The long-awaited 100% foreign business ownership rule finally has been implemented in the UAE business strategies on 23 November 2020. Approval of this law is in line with developing commercial and investment opportunities and increasing the UAE’s current business environment’s competitiveness. Previously, the individual emirates business partners allowed foreign business owners to acquire the full ownership of their business shares on a case by case basis. The latest amendment has thus significantly facilitated and improved the previous situation for foreign entrepreneurs. Previously, foreign businessmen were only allowed to own 49% of their business and look for a local business partner owing the rest of the company’s stakes to register a ‘limited liability company.’ The new amendment has lifted the nationality restriction on company ownership. However, it should be noted that there are still legal forms that do not qualify for 100% foreign ownership based on the UAE cabinet’s decision. Also, companies totally owned by federal or local governments or their subsidiaries cannot wholly transfer to foreign owners. The cabinet is still determining the activities that qualify for 100% foreign ownership, taking the measures, and proving these businesses’ arrangements. 

Ranking 15th in the world amongst the top commercial centers globally and rapidly growing by taking innovative measures to even rank higher in the upcoming years, Dubai is a major business hub. The main reasons that make Dubai a strategic place for starting a business are:

  • Excellent transportation system
  • Offering seamless aviation connectivity
  • Easily accessible international airports – with 1000s of weekly flights
  • Business-friendly tax policies
  • Abundant workforce
  • Ease of doing business
  • Access to the international market
  • Simple regulations for starting a business or establishing a company
  • Low taxation for new companies and commercial real estate options
  • Enjoying an oil-driven economy that guarantees its stable economy

Foreign investors can enjoy huge tax benefits by being totally exempted from paying personal, capital gain, and corporate taxes. The VAT is set to only 5%, much lower than many commercial capitals in the world. Flight frequency and being geographically strategic – connecting the middle east to Europe, Russia, and China – makes Dubai one of the best places for frequent business flyers. Dubai is also one of the best places to start a business because it is a commercial hub. This will actually give the beginners a chance to attract more clients, grow their business, and build their network. This is a huge advantage for B2B and B2C businesses.    

Things You Need to Know About The New Decree on 100% Foreign Business Ownership in the UAE - Smart Zone

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