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The Ins and Outs of Corporate Banking in Dubai


When it comes to incorporating a new business in Dubai, one of the first steps that you’ll be forced to undertake is opening up a corporate bank account. Whether you choose to proceed with a locally incorporated bank or a branch of a foreign bank, you’ll be presented with a list of requirements that will vary depending on your unique circumstances, something that makes the entire process more complicated than you might expect. 


Thankfully, you won’t be forced to navigate the murky waters alone—if you’re interested in bringing your business to Dubai, you can trust this guide to demystify all of the most important aspects of corporate banking in Dubai. 


When it comes to opening up new bank accounts, there are typically two major challenges. The first is the processing delays that arise as a result of individual branches needing to comply with the extensive regulations set forth by the central bank of the UAE. With each new account needing to be meticulously assessed and scrutinised, it’s often difficult to get a new account open and active in a hurry, meaning that all new entities need to think ahead and time out their initiatives accordingly. 


The second major challenge is presented by the existence of the various free zones. Since regulations differ across jurisdictions, new corporations can struggle to get their applications approved if they’re not familiar with everything that may be required from them. 


While not all of the documents listed below will be required for each and every business looking to open a new bank account, they will cover the gamut of what is typically asked for:


·      Your certificate of registration and/or incorporation

·      Your company’s Articles of Association and Memorandum

·      Your share certificates

·      Your trades licence(s)

·      Copies of shareholder passports

·      Board Resolutions that enables accounts to be opened by an authorised Company Officer

·      Reference letters (for compliance purposes)

·      Invoices and receipts (for compliance purposes)

·      Copies of any applicable contracts and agreements (for compliance purposes)


On top of all of the documents listed above, there are also a few supporting materials that, while not strictly necessary for the process, can go a long way towards building credibility with the banks in question. Namely, a richly detailed, robust business plan alongside a corporate website that outlines any suppliers or partners will help paint a more complete picture of your operations and establish greater trust between you and your banker. 


Ultimately, opening a bank account in Dubai is necessary, but not always as straightforward as foreign-owned businesses looking to incorporate might expect. While this article has painted a clearer picture of some of the challenges that you’ll be required to overcome, it’s important to remember that many of the more nuanced variables will depend entirely on the unique circumstances surrounding your operations. That’s why the experience and guidance of those that have established themselves as an authority is so valuable to those foreign-owned businesses looking to make a splash by incorporating in Dubai. 


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