FAQ

 

What is VAT?

VAT stands for Value Added Tax. It is an indirect tax applicable to taxable goods and services in the UAE.

Detailed information on VAT are available on the website of the UAE’s Federal Tax Authority (FTA) at www.tax.gov.ae and relevant FAQs are available here.

How can a company make payments to RAKEZ?

A company can make the payment through the following channels:

• Online by topping up the portal accounts
• RAKEZ Business Service Centres (cashier counters)
• Bank Transfer

What is a subsidiary?

A Subsidiary is a company that is owned by another company where 51% or more of its shareholding is held by the other company.

What are the conditions for the employment of non-sponsored employees?

The conditions in which RAKEZ can grant its approval to employee and non-sponsored employee are if the non-sponsored employee:

• Is a GCC National
• Resides in the UAE on the visa sponsored by a relative
• Is to be employed on a part-time or temporary basis
• Works for a subsidiary or an associated company of a RAKEZ company

Can a company employ non-sponsored employees?

Yes, a company may employ a non-sponsored employee, temporarily or permanently.

What does a non-sponsored employee mean?

A non-sponsored employee is an employee of a company who is not sponsored under a RAKEZ company but he is approved by RAKEZ to be employed by that company.

Can I get an investor visa from a RAKEZ company?

Yes, you can obtain an investor visa in case of single shareholder companies. However, for companies that have more than one shareholder, a partner visa can be obtained.

What is the maximum number of shareholders in a free zone company and a non-free zone limited liability company?

The maximum number of shareholders in a free zone company and a non-free zone limited liability company is 50.

Is it mandatory for the shareholders to have a RAKEZ visa?

No, it is not. Shareholders have the option to either apply for RAKEZ visa or be on a non-RAKEZ visa.

Can a RAKEZ company obtain credit?

Yes, a RAKEZ company can obtain credit by creating a security interest.

Can a free zone entity have an office outside RAKEZ free zone area to conduct business activities?

No, it cannot conduct business activities outside RAKEZ free zone area. It has to be inside the RAKEZ free zone area only.

Can a free zone entity trade in UAE mainland?

No, it cannot. A free zone entity may trade its products outside the free zone area and within the UAE only through an agent, representative, distributor or its parent company holding a relevant licence to conduct such an activity in the UAE.

What rules and regulations apply to a company licensed by RAKEZ?

All free zone entities are governed by RAKEZ Companies Regulations of 2017 and Operating Rules of 2018 as well as the applicable federal and local laws and decrees. As for the non-free zone entities, they are governed by the UAE Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 concerning Commercial Companies as well as all applicable federal and local laws and decrees.

To view RAKEZ’s Free Zone Companies Regulations & Operating Rules, as well as the UAE Federal Law No. 2 of 2015, please click here.

What are the requirements for sub-leasing buildings/ structures?

The requirements for sub-leasing buildings/structures in RAKEZ are:

  • The building/structure must be fully completed.
  • The sub-lessor should holds valid lease and does not have outstanding amounts owed to RAKEZ.
  • The sub-lessee must possess a licence for his activities.
  • The sub-lessor is jointly and severally responsible and liable for the activities of the sub-lessee.
  • A sub-lessee is prohibited to assign his rights under a sub-lease agreement.
  • A sub-lease agreement is not to be contradicting with the lease agreement and is deemed terminated upon the termination of the lease agreement.

What are the requirements for sub-leasing vacant plots?

The requirements for sub-leasing vacant plots in RAKEZ are:

  • The sub-lessor should hold a valid lease and does not have outstanding amounts owed to RAKEZ.
  • The sub-lessee is a subsidiary of the sub-lessee or the sub-lessor and sub-lessee are associated companies OR there is a contract between the sub-lessor and the sub-lessee to either supply raw material, produce or distribute or consume finished product.
  • The sub-lessor and sub-lessee have sufficient spa
  • The sub-lessor and sub-lessee have sufficient space for the licensed activities, without jeopardizing their respective operations.
  • The sub-lessor is jointly and severally responsible and liable for the activities of the sub-lessee.
  • A sub-lessee is prohibited to assign his rights under a sub-lease agreement.
  • A sub-lease agreement is not to be contradicting with the lease agreement and is deemed terminated upon the termination of the lease agreement.

What are the types of sub-lease allowed by RAKEZ?

The types of sub-lease allowed by RAKEZ are:
1. Sub-lease of a vacant plot
2. Sub-lease of completed buildings/structures

Is it allowed to sub-lease?

