Aseel Consultancy Services

How is Aseel Consultancy different from other service providers?

Aseel Consultancy is part of the Aseel Group. The Group is comprised of nine active sub-
companies which offer end-to- end professional services including a co-working space, as
well as consultancy, marketing and branding advice to start-ups and individuals. For more
information, please click here.

At Aseel Consultancy, with the help of an in-house team of specialists, we are able to
cater to our clients every step of the way. We have experienced business consultants,
PROs and a legal team who are able to fully explain each stage of the licensing process,
prepare all the required documents and submit them to the relevant government
department for approval.

What can Aseel Consultancy do for me?

At Aseel Consultancy, we have helped thousands of entrepreneurs fulfil their dream of having an idea, making that idea come to life, and helping them grow to their maximum potential.

Specifically, we can assist you by advising on market entry into the UAE.  We also provide Company Formation services for incorporation in the Mainland, Free Zones and Offshores.  Aseel Consultancy also provides advice on structuring and restructuring of regional operations, post-incorporation support and a selection of corporate services, including advising on a range of regulatory and corporate licensing issues.

I want to bring my new products into the UAE, can Aseel Consultancy help?

As the UAE imposes registration requirements for importing and trading new products, we can assist in product testing, labeling and registration with the relevant government authorities and government registered laboratories.

Can Aseel Consultancy help me Trademark my brand?

Aseel Consultancy provides the following Trademark services: searches, trademark registration within the UAE and globally, and trademark renewal and maintenance.

Can Aseel Consultancy help set up my bank account?

Yes, Aseel Consultancy has business relationships with many local banks and we can provide assistance with several account services in the UAE.

What is a Nominee Director, and why do I need it?

A nominee director is a person who acts as a director on your behalf. It is their name
who will appear in all the corporate documents, in business contracts and even on
the business’s register.

This is a benefit for those who want to have the highest level of privacy and
confidentiality.

I’d like to appoint a nominee director for my company now!

What is a Nominee Shareholder, and why do I need it?

A nominee shareholder is someone who is appointed as the shareholder of the
company in place of the true owner.

Some owners will choose to appoint a nominee shareholder in order to shield
themselves from being publicly associated with the ownership of a company.

Help me appoint a nominee shareholder.

What is a Virtual Office, and why do I need it?

A virtual office allows for you to have an address in Dubai, receive mail, you’ll get a
local number and we’ll answer your calls professionally with your company name
(during working hours). Ultimately, this will lend more credibility to your company.

We offer 3 different options:

1. Standard Virtual Office

This option will allow you to have your company address and receive mail (with
the mention of C/O) to:

[YOUR COMPANY NAME] C/O Aseel Consultancy
532 Saaha Offices, Block B
Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai
UAE

Sign me up for a Standard Virtual Office!

2. Premium Virtual Office

This option will allow you to have your company address, receive mail, and
includes your company name on the post box, to:

[YOUR COMPANY NAME]
532 Saaha Offices, Block B
Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai
UAE

For help getting a Premium Virtual Office, click here.

3. Full Virtual Office

This option allows you to have your company address, receive mail and phone
calls. This includes your company name on the post box, your own phone
number, and a telephone answering service in the name of your company.

[YOUR COMPANY NAME]
532 Saaha Offices, Block B
Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai
UAE
Tel +971 04…….

I want the Full Virtual Office now!

What is a company stamp?

In order to do business in the UAE, you will need a company stamp. This is the
identity and signature of your business. Government agencies, financial
institutions, and other entities will require the company stamp to be on
documents in order to authenticate and verify your organisation.

We can prepare a stamp bearing the company’s name and address on your
behalf. To get your company’s stamp, click here.

What is notarisation and apostille?

A “notary” is a certified individual who checks all documents issued for your
company, and confirms their authenticity, this process is called “Notarisation”

An “apostille” is an internationally recognised certification and legalisation of
corporate documents by the government of the jurisdiction in which your
company has been incorporated. This service is recommended if you are
opening a bank account, or need the company’s documents for legal reasons (for
example, incorporating a company, or for executing contracts).

