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How quickly can I open a company and a bank account in the UAE?

November 07, 2018

Opening a company and a bank account in the UAE can be a relatively efficient process, especially if you choose to set up in one of the country’s many free zones. Here’s a general overview of the timeframe for each step:

  1. Company Formation:
    • Mainland Company: Setting up a mainland company typically involves more steps and regulatory requirements compared to free zone companies. The timeframe for registering a mainland company can vary depending on factors such as the type of business activity, completeness of documentation, and processing speed of the Department of Economic Development (DED). In general, it may take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to complete the registration process for a mainland company.
    • Free Zone Company: Free zones offer streamlined processes for company formation, making it faster and more straightforward compared to mainland registration. Depending on the chosen free zone and the type of package or service selected, you can often complete the registration process within a matter of days. Some free zones even offer online registration portals, allowing you to initiate the process remotely and receive your license quickly.
  2. Bank Account Opening:
    • Mainland Company: Opening a corporate bank account for a mainland company typically involves submitting the company’s incorporation documents, shareholder information, and other relevant paperwork to the chosen bank. The timeframe for opening a bank account can vary depending on the bank’s internal procedures, due diligence requirements, and the completeness of the documentation provided. In general, it may take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to open a corporate bank account for a mainland company.
    • Free Zone Company: Opening a bank account for a free zone company follows a similar process to mainland companies, but may benefit from streamlined procedures offered by some banks in collaboration with free zone authorities. The timeframe for opening a bank account for a free zone company can vary depending on the bank’s requirements and the completeness of the documentation provided. It typically ranges from a few days to a couple of weeks.

Overall, if you opt for a free zone company setup and work efficiently with service providers, you can potentially complete the entire process of company formation and bank account opening within a matter of days. However, it’s essential to ensure that all required documentation is prepared accurately and that you comply with all regulatory requirements to avoid any delays in the process. Working with experienced business consultants or PRO services can help expedite the process and ensure a smooth setup experience.

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