Yes, it is, but subject to obtaining a prior written approval from RAKEZ.

What is sub-leasing?

Sub-leasing is an arrangement where a company (lessee) allows another company (sub-lessee) to use part of the leased premises.

If a company wishes to downgrade from a physical office to a shared workstation, will this affect the company’s visa quota?

Yes, it will affect the visa quota as flexi desks are limited to one visa only and hence, any additional visas should be cancelled.

Can a company lease an office in RAKEZ zones with existing licence from DED or another UAE free zone?

No, it cannot. The company must have RAKEZ licence to rent an office in RAKEZ zones. This may include a branch of DED/other free zone companies in RAKEZ.

Can a client leave his own belongings in a rented coworking facility?

No. A coworking facility is shared with other clients. In the event that a client requests a private office, he/she will have the options of a standard or executive office.

Can you support my company with Business Cards, Letterheads and Brochures?

Yes. You can get assistance from Mazeed Services for any creative design works with applicable charges.

What are the facility types that RAKEZ offers?

From coworking spaces to full-scale industrial facilities, we offer the ideal facility at your stage of development:

  • Coworking Space
  • Serviced Offices
  • Standard Offices
  • Executive Offices
  • Shell & Core
  • Warehouses for Development
  • Staff & Labour Accommodation

More details on the facilities are available here.

The trade licence and immigration file of my company is valid and I want to apply for Investor Visa. Do I still have to register in the E-Channel Immigration System?

As per the Immigration Authority’s mandate, any company having an immigration file is required to register in the EChannel Immigration System’s platform to further process visa related services.

My immigration file expired 2 months ago, can I register in the system?

While submitting the license renewal request, you may pay for the immigration file renewal, penalties incurred due to late renewal of the immigration file and for the E-Channel Immigration System registration.

I want to close my company, cancel the visa and immigration file, do I still need to register in the E-Channel Immigration System?

For companies applying for closure, the Immigration Authority is currently granting a special approval to exempt them from registration in the system. Any changes in the requirements from the Immigration Authority will be communicated as and when received.

My company will not apply for any visa, do I still need to register in the E-Channel Immigration System?

Registering in the system is not linked to obtaining visas. It is however, mandated for all companies with immigration file to register in the system.

Can I apply for a visa, once my company has been registered in the E-Channel Immigration System?

For all your company visas, the service can be availed only through the Sponsor. RAKEZ being the Sponsor will be applying for the company’s visa, hence the applications may be submitted to RAKEZ.

Will I be provided user credentials for the E-Channel Immigration System?

The MOI will provide the credentials only to the Sponsor i.e. RAKEZ. However to facilitate you with the similar service, RAKEZ will soon be introducing the Customer Portal wherein the applications can be submitted, payment can be made, status of the application can be tracked, available products can be viewed, and clients can download the same from the Portal.

How can we register in the E-Channel Immigration System?

You may register your company in the system by approaching any of our offices, completing the payment, and then we will complete the registration process of your company in the system.

Is there any registration fee?

Yes, the registration fee is only AED 2,200. Also an amount of AED 5,050 refundable deposit must be paid. This is to be paid only once.

Companies that have already registered in the system may have to annually renew the registration, and the charges applicable would be AED 1,200.

Can I register my company in the E-Channel Immigration System by logging in to the MOI Portal?

No. The registration of your company in the system will be done by RAKEZ.

Is it mandatory for all the Companies to register in the E-Channel Immigration System?

All companies with immigration files are mandated by the Ministry of Interior (MOI) to register in the E-Channel Immigration System effective 1 March 2018.

What are the benefits of the E-Channel?

  • Speedy process and accuracy in the visa and residency services.
  • Reduce the need for the clients to visit RAKEZ or the Immigration Authority, as this is required just for visa services that require original documents.
  • Hard copies are not to be submitted, documents can be scanned and uploaded.
  • Confirmation on the applications received by SMS and email.
  • Eliminates the need to approach the Immigration Authority or PRO to follow-up on the status of the application, as the progress of the request can be viewed on the Portal.
  • Entry Permit issued is E-visa, hence the additional action of sending the original by courier or delivering at the arrival airport is not required.
  • Save money that was earlier spent for delivering the original entry permit at the airport or sent to the client by courier.

What is E-Channel?

