this link:

https://tax.gov.ae/ar/esr/economic.substance.regulations.aspx

Please be informed that the email is merely a means for communicating with the entity. As for responding to inquiries related to the law, the customer can refer to Cabinet Resolution No. 57 of 2020 dated August 10, 2020, and updated directives issued on August 19, 2020 (Ministerial Resolution No. 100 of 2020). This does not exempt you from submitting notification or reports.

 

For more information on fines and appeals under the Real Economic Activities Regulations, please refer to the Federal Tax Authority’s web page on Real Economic Activities via this link:

https://tax.gov.ae/ar/esr/economic.substance.regulations.aspx

Fines will be applied to companies involved in economic activities, after a field or office audit and inspection process

There is no official decision to extend the announced period as of now.

The Cabinet resolution is subject to the Commercial Registration Department - and the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Department follows up on the implementation of the resolution.

You can visit the Ministry’s website page for business regulation – anti-money laundering department - financial crimes laws - and related resolutions, via the following link

https://www.moec.gov.ae/web/guest/aml

 

The report is delivered through the Ministry of Finance website.

Substantive economic reports must be submitted 12 months after the end of the relevant financial period.

There is no specific deadline for registering in the goAML system. The company is required to register immediately after obtaining the commercial license.

You can visit the official website of the Ministry of Economy - the registration page of the goAML system (platform of the Financial Information Department), and the registration takes place in two stages.

In this case, the customer shall incur a fine of AED 50,000.

An email is received from the department concerned with the fine imposed and the objection to the fine must be sent within 15 days of receipt of the email.

Objections are answered within one month of receiving the user's objection via email.

The contact center can be contacted via a toll-free number or accessed via the Ministry's website. All relevant information is available on the site in detail.

Please send an email to the AML@economy.ae and the Anti-Money Laundering Department will respond to each email in due course. Please do not follow up even if the deadline for submission expires.

Please send an email to the AML@economy.ae and the Anti-Money Laundering Department will respond to each email in due course. Please do not follow up even if the deadline for submission expires.

Please try again within 30 minutes, or send an email to your mail goaml@uaefiu.gov.ae

Please send an email to the AML@economy.ae and the Anti-Money Laundering Department will respond to each email in due course. Please do not follow up even if the deadline for submission expires.

Please access the login instructions available on the Ministry of Economy website via the link:

https://www.moec.gov.ae/web/guest/aml

Or email the Financial Information Department team to help:

goaml@uaefiu.gov.ae

 

After receiving the notification on the fine, the company would be registered for one time only on the official website of the Ministry of Economy, the Anti-Money Laundering Management Service, and then the fine is paid according to the code of the offence sent.

1. The company in violation will be notified by the Anti-Money Laundering Department via the e-mail provided, with details of the violation found, the fine amount and the link to the fine payment page of the Ministry.

2.The payment link is opened by the person in charge on the company’s side (recipient of the email).

3. Page entry is done by registering in the system (once).

4.The required fields (mentioned above) are filled to register, and the system can be accessed if the company is already registered.

5. The fine amount to be paid is selected from the list on the page.

6. Payment is done online using any of the payment methods available, and the receipt is issued digitally through the system with a reference number.

One working day. In case there is a payment error, you can contact technical support via eservices.support@economy.ae e-services.

The Ministry of Economy does not issue any kind of certification regarding the opening of an account on the AML platform.

It is the customer who submits reports and transactions for the sale and purchase of real estate for one transaction that exceeds AED 55,000 or its equivalent through goAML.

It is an organization made up of individuals united by common objectives, striving to achieve their ambitions and goals while addressing various requirements such as economic, social, and cultural needs. This is in accordance with the provisions of Federal Decree Law No. 6 of 2022 on Cooperatives and its executive regulations.

The term ‘competent authority’ within each emirate refers to the local government or the specific entity responsible for issuing cooperative licenses in accordance with the prevailing legislation. The following are the respective competent authorities for each emirate:

·         In Abu Dhabi, it is the Department of Economic Development

·         In Dubai, it is the Department of Economy and Tourism

·         In Sharjah, it is the Department of Economic Development

·         In Ajman, it is the Department of Economic Development

·         In Umm Al Quwain, it is the Amiri Diwan

·         In Fujairah, it is the Fujairah Municipality

·         In Ras Al Khaimah, it is the Department of Economic Development

Cooperatives are fundamentally different from private companies. According to the law, a cooperative is an association of individuals with shared goals, working together to meet their needs and achieve their aspirations. In essence, cooperatives represent social and economic entities that thrive on active member involvement. What sets them apart from other economic entities is that cooperative members serve as both customers and owners, holding the authority to oversee operations, participate in management, and vote on decisions. Additionally, cooperatives play a crucial role in fulfilling social and developmental responsibilities, along with preserving and efficiently utilizing natural resources. Their primary focus is to meet the needs of their members, rather than maximizing profits.

