Complete Guide to Opening a Free Zone Business Bank Account in UAE

By Sakshi Srivastav - 01 Sep 2021 Last Updated: 16 Sep 2021
Complete Guide to Opening a Free Zone Business Bank Account in UAE

Many businesses are hesitant to invest in the UAE since they are required to have a UAE national as a partner who owns 51 percent of the company. As a result, free zones, which enable 100 percent foreign ownership, have become a popular form of business registration in the UAE. A free zone, also known as a free trade zone, is a special tax-free zone with low trade barriers where items can be made, imported/exported, handled, or modified without paying customs duties. To maximise commercial advantages, free trade zones are typically positioned in important geographic locations such as national borders, international airports, and large seaports.

The UAE government has established a number of free zones throughout the country, each intended for an unique type of company. Non-resident corporations can take advantage of benefits such as single-window administration, no bureaucratic red tape, and 100 percent ownership in UAE free trade zones. In the United Arab Emirates, there are around 44 free zones that have drawn foreign direct investment, contributing to GDP growth. The focus, setup costs, and documentation required differ each free trade zone, but the core needs are the same.

The Advantages of Starting a Business in UAE Free Zones

There are many benefits to starting a business in the UAE. But the UAE free zones offer some additional advantages if an investor decides to set up a business in one of the free zones. They are:

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits
  • 100% exemption from corporate, personal and income taxes
  • 100% free transfer of funds, and no foreign exchange controls
  • Exemption from all import and export duties
  • Low freight charges
  • Abundant and inexpensive energy
  • Inexpensive workforce, and easy recruitment procedures
  • Efficient communication procedures and single-window administration
  • Liberal government policies and legal framework
  • The timely and streamlined immigration process
  • Sponsorship and visas for an affordable skilled workforce
  • Flexibility to operate 24/7
  • Freehold offices available for sale or lease
  • Ready-made offices, factories, and warehouses
  • Easy start-up and licensing procedures
  • Unique industry clustering and purpose-built infrastructure
  • 3-year UAE residence visa
  • No restrictions on hiring expatriates

How to open a Free Zone Company Bank Account?

After acquiring your company licence, opening a bank account is an important step to take in order to handle your business’ financial transactions efficiently. The banking system in the United Arab Emirates is well-known for its great security and safety. When it comes to opening an business account with any bank, free zone companies have more flexibility than offshore companies. A free zone company is a well-known and widely accepted business structure around the world. But opening a Free zone Account might get sometime little tricky of a task and you may need an expert account opening support to get through the matters of opening business bank account easily.

Features Of Free Zone Company Bank Account

  1. Free zone company can accept money from anywhere and spend locally
  2. Free zone company bank account can accept money locally
  3. Free zone companies are issued debit/credit cards
  4. Free zone companies offered trade finance
  5. Free zone companies are exempted from VAT for incoming fund and outgoing funds

Documents required for opening a Free Zone Company Bank Account: -

Basic Documents

  • Trade License
  • Share certificate
  • Memorandum Of Association/Article Of Association
  • Passport, Visa & Emirates Id of all partners (if applicable)
  • Office Tenancy (Physical office)

Supporting Documents

  • 6 months bank statement (Personal/company from UAE/Home country.)
  • Utility Bills as address proof
  • Business Model/company profile/ Website
  • Customer Profile (CV)
  • Name of existing or prospective clients (suppliers/buyers)
  • Invoices /Bill of Lading/Shipping documents/ Agreements/ Custom Clearance etc.

In case change or amendment is made in the original documents of the Company, same will be notarized and attested by that respective Free zone.

There might be few more documents required depending on which bank you want to open your Account.

Proof of Physical presence

It is not possible to open a Free zone Bank account remotely with UAE banks as it is a requirement of Central Bank that you have to be present physically while opening your Free zone Bank Account.

Benefits of opening a Free Zones Bank Account

Benefits of opening a Free Zones Bank Account

Get Loans

Free Zone Bank account allows Business Loans, provided your company is 1 year old and you have got good turn over by showing company operations profits audit reports etc.

Debit and Credit Card

Most of the UAE banks provide debit card when you open a Free Zone Bank account with them, however in order to get credit card you have to deposit some amount with bank.

Conclusion

Free zone Bank Account is a necessity to run a seamless successful business in UAE. UAE provides you with one of the best banking services in the world which are safe and secure. To keep up with the latest form of security measures, UAE central bank has issued Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating Financial Terrorism (CFT) regulations, which inadvertently has raised new challenges to open and operate a bank account in UAE. All the banks in UAE are asking more and more documents about the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) including personal profile and website showing the business information under Know Your Clients requirements. But this should not worry you as we at Dhanguard are here to assist and guide you in opening Free Zone bank account in the UAE. There is no set timeframe for this process. Each bank has its own internal procedure and timeframe for account opening. It generally takes approximately 2 to 4 weeks to open a bank account for an LLC or Free Zone company in the UAE. However, this is not guaranteed (especially in respect of Offshore Companies) because each application is subject to a bank’s internal compliance and management approval.

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