Starting a business can seem a daunting prospect. Starting a business in a foreign country, more daunting still.
As well as the usual trials and tribulations that come with getting a startup off the ground, you also have to contend with a language barrier, unfamiliar rules and regulations, and a new business environment.
When setting up a business in the UAE, many of the complications that may arise from operating in a foreign country can be avoided by working with a service agent who has been appointed by a government authority.
The UAE is home to such experts with years of experience in navigating the country’s company incorporation process. Service agents can assist with everything from choosing your company name to managing trade license, visa, and bank account applications. It is important that you choose an agent who has been officially appointed by the government.
How can a service agent help me start my business?
A service agent can assist you long before the incorporation process. This starts with helping to outline your business activities.
Here in the UAE, you are required to list your business activities when applying for your license. This could be anything from ecommerce to manufacturing. But you must be specific. If you intend to sell car parts, you must be licensed to do so.
A service agent can ensure that you are covered for your chosen activities to prevent any issues in the future.
Guidance is often also needed when choosing a company name here in the UAE. Once again, a company service agent is on hand to assist.
UAE company names must not contain any blasphemous or offensive language, any references to well-known institutions or any abbreviations of your name – though your full name is acceptable.
Your name should also have a legal entity attached to it, such as FZE or LLC. It must also relate to your business activity, not resemble the name of any other company, and be available to register.
As well as ensuring you comply with these conventions, your agent can also register your company name with the relevant bodies on your behalf.
A service agent can also help you decide on the best jurisdiction for your business. The UAE is home to many free zones, offering a range of exclusive benefits. These include the ability to automatically own 100% of your business, customs tax exemption, repatriation of capital and profits, and zero currency restrictions. On top of these general advantages, each free zone offers a range of unique benefits.
All free zones may not be suited for your business. The one that’s right for you will depend on numerous factors, all of which your agent will consider when offering advice. You will never get an unbiased opinion from any particular free zone as they will all convince you that they are the best.
Can a service agent apply for my business license?
A company service agent can apply for your business license on your behalf. After taking the time to learn about you and your business, your agent will liaise with relevant free zone bodies to ensure your application is completed in a timely and hassle-free manner.
All that is usually required of you is a little of your time, a copy of your passport, a copy of your signature, and, if necessary, a business plan and No Objection Certificate from your current employer.
In most cases, you will receive your business license in a matter of days.
What are the benefits of working with a service agent?
A UAE service agent offers you an informed, unbiased opinion on the UAE business landscape. As well as advising on the best jurisdiction for your business, many also offer business support services and advice long after launch. And should you have an issue with your free zone at any stage, your service agent will remain by your side.
Working with a reputable, government appointed service agent is easy. From the initial registration formalities, your agent will manage the entire process for you, walking you through every step, so you can focus your attention where it is needed the most.
Along with helping to secure your UAE trade license, your service agent can also assist with your UAE residency visa and corporate bank account applications, as well as immigration cards, Emirates ID, medicals, and visas for your dependants.
This personal, premium service doesn’t cost the earth.
Things to consider before hiring a service agent
Choosing the right service agent is an important business decision and therefore requires careful consideration.
It’s important to do your research before committing to work with any service provider. You’ll want to find one that is trusted in the region, has a long track record, and a large client base.
It is also beneficial to partner with a service agent who is appointed by multiple free zone authorities as their official agent. Because these agents work closely with a number of free zones, you’ll know you are being offered a real choice of jurisdictions.
A reputable service agent should also make the process easy, offering free consultations and remaining open and transparent regarding prices and services provided.
Finally, a knowledgeable service agent can offer much more than assistance with applications. Find an agent that offers a range of value-added services, such as office support, VAT accounting, re-domiciliation and more.
Start your business in the UAE
Worldwide Formations is a service agent with more than a decade of experience in company formations. We are trusted by more than 2,500 clients worldwide and have vast experience helping businesses like yours gain a footing in the UAE.
We are probably the only agent or amongst the select handful of agents in the UAE to be the official agent to eighteen jurisdictions in the UAE and have a long-standing reputation for providing our clients with the most honest, reliable, and thoughtful business development advice and solutions.
Our expert team can manage everything. We will guide you through your license and visa application and correspond with all the relevant authorities for you. All you need to do is wait for the green light to start trading.