Cooperatives are essential as they represent the most efficient economic model that brings about the necessary balance in the economic landscape. Operating alongside and complementing the private sector, they mitigate its adverse effects and address its deficiencies. Together, they collaborate to attain economic and social development within the framework of sustainable development.

 

The Federal Law Decree No. 6 of 2022 on Cooperatives was issued in August 2022 and came into effect in December 2022.

The final review of the executive regulation project is currently in progress, and it is expected to be released before the end of this year.

Individuals looking to create a cooperative can define the membership criteria essential for its fundamental structure, aligning them with their activities and the nature of their work, while adhering to the legal requirements concerning the minimum number of founders and age. The proposed fundamental regulations should undergo review and approval in accordance with the guidelines established by the relevant authorities. Generally, there are no particular prerequisites for non-citizens, except that the decree-law restricts the formation of typical consumer cooperatives to citizens only.

These are cooperatives that operate in the consumer goods sector in the conventional manner.

Cooperatives can take advantage of various services offered by financial markets, including the management of member records, facilitation of transfers, and administration of share ownership, commonly referred to as registrar tasks. Additionally, they are responsible for overseeing membership organization and trading services on electronic platforms offered by financial markets, in accordance with the specified terms and conditions.

The new Cooperative Law classifies cooperatives into two categories. Primary cooperatives, which may provide special privileges to senior members, including multiple voting rights and preferential treatment based on their investment size in the cooperative; and non-primary cooperatives, which operate under the traditional system ‘one member, one vote’, regardless of share ownership. The executive regulations will outline all the necessary conditions and criteria for defining a cooperative as primary, as well as the procedures for obtaining the mentioned benefits.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an international economic organisation with legal powers derived from its founding convention, which allows it to regulate trade between its members, provide a forum for them to negotiate trade rules and agreements and provide them with a mechanism to solve their trade disputes.

  • Raise standards of living.

  • Ensure full employment and a large and steadily growing volume of real income and effective demand.

  • Expand the production of and trade in goods and services.

  • Utilise available global resources optimally in accordance with development plans, and to protect and preserve the environment in line with the requirements of global economic development.

  • Activate positive efforts to ensure that developing countries and the least developed countries have a good share of the high growth rates of international trade and to benefit from the accompanying financial returns in financing their economic and social development projects.

The UAE joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1996 to support its participation in international trade and ensure the use of new opportunities offered by the new international trading system.

This membership has seen major positive impacts on the UAE’s economy, for example, but not limited to, the gradual reduction of customs duties imposed on regional and global exports, ensuring the transparency of procedures and measures taken regarding exports as well as predictability in the markets of other countries. The UAE is also involved in the decision-making process in the organisation that governs global trade through the rules that are established in multilateral trade agreements. Most importantly, all member states are subject to a unique dispute settlement system in the event of any violations of the obligations of any state that affects another state, which leads to preserving the interests of all member states as well as the right to resort to this system in the event of any problems that the state's exports may face, in line with the obligations of the organisation’s member states. Moreover, in 2003 the UAE submitted a proposal to reduce or eliminate tariffs and non-tariff measures in the context of the current negotiations on market access for industrial products, and participated in many initiatives and negotiations individually or through various groups. The most important of them are the Agreement on Trade Facilitation, and the E-commerce Initiative that launched negotiations on e-commerce, so that it can be legalised within the framework of the multilateral trading system and set global controls for it.

The UAE has engaged in negotiations with several nations around the world to conclude free trade agreements to enhance the UAE’s position as trade hub and investment destination.

Click here to view UAE’s trade agreements and negotiations.

  • Reduced tariffs

  • Increased volume of investments

  • Enhanced access opportunities for local products to global markets, as well as facilitating market access for SMEs

  • Protection of investors and service providers

  • Protection of intellectual property rights

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is a regional trade organisation comprising Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. It was established in 1960 to promote free trade and economic integration between its member countries.

