1. Which banks can open my Bank account what are the requirements?
UAE and Dubai in particular is a home to many reputed international banks. The local banks – Emirates NBD and Abu Dhabi Commercial bank called ADCB are the two largest banks with a wide network of branches. They offer all facilities and connectivity like other international banks.
International money transactions in all major currencies can be routed thru them. These banks welcome accounts from local and international companies. Other well known local banks are Mashreq bank, United Arab Bank, First Gulf Bank, and Commercial Bank of Dubai.
Some of the major foreign banks that open bank accounts for locally registered companies are Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC, Citibank and Barclays. All banks offer internet banking.
The requirements to open a bank account vary from bank to bank. However almost all banks insist on personal presence of the signatories and ask for Know Your Client documentation.
This consists of
- The incorporation documents of the company.
- Passport of the signatories.
- Bank reference letter.
- Past bank statements.
The signatories must be authorized to sign by a court attested Power of Attorney or a Board resolution signed by the shareholders also attested. Banks will want to know the identity of the ultimate beneficial owner of the company if the shareholders of the company is another company.
If these entities are located abroad a bank may ask that the signed resolution be attested by the UAE embassy in the home country.
2. What is the cost of maintaining a company in the UAE?
The cost of maintaining a company in the UAE depends upon the type of company and type of license you have.
Free Zone and Local companies registered in the UAE must renew their licenses every year by paying the license fees. Other costs every year are municipal fees, labour department fees and immigration card fees.
In addition the visa fees must be paid every 2 to 3 years depending upon the type of visa.
You will also need to pay for rent of the office and annual fee of the local sponsor.
The government costs do not go down greatly after the first year of registration. Almost all charges stay except the company registration fees.
In order to know precise figures for yearly running costs you must ask your agent by providing the following details – Whether you need a local or a Free Zone company
- Which Free Zone
- What type of license
- How many visas
- Type of office needed.
- How many partners.
3. Can I open a bank account in my name in Dubai?
Yes you can. You must have a residency visa for UAE. This visa is issued to those who take up employment in UAE, who own companies in UAE or who own property in UAE.
To get a visa as an investor you may form a Free Zone company in one of the Free Zones in UAE or make a local company. Free Zone companies are owned 100% by foreign owners and local companies need a local sponsor- a UAE national or a GCC citizen or a local company – who owns 51% share in the company.
If you do not wish to get a visa by these means then the only option left for you is to have a bank account via your own offshore company registered in Dubai or in Ras Al Khaimah, about 100 km away from Dubai.
An offshore company can be owned by you fully, with a single director (yourself). An offshore company takes minimal paperwork and time. The company owns the bank account and you can operate it the way you like.