For help with notarisation and apostille, click here.

Regulatory Requirements

What does KYC stand for and why do I have to provide this form?

Know Your Customer (KYC) is the process of a business identifying and verifying the identity
of its’ clients. The objective of collecting this information is to prevent companies from
being used, intentionally or unintentionally, by criminal elements for money laundering or
terrorist financing activities. This is a legal requirement imposed by regulatory authorities
on businesses in certain industries and regulated operators, including, but not limited to:
Banking, Insurance, and Consultancy. In order to comply with these requirements, Aseel
Consultancy’s KYC procedures help us understand our clients, their financial dealings, and
the source of their assets better; this, in turn assists us in preventing our services from being
used to further financial crime. We must obtain and verify the information provided before
we can on-board any client, or commence services.

Why do I have to give proof of my identity?

Giving proof of your identity is part of the due diligence procedures required before any
regulated operator is allowed to on-board you as a client since criminal activities and
terrorist financing can only function by having access to untraceable funds. We understand
that the requirement to provide due diligence is a nuisance to many clients, and it also
presents a major cost to the service provider. Unfortunately, there is no way round this. It
is a legal requirement to obtain and verify this information before commencing business.

Why do I have to explain the source of my assets?

It is a legal requirement for all financial institutions of any description, both onshore and
offshore, to have to identify their clients, monitor their transactions, understand their
business and know where, when and how a client has accumulated wealth.

Do I need a trade license to operate in the UAE?

Yes. In order to provide any goods or services, a license to operate must be issued by the
relevant government entity. The rule of thumb is, if you or your clients are based in the
UAE, and/or you are trading or providing services to individuals or companies within the
UAE, you will be required to obtain a license to operate. Depending on your requirements,
trade licenses can be obtained for either the Mainland or Free Zones.

I have been told that I need to have a University Degree for a particular business activity for my company’s license, why is this necessary?

The relevant government authorities require an attested University Degree for certain
regulated industries before licenses can be obtained. For example, to get a license for a
Professional Consultancy activity such as Management, Marketing or Information
Technology, you will be required to prove that you have the requisite skills to operate such a
business.

To check whether your business activity is a regulated industry, please contact us.

Company Formation and Required Documents

What does Corporate Secretarial Services mean?

Corporate Secretaries are responsible for several vital tasks within an organisation including:
ensuring the integrity of the governance framework, being responsible for the efficient
administration of a company, ensuring compliance with statutory and regulatory
requirements, and implementing decisions made by the Board of Directors.

We understand that starting a new business requires an entrepreneur’s focus and attention
on more important issues such as the success of the company’s products and/or services.
Many clients do not have the requisite knowledge necessary to manage the secretarial
regulations required by law. Aseel Consultancy has the expertise and experience related to
these services, and can provide assistance with managing the secretarial services of your
new venture.

What are the different types of company jurisdictions available in the UAE?

In the UAE, a company can be formed in one of three jurisdictions: the Mainland, Free
Zones, and Offshore.

What is the difference between Mainland (LLC), Free Zone and Offshore?

It is essential to be familiar with, and understand the differences between, the concepts of
Mainland, Free Zone and Offshore when looking to open a business in the UAE. Each
jurisdiction offers different solutions depending on the specific needs of the business.

Mainland Company Free Zone Company Offshore Company

A company wishing to conduct business in the Dubai Mainland, will need to register with DED, which is the principal licensing authority.  It is the government entity responsible for issuing all licenses for corporate entities or individuals carrying out business in the Mainland, outside the Free Zones.

