Investing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is quite straightforward, and is encouraged by a business-friendly legal, regulatory, and financial environment. As one of the world’s freest economies with a globally-minded business culture, the UAE is a stable, investor-friendly global hub.
Opening a bank account for business, as one of the most important steps to start, typically is more complicated than opening a personal account. There are certain documents to arrange, names to be determined and licenses to get in order. We have put together a detailed guide on how to open a business bank account in the UAE, including information on the required documents, the processes, the costs, and the most popular banks.
1. General Questions
1.1 Documents Required for Bank Account Opening:
Obtaining a business license is a basic requirement for opening a business bank account. It will be impossible to open a bank account without a valid business license. Some banks may require a proof of residence of at least one shareholder, as well as that of the Company Director/s.
Different businesses and banks have different requirements for which documents are needed to open a bank account. The following documents are just some that may be required:
1) Business License;
2) An Emirates ID and valid passport;
3) Personal residential address proof through utility bill or lease agreement;
4) Detailed Business Plan;
5) List of suppliers and customers (at least 5), etc.
*When opening a business bank account, the bank may ask for additional paperwork from the applicant.
1.2 Challenges Associated When Opening a Business Bank Account in UAE:
Opening a bank account in the UAE can be challenging, but it is possible if you have the required documentation. The applicant should be prepared to present his/her business's information to the bank, be aware that difficulties may arise if there is a lack of information when opening a corporate bank account.
For example, in case you are planning to conduct business with clients or suppliers from high-risk countries or you're from a high-risk country, it might be hard for you to open a corporate account in the UAE.
1.3 How Long Does it Take to Open a Business Bank Account in the UAE?
Once you have everything you need, you can start looking for a bank that fits your needs but when choosing a bank, you also need to think about the criteria of eligibility.
It typically takes between 2 and 4 weeks to open a bank account for a UAE Mainland or Free Zone company. This, however, is not guaranteed, as each application has to be approved by the bank's internal rules and management.
1.4 Can I Open a Business Account Remotely?
To open a business bank account in the UAE, a company may need to have a physical presence in the country and provide proof of identity and residency.
2. Popular Banks
In the UAE, there are a huge number of national and international banks, which means that there are many banks that business owners can choose from, with each one having something different to offer. Some of the business accounts in the UAE are shown below:
2.1 Emirates NBD Business Account
Exclusive facilities of business banking can be availed;
Branches, ATMs and cash deposit machines throughout the UAE;
The account can be accessed in multiple currencies like USD, AED, JPY and Euro.
2.2 Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) - Business Premium
Dedicated Relationship Officer;
Over 15 currencies to open your account in (including USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CNY, etc.);
Banking on the go & enjoying free telex transfers with ADIB Business Internet Banking.
2.3 Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) - Premium Current Account
Unlimited teller transactions;
Dedicated and Responsible Relationship Manager;
Receive special discounts on payment transactions;
We at D'Andrea & Partners Legal Counsel constantly monitor the latest developments in the UAE market. If you want to inquire more information related to this issue, feel free to get in contact with us: email@example.com