Everything you need to know about Abu Dhabi business. Starting a business in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates can be tricky. Abu Dhabi is located strategically between Europe, Asia and Africa which makes it one of the best places to build a business or create your corporate headquarters.
Since Abu Dhabi doesn't charge any personal or company taxes unless you're dealing with oil or banks, it makes it a good opportunity to build a business here, if you can find people to work with that you trust.
Abu Dhabi also offers low duties and some imported good are tax exempt also indicated a possibly lucrative market if you have the right products.
Firstly, always use a lawyer who understands the law of United Arab Emirates. They will also know how to structure your business properly.
They will review all contracts for buying or renting property and will keep you out of trouble with the law in Abu Dhabi. If you do run a foul of the law, contact legal advice immediately!
Have all your protections in place before you purchase any property in Abu Dhabi or in any of United Arab Emirates. They will take the side of the locals in most cases.
Ensure you have an adequate will in place to deal with the wishes of your successions in case of the unexpected.
Useful Abu Dhabi Government websites with details on licensing and registration www.uaeinteract.com/business
Individual Emirates have their own laws you'll need to understand, but most of them are regulated by Commercial Companies Law and the Trade Agencies Law. There are the types of Abu Dhabi Business available.
The UAE has various types of companies reconciled by Commercial Companies Law
• A Free Zone Company
• A Limited Liabilities Company
• A Limited Liability Partnership
• A Public Joint Stock Company
• A Private Joint Stock Company
• A Representative or a Branch Office
• A Professional Firm
If you setup a company outside of the free trade zone the locals have to own at least 51% of the company including the chairman, general partners, etc. That means they have to be citizens of Abu Dhabi.
You can establish a business with Arab nationals with either : a representative office of an overseas company, partnerships, free-zone companies or as a limited liability establishment.
You will need a contract with a citizen of Abu Dhabi to create any of these:
• A nationally registered branch
• A nationally registered representative office
• A local registered representative office
It's easier to form a commercial company as a limited liability company. Fifty one percent still needs to be owned by a local of Abu Dhabi. The exception is real-estate business, where as it can be 100% owned locally.
"Work based on investing mental talents and acquired information" is the official definition of a professional business in Abu Dhabi.
All businesses are ruled with Local Orders for each Emirate. You must have a local national to serve as an agent for the business.Free Zones
There are a few free zones for business in Abu Dhabi. This means you don't need local employees nor does half the business have to belong to a local national. It also guarantees investors are not liable for business taxes but only for a cerrtain time period. You also aren't responsible for import/export duty for goods sent in and out of a FreeZone.