The free trade agreement between the GCC countries and the EFTA countries, signed in 2009, covers various aspects such as trade in goods, services, government procurement, competition, intellectual property, administration and dispute resolution. The joint committee of the GCC states and the EFTA states oversees the implementation of the agreement.

Industrial goods, including fish and other marine products, benefit from duty free access to the respective markets of the EFTA States. For products imported into the GCC, most customs duties are eliminated. Certain products become duty free after a transitional period of 5 years, while some others remain excluded from tariff dismantling or excluded from the scope of application. The agreement also provides for tariff concessions on processed agricultural products.

The Trade in Services ensures that each party will treat services supplier no less favourably than his domestic supplier in similar circumstances. It aims to reduce restrictions on market access, as well.

Yes, an annex on e-Ecommerce has been included in the GCC-EFTA FTA which aims to strengthen the exchange of information, cooperation and partnership in this field and to follow the latest development of other countries in this sector.

The Parties agreed to adopt or maintain competition laws to avoid anti-competitive business practices that may restrict trade between them. The Parties also commit to cooperating on issues relating to competition law enforcement.

The free trade agreements between GCC and FTA includes a chapter concerning government procurement with precise rules and principles that will address and allow the participation of GCC companies in the government tenders in the EFTA States and vice versa.

The GCC-Singapore FTA (GSFTA) signed in 2008 is a milestone agreement in strengthening ties between the GCC countries and Singapore, particularly because it is the first Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed by the GCC and the second FTA that Singapore signed with the Middle East.

The GCC-Singapore FTA (GSFTA) is a comprehensive agreement that includes Trade in Goods, Rules of Origin, Customs Procedures, Trade in Services and Government Procurement.

It allows the GCC goods full duty-free access to the Singapore market. The GSFTA also qualify 99% of Singaporean domestic exports to the GCC for tariff-free concessions.

Key GCC sectors that benefit from this arrangement include petrochemicals, jewelry, machinery and iron and steel-related industry.

It provides the GCC service suppliers enhanced business opportunities in Singapore. The agreement highlighted the commitments made by Singapore and the GCC countries at the multilateral level, in particular, the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). Specifically, Singapore and the GCC have committed to liberalise various services sectors beyond its WTO commitments.

  • Business services: professional services, computer and related services, rental and others

  • Communication services

  • Construction and related engineering services

  • Distribution services

  • Educational services

  • Environmental services

  • Financial services

  • Health related and social services

  • Tourism

  • Recreational, cultural and sporting services

  • Transport services

The UAE eases limits on foreign equity in construction services, distribution services, hospital services and legal advisory services.

Citizens, permanent residents, local companies as well as multinational companies (MNCs) based in Singapore or the GCC

Click here to view all the economic cooperation agreements signed between the UAE and different countries.

You can visit the UAE by land, sea or air. By air, people from all over the world can reach the UAE through major airlines. By land, you can travel using private cars or by public transportation such as buses. By sea, you can tour via cruise lines with stops at Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

If you are a GCC citizen, you do not need to get a visa to go to the UAE. Outside GCC, you can get a pre-arranged visa or you can get a visa on arrival depending on the country where you are from.

You can enter the UAE without a visa if you are a citizen of a GCC country (Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Oman). You only need to present your passport or your national identification card at the entry point.

GCC residents need to apply online for an entry permit (e-Visa) to enter the UAE. The e-Visa has a 30-day validity and can be extended once for 30 days.

Citizens of specific countries do not need to arrange their visa in advance and can get a 30-day visa on arrival with a 10-day grace period for extension or a 90-day visa on arrival.

Click here to find out whether you can get a visa on arrival.

You need to obtain a tourist visa if you are not eligible to get a visa-free entry or a visa on arrival. Eligible individuals from any parts of the world can get a tourist visa.

Your tourist visa can be applied on your behalf by an airline, a travel agency or a hotel based in the UAE. 

Airlines such as Emirates, Fly Dubai, Etihad Airways, and Air Arabia can arrange a tourist visa for you, as long as you meet their requirements, including booking your flight with them.

UAE hotels can also apply a tourist visa for you, in the condition that you get your flight ticket through them and book a reservation with them.

Travel agencies based in your country that have a partner tour operator in the UAE can also arrange a tourist package for you. 

A tourist visa is valid 30 days or 90 days, either for single or multiple entries, depending on your vacation plans. You can extend your tourist visa for 30 days, twice, even without leaving the UAE.