Launched as part of the UAE 2021 vision under the slogan ‘Smart Services with Future Vision’. The E-Channel Immigration System is a new and unified immigration system that has already been implemented across the UAE.

This allows businesses and individuals to apply for visas, residence and entry permits through a single online portal, instead of visiting a typing centre or the immigration office. The system also removes the need for print documents and aims to ensure that all applications are processed more efficiently with improved integration across the emirates.

In line with this latest update from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs, all RAKEZ companies are mandated to register in the E-Channel platform with immediate effect through RAKEZ to allow them to continue with current and future visa or immigration file applications.

To register the companies in the E-Channel Immigration system, clients can simply approach any of RAKEZ offices or contact us to proceed with the payment and other necessary procedures. Once registered, the company will receive SMS confirming its registration in the system.

Can a person enter the UAE on a visit or tourist visa, find work, and start working without obtaining an employment visa?

It is illegal to work on a visa other than a valid employment visa in the UAE.

Which are the countries that are eligible for visa on arrival to the UAE?

The below mentioned countries are entitled for visa on arrival at UAE airport/border:

France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands (Holland), Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, Finland, Malta, Spain, Monaco, Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Hungary, Latvia, Estonia, Malta, Cyprus, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria.

What is a visa? Why is it important to have a visa?

It is a mandatory requirement to have a residency visa to avail below services:

  1. Legalise your stay in UAE
  2. Open a bank account
  3. To have telecom connections
  4. To obtain UAE driver’s licence

Which categories/nationalities require pre-approval?

Individuals falling in the category of Investor/Partner/Manager of all nationalities must obtain pre-approval to form the company or obtain a visa. The requirements, charges and pre-approval application can be accessed by visiting our website

https://eservices.rakez.com/.

What is an associated company?

An associated company is a company that is associated with another company where 51% or more of both companies’ shareholding is held by the same shareholders.

What are the required documents if a company will carry out any activity classified as a DNFBP?

The application for registration of a company to carry out any activity classified as a DNFBP must be accompanied by a complete DNFBPs form signed by all shareholders who will jointly be and severally liable for the compliance with the laws and regulations of the UAE’s Central Bank and all relevant Federal Laws and Regulations for Combatting Money Laundering (AML) and Financing of Terrorism (CFT).

Which activities are classified as Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs)?

The activities that are classified as Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) are:

• Legal Consultancy
• Real Estate Agent
• Real Estate Developer
• Auditing of Accounts
• Precious Metals and Stones Trading
• Investment Consultancy
• Company Service Providers

Is an annual Operation Fitness Certificate (OFC) required for coworking space and business centre licensees?

No, coworking space and business centre licensees are not required to submit the Operation Fitness Certificate (OFC).

Is the company required to obtain the Operation Fitness Certificate (OFC)?

Yes, the Operation Fitness Certificate (OFC) is mandatory before occupying the pre-built warehouses and the customized facility built on a plot of land.

Which documents can be provided as evidence of good standing for the parent company?

Good standing is a document that confirms the status of the parent company to be either active or in current good standing.
The company may submit any of the following documents:

  • Certificate of good standing from the bank
  • Online registry extract showing the web address
  • Notarised recent Certificate of Incumbency from the regulating authority of the parent company
  • Notarised and legalized letter from any law firm
  • Notarised letter from any chartered auditing firm

What does a business plan include?

A business plan is a strategic document that outlines the future vision and objectives of the business and it typically includes:
• Description of the business activities.
• The scope of the activities.
• The market segment
• Supply chain (if applicable)
• Management structure (recruitment plan/workforce).
• Brief financial forecast/budget.

Does RAKEZ require a specific business plan format?

No, RAKEZ does not require any specific format for the business plan.

Is a business plan required for all business activities?

No, not all activities require a business plan.

Do business activities require a specific facility type?

Yes, they do. While most of the activities do not require a particular facility type, certain activities require a specific facility type such as a physical office space or retail space etc.

Is it mandatory to lease a facility to open a company?

Yes, it is mandatory to lease a facility to open a company.

Can a free zone entity conduct retail trading within the free zone area?

No, it cannot. A free zone entity cannot conduct retail trading of any of its products within the free zone area. A free zone entity may display products in the free zone area for potential customers for marketing purposes only.

Are there any activities that require special approvals?

Yes, there is a number of activities that are regulated by third-party authorities where a No Objection Certificate (NOC) is required to be obtained from them in order to add such activities on a RAKEZ licence.  For example, in order to open a clinic, an approval from the UAE Ministry of Health & Prevention is required.