An advantage of a non-Free Zone incorporation, a local DED Mainland license, is that it allows you to operate freely in any area in the UAE. Although a local Emirati sponsor would have 51% ownership of the company, certain businesses simply work better with a non-Free Zone license.  When you have a Free Zone license, you are only allowed to operate within that Free Zone, whereas with a non-Free Zone license, you will not be restricted to one area.

Free Zone trade is fast becoming the most popular economic option for start-ups, small businesses and e-commerce companies in the country. There are more than 40 Free Zones operating in the UAE, which play host to over 25,000 diverse companies. Free Zones are designed to encourage and attract foreign shareholders to invest in the local market as they have special tax, customs and import regulations within the UAE.

Benefits of operating in a Free Zone include:

  • Allows 100% foreign ownership
  • Allows for 100% import and export, corporate and personal tax exemptions
  • Recruitment and workforce processes are simplified, faster and cheaper

Companies operating in Free Zones are not permitted to carry out business outside the Free Zone or in the Main Land unless such company obtains the appropriate license from the local authority (the DED).

The term “offshore” is used to define any business or investment made outside the country of residence; it is a legal entity established in an Offshore Financial Centre.

Forming offshore companies, or incorporating offshore, means you need to select a country. Each jurisdiction has slightly different benefits, and therefore selecting the appropriate type offshore is crucial for ensured business growth and continuity.

Some advantages of choosing an Offshore:

  • Provides anonymity, confidentiality and the highest level of privacy
  • Ensures asset protection
  • Allows for tax optimisation (depending on the jurisdiction)
  • Enables business to be conducted globally (invoicing international clients)

 

What type of company should I form?

Each jurisdiction has different legal requirements and procedures, from choosing a
business activity to procuring visas and opening bank accounts. The business to be
incorporated may be better suited to a particular type of jurisdiction, depending on the
nature of the company.

For more advice or to set up a free consultation, contact us.

What documents should I prepare for before incorporating my company?

As a rule of thumb, the documents required for company formation can be found in the
table below:

Documents Required (individual shareholder) Documents Required (corporate shareholder)
  1. KYC form
  2. Passport copy
  3. Emirates ID (if applicable)
  4. Three proposed names for the company
  5. Proof of address (Ejari, Utility bill or bank statement from the last three months)
  6. Power of Attorney notarised and legalised up to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UAE (if applicable)

Shareholder and manager details

  1. Emirates ID for all shareholders, directors and POA
  2. Passport copies for all shareholders, directors and POA
  3. Visa copies for all shareholders, directors and POA
  4. Proof of operating address in UAE (Ejari, Utility bill or bank statement from the last three months)
  5. Trade License or Certificate of Incorporation
  6. Memorandum and Articles of Association

Resolution of the Board of Directors to open a company

How long does it take to incorporate a company?

Each incorporation is assessed on a case-by- case basis; however, in general, depending on
the jurisdiction, activity, the availability of the required documents, and background security
check, it may take anywhere between 2-8 weeks.

What does Local Corporate Sponsorship mean and why do I need it?

It is essential for entrepreneurs to understand the role and functions of local sponsors in the
UAE. A Corporate Sponsorship is one in which a UAE national company (owned by UAE
nationals) holds 51 per cent of the share and liabilities of a company, owned by an individual
or group of partners of foreign origin (non-UAE national). In this case, a business is
sponsored by a company rather than an individual. It is a myth that the local sponsor will
only share in the company’s profits, they will also be accountable for all the actions
performed by the business.

Local sponsorship is a compulsory condition for a person of foreign origin (non-UAE national)
who wants to establish a business in the UAE Mainland. Please note, this condition doesn’t
apply to Free Zones.

Do I need an office to operate from within UAE? Or can I trade and work from home?

In short, you cannot trade and work from home. One of the requirements of incorporating a
company in the Mainland or in any of the Free Zones, is that the business entity is required
to have an office space of 200 – 1000 square feet (depending on the jurisdiction, activity and
number of staff the company is looking to hire).

What is an offshore?

An offshore company is one which is registered or incorporated outside the country
where it has its main offices and operations.