A person on a visit or tourist visa is not allowed to work in the UAE.  Individuals can only work in the UAE if they have a work permit and an employment visa.

A tourist visa can be used if you will go to the UAE for vacation and leisure purposes. A visit visa can be used if you will attend a seminar, business meeting, and the like.  A visit visa is valid for 90 days whereas a tourist visa is valid for 14 or 30 days and can be extended for a 40-day period.

A transit visa is a type of visa that is valid for a short period of time and should be processed and granted before you enter the UAE. The first type of transit visa is valid for 48 hours and you can get for free. The second type is valid for 96 hours and costs AED 50. Both transit visa types are not extendable.

Your transit visa can only be applied by UAE-based airlines. Your travel agency can also arrange your transit visa, but it must be forwarded to the airline.

  • a passport or travel document valid for at least three months
  • your photo on white background
  • a flight ticket from the UAE to another destination
  • a passport or travel document valid for at least six months
  • your photo on white background
  • a flight ticket from the UAE to another destination

Discover world-class tourist attractions in different emirates:
 

  • Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism
  • Dubai- Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing
  • Sharjah Tourism and Commerce Development Authority
  • Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority 
  • Umm Al Quwain Department of Archaeology and Heritage
  • Fujairah Tourism and Antiquities Authority
  • Police - 999 
  • Ambulance - 998 
  • Fire Department - 997 
  • Coastguard - 996
  • Electricity concerns - 991
  • Water concerns - 922
  • Trademark Logo

  • Trade license Copy

  • Power Of Attorney

  • Priority Document

  • Passport Copy

  • Other attachments

  • Go to the MoE website

  • Register on the site.

  • Select Trademark Registration under e-Services.

  • Fill in the data and attach the required documents.

  • Your application will be reviewed.

  • Once approved, pay for publishing.

  • Publish the trademark in two local newspapers.

  • If no objection is received, pay the final registration fee.

  • The brand should be new and original.

  • The mark should not be identical or similar to other marks previously registered or previously applied for registration for the same products or services.

  • The mark should not contain prohibited elements or forms that may not be registered in accordance with Article (3) of Federal Law No. Federal No. (37) of 1992 regarding trademarks.

You will be notified via e-mail to complete the publishing procedures. Pay the publishing fees via the MoE website, print the publication and publish the trademark in two daily newspapers published in Arabic for one day.

The period of the objection shall be 30 days from the date of the last announcement of the trademark.

After the end of the objection period, you can pay the final registration fee, upload the photos of the local newspapers, complete the required data and issue the certificate electronically.

Application deposit fee - AED 1000

Publication fee - AED 1000

Publication in two local newspapers – Varies

Final registration fee - AED 10,000

The application for registration shall not include a trademark on more than one category.

The owner of the registered trademark may, at any time, submit a request to the Ministry for the introduction of any addition or modification to the products or services identified by the trademark or the trademark itself, provided that the trademark is not substantially modified.

The Ministry of Economy utilises the Nice Classification (NCL), an international classification of goods and services applied for trademark registration. A new edition is published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) every 5 years.

The period of trademark protection is ten years and shall be calculated from the date of filing the application and not from the date of registration.

  • Identify the nature of your company’s business activity
  • Determine the legal structure of your business
  • Register the trade name
  • Apply for initial approval
  • Complete local service agent agreement (LSA) or Memorandum of Association (MOA) depending on the legal form of the company
  • Choose your business location
  • Apply for additional government approvals, depending on the economic activities of your business
  • Submit the required documents
  • Pay fees and collect license
  • Register your company with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, on the emirate where the business has been incorporated

An ‘initial approval’ means that the UAE Government has no objection for a business to be established in the country. It also allows the investor to proceed with the next steps to set up a business and issue the license. It does not, however, grant the authority to run the business or practice the business activity.

A Memorandum of Association (MOA) is required if the legal form of the company is a civil company, limited liability company, public shareholding company, or private shareholding company. A local service agent agreement (LSA) is required if it is a sole proprietorship.

