Setting up a business in Abu Dhabi has several advantages for companies since there is zero corporate/income taxes. There is only 5% VAT charged and this was introduced recently.

Free Zones in Abu Dhabi

  • Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone
  • Twofour54 Media City
  • Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) Free Zone
  • Abu Dhabi Global Markets Free (ADGM)
  • Industrial City of Abu Dhabi
  • Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones (ZonesCorp)
  • Masdar City Free Zone
  • Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD)

Establishing your Company at Abu Dhabi

Here are some of the steps to be kept in mind:

  • Work out legal form and activities for the business
  • Get the trade name registered and garner initial permissions
  • Get the office lease arranged
  • Apply for trade license and other regulatory approvals
  • Get the DED Trade License
  • Register your company with Labor and Immigration
  • Open your business bank account
  • Apply for the employee visas

There are several types of companies that can be set up in Abu Dhabi including branch offices, limited liability companies, representative trade offices, free zones, professional service licenses, commercial agents and other types. LLCs are the commonly preferred investment vehicles for companies entering the UAE with new businesses and activities.

LLCs can be established by 50 shareholders with their liability restricted to shares in the capital of the company. A minimum of 51% of the shares in the organization are required to be owned by UAE Nationals or at least 100% owned by UAE companies/sponsors.

Setting up an LLC for Greater Benefits

The guidelines for establishing an LLC in Dubai are similar in Abu Dhabi as compared to other parts of the UAE. There are some differences linked to costs of starting up and also provisions for the duration of licenses. LLC companies can get license validity for 2 years and costs have been lowered sizably. It is not compulsory to rent offices for the first couple of years as well. Private residential addresses are acceptable for the authorities with regard to trade license processing.

Some of the other benefits include the following:

  • Zero share capital requirement- Abolition of share capital is a major benefit when it comes to setting up an LLC. However, share capital is still needed with regard to the tourism industry.
  • Local Sponsors- Till end-2018, local sponsors were compulsorily needed for setting up an LLC. The Government has now confirmed that companies can be 100% under foreign ownership for specific categories. Local sponsors in other cases will be majority shareholders with holdings of a minimum of 51% of the profits of the organization.

Setting up your company in Abu Dhabi can be easier if you have GCC Filings by your side. The company takes care of tasks like incorporation, VAT registration, VAT filing returns, auditing, accounting and a lot more.

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