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Our experts will assist you in comprehending and adhering to diverse regulatory requirements for businesses.

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An expert team is on hand to help you negotiate the bureaucratic obstacle course for businesses in the UAE. We can help you through everything from Economic Substance Regulations (ESR) to Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) compliance and ensure that your business conforms to all necessary requirements. Let us make the process more convenient, while keeping you on a legal footing.

Our Mandatory Compliance Services

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The new Economic Substance Regulations require that all UAE onshore and free zone companies, as well as other businesses in the country's territory must maintain a professional economic presence here. We will review your business activities both in depth and breadth to see whether they pass the Economic Substance Test. For businesses who meet the criteria, we will start to prepare and go on your behalf for our Notification of Establishment (ES) Accompanying Report.
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The UAE requires all mainland and free zone companies to register Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs) which will help promote transparency. Businesses licensed in certain areas and government-owned entities (both direct and indirect) are excepted from this requirement. Our team is standing by to help you proceed through your UBO declaration in complete conformity with the laws of the UAE.

Your Guide to Business Compliance Services in UAE

Doing business in the United Arab Emirates requires an understanding of all sorts of laws and regulations. this intensity and complexity require the services of business compliance. 

It is important to have a reliable business compliance service which can determine the legality and validity of your company’s conduct. It is an effective device for keeping you up-to-date with the most current developments in the legal scene.

Looking for quality business compliance services in the UAE? Look no further. We provide the full range of suggestions for doing business in Dubai, helping you stay a step ahead by anticipating and responding to changes within this highly complex field.

What Is Business Compliance?

Business compliance is constant, meaning that your business activities are legal. It requires keeping up to date with relevant laws and regulations, as well as actively taking preventive measures. 

Who has time to keep up with the myriad laws and regulations that apply in your business? Fortunately, there is a reliable business compliance service available such as ours. It was made to make this procedure easier for you to handle. We are committed to accompanying you through the maze of regulations, so that your business remains in legal compliance with these rapidly changing requirements.

Why Do I Need Business Compliance Services?

A good business compliance service is not only beneficial to companies operating here; it’s essential. The reason is clear-cut: All UAE laws and regulations are complex, with severe penalties for infractions.

Saudi Arabia ‘s penalties are among the most severe in the UAE. They include prison terms, heavy fines and various restrictions. This shows what a vital necessity it is, in maintaining strict adherence to the country’s legal structure thorough reliable business compliance service. In the UAE’s regulatory landscape this isn’t just a best practice, it is an absolute necessity for businesses to act in accordance within the law.

What Do I Need to Know About Business Compliance Services in UAE?

However, there is no one-size-fits all model for business compliance services in the UAE. As a result, make sure that the chosen service meets your business’s particular needs.

When considering a compliance expert in Dubai, it’s essential to pose key questions, including:

Service Offerings

Inquire as to the compliance expert’s scope of services. Knowing the depth of their range means they can meet any compliance requirements peculiar to your business.

Knowledge of UAE laws and regulations

Assess the extent of knowledge on complicated company law and regulation by a compliance expert in UAE. Compliance support must have a thorough understanding of the local legal environment.

Communication on Law Changes

Ask how often the compliance expert briefs clients on changes to the law. An important aspect of keeping your business informed, regular updates help you stay ahead in meeting ever-changing legal requirements.

Case Studies and Success Stories

Ask for case studies or success stories of past clients. Real-world examples serve to prove the efficacy of their compliance service and give you some clues as to how well they may suit your particular business’s needs.

By asking these questions, you will have a better understanding whether the compliance service that is being offered meets your particular needs. Does it work smoothly within UAE regulations and integrate with your business?

Business Compliance Issues

Failure to conform with business practices can lead (sometimes) not only to lawsuits, but also  fines and even imprisonment. For this reason, businesses must strictly obey the law at all times.

Examples of noncompliance with Dubai law include:

Operating without a Valid Trade License: Conducting business without a valid trade license is breaking the law. To legally exist, every commercial entity needs permission to do business.