  • Ministry of Interior approval: General transport, driving schools, fire equipment, alarm and safety systems, used-car dealers, used auto-parts, car rental
  • Ministry of Justice approval: Legal activities and legal consultancy services
  • Local municipal department approval: Architectural and engineering activities
  • Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) approval: Telecommunications activities
  • Executive Council approval: Travel and tourism, general services, charter trading, ship and maritime agencies, car clubs, charter air transport and foreign company branches
  • Ministry of Economy approval: Insurance activities and insurance consultancy
  • Local health departments approval: Health-related activities
  • Supreme Petroleum Council approval: Onshore and offshore gas and oil-field services and onshore and offshore oil drilling operations
  • Receipt of the initial approval and all previously submitted documents
  • Copy of the lease contract duly attested
  • Duly attested memorandum of association, as may be required
  • Approvals from other government entities concerned, as may be required

Customers can collect the business license from service centres of the economic departments or through their websites.

Through the Department of Economic Development via its website.

  • The trade name must have abbreviations of the legal structure of the company as suffix (for example LLC)
  • The trade name should not contain inappropriate words and should not be against public discretion
  • The trade name must be compatible with economic activities
  • The trade name must not contain the names of rulers, government agencies, or the names and logos of external government bodies
  • The trade name must not be registered by another company
  • The trade name and trademark must be approved by the Department of Economic Development and the Ministry of Economy, respectively
  • Trade name certificates are subject to renewal
  • Sole establishment
  • GCC company branch
  • Civil company
  • Local company branch
  • Limited liability company
  • Holding company
  • Foreign company’s representative office
  • Public joint stock company
  • Private joint stock company
  • Fast and easy business setup procedures
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits
  • 100% foreign ownership
  • Modern and sophisticated infrastructure
  • Easy access to regional and global markets
  • Independent laws and regulations
  • 100% exemption from customs duty
  • 100% exemption from corporate, income taxes

Please click here to explore free zones in the United Arab Emirates.

  • Determine the nature of your business activity
  • Determine your business legal structure
  • Register the trade name
  • Choose a business space for your company in one of the UAE free zones
  • Registration and payment of fees
  • Educational
  • Industrial
  • Consultancy/Services
  • Commercial/Trade
  • Freelance
  • Offshore
  • eCommerce
  • Media
  • Innovation
  • Manufacturing
  • Warehousing
  • Others
  • Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ LLC)
  • Free Zone Company (FZ Co.)
  • Free Zone Establishment (FZE)
  • Completed application form
  • Business plan
  • Copy of existing trade license/registration certificate (if applicable)
  • Coloured passport copies of the company’s shareholders, appointed manager
  • Registry Identification Code Form (RIC) for appointed manager (original and notarised)
  • Specimen signature of the company’s shareholders, appointed manager
  • Unit title deed
  • Letter of Intent
  • 2 years audited financial reports for corporate entity or certificate of reference from a personal bank of the individual shareholder
  • Completed application form for registration
  • Board Resolution appointing Manager/Director (notarised and attested)
  • Power of Attorney given to Manager/Director (notarised and attested)
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association (notarised and attested)
  • Specimen signature of Manager/Director (notarised and attested)
  • Passport-size photo of Manager/Director in white background
  • Share capital information

This is one of the series of laws adopted by the UAE to comply with the rules of the World Trade Organization. The importance of this Law is that it provides the legal framework for the protection of the UAE industries, while keeping in line with the rules of the World Trade Organization.

Its objective is to combat the harmful practices in international trade. Article 1 of the Law defines the harmful practices in international trade as the practices of dumping, specialised subsidy and increase of imports.

Dumping means exporting a product to the UAE at an export price that is less than the normal value of the like product in the export country in the normal course of trade.

A complaint against dumping, subsidisation or increase of imports should be submitted in writing to the Department of Anti-injurious Practices in International Trade as per the determined form.

The complaint shall be made by the domestic industry or on behalf of industry or by concerned Chambers of Commerce and Industry in the UAE, or by producers' federations.

The complaint should include evidence of the existence of dumping, specific subsidy or increase in imports and the injury caused by the alleged injurious practices as well as the causal link between the injurious practice and the alleged injury caused to the complainant, and all available information supporting the complaint.

  • Books, booklets, articles and other literature
  • Computer software and applications, databases and similar works defined in a decision to be issued by the Minister of Economy
  • Lectures, speeches, sermons and other works of similar nature
  • Plays, musicals and pantomimes
  • Musicals accompanied by dialogues and musicals which are not accompanied by dialogue
  • Audio and video works or audio-visual works
  • Architectural work and architectural plans and drawings
  • Drawings, paintings, sculptures, etchings, lithography, screen printing, reliefs and intaglio prints and other similar works of fine art
  • Photographic work and the likes
  • Works of applied art and plastic art
  • Charts, maps, plans, 3-D modelling for geographical and topographical applications and architectural designs etc.
  • Derivative works, subject to the protection afforded to the work(s) upon which they are based

Under this law, trade mark is defined as anything having a distinctive form such as names, words, signatures, letters, figures, drawings, logos, titles, hallmarks, seals, pictures, engravings, advertisements, packs or any other mark or group of marks if used or intended to be used either to distinguish goods, products or services whatever their source or to indicate that the goods or products belong to the trademark's owner due to its manufacturing, selection or trading or to indicate the rendering of a service.

