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Absence of Physical/ Flexi Office can act as a barrier in Business Account opening in UAE. Read Why!

Many foreign entrepreneurs operating their businesses globally through UAE offshore companies or having small facilities commonly known as flexi desks or Virtual offices in the free zone, are finding it challenging to open and operate a bank account in the UAE as a result of recent Anti Money Laundering and Combating Financial Terrorism regulations released by the UAE Central Bank. All banks in the UAE are asking for more and more information about the Ultimate Beneficial Owner under the Know Your Clients requirements, including a personal profile and a website with company information. 

Banks in the United Arab Emirates demand that a business have a physical office-

  • Some banks will send an inspection officer to the address provided in the documentation to verify your company's physical presence. 

  • Whether or not this person is actually conducting business must be confirmed by the banks. 

  • The bank will reject your application to open a bank account if it finds that no work has been done.

  • Additionally, the bank confirms this using a third party's assistance, a procedure called Contact Point Verification (CPV). This is more reliable for banks. 

  • The third party submits the Field Visit Report (FVR) to the banks for review so they can determine whether the applicants actually have an office.

Thus in this blog, Dhanguard will extensively discuss why lack of a physical space could lead to failure in opening a Business or any other Bank Account in UAE. So without any further ado, let’s begin!

Along with a wide array of services provided, Dhanguard also helps with Mainland, Offshore and Freezone Business Account opening as well

 

Why is it necessary for the Banks to see your Physical/ Flexi Office Space?

Banks must follow the UAE's initiative in combating financial crimes like money laundering and terrorism funding. The pressure on banks to adhere to legislative requirements like anti money laundering (AML) and counter terrorism financing makes obtaining a bank account in the UAE more challenging. Because of this, banks in the UAE are under a lot of pressure from regulatory and inspection organizations to be stringent when dealing with clients who wish to register business accounts. Therefore, the banks want to check out the applicant's physical location or flexi office so they can be sure they truly want to open a corporate bank account for conducting business in the United Arab Emirates.

The Concept of Contact Point Verification

Verifying data or information provided by potential consumers is referred to as "contact point verification" (CPV), and it is an important and necessary operation in a range of industries, including banking. 

  • The third party confirms contact information for a number of loans or account opening procedures that the bank has approved. 

  • Addresses and personal data of the guarantors or borrowers are acquired, including bank statements, evidence of residency, evidence of business, and evidence of a physical / flexi office. 

  • Field investigations and Contact Point Verifications are carried out swiftly and tenaciously while making necessary modifications to the verification procedure to satisfy the Bank's standards.

 

Read More: Tactics for a Future-Based Economy in UAE

What are the different types of Contact Point Verification?

There are 2 types of Contact Point verification which are explained below-

Business Verification

The third party visits the applicant's place of business or flexi office to confirm the information listed below:

 

  • That the applicant is the one conducting business.

  • A thorough enquiry is conducted regarding the duration of his employment with the organization as well as in the community.

  • The total no. of employees currently engaged to the company.

  • The total quantity of stock

  • Verification of office contact details

  • The total square foot area of the flexi office

A Field Verification Report (FVR), which is a report made after looking into all of the aforementioned information, is then produced and delivered to the banks.

Residency Verification

The Banks are able to check someone's current and past addresses thanks to residency verification and past history. Tenancy agreements, or Ejari, must be signed in the name of the home's owner in order to be accepted by banks. Additionally, banks accept letters requesting shared lodging.

  • Where do you stay is the question that banks always ask when they inquire about an applicant's stay in the UAE. 

  • A letter from the applicant's owner that simply confirms that the applicant is sharing an apartment with the specific person in question is required for the application process. 

  • The owner will go to the bank for further verification and provide a copy of the Ejari or tenancy, a copy of their passport, or an emirates ID.

What does the Flexi Desk Office in the UAE refer to?

The phrase "Flexi Desk" describes how simple it is for companies to register even if they don't have actual offices. For groups of subscribers, the Flexi Workstation serves as a shared desk and seating area. The definition of a flexi desk is not well known to many people who desire to launch a business in the United Arab Emirates. In the United Arab Emirates, a joint office is known as a "flexi desk" and is required for any organization upon registration.

In addition to hot desk and flexi office, flexi desks are also known as smart desks, virtual offices, shared desks, shared offices, and business center desks. As a bare minimum, the UAE government mandates that any company with a registered office have one of these desks.

Flexi desk leases are not equivalent to physical offices, and banks in the United Arab Emirates do not accept them as proof of having a physical office.

Conclusion

One of the first steps when beginning a business in the UAE is to open a Business Bank Account. But this approach is not always as successful as business owners hope. The denial of a business owner's request for a Business Bank Account may come as a surprise. Numerous banks in the United Arab Emirates act as correspondents for foreign banks, and they are completely responsible for the behavior of the customers they bring in. 

As a result, denials are widespread because these banks are so careful when it comes to customer screening. Companies with headquarters in Dubai's free zones and offshore businesses, in particular, are probably going to have trouble opening Business accounts. But be assured that by engaging with the guidance of our experts, you will definitely avoid all such difficulties. Thus, we hope this blog provided you with insightful information. For more information on other related aspects, feel free to check out our website or visit our head office as well.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, a foreign entity can open business account in the UAE. The registration of any organisation in the UAE is generally an easier and cost-effective way.

The requirement for opening any bank account in the UAE vary from one bank to another. Although, the existence of a major director or shareholder is generally required.

A limited company should have a dedicated bank account because they have a separate legal entity.

The benefits of having business account includes tracking of the expenses, easy calculation of the tax liabilities as well as management of cash flow.

Yes you can open a business account in various major currencies of the world other than the UAE dirhams.

Every bank has a unique internal procedure and timetable for opening accounts. For an LLC or a Free Zone company, obtaining a bank account in the UAE normally takes 2 to 4 weeks.

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