Not Registering Employees with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE): Not registering employees with MOHRE violates labor laws. Correct registration of employees is important not only for legal compliance, but also to protect workers ‘rights and protections.

Trading in Banned Goods or Services: Trading in illegal goods or services is against the law. Banned items in the UAE may include alcohol and pork products, or weapons and drugs.

Failing to Pay Taxes: To avoid legal penalties, businesses must pay their taxes. Not paying taxes is a violation which may be penalized or otherwise punished.

These examples show that the nature of noncompliance problems businesses may face is quite various. Businesses must know and abide by the laws or regulations relevant to their operations in Dubai.

In particular, Dubai functions as an emirate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and its laws are different from those of other emirates within that country. For this reason, businesses need to have a good understanding of the local legal system in order to follow regulations and avoid getting into trouble.

Operating Without a Valid Trade Licence

Companies in Dubai often overlook that employees aren’t registered by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE), a mistake with heavy consequences.

All employees, regardless of nationality or visa status, have to legally register with the Ministry of Human Resources and Employment (MOHRE). The penalties for non-compliance can be steep. For instance, persons who don’t have a valid business license face a fine of up to AED 200,000 and/or two years imprisonment. Moreover, a fine of 250 AED may be imposed for failing to renew one’s trade license.

These penalties highlight the absolute necessity for businesses to adhere strictly to applicable labor regulations and trade licensing requirements in Dubai. When practicing business, they must only abide by all these regulations. Otherwise apart from breaking legal standards, who knows if running into severe consequences might even put the integrity of their operations at stake?

Trading in Banned Goods or Services

Participation in the sale of illegal goods or services is a common crime found within Dubai, punishable by large fines. Staying informed about which products and services are prohibited is crucial to avoiding penalties. Some examples may surprise, such as alcohol or pork. Several long-standing laws were decriminalized in 2020, including the act of drinking alcohol without a license. But clear limitations on drinking remain, with alcohol banned in all places except private homes and licensed public locations. You must be at least 21 years old to drink alcohol in the UAE.

Although the rules regarding personal alcohol consumption have relaxed somewhat, all businesses that trade in it still must maintain a full license to guarantee its legal conformance. As regulations on personal alcohol consumption have eased, having a valid license continues to be one of the requirements for companies involved in trading with alcohol. An example of this is the need for businesses to be fully compliant with licensing requirements in order that they can navigate the legal landscape effectively.

Failing to Pay Taxes

In Dubai failure to pay taxes is a serious crime, with penalties of up to 6 months in prison and fines amounting at least AED 100,00. Always keep your tax responsibilities in mind and don’t get yourself into any legal difficulties. 

Recognize that tax laws in Dubai Free Zones differ from those of the rest of the UAE are very important. Furthermore, the UAE is set to implement new tax laws in 2023. Such knowledge is very important to businesses, keeping them in compliance with continually changing tax laws and regulations. This way, businesses can not only avoid trouble with the law. They also have an opportunity to readjust their financial strategies in pace with this turbulent tax environment of Dubai.

How Can GCS Group Business Compliance Services Help?

Our business compliance service is designed to take you through UAE’s complicated laws and regulations. We try to keep you up-to-date about any changes in the law, so that surprises never catch us off guard. 

Additionally, our services include assistance in many aspects of compliance such as registering employees with MOHRE; obtaining a trade license and filling up tax returns. Our all round support provides the assurance that your Busnes can go forward confidently, in full compliance with changeable legal environment of UAE. Have no worries, our values are to offer you the means and assistance required for smooth navigation of business compliance.

UBO and ESR: What You Need to Know Economic Substance Regulations (ESR)

To prevent financial opacity and abuse of offshore accounts, the Economic Substance Regulations (ESRs) require that companies in UAE ensure good transparency with regard to their economic activities.

