A regulated business without regulations

Find out why businesses in industries that are regulated in other countries are available for
licensing in the UAE and have equal rights and opportunities for development

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SORP.AE

The UAE presents ready-made solutions for licensing complex types of business that have come under government regulation in other countries. The licensing standards provide equal rights for all market participants and complete freedom to conduct international activities without additional financial "burdens" for businesses that are traditionally discriminated against in other countries. You have the opportunity to conduct a business for trading in oil and oil products, medicines and chemicals, gold and precious metals. You will be able to invest in or develop construction projects.

Advantages of the UAE jurisdiction for doing international business

A legal entity in the UAE can belong to a foreign investor and freely conduct international business without entering the local market. In addition, your company will harness all the privileges of a low-tax jurisdiction to minimize tax payments.

Favorable tax
system
No corporate tax or personal income tax (although 5% VAT applies to a number of categories)
Conditions for equal
competition
Foreign and local entrepreneurs are treated equally both for UAE activities and foreign business
Access to the
Gulf countries
All 6 countries of the GCC share a common
tax and customs space and free trade zone making a large single market
Investment
protection
State protection and multi-country international agreements on mutual
protection of investments
Hassle-free capital
deposit/withdrawal
The state legally guarantees the free movement of capital without currency
controls or regulations
Data concealment
and protection
Shareholder registers are secret, meaning beneficiary concealment tools are legal and supported by the state
Financial
stability
Absolute stability of the banking system, no inflation, and the US dollar exchange rate is fixed by law
Safe repository
for funds
Secure banking and government guarantee of the safety of funds are an important part of promoting international and domestic trade
Tax resident
status
All business owners can apply for tax resident status and receive information exchange protection (CRS)

The Emirates have proved to the world that a diversified approach, appropriate economic objectives and support for unrestricted entrepreneurial activity can lead the country to prosperity and make it a leader in all significant global business ratings. The UAE today is a leading financial platform, the largest logistics hub and a key international business center.

Licenses available for complicated activities that are difficult to obtain in other jurisdictions

Trade in oil and oil products

Licenses for trading in oil and oil products (gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel, oils and other refined products)

Medicines and chemicals trading

Licenses for the sale of medicines, protective equipment and various products of the chemical industry

Trade in tobacco products

Licenses for the sale of smoking mixtures, cigars, cigarettes, and related products

Trade in precious metals

Licenses for the sale of ores, ingots, alloys of precious metals, precious stones and jewelry

Investment and financial activities

Licenses for investments in related structures, real estate and business, operations with securities, paying agents and funds

Construction and engineering activities

Licenses for the construction of buildings and structures of any kind, architecture and design activities, and post-project maintenance of facilities

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The uniqueness of the UAE for licensing complicated activities

No additional fees
Many highly profitable and in-demand types of activity experience additional overheads in most countries in the form of duties (excise taxes), requirements for payment of quotas, etc. There are no such obstacles in the UAE.
Equal rights and opportunities
You can engage in any legal activity and at the same time have equivalent rights with local residents regardless of your nationality, religion or line of work.
No sanctions
There are no artificial restrictions in the country for business people who are not on the sanctions lists (the so-called “special circle of persons”), which makes the Emirates an ideal place for entrepreneurs who want to grow, develop and make high profits in their chosen industry.
Tax comfort
The country really is tax-free, allowing you to extract the maximum profit from the business. No taxes on foreign business activity, export and re-export, personal income tax or corporation tax. The only tax is 5% VAT applied to a number of domestic categories.
CRS information exchange protection
When conditions are met for granting tax resident status, it means removal of tax consequences in the investor's country of origin and is an instrument of international tax planning because automatic exchange of tax information under CRS does then not apply.

International activities from a base in the United Arab Emirates

Operating a complex business under the UAE flag gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to maximize profits in both the domestic and international markets, compared with the global average of other jurisdictions.