Some advantages for choosing an offshore are that it enables the entrepreneur to
conduct its business globally, ensures asset protection, and provides the highest
level of privacy, anonymity and confidentiality.

Who should use an offshore?

An offshore is a great company structure, and offers many benefits to entrepreneurs
in different industries:

Businesses running general day-to-day:

By creating an offshore, entrepreneurs can focus on the day-to-day running of their business instead of having to worry about the complexities of setting-up a complicated business structure. The offshore will allow you to create your company and get going! 

Businesses involved in buying/selling on the internet:

Also known as E-Commerce, internet traders can use the offshore company to register a server, domain name and manage its’ websites. Its also possible to conduct business globally, and has tax advantages. 

Consultants/Counsellors:

Consultants and counsellors can run their business through an offshore company, making it quicker and easier to manage their company, whilst taking advantage of the many benefits offered by having an offshore. 

International Entrepreneurs:

Business can be conducted internationally through an offshore company. If an entrepreneur is looking to process its purchase and sales, and benefit from tax breaks, this may be a good option! 

Protecting Assets:

Entrepreneurs pour their blood, sweat and tears into their business, and one of the most important things is to protect your assets.  Things like bank accounts, patents and trademarks can all be registered under an offshore company. 

For more information and help protecting your hard-earned assets, click here.

Do you set up offshores, and if so, in what jurisdictions?

We offer corporate services in the following jurisdictions: Ras Al Khaimah, Anguilla,
Bahamas, Belize, BVI, Cayman Islands, Delaware (USA), Hong Kong, Labuan, Mauritius, Nevis,
Panama, Seychelles, Samoa, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

What is a shelf company?

A shelf company is a ready-made company which has already fulfilled all the
requirements for legal registration, and may be purchased by a client in order to
bypass the lengthy registration/incorporation process. Post-transaction, the
ownership of the company will transfer to the person who bought it, and they can
then begin trading under the company.

Contact us to get a list of shelf companies.

Will my company have to provide a statement of accounts to any tax authorities?

In general, no. This is one of the benefits of incorporating an offshore company.
However, there are some jurisdictions, such as the UK and Hong Kong, where
companies will need to produce yearly accounts, have them audited, and in some
cases, pay taxes.

For more info, have a look at our Offshore Jurisdiction Comparisons Table.

Is it possible for the same person to be both a shareholder of my company, and act as a director at the same time?

Yes. In most jurisdictions, it is possible that the same person acts as both a
shareholder and the director of a company.

Opening Bank Accounts

Do I have to open a company bank account?

In short, yes. Any company operating as a legitimate business entity would need to
have a bank account for the day-to- day operations of the company.

For help setting up a bank account, click here.

Which banks does Aseel Consultancy work with?

We work with multiple reputable banks in the region, and we can help with
recommending and arranging all the necessary formalities with local banks.

Let’s get started, open your bank account today.

How much will it cost to open and maintain the bank account?

The cost will depend on the bank you choose to hold your account. Generally, the
fees for maintaining the account are approximately AED 800-900 per year,
depending on the bank. Aseel Consultancy does not charge any further fees once
the account has been opened.

Help me open my bank account.

Can I have a bank account in a different currency?

Once the account has been opened, you can select a multi-currency account which
allows you to keep several different currencies simultaneously in the same account.
Once a new currency is received to your account, the bank will open a section for
that specific currency, and you will not have to pay any currency exchange fees.

Click here to set up your bank account.

Do I need to go into the bank in person to open my account?

In general, no. Most accounts can be opened by post, as long as the requisite
documents are sent. But if you want us to set up a meeting for you, we are able to
do so.

Help me set up my bank account!

How can I use the funds from my offshore account?

The same way you would with any other bank account, through debit cards, credit
cards, cheques, internet banking or cash from the bank itself.

For help setting up a bank account, click here.

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS? CONTACT US

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