For companies actively involved in Relevant Activities, annual filing is a crucial way to avoid penalties. The list of “Relevant Activities” is: shipping, insurance, banking, holding company; intellectual property rights; lease-finance and investment fund managing companies or those for distribution centers including service ones (NC); headquarters. Whatever these activities are called, if they perform the same function law-makers designate them as Relevant Activities. Notably, there is no minimum income threshold–all UAE individual entities must comply regardless of size.

Companies doing Relevant Activities must file on the Ministry of Finance’s (MoF) ESR portal within six months from before the end of financial year. The filing requires the reporting of activities that have been carried out, income received and whether any payment was taxed abroad.

To demonstrate adequate economic substance in the UAE, companies must satisfy the following Economic Substance Tests:

Core Income Generating Activity Test
Directed and Managed Test
Adequacy Test

High-risk companies, and especially those involving intellectual property, receive extra Economic Substance Tests. In view of the effects brought about by COVID-19, travel bans and so on are considered; companies should review factors relevant to documentation.

Companies to which income from Relevant Activities is attributed must submit a report to the MoF online portal within 12 months of the last day your company produced financial statistics for that period. Information on completed Economic Substance Tests, outsourced providers, operations expenditure and the number of full time employees per Relevant Activity is included in the report.This transparency is crucial to prevent fraudulent activities such as money laundering, tax evasion, and wealth concealment through overly complex corporate arrangements. Establishing a strong economic presence in the UAE demonstrates clarity about a company’s financial status, reassuring the government that critical assets are not being concealed.

If your company engages in Relevant Activities, our team at GCS Group can assist in determining compliance with Economic Substance Tests. If requirements are met, we can also aid in filing the ES Notification and ES Report, ensuring a seamless process for your business.

Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBO)

An Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) is an individual who benefits most when a business undertakes some form of activity. Although the definition of a UBO differs by jurisdiction, it is generally someone with both capital or voting rights in an underlying entity who owns and runs their own company.

To identify UBOs, a bank will typically:

  • Review the credentials of the institution.
  • Examine the chain of ownership.
  • Identity persons falling within the definition of UBO.
  • Carry out Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks. or Know Your Customer (KYC).

    Compliance with the UBO regulations requires you to register your UBOs. UBO Regulations Article five establishes the criteria for determining whether a person is or ought to be treated as a controller, including that she or he should have directly an indirect shareholding of at least 25 % in the company. UBOs might also have the power to hire or fire directors and managers inside of the firm.

    If no one meets this set of criteria, then the UBO is basically anyone else exerting control over the company. Under these conditions, the UBO would be responsible for senior management.

    Companies must keep a record of nominee directors and managers, showing in detail whom they have nominated for the position along with whether or not each is acting on behalf of another party. Furthermore, there must be a register of shareholders listing the proportion to which each shares in ownership interest along with voting rights and their acquisition date.

    Because of the new laws, that include the Commercial Companies Law for example, accurate identification of UBOs before registration is essential to compliance.

    Fighting money laundering and terrorism financing has thus become a worldwide regulatory priority, even for the UAE. The purpose of the UBO regulations is to increase transparency in financial dealings between free zone and mainland operating firms.

To mitigate risks associated with fraudulent activities, every company must take appropriate measures. The UAE mandates the registration of Ultimate Beneficial Owners to promote transparent transactions and compliance with national laws.

Our team can assist you in easily registering your UBO and completing the UBO declaration. We provide mandatory compliance services, helping you avoid fines or penalties from the government. Please book a consultation with one of our professionals today to get started!

The Importance of Business Compliance

GCS Group is your answer to commanding business compliance services in Dubai. Our experts have deep knowledge of the laws and regulations in the UAE, so you can rest assured that your business operation will remain fully compliant.

Contact us today to find out more about the myriad benefits of our business compliance services. We are determined to help your business negotiate the baffling legal landscape and maintain strict adherence to the law. We’d love to be your reliable partner helping you attain and keep compliance excellence.

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