Can a branch add any activity it wishes for?

No, it cannot. A branch must carry out all or some of the activities that its parent company is currently holding.

Can a company add an activity after the licence has been issued? What should the company apply for that?

Yes, a company can add an activity after the licence has been issued. In case a company wishes to add an activity from the same licence type (adding a commercial activity on its existing commercial licence), then the company has to apply for ‘Change of Activity’.

To add an activity from a different licence type (e.g. adding a service activity while holding a commercial licence), this will be considered as an additional licence, hence, an application for a new Service Licence must be submitted.

What is the general rule for licences and activities?

The general rule is that any activity from a different licence type will require a separate licence.

How many activities are allowed under a Free Zone Industrial Licence?

Two (2) activities from same group are allowed under a Free Zone Industrial Licence.

How many activities are allowed under a Free Zone Services Licence?

Two (2) activities from any group are allowed under a Free Zone Services Licence.

How many activities are allowed under a Free Zone Commercial Licence?

Five (5) activities from same group OR two (2) activities from different groups are allowed under a Free Zone Commercial Licence.

Can commercial and service activities be on the same licence?

No, they cannot. They have to be on two different licences. All commercial activities will be grouped under one commercial licence and all service activities will be grouped under one service licence.

What kind of activities that are allowed in RAKEZ?

At RAKEZ, there are hundreds of business activities ranging from over 50 sectors such as manufacturing, energy, technology, healthcare, aviation, shipping, education, media, professional services as well as personal and community services. To know more about the activities, please click here.

What is the validity of licences issued by RAKEZ?

Generally, RAKEZ licences are valid for one (1) year from the issue date.

However, Free Zone Commercial, Service, General Trading, Individual/Professional and E-commerce licences can be issued and renewed for three years at discounted rates subject to the applicable terms and conditions.

Moreover, after the first year of being licensed in RAKEZ, a business may opt, but is not be required, to obtain a three-year business licence as mentioned above.

Can a client apply for two separate free zone licences under one company name?

Yes, he can apply for two separate free zone licences under one company name where a company conducts several activities that are similar in nature to what RAKEZ allows in terms of similar activities to be conducted under one licence. However, if the activities are unrelated, separate licences are required.

What types of non-free zone licences does RAKEZ issue?

The non-free zone licences issued by RAKEZ are:
• Industrial: Manufacturing, importing, packaging and exporting products
• Commercial: Trading in services and goods
• Professional: For individuals who provide professional services

Can I get a permit to operate as a freelancer?

Yes, you can. RAKEZ welcomes talented and committed professionals to its free zone and offers them a wide range of related professions related to media and education, which freelancers can carry out.
The Permit issued by RAKEZ identifies the Freelancer as a sole practitioner and enables him/her to conduct business in his/her birth name as opposed to a brand name.

What is a Freelancer?

A Freelancer is a professional who operates as an independent contractor and in the form of a sole practitioner to conduct the permitted profession.

What types of free zone licences does RAKEZ issue?

  • Industrial: Manufacturing, importing, packaging and exporting products
  • Commercial: Trading in services and goods
  • Educational: Opening an education-related institution or a consultancy company
  • E-commerce: Trading in goods and services via electronic means
  • Individual/Professional: One owner with one activity in a specific specialty or expertise
  • General Trading: Trading in multiple goods
  • Media: Operating media-related business activities
  • Service: Conducting services or consultancies across any industry

Is it required to be resident in the UAE in case of being a company’s manager?

Yes, it is required for a company manager to be resident in the UAE.

Is it required to be resident in the UAE in case of being an owner or a partner in a licence?

An owner who is a GCC National, or a partner in a commercial company holding any other nationality, shall not be required to be a resident in the UAE. However, an owner of a professional individual establishment is required to carry out the activity in person, and this can only be achieved by residing in the UAE.

Can a company’s manager be a corporate person?

No, the company’s manager must only be a natural person.

Can a person be a manager in more than one company?

Yes, he can, but a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from his current sponsor must be obtained in advance.

Can a company have more than one manager?

No, a company cannot have more than one manager.

Can the same person be a shareholder, director, the company’s secretary and manager?

Yes, the same person can be a shareholder, director, the company’s secretary and manager.

Who are the company officers?

Company officers include manager, director(s), secretary(ies) and legal representative(s).

Can a client amend the template of Memorandum of Association?

