17th December 2018, Updated 6th March 2019
Entrepreneurs and freelancers can now start a business in Abu Dhabi and a commercial premise is not required! This is part of the Abu Dhabi government's commitment to helping entrepreneurs and boosting the economy. This means entrepreneurs and freelancers can now start a business without needing to spend on leasing an office space just to meet the requirements of obtaining their trade license. More information about the government's initiatives to boost the Abu Dhabi economy can be found here.
Until recently, it was mandatory for all companies to lease a physical commercial premise in relation to their trade license. This was a financial burden for entrepreneurs and freelancers which didn't have the requirement for such premises from the outset. Contrary, a licensing system called Tajer, has been available for Emiratis which enables them to open up a new business and a premise is not required in Abu Dhabi.
The government has now opened up its Tajer licensing system to expatriates. This enables Expat entrepreneurs and freelancers to register for a trade license and a premise is not required in Abu Dhabi.
Restrictions of Tajer licensing
- Only applicable to UAE residents with a valid Emirates ID.
- Only applicable to certain trade license activities. (We recommend checking if your preferred license activity is exempt prior to commencing the business setup.)
- Premises exemption only applicable for the first two years of operation.
- Employing staff is restricted to just three people.
- A local sponsor is still required. (Gateway can assist with secure corporate nominee solution to reduce unnecessary risk.)
Opening corporate bank accounts
Banks recognise the Tajer license and do not insist on companies with such commercial licenses supplying a Tawtheeq contract as part of the documents required to open a new bank account. All that is required is the passport and Emirates ID cards of the shareholders and a copy of the trade license.
Given that premises are not required in Abu Dhabi, combined with the Abu Dhabi government's recent abolishing of local government fees for new companies for the first two years of operation, this makes starting a company in Abu Dhabi now much more cost effective and attractive for entrepreneurs and freelancers. These new initiatives enable startups to invest in developing their businesses rather than paying out fees. Cashflow can be spent in the wider economy and hopefully this will result in a win-win situation for everyone in Abu Dhabi.
For assistance with your Abu Dhabi company formation, arrange a consultation with Gateway in Abu Dhabi. We will assess your current position and future plans to guide you to the most appropriate location and legal structure for your new business. We provide a corporate nominee local sponsor and service agent service. We also manage the whole commercial registration from start to finish. Our on the ground experience and expertise means we can take care of the company formation whilst you focus on developing your business. To discuss your Abu Dhabi company formation, please email us: Info@GatewayToAbuDhabi.com
Written by Jenny Hunt, Founding Partner & CEO, Gateway Group of Companies, Abu Dhabi UAE
By providing bespoke business setup, corporate local sponsorship, and visa processing in Abu Dhabi, award-winning Gateway Group uses its on-the-ground experience and knowledge to help companies make informed decisions that are right for their business and in line with their goals.
For assistance with your Abu Dhabi business set up, visa processing and ongoing Trade License renewals, Email us: Info@GatewayToAbuDhabi.com
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