All you need to operate a complicated type of business in the UAE is to incorporate a legal entity and go through the licensing procedure.

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Specific features of licensing complicated business activities in the United Arab Emirates

Offshore countries lost their financial attraction for incorporation to minimize taxes, conceal beneficiaries, and international trade
and investment after the introduction of “tax base erosion” provisions supported by the FATF.

Peculiarities of the place of incorporation
The licensing procedure in the UAE is laid down by Federal Law but each emirate, like each Free Trade Zone created on its territory, has local characteristics that are reflected in regional rules and regulations, and the time taken to complete the incorporation procedure can vary significantly.
Licensing procedure
The Economic Department (DED) of the emirate chosen for incorporation issues licenses for local companies. In Free Zones the administration does it. That defines the form of legal entity that may be incorporated and some licenses require a UAE national to hold 51% of the shares.
Additional approvals
Complicated licenses require approval of the department(s) responsible for supervising the related areas of activity.
These can be the Construction Department (DM, BDept), Ministry of Health (MOH), Department of Transportation (RTA), Department of Environmental Protection (MOCCAE) and the Central Bank (CB).
Activity permits
Close attention is paid to the safety of the premises in which offices are located and products are stored. In some cases, a business is obliged to hire an employee with specialized education and experience in that industry or to be accredited by specialized government departments. Inspections ensure that premises have the required permit and trade licence.
Renewal of licenses and permits
Annual license renewal is required after audit reports have been submitted to the regulatory authorities, a lease agreed for a new period, and other regulatory requirements fulfilled. License renewal is a form of state control of business activities and represents a hidden tax on companies.
Annual payment of fees and rent
Renewing licences and permits to operate follows the same procedure as initial application with the same approvals required. The fees are a mandatory overhead for doing business in the UAE. Other outlays may include lease
renewal, agent services and regulatory body permits.

Receiving a license for a complicated business activity means that you have passed a thorough government audit. Correctly selected types of activities and place of incorporation demonstrate your professionalism and reliability. An unspoken tradition has developed in the UAE business environment which says the more complicated the license, the more serious a player you are in the market in the eyes of potential partners.

SORP expert solutions for business licensing in the UAE

SORP Group provides a set of licensing solutions for the main areas of business in the UAE. We guarantee a quick passage through all procedures thanks to our long-established contacts with government departments and accreditation as a Free Trade Zone agent.

Business model
preparation

We will select a suitable license for your chosen activities and decide which type of legal entity to form

Incorporation and
licensing

SORP's streamlined business processes and resources guarantee support by qualified professionals

Local partner or
agent

Nominee service from SORP Investment LLC with a waiver of rights in the court of Dubai

Dubai business
address

Rent space in the SORP Business Center for accommodation and licensing - offices, flexi-desks, co-working and virtual solutions

Opening bank
accounts

We work closely with UAE banks, understand their compliance rules and facilitate KYC verification when opening bank accounts

Business process
outsourcing

We provide full business support including legal, tax, accounting and administrative services, so you can outsource all tasks to us

The global trend towards increased control over business leaves fewer legal methods to minimize the tax burden, optimize cash flows and allocate funds to accounts. However, incorporating a local (mainland) company provides business people with a complete set of tools for solving such problems. That includes protection against automatic exchange of information about tax, bank accounts and assets, as provided for by CRS.

What to consider when conducting international business from the UAE

To minimize the risks of having your international activity considered illegitimate, suspicious, or even suspended, we strongly recommend that you comply with all legislative requirements regarding confirming Economic Presence (ESR) in the UAE.