Yes, a client can amend the template provided that the amendments are in compliance with the applicable RAKEZ Companies Regulations and Laws. All amendments will be subject to review and approval.

Is there a capital requirement for a branch?

No, a branch does not require a capital.

What is the required minimum share capital to form a Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ-LLC)?

The minimum share capital of an FZ-LLC is AED 10,000 (each share is valued AED 1,000). However, for certain activities there is a specific share capital. Refer to the below list for the Minimum Share Capital requirement:

  • Industrial (AED 150,000.00)
  • Aviation (AED 500,000.00)
  • Logistics & Transportation (AED 100,000.00)
  • Insurance Consultancy (AED 100,000.00)
  • Insurance Broker (AED 500,000.00)
  • Insurance Agent (1,000,000.00)
  • Investment Consultancy (AED 100,000.00)
  • Real Estate Consultancy (AED 500,000.00)
  • Real Estate Broker (AED 500,000.00)
  • Real Estate Agent (500,000.00)
  • Real Estate Development (AED 1,000,000.00)
  • TV/Radio Broadcasting (AED 1,000,000.00)
  • Publishing (AED 50,000.00)
  • Production (Film/TV/Radio) (AED 50,000.00)
  • Higher Education Provider (AED 50,000.00)
  • Non-academic Service Provider (AED 50,000.00)
  • Educations Support Services (AED 50,000.00)
  • School (AED 50,000.00)
  • Early Learning Centre (AED 50,000.00)

What is a share capital?

A share capital refers to the portion of a company's equity that is obtained or will be obtained by a shareholder for cash or an equivalent item of capital value. It is also known as subscribed capital or subscribed share capital. One can calculate the share capital as number of total shares divided by value of each share (also known as par value).

Is the liability of the owner of a free zone establishment limited?

Yes, the liability of an owner of a free zone establishment is limited.

What does a Limited Liability Company mean?

A Limited Liability Company is treated as an entity separated from its shareholders. Therefore, the liabilities of a company do not extend to its shareholders. Each shareholder is only liable to the extent of his shares in the company’s capital.

What is the difference between a Non-Free Zone Individual Establishment and a Non-Free Zone Single Person LLC?

The main difference is that a Non-Free Zone Individual Establishment must be owned by one natural person but the Single Person LLC can be owned by one natural person or one corporate person.

Moreover, the most important difference between the two is that the liability of the Single Person LLC is limited to the single person’s share, whereas in the Non-Free Zone Individual Establishment the liability is unlimited.

What is a Non-Free Zone Single Person LLC?

The Non-Free Zone Single Person LLC is a company that can be owned by one natural person or one corporate person.

Is the liability of the owner of the non-free zone individual establishment limited?

No, it is not. The legal liability of a non-free zone individual establishment is not different from its owner and its financial liability is linked with such owner, being the person responsible for all of its financial obligations towards third parties.

Can a non-free zone individual establishment be owned by a corporate person?

No, it cannot. A non-free zone individual establishment must be owned by one natural person.

Can a non-UAE National set up a non-free zone individual establishment?

Yes, a non-UAE National can set up a non-free zone individual establishment to carry out professional activities, provided that a UAE National must be appointed as a local service agent.

Can a free zone company open a branch in mainland?

Yes, a free zone company can open branches in the mainland but a local service agent must be appointed and A UAE National must hold no less 51% of the free zone company’s capital.

What is the difference between branches and representative offices?

The main difference is that a representative office is not permitted to operate any commercial business or to conduct any commercial activities by itself. Representative offices tend to act as administrative and marketing centres for the foreign parent company’s head office for promoting the company's products, services or business, or for facilitating trading contracts between the company and its clients.

Does a branch have Memorandum of Association?

A branch does not have its own Memorandum of Association. A branch is a legal part and an extension of its parent company and does not have a legal identity distinct from its parent company.

Can a branch have a name and activities different from the parent company?

No, it cannot. The name of a branch must be the same as its parent company’s and must carry out all or some of its activities.

What is the difference between a local sponsor and a local service agent in terms of liability?

The local sponsor whose shareholding is not less than 51% of the company's capital in a non-free limited liability company (LLC) is financially liable to the extent of his share in the company’s capital.

The local service agent has no liability for the legal and financial obligations.

What are the legal forms that require a local service agent?

Non-free zone individual establishments that are owned by non-UAE nationals to carry out professional activities (Professional Licences) and non-free zone foreign branches require a local service agent.

