Corporate bank accounts come in all sorts of shapes and flavours to fit in with the needs of both the small and not-so-small business. It’s the same whether the business is based in the UAE or the United States. However, there’s one important proviso. Banks operating in a business’s sphere of operation are likely to be more highly tuned to local market conditions, regulations and opportunities. Hence, any business intelligence and advice provided by a local bank – and local is used in its widest possible sense – is always well worth considering and could make the difference in terms of a healthy bottom line. After all, there’s little profit to be had in unintentionally re-inventing the wheel! HSBC is one of the multinational banks with a track record second-to-none within the UAE and the wider Middle East. The bank is definitely worth checking out.
From payments and cash management services, loans, credit lines and insurance to the corporate credit card issued as part of your business account, running a company without the support of a good bank behind it could spell disaster, especially at times of seasonal fluctuation or business expansion which may leave you, not to mention any employees you may have, feeling vulnerable, exposed and out on a rather precarious limb! While not the answer to every worry or concern, a positive and strong working relationship with your bank will at the very least boost business confidence. And let’s face it, that’s surely half the battle won.
Finally, it would be well worth spelling out the benefits of expanding or setting up a new business within one of the free zones in the UAE. If we take the excellent location of the country as a given, the other advantages are many-fold, with 100% foreign ownership perhaps the most important. However, if you want to market products and services directly to the local market, you’ll have to partner with a UAE national. Even then, under the rules, you can only own up to 49% of any such business. The UAE national must own a 51% stake.
Other free zone benefits include: zero corporate and personal tax liability; repatriation of capital and income allowed; negligible import and export duties; no currency restrictions; quick company formation; competitive energy costs; and large labour recruitment pool with little or no restrictions.