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UAE Free Zone Authorities announce measure to assist foreign investors

30 March 2020

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To support SMEs during the current global situation, many UAE Free Zone Authorities are putting in place several measures to assist foreign investors with the incorporation and administration of their local entities.

In this short article, we have outlined the main measures announced by the UAE free zones during the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Dubai Multi Commodity Center (DMCC)

DMCC has decided to implement a digital process that allows shareholders to incorporate their business without the physical presence in the country. Until further notice the below changes will be applied:

  • The signature on the new incorporation forms such as Board Resolution and Specimen Signature can be done through video conference or in presence of an approved DMCC International Service Provider.
  • Regarding new subsidiaries and branches of foreign companies, the documents of the parent company can be forwarded by email as scanned copies of the original notarized documents or an online verification can be done through the public register, if applicable.
  • The license application documents can be submitted by email as scanned copies of originals.

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)

To guarantee business continuity, ADGM has put their efforts to implement the current Data Protection Regulations and online registry solutions as mentioned below.

  • As specified by the ADGM Office data Protection, the Data Protection Regulations do not prevent  a Data Controller from processing Personal Data in cases of emergency, provided that the Personal Data is processed fairly, lawfully and securely, and it is adequate, relevant and proportionate for the purposes for which it is being processed.
  • Any corporate services requests will be processed online though the ADGM portal. This means new business incorporation or licenses renewal and or amendments can be processed without the physical presence of the shareholders and authorized signatory.

TWOFOUR 54

This free zone is regulated by the Abu Dhabi Government that has recently decided to waive all licensing and registration fees for two years to media companies setting up their legal entities (both branches and LLCs) in this free zone.
As other free zones, TWOFOUR54 can support investors to start the business remotely during these circumstances through the below features:

  • The application forms can be accepted electronically.
  • UAE residency or a Visit Visa is not a mandatory requirement to set up a new company.

RAK International Corporate Center (RAK ICC)

In the interest of the welfare of the clients, RAK ICC has decided to implement the following procedures to reduce the impact of the current situation:

  • RAK ICC will no longer require signed original documents and will be happy to accept signed scanned documents to complete service requests.
  • The current amnesty period for restoration of companies that was due to end on 30 April will be extended to 30 June.
  • Effective from Sunday 22 March, companies that have not been renewed will not be automatically removed from the RAK ICC register but will remain as inactive. Normal penalties for late renewal will apply.

International Free Zone Authority (IFZA)

Due to the current impossibilities to travel, IFZA has recently introduced a new option allowing foreign investors to setup their free zone company on remote by following the below indications

  • Business owners are not required to have a UAE residency or a tourist visa at the time of the incorporation (in many free zones, the above mentioned documents are required to establish the company).
  • The application forms can be accepted electronically.
  • The physical presence off the shareholders is not required at any stage of the company setup.

Intetrust can help you make the process even easier by liaising with the government bodies and keep your business projects alive. Get it touch with us to have more updates on the UAE market and learn which free zones is more suitable for your business needs.