Activities that receive preferential
state treatment in the UAE

Find out which business activities are VAT-exempt, what you need to know about the UAE VAT
system, and what benefits you will enjoy by starting your business in the region's largest financial
hub.

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Given that businesses operating in the local UAE market are highly profitable, the introduction of VAT has had a negligible impact on the business community. At the same time, many types of business in the Emirates are not affected at all and VAT is not applicable to a large number of foreign and local companies. Find out which areas of activity have received state support and an exemption from 5% VAT, and what unique opportunities are open to investors as well as the many advantages they can enjoy.

Business areas not affected by the introduction of VAT

Economic activity
abroad

International trade and service business
activities with foreign counterparties through
a company that is incorporated and operating
in the UAE

Investment
activity

Investing own funds in securities on global
markets, contributing to the authorized funds
of foreign companies, purchasing and selling
assets

Tax
groups

Holdings created in the UAE to hide the
ultimate beneficiary, and interconnected
structures under a single management in the
form of ‘tax groups’

Precious
metals

Investment supplies of precious metals
within the UAE and their import. This applies
to gold, silver, platinum in the form of ingots
with a purity of 99%

Export
and re-export

Direct and indirect deliveries from the UAE to
countries other than the Persian Gulf
countries, including through the UAE’s Free
Trade Zones

Real estate
transactions

Purchase, sale and lease of apartments and
houses in the UAE within 3 years from the
date of their commissioning, and land plots
without buildings

Many investors mistakenly assume that taxation depends on where the company was incorporated and choose Free Trade Zones, believing that activities outside the FTZ will be taxed. This is a misconception, since the tax system applies both to the FTZ and to the rest of the country. Having said that, Mainland (local) companies are a more flexible and creditable tool for doing business without restrictions

VAT reporting in the UAE

In the UAE, the requirements for tax registration, tax payment deadlines and preparation of tax reports are regulated by the state. A number of government agencies, counterparties, and international financial institutions require a tax number (TRN) from the first day of operation.
Voluntary
VAT registration
Turnover exceeding

185 000dirham

Mandatory
VAT registration
Turnover exceeding

375 000dirham

Reporting
frequency
  • Quarterly submission of reports to the FTA (Federal Tax
    Authority)
  • Monthly submission - for a large number of bank account
    transactions
Responsibilities
of taxpayers
  • Submission of tax reports and timely payment of VAT due
  • Submission of tax invoices to clients upon the provision of the
    service

The basis for calculating value added tax in the United Arab Emirates is the difference between outgoing and incoming VAT. That is, the amount of value added tax can be calculated using the formula: "VAT on sales" (charged by the company to consumers) minus "VAT on purchases" (paid by the company when purchasing goods or services for subsequent use) is equal to "VAT payable to the FTA".


What benefits do taxpayers get in the UAE?

Onshore status

It is automatically assigned during tax
registration and guarantees protection against
deoffshorization trends

Tax Residency

All TRN number holders can apply for tax
resident status and receive Information
Exchange Protection (CRS)

Participation in tenders

Candidates from a jurisdiction that generates
a high degree of trust in commercial and state
competitions, entry to international bids

Prestige

High credibility in the eyes of foreign
counterparties and financial institutions,
support of UAE banks and credit institutions

Creating a cash and settlement center

Optimization of the operational activities of
the entire international business with central
calculation of taxes

International agreements

Covering mutual protection of investments
and avoidance of double taxation, including
the common customs space of GCC countries

The UAE government is doing everything to protect international business from global pressure. The introduction of VAT is one such measure. By introducing VAT, the UAE eliminated the risk of becoming the object of another international wrangle against tax-free jurisdictions, thereby guaranteeing geopolitical stability for its markets.


Things to take into account when registering

TAX Group

To form a Tax Group, members must be residents of the
Emirates and operate related businesses. Such a group
can submit consolidated financial statements to the
Federal Tax Authority and receive a single taxpayer
number

TRN number

They are awarded to onshore (mainland) companies
that operate in Dubai and are registered with the FTA. In
addition to the advantages of jurisdiction, a TRN having
protects against the payment of an “offshore fee” by
counterparties and from “withholding tax"

Grounds for registration

Even if your business activity is amongst those that
enjoy preferential rates or are exempt from VAT, you still
need to register as a taxpayer, get a TRN number and a
certificate confirming the exemption from tax
obligations

Bookkeeping

Despite the fact that there is no requirement for
mandatory accounting in the UAE, all companies are
legally required to submit financial reports and keep
primary documentation for 5 years

Understanding the business environment is the
key to the success of your business in the UAE

When choosing a service company, you should look for a highly
trustworthy organization that understands your business and
knows how to use all the advantages of the jurisdiction to achieve
your goals

Request a free consultation today

SORP specialists will help you resolve all issues
with organizing your business in the UAE

Preparing a business
model

We will choose the most
appropriate license and
type of legal entity

Setting up
a business

Fast incorporation through our
long-standing close cooperation
with licensing authorities

Tax registration
with the FTA

Registering for VAT with the FTA
and obtaining a TRN number to
provide credibility for your business

Dubai
business address

Cost-effective office rental in SORP
business center for employees and
licensing procedures

Opening
bank accounts

Close cooperation with UAE
banks, assistance in passing
KYC procedures

Local partner
or agent

Nominee service from SORP
Investment LLC with waiver of
rights in the Dubai Court


The UAE is an ideal base for your business

  • International recognition

    The country's high standing in the eyes of the international community allows companies incorporated here to enjoy the support of banks and financial institutions, international partners or counterparties. Foreign businesses receive state support in priority sectors on a par with local entrepreneurs.

  • Financial freedom

    The UAE government has declared support for free movement of capital and the complete absence of currency controls and restrictions on the size of bank transactions or payments in the national currency. The UAE is the most attractive settlement center for international transactions

  • Tax advantages

    Apart from the 5% VAT rate on a number of domestic goods and services, there are no major corporate or personal income taxes in the UAE. Any business owner can obtain the status of a tax resident and protect themselves from the automatic exchange of tax information

  • The UAE tops the ratings

    The United Arab Emirates ranks second in the world in terms of financial freedom, first in terms of ease of taxation, 16th among the easiest countries to do business, and 5th in terms of international trade. In the ranking of global competitiveness, the Emirates ranked 9th and 10th in the logistics and infrastructure development index among all countries of the world.

  • Superb location

    The UAE is an international trade hub and a recognized logistics center due to its ideal geographical location at the intersection of Europe, Africa and Asia. The highly developed transport network allows you to quickly receive and conveniently store, ship and transport goods within the country and abroad.

The CORP Group of Companies provides the widest possible range of consulting services in the United Arab Emirates. As experts in the analysis and selection of business strategies in the UAE, we will tell you how to implement your idea most effectively and quickly. We provide our clients with recommendations on choosing the best jurisdiction in which to incorporate and ensure you avoid the typical mistakes people make when setting up a business here.


SORP Group will become your reliable long-term
business partner in the UAE

A leading consulting group that provides a full range of services for the incorporation, support and management of businesses in the
UAE and abroad. We have an impeccable reputation, extensive capabilities and a very solid asset base.

Comprehensive services

SORP offers comprehensive support for acquired companies and their shareholders: from licensing, maintaining Bank accounts to obtaining the status of a tax resident of the country

Individual approach

Your requirements are unique. That is why we treat every business individually to tailor the right services to achieve your priorities.

15 years of successful work

We have helped thousands of clients acquire, build and develop businesses in the UAE

Banking support

Assistance in choosing a bank that is suitable for your purposes, support with bank accounts opening and passing KYC procedures (know your customer).

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