What is a Local Service Agent?

A Local Service Agent (LSA) is a natural person holding the UAE nationality or a corporate person established in the UAE and is wholly owned by UAE natural persons. An LSA has no responsibility for the legal and financial obligations of the company and has no voice in the company’s business activities. An LSA’s duties refer solely to helping in obtaining entry and residence visas and the annually incurring renewal of licences. A Service Agent Agreement between the company and the LSA is made to govern the legal relations between both parties. An LSA receives an annual fee and the service agent agreement may be terminated at any point of time in accordance with the contract conditions. An LSA has no right of penalties, fines and compensation payments at any time.

Can a GCC National obtain Non-Free Zone Licence without a local sponsor?

Yes, GCC Nationals are treated as UAE Nationals concerning the exercise of economic and professional activities provided that non-GCC Nationals are not partners in the company. Otherwise, there must be a UAE national as a partner whose shareholding shall not be less than 51% of the company's capital.

Can a non-UAE National obtain a non-free zone Industrial or Commercial Licence without a local sponsor?

No, a UAE National sponsor is required for obtaining a non-free zone licence to carry out commercial and industrial activities. The local sponsor’s shareholding shall not be less than 51% of the company's capital.

Can a non-UAE National obtain a non-free zone Professional Licence without a local sponsor?

Yes, it is possible for a non-UAE National to obtain a non-free zone Professional Licence without a local sponsor, but provided that a UAE national must be appointed as a local service agent.

Who should sign the resolution to register branches or subsidiary companies in RAKEZ?

The authorised signatory on behalf of the parent company needs to sign the resolution for a branch or subsidiary. The power to sign on behalf of the parent company needs to be mentioned in the parent company’s legal documents or through an attested power of attorney document by the UAE Embassy or Consulate in the parent company’s country of origin.

What is the maximum number of shareholders in a free zone company and a non-free zone limited liability company?

The maximum number of shareholders in a free zone company and a non-free zone limited liability company is 50.

Do I need a local partner to form a free zone company?

No, you do not need a local partner to form a free zone company. One of the many advantages of setting up a free zone company in RAKEZ is that it offers 100% foreign ownership.

What are the non-free zone company types that RAKEZ offers?

RAKEZ offers the below non-free zone company types are:
• An Individual Establishment
• A Single Person Limited Liability Company
• A Limited Liability Company (LLC)
• A Branch of a UAE-based company (including companies registered in other free zones)
• A Branch of a foreign company

What are the free zone company types that RAKEZ offers?

RAKEZ offers the below free zone company types:
• A Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ-LLC)
• A Branch of a UAE-based company (including companies registered in other free zones)
• A Branch of foreign company

What are the entities that can be registered with RAKEZ?

RAKEZ offers two types of entity formation:

(a) A Free Zone Entity: A Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a Branch incorporated in the RAKEZ free zone area. A Free Zone Entity has to obtain a licence from RAKEZ.

(b) A Non-Free Zone Entity: A Limited or Unlimited Liability Company, or a Branch incorporated in the RAKEZ non-free zone area. In addition to a licence from RAKEZ, a Non-Free Zone Entity has to obtain a licence from RAK Department of Economic Development (RAK DED).

What is the licence late renewal penalty?

The licence late renewal penalty is AED 50 per day.

How do I get my renewal quotation?

The renewal quotation is generally emailed to your designated email address that you provided (as stored in our system) 60 days prior to your license expiry date. However, you may also send an e-mail to customerservice@rakez.com and our Service Center Team will e-mail the same to you for your reference. Please note that quotation can be generated only two (2) months before your license expiry date.

Does a company need to change its name when applying for change of activity?

Yes, if the current company name does not match with the new activity and the nature of business.

Which amendments require publication?

The following amendments require publication:
• Change of company name
• Decrease in share capital
• Change of legal form
• Company’s de-registration

Which companies can apply for amendments?

Any company holding a valid licence can apply for company and licence amendments. However, for certain amendments, the licence should be valid for at least 2 months to apply for amendments.

What are the types of permitted amendments?

There are many registration and licence amendments including the following: 

  • Change of company name
  • Change of company’s directors and manager
  • Amendment to the provisions of the company’s MOA
  • Share capital increase
  • Share capital decrease
  • Change of licensed activities

Can a Struck-off company be restored?

