In 2018, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development announced the launch of its Dual License Initiative. The scheme enables companies in the region to carry out business operations in the Emirate’s free trade zones (FTZ), as well as onshore in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and Al Dhafra. In addition to boosting foreign investment, the initiative is also expected to foster economic development across Abu Dhabi.
How the Dual License Works
With a dual license, offshore businesses in Abu Dhabi can expand their operations to onshore jurisdictions without being limited by the regulations of the FTZ under which they were established. This is expected to improve the ease of doing business in the Emirate, encouraging companies to expand, make more profits, and invest more across Abu Dhabi.
In the past, companies that want to operate offshore and onshore were required to meet certain legal and geographical conditions. Businesses often complained that to meet these conditions, they’d need to change their operating model and reduce their profit-earning capacity significantly. Thankfully, the new initiative removes all restrictions and conditions, and companies may get approval for a dual license within 3 business days.
How Businesses in Abu Dhabi Stand to Benefit
If you own/manage a business in Abu Dhabi, here are some potential benefits of the Dual License Initiative:
- Your offshore company can get a license to operate onshore without seeking out a local sponsor or having to partner with another company. This ensures that your operations are not disrupted and your profits remain in-house.
- In the past, an offshore company seeking a dual license would need to lease office space and maintain a physical location onshore. These mean added costs. The company is also required to comply with the prevalent regulations in the onshore jurisdiction. The Dual License Initiative obviates these requirements and limitations.
- Previously, applying for a license to operate offshore and onshore came with a lot of paperwork and bureaucratic red tape. It also took a long time to get approval. Now, if they have the required documents available, companies can get approved for a dual license within minutes.
Criteria for Eligibility
To qualify for the dual license, companies need to meet some pre-requisites and submit some documents. Only the following classes of companies can apply:
- Limited liability companies (LLCs) that are registered in one of Abu Dhabi’s free trade zones.
- Entities that are registered in one of Abu Dhabi’s free trade zones as a branch of an international company.
The documents required to apply for a dual license depends on the nature of the services provided by your company. For professional guidance through the application process, visit Startup-n-Marketing now.