- August 2, 2022
Awara Guide on Opening a Bank Account in Asia to Support Your Russian Business. Chapter 2: UAE.
This is the second article in our series on opening bank accounts in reliable jurisdictions. We talked to Aisha from A & A Associate LLC in the UAE about possibilities and benefits of Russian companies to open a bank account in United Arab Emirates.
The UAE’s safe banking system, stable local currency, absence of currency controls, reliable lending institutions and convenient account operation from any part of the world make it one of the most attractive countries in which to arrange your banking services. Together with our strong partner in the UAE we assist promptly and efficiently with opening corporate accounts, as well as follow-up support in operating your accounts and in dealing with the bank’s officers.
Reasons why to open a corporate account with a UAE bank
Economic stability of the UAE and the country’s image is a major plus. Zero inflation, absolute stability of the banking system, credibility it provides to business partners by not being included on any OECD or FATF blacklist. Simplified KYC when making settlements in the national currency. In case the settlements with counterparties are made in the local currency (dirham), the bank’s due diligence procedure is performed with minimum requirements. Integration into the global financial system is another benefit. Branches of the world’s major financial institutions are located in the United Arab Emirates and UAE banks are represented all over the globe. Additionally offsetting operations are not subject to any restrictions.
Day-to-day company activities often require third party payments, so it is worth noting that such transactions are not viewed as suspicious by UAE banks.
Settlements are possible in any global currency without currency conversion. An UAE bank account provides facilities for transactions in Dollars, Euros, Pounds Sterling, Yuans and many more, including settlements within the country.
UAE residents are not subject to exchange of tax information. The UAE Central Bank policy is that banks of the country do not provide information about all financial operations of accounts within the automatic data exchange.
Comprehensive support for opening a bank account. Collating all necessary documents and preparing for KYC procedure, accompanying you to the meeting with an officer of the bank.
Types of accounts offered by UAE banks
Depending on the residency status of the account holder, UAE banks provide a range of corporate account types (resident and non-resident versions) that have different requirements and conditions for opening and servicing.
Resident Bank Account
- The full list of bank services and facilities is available, including cheque book, debit and credit cards and loan extensions. And there is a low threshold requirement: no deposit is required to open an account.
- Intention to work with UAE partners and a valid residency visa for the account signatory are sufficient to open an account.
- No need to submit any insurance or investment plans to open an account.
- Simplified due diligence as the Immigration Service has already checked the individual.
- Bank secrecy assures the protection of a resident signatory’s information.
- An account is a fully functional tool for cash and settlement services.
Non-resident Bank Account
- Takes longer to open, offers a reduced list of bank services and has limitations in online banking.
- High threshold requirement: large deposit or confirmation of a million-dollar turnover is needed to open an account.
- It is sufficient to own real estate and have partners in the UAE with preliminary partnership agreements to open an account.
- In addition, an insurance or investment plan is also needed to open an account.
- Extended due diligence of the signatory – checks for any similar business abroad, thorough inspection of the source of funds.
- Information about a non-resident signatory is reportable to the authorities in the jurisdiction of the owner’s tax residency.
- Such an account is effectively used as an e-wallet for one-off operations.
To open a corporate bank account, UAE banks ask you to provide:
- Proof that the real office address of the company operating the account is in the UAE
- The bank needs to understand who the company is managed and controlled by, and where all banking transactions are performed from. Confirmation of the account signatory’s resident status.
- Tax residency of the account signatory must be confirmed to avoid banking data disclosure under international automatic data exchange agreements.
- A mandatory set of supporting documents needed to pass through KYC procedure.
- The bank’s KYC process requires applicants to confirm the source of funds, submit a business profile of the company and provide the account signatory’s CV.
Documents required to open a corporate bank account in the UAE:
- The original passports of the account signatory and the shareholders
- Valid UAE residency visa of the account signatory/ Emirates ID of the account signatory
- Original company corporate documents and the authority granted to the signatory
- Trade License
- Certificate of incorporation
- Share Certificate
- MOA (Memorandum of Association) and AOA (Articles of Association)
- Bank statements of the account signatory for the past six months
- Company or personal for source of fund proof, contracts and invoices
- Confirmation of the actual address of the company
- Office lease agreement/office/ Tenancy contract
- Local Resident address proof – DEWA BILL and tenancy contract
- Business profile of the company, describing its activities and Personal profile or CV of all the partners or owner
- Information about 3 counterparties of the company (sellers and buyers)
- For companies older than six months – several contracts and invoices
When you engage with our partners and us to obtain a corporate bank account you may also get a solution for opening personal accounts for shareholders and directors of your company. In this case the bank will ask for the original passports, personal bank account statements for the past six months, and confirmation of the office of vital interests (residence address, utility bill, etc.) which we can arrange for you as well.
What UAE banks require to service corporate bank accounts:
- Transactions into and out of the account should align with stated business activities
- Banks want to see that the account transactions correspond fully with the activity that your company is licensed for.
- Transactions must be supported by contracts and other evidence of validity
- To ensure the account is used only for valid business transaction, banks ask for supporting documents – contracts, invoices, bills of lading, waybills etc.
- The company must have a physical office with a UAE address
- The company’s office where the business is managed and controlled from should coincide with the legal registered address of the company.
- Timely notification of any changes in the key data of the company
- Any changes in the constituent and legal documents of the company, its structure, composition of members etc. should be communicated to the bank.
- Confirmation of annual renewal of licenses and permissions issued to carry out business activities
- Banks monitor that all licenses and permissions, issued by the relevant authorities for the company to run its business, remain valid.
- Ongoing validity of residence visas of the account signatories
- Should the signatory’s residency visa expire, the bank may close the company’s account and/or change its status to a non-resident one.
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Together with our reliable and professional partner in Asia (A & A Associate LLC) we’ll find the best way to support your company, to ensure smooth operations and reduce the sanction risk! Contact us for questions or a quote.
+7 495 225-30-38 Moscow
+7 812 244-75-49 Saint Petersburg
+7 4822 63-00-62 Tver