Yes, it can. A struck-off company may submit an application within two (2) years from the date of the strike-off, to restore its legal status and renew its licence, and this is subject to the approval of RAKEZ.

Can a struck-off company be relieved from its liability?

No, it cannot. Once the striking off is in place, the liability of the company, every director and shareholder continues and may be enforced as if the company has not been struck off.

What are the events where a company or a branch can be struck off from the register of companies?

A company or a branch can be struck off from the register of companies in the events of:

  • If the licence is revoked by RAKEZ.
  • If proved that a company or branch is not carrying out business or is not in operation.
  • If a company or branch has failed to pay any fee or penalty required to be paid to RAKEZ within thirty (30) days from the date of being notified to make payment.
  • If the licence of a company or a branch is not renewed for six (6) months from its expiry date.
  • If a company or a branch is acting in breach of restrictions on activities or is involved in contraventions under RAKEZ’s Companies Regulations.
  • If it is necessary to protect the good repute of RAKEZ that a company or a branch should be struck off from the register.

It has not been a year since my company was incorporated. Do I still need to prepare audited financial statements?

It depends on the date of the incorporation of the company. According to the RAKEZ Standard Memorandum of Association (MoA), a company’s financial year constitutes a 12-month period from January to December.

No first financial year may exceed 18 months or be less than 6 months. For instance, if a company is incorporated in July 2019, then the first year’s financial statement can be prepared in December 2020. However, if the company is incorporated in June 2019, the first year financial statement will have the year-end as December 2019 and will consist of only 7 months.

Does RAKEZ accept a company’s financial statements prepared by an auditing firm which is not enrolled in the RAKEZ approved auditors list?

No, all RAKEZ companies must submit audited financial statements prepared by RAKEZ approved auditors.

What is an approved auditor?

An approved auditor is a UAE auditing firm that is enrolled in the RAKEZ approved auditors’ list under RAKEZ’s implementing regulations to provide auditing services to RAKEZ companies and ensure that the audited financial statements of these companies represent a true and accurate financial position.

What happens if a company fails to submit its audited financial statements on time?

If a company fails to submits the audited financial statement on time, a fine of AED 2,500 will be imposed by on the company.

When does a company have to submit audited financial statements?

A company has to submit the audited financial statements to RAKEZ within six (6) months from the end of its financial year.

Are the audited financial statements required at time of licence renewal?

No, the audited financial statements are not required at the time of licence renewal.

Do I need to submit audited financial statements to RAKEZ?

Yes, all companies incorporated in RAKEZ jurisdiction are required to prepare and submit audited financial statements for every financial year.

What is the importance of the financial statements?

Financial statements assist the company’s management to make decisions in respect of future financial planning. They also assist external partners such as banks or vendors to make decisions about a company’s borrowing capacity.

Financial statements are essential to prove that the company accounts are kept in a good order.

What are the financial statements?

Financial statements are formal records of the financial activities of a company. They show the financial position (assets, liabilities and shareholders’ equity), financial performance (profit or loss) and the cash flow of a company.

How is the end-of-service gratuity calculated?

The calculation of end of service shall be as follows:

Limited Contract / Resignation

Unlimited Contract/ Resignation

Less than 5 years – no gratuity
5 years; 1st– 5thyear : 21 days per year
Any additional year: 30 days per year


(Article 132, 138,Federal Law No 8/1980)

1 – 3 years: 7 days per year
3-5 years: 14 days per year
Above than 5 years: 21 days per year for the first five years
and 30 days per year for any additional year.

Article 132, 137, Federal Law No.8/1980)

Limited Contract and Unlimited Contract / Termination
1 - 5 years :21 days per year
Any additional year: 30 days per year
Note: No gratuity will be paid, if the termination is based on Article 120 Federal Law No.8/1980.

(Article 132, Federal Law No.8/1980)

Does an employee have the right to claim his/her dues if one year has elapsed from the date they were due?

No claim of any entitlement shall be heard if brought before the court after the lapse of one year from the date on which the entitlement became due. (Article 6, Federal Law No 8/1980)

Is it permissible for an employer to deduct advances or debts from an employee's pay?

Any deduction shall be in accordance with Article 60 of Federal Law No. 8/1980.

What is the compensation to be paid to an employee who has been asked by the employer to work on official holidays?

If an employee is required to work during holidays or leaves, he/she will be granted another rest day in addition to an increase of 50 per cent on his/her basic wage for that day. If he/she could not be granted another day off, he/she is entitled to receive an additional 150% on his/her basic wage for that day. (Article 81, Federal Law No. 8/1980).

