Registering a Company in the UAE
A UAE company formation structure, is an ideal choice if superb business location, an enviable lifestyle and optimal tax efficiency is what you are looking for.
In recent years, a larger number of businesses and professionals have been moving to the UAE and especially Dubai, setting up headquarters, regional offices and residences in this Middle Eastern desert metropolis. Attracted by its business-friendly environment, world-class infrastructure and ideal location between Europe, Africa and Asia, both companies and individuals have made the most of the bounty of benefits offered by the booming Emirates.
Why register a company in Dubai
There are plenty of advantages to registering your company in Dubai, a city that has grown in both size and financial importance in recent times.
First – Its location on the globe cannot be matched as it serves as an ideal hub from where to travel to Europe, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, and Asia. Its airport is among the best and busiest in the world with daily flights to hundreds of locations everywhere on earth but maybe Antarctica.
Second – Dubai has established itself as an important financial and business hub, attracting talented accountants, tax experts, marketeers, and lawyers to service the thousands of companies that have set up there to make the most of its innumerable business benefits. Its economy is wide open and dynamic, its legal framework is robust, and its business environment is conducive to innovation, creativity, and digitization. Consider that 70% of Fortune 500 companies have chosen Dubai as the location for their regional headquarters, and more than 2.4 billion consumers have been served from this location.
Third – Dubai enjoys of an enviable lifestyle, chockful of fancy restaurants, lavish hotels, and world-class entertainment that makes it a place where rest and relaxation is an easy target to hit. Its population comes from every corner of the world, offering both visitors and residents alike a cosmopolitan, highly cultured, and diverse experience, one similar to that found in any large European or American city.
The new corporate tax rate in the UAE: good for business!
Following years during which the UAE’s corporate tax rate was non-existent, starting in June 2023 it will be set at 9% for companies with a taxable income higher than AED 375,000 or about $102,000.
Income that will be considered exempt from this new corporate tax regime includes:
- Dividends made by a UAE company.
- Capital gains.
- Profits stemming from the reorganization of a group.
- Profits derived from intra-group transactions.
Additionally, domestic and cross-border transactions will not be subject to withholding tax.
Keep in mind that tax incentives will be maintained in the UAE’s free zones so long as these special economic zones comply with all pertinent regulations and do not carry out trade with the UAE. Furthermore, companies in the oil and gas sector will continue to be taxed by the Emirate where they carry out their work, while individual professionals making a living without the need of a commercial license will be exempt from this new corporate tax regime.
Despite this important change, the UAE’s new corporate tax regime should further legitimize Dubai as a global financial center, helping the Emirate fully embrace the best practices established by international tax rules and makes life easier for companies needing to comply with their regulatory obligations.
Here are some of the main advantages of this policy shift:
- It will help the UAE and Dubai diversify its economy and not have to rely solely on the extractive industry or tourism.
- The new tax rate remains low enough, allowing the UAE to stay competitive vis-à-vis other low-tax centers such as Montenegro, Gibraltar, Singapore, Hong Kong, Ireland, Lichtenstein, and San Marino, among others.
- Start-ups and small businesses running with an income under the $102 thousand threshold will continue to benefit from no corporate tax, an attractive proposition for entrepreneurs looking to kickstart a project or diversify the market.
- This new tax will encourage businesses to direct more of their attention to product and service quality, making these regional companies more competitive in the long term.
- Plenty of tax exemptions remain valid as additional benefits to businesspeople plying their trades in the region.
Photo by Abid Bin Nazar
UAE company registration
We can advise you on the right corporate structure for your UAE company and guide you through the registration process.
There are three types of company that can be set up in the UAE, each offering its own unique benefits. The table shows what you can and cannot do with each of the three company types
|Operate within Free Zone
|Operate within UAE
|Annual audit required
|depends on the Freezone requirements
|Local Sponsor required
|UAE Bank Account
How we can help
Whether you’re looking for an offshore company or one in a free zone, Meridian Trust can help you narrow down your choice and get up and running in no time.
We will help you with the following:
- Choosing between a Dubai Freezone company or Dubai Offshore company.
- Picking the correct licence for you—Commercial, Industrial or Professional.
- Pinpointing your business activity and setting a name for your company.
- Assisting in opening a local or international bank account.
- Setting up your physical, all-serviced office in Dubai.
- Completing and submitting the necessary paperwork for you to set up your company and seek final approval.
- Assisting with complying with all local regulations and requirements, whether you are seeking to register an offshore company or a freezone company.
- Providing accounting services to your company as well as assisting with the preparation of the audited financial statements of your company, in case this is required.
We can help you with whatever else is required for you to quickly establish your company in UAE and open the doors to your office to the world.
Let's talk! Fill in the form below and schedule your 30 minute free consultation with one of our corporate lawyers, to discuss any questions about an UAE Company Formation.