Master the Basics of Opening a New Office in Dubai: 6 Things to Consider

For many international expats, the process of opening a new office in Dubai can seem intimidating. If you’re about to start the process, don’t worry. This guide has everything you need to know about the subject. We’ll tackle the six major doubts clients have when faced with opening a new office in Dubai. But first, let’s explore why opening an office in Dubai can be beneficial for your company.

Benefits of Opening an Office in Dubai

The benefits of opening a branch office in Dubai are numerous

  • Growing and thriving economy

  • Variety of options: mainland, freezone or offshore

  • Favourable tax policies

  • Highly-developed infrastructure

  • Helpful and foreigner-friendly government

Application

The first major question is: how to open a new office in Dubai? The first step is to file an application with the Ministry of Economy; this application must contain a service agent agreement. At Europe Emirates Group, we’re happy to work with you to find the right service agent for your company. 

As with any new business venture, there are costs associated with both the application and opening office. The final price depends heavily on the area in which you choose to set up your business: mainland, freezone or offshore. 

National Approval 

Your next question might be: what is needed to open an office in Dubai? Once the application is submitted, you’ll receive confirmation from the local governing body of the emirate in which you applied. After this first approval is received, the next step is to receive approval from the UAE Federal Foreign Companies Committee. If this seems complicated, don’t worry! Once the emirate approves your application, they will send your submission directly to the UAE FFCC. 

what is required to open an office in dubai 

Business Licence/Registration

You must obtain the following three licences/registrations: 

  • Ministry of Economy Licence: Provided by the Ministry of Economy, this licence will apply specifically to the area in which your company will conduct business.

  • Business Licence: Once your branch office has been registered by the Economic Department of the region, a business licence will be officially issued. 

  • Commercial Authorities Registration: Lastly, you can take all the above listed paperwork and licences and register your company with the Commercial Authorities. In Dubai, companies must be registered with the Ministry of Economic Register and the Dubai Chamber.  

Bank Accounts

Opening a bank account is another thing that companies must consider and an offshore account is typically a smart choice. An offshore bank account is one that is located outside of the customer’s country of residence; for foreigners living or working in Dubai, practically any country outside of the UAE, including the expat’s country of origin, is considered offshore. 

Offshore banking is a practical way for international expats to manage their money in multiple currencies instead of having to open bank accounts in several different countries. It also facilitates selling shares of your organisation and welcoming investors within the UAE. When relocating overseas, moving financial assets is on top of the priority list. Bank fees tend to be lower when transferring money between onshore and offshore accounts.

Financial Requirements

Offshore banking protects you against political and currency risk; before opening an account, it is important to find out how much of your money in these accounts is protected against risks such as bank insolvency. Consider the minimum balance required, as offshore private banks may set higher minimum levels; if your balance falls below a certain level, you could face large charges. Double check all fees, which are often buried on the bank’s website.

If you plan to send large sums overseas, follow these tips: 

  • Check how competitive your bank’s currency exchange rate is.
  • Check whether there is a lock-in period with penalties for early withdrawal. 
  • Check extra charges that apply when using your cards in a different currency or in a different country .

new offices opening in dubai

Now that you know how to open a branch office in Dubai, start reaping the benefits! However, if you still have questions, Europe Emirates Group is here to help you incorporate entities within the GCC as well as offshore. We offer a robust consulting experience tailored to your vision and, most importantly, your business as a whole. 

Get in touch with us to help you achieve your next steps when launching your business across new markets.

Written by

Adrian Oton

CEO, Europe Emirates Group 

UAE Setup Guide

Business Formation
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