The UAE’s preferential tax regime
The UAE's preferential tax regime offers companies many opportunities to maximize profits. To fully benefit from all the advantages of this jurisdiction, you need to provide the international financial institutions and fiscal authorities of the country of your citizenship with evidence that the UAE is where management and control of your business takes place, and is the center of your vital interests.
Organizing a command and control center in the UAE
A command and control center in the UAE confirms that you have a real office with staff in the Emirates. It demonstrates that all management decisions of your company are made here, shareholder meetings are held, documents circulated, transactions are concluded and, accordingly, taxes are paid here.
Obtaining tax resident status
Today, the world’s banks are responsible for maintaining and sharing data according to the CRS (Common Reporting Standard) agreement. It involves the exchange of tax information between countries in real time and significantly complicates the work of companies to optimize taxes. Obtaining UAE tax resident status defines you or your company as a taxpayer of this country with reporting obligations to the local fiscal authorities.
Proof of UAE tax affiliation
By obtaining tax residency, you prove that the UAE is the jurisdiction where you pay your taxes, meaning you can protect your assets from automatic exchange of information. Banks and financial institutions of the UAE will not send information outside the state (place of your confirmed residence), which will make it inaccessible for the tax authorities of your country of citizenship.
Protection of assets from inspections by fiscal authorities
Complex types of activities that are regulated in other countries attract increased attention of international financial institutions, especially if such activities are accompanied by large cash flows. By obtaining a business license in the UAE and organizing a Management and Control Center here, opening a secure bank account and obtaining tax residency, you ensure the safety of your assets and business from interference by the regulatory authorities of your own country.

Take full advantage of the UAE jurisdiction to maximize the success of your business

We will provide professional advice on the organization of your company in the UAE.
We will select personalized solutions that meet your goals, including optimizing your international business.

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How to work in the international arena having licensed your business in the UAE

Protection against exchange of tax information

Your tax jurisdiction affiliation must be established as being in the UAE to prevent the automatic exchange of tax information under the provisions of CRS.

Confirmation of economic presence

To prove that tax optimization of your international activities is valid abroad, you must substantiate the feasibility of using the UAE as your base of operations.

Tax planning opportunities

To optimize taxation when conducting international activities, you are strongly recommended to use the mechanisms permitted by legislation and ensure freedom of settlements.

SORP services for international business

The SORP group of companies provides entrepreneurs with a unique set of tools based on UAE legislation for effective tax planning and optimization of international business.

Methodology and
business analysis
We will research the market, the competitive environment and specifics of legislation. We will select suitable areas for setting up and running a business.
PRO
support
We will represent your interests with UAE government agencies, issue resident visas for business partners, employees and their families, and renew licenses and permits.
Nominee
service
We will provide a nominee director and shareholder to conceal the actual beneficiaries and enable intragroup transfer pricing should that be a requirement.
Audits and
reporting

We will provide maintenance and audit of accounting documentation and generate the required report to confirm transactions when making international transfers.
International
tax planning

Tailored solutions to improve the efficiency of tax optimization schemes for international business based on UAE legislation, expertise and successful cases.
Confirmation of
economic presence
in the UAE
Proof that operations are managed and controlled at the registered address of company incorporation and that business operations are affiliated to UAE tax jurisdiction.

SORP Group will become your reliable long-term working partner in the UAE

SORP is a leading consulting group providing a full range of services for the incorporation, support and management of business in the UAE and internationally. We have an impeccable reputation, broad capabilities and a solid asset base.

Comprehensive services

The company offers a comprehensive set of solutions for business and shareholders, from incorporating companies to obtaining tax resident status

Individual approach

We will provide professional expert advice, optimal solutions and instant support of a team of international lawyers and tax consultants

Expert status

We are able to conduct a verification of the correctness of the organization of the main business processes for conducting international tax planning from the UAE, including issues of increased complexity

15 years in the UAE market

In the field of company registration, management and administration, business support and PRO-services

Comprehensive solutions

Solving business problems of any complexity. We will help you create a reliable and secure structure. SORP will provide legal and secretarial support, confirmation of the Economic Substance compliance.

Legal support

Confidential and individually designed legal solutions for business consolidation, tax optimization, concealment of beneficiaries, and protection from automatic tax exchange