The Federal Law No (31) of 2016, promulgated by Law No (17) of 2002 on Regulation and Protection of Industrial Property of Patents, Industrial Drawings and Designs regulates patent protection in the UAE. A patent protection in the UAE is granted for any invention resulting from an innovative idea or innovative improvement of an invention in all fields of technology, provided that such an idea or innovative improvement has a scientific basis and is applicable.

Established under Federal Law No (2) of 2014 under the umbrella of the Ministry of Economy, it is specifically designed for SMEs owned by UAE nationals. The programme aims to develop the general framework and guidelines to provide the necessary expertise and the technical, administrative and training support in various fields in order to promote and develop small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as prepare periodic evaluations of them.

  • Develop the SME sector as a major contributor and a primary supporter of the nation's economy.
  • Empower and support UAE nationals towards self-employment in the SMEs sector and bolster the SMEs GDP contribution in the economy.
  • Strengthen the UAE’s position as a hub for SMEs and entrepreneurship.
  • Develop support programmes and initiatives aimed at developing the SME sector.
  • Spread a culture of entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity and research in order to realise the UAE’s economic ambitions.
  • Credit facilities, promotion and marketing, provided this shall not conflict with any financial or legal obligations
  • Federal bodies are obliged to grant SMEs no less than 10% of total contracts
  • Companies, in which the Federal Government owns a ratio of no less than 25% of its capital, is committed to contract with the projects and enterprises in the UAE by rate of not less than 5% of the total contracts.
  • Simplified processes and procedures as well as the reduction of fees
  • Incentives and facilities for SMEs
  • Allocation of space in both local and international events and exhibitions in which the UAE is part of
  • Organisation of local exhibitions catering to the needs of SMEs and boosting promotion of products and services

The National Programme caters to SMEs owned by UAE nationals.

The Council includes representatives from all bodies within the government sector which are related to SMEs.

  • Develop strategic plans and policies for small enterprises and projects
  • Set the necessary rules and regulations to enhance the coordination between the National Programme for SMEs and participating bodies
  • Follow-up on programme performance indicators
  • Promote sustainable economic development in the UAE

All active members of the National Programme are given a unique Identification Number (NP ID) to be recognised by the programme as well as by other organisations connected to the NP portal.

Yes, registration is necessary in order to get a unique ID number.

All members of other organisations will automatically become a member. However, there is a need to complete required information to activate your account and get the NP ID.

To register in the NP portal, visit www.uaesme.ae or email uaesme@economy.ae.

No, your account needs to be activated before you get the NP ID.

It usually takes 2-3 days to activate your account, but it can take longer depending on the process.

There are multiple government-backed initiatives in different emirates that are helping women start and run businesses such as the Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC), Abu Dhabi Business Women Council (ADBWC), the Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) and the Sharjah Business Women Council.

The Scale-up Programme for SMEs allows businesses to take practical steps to enter the new phase of their business growth. Through this programme, the UAE Federal government provides solutions to major hurdles faced by SMEs, such as easing the access to global markets & exports, improving the legal framework to ease debt financing & debt equity for SMEs, building alliances & managing business efficiently, and streamlining the process of innovation through guidelines & regulations.

Yes, the programme is offered to all nationalities.

Click here to fill up the form and register your interest.

  • Dubai SME is an integrated division of the Department of Economic Development (DED), which supports national SMEs and entrepreneurs in the emirate of Dubai in all phases of their development.
  • Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development The Khalifa fund is an independent, not-for-profit entity of Abu Dhabi focussing on encouraging entrepreneurship and supporting the SMEs, through running highly targeted financing, training and awareness initiatives.
  • Sharjah Entrepreneurship Foundation "Ruwad" provides financial and technical support to entrepreneurs and small businesses in Sharjah along with creating a business-focussed environment for effective development of projects.

Yes, these initiatives are open to all nationalities.

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