When would an employee be entitled for annual leave?

An employee is entitled to avail annual leave if he/she has completed one year with the employer. The annual leave shall be calculated as follows:

  1. Two (2) days for each month if the employee completed six (6) months.
  2. Thirty (30) days for each year should the period of service of the worker exceed one year.

The above number of days is the minimum as per the labour law. The days may increase upon the discretion of the employer.

(Article 75, Federal Law No. 8/1980).

Is it permissible for an employer to lower the employee’s pay scale without consent? What procedures should be followed in case the employee gives his/her consent?

An employer may not lower an employee’s pay scale unless the employee’s written approval to this effect was obtained. If the two parties have agreed on lowering the employee’s pay, the employer must terminate the existing contract and settle the employee’s dues. A new labour contract should be concluded, subject to the consent of both parties.

Can a labour contract include a condition stipulating that the employee may not work for a competitor following the termination?

Yes it may, however, the employer should ensure that the conditions set forth are in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations are met. (Article 127, Federal Law No. 8/1980).

What are the maximum permissible working hours?

Working hours per day should be eight (8) hours and shall not exceed 48 hours per week. Working hours may be reduced by two hours during Ramadan.

Working hours may be increased to nine (9) hours per day in commercial establishments, hotels and cafes and positions which involve guard duties and any other operation where such increase is authorized by order of the competent authority. (Article 65, Federal Law No. 8/1980).

Can employers deduct recruitment and visa fees from the employee/worker?

The employer should not deduct any recruitment and visa fees from the worker/employee. Such deduction would be in contradiction with article 18 & 60 of Federal Law No.8/ 1980 and Article 6a of Ministerial Decision no.52 of 1989.

Will the probation period be included in the employee’s overall service if the employee has passed this period successfully?

The probation period will be included as part of the employee’s overall service. (Article 37, Federal Law No. 8/1980).

What is the maximum length of the probation period?

The maximum length of the probation period is six months. An employee shall not be on probation more than once for the same employer force (Article 37, Federal Law No. 8/1980).

Would an employee be entitled to any pay during the notice period?

An employee shall be entitled to receive a wage during the notice period subject to the laws and regulations in force.

What is the compensation due in case of termination of the contract?

Limited Contracts

Termination by employer: If the employer terminated the employment contract for grounds other than the grounds stipulated in Article 120. In such case the employer is obliged to compensate the employee for the damages sustained. The compensation in such cases shall not exceed the aggregate wage due for three months or the remaining period of the employment contract, whichever is shorter, unless otherwise stipulated in the employment contract. (Article 115, Federal Law No. 8/1980).

Termination by employee: If the employment contract was terminated by the employee for reasons other the reasons stipulated in Article 121. In such case the employee shall compensate the employer for any damage sustained. The compensation in such cases shall not exceed half of the employee’s wage for three (3) months or the remaining period whichever is shorter, unless the contract of employment states otherwise. (Article 116, Federal Law No. 8/1980).


Unlimited Contracts

The employer and the employee may terminate the employment contract for valid grounds at any time subsequent to the conclusion of the contract, and after notifying the other party thereof in writing at least thirty days prior to the termination thereof (Article 117 (1), Federal Law No. 8/1980).

Termination of employment contracts for jobs paid on a daily basis shall be in accordance with Article 117 (2), Federal Law No. 8/1980.

ment contracts for jobs paid on a daily basis shall be in accordance with Article 117 (2), Federal Law No. 8/1980.

 

Is the employer required to pay an allowance to the employee if the latter is proved to have sustained an industrial injury or an occupational disease that has prevented him from performing his/her duties?

Subject to the provision of the labour law, if an injury has prevented an employee from performing his/her duties, the employer will have to pay the employee a cash allowance equivalent to full pay throughout the duration of treatment or for a period of six months, whichever is shorter. If treatment lasts more than six months, the cash allowance will be reduced by half for the subsequent six months or until the employee recovers, is proved to be disabled or dies, whichever occurs first. (Article 145, Federal Law No. 8/1980)

The cash allowance referred to in the foregoing paragraph shall be calculated on the basis of the last salary due to monthly, weekly, daily and hourly-paid workers. (Article 146, Federal Law No. 8/1980)

On which pay would the end of service be calculated?

An employee’s end-of-service gratuity shall be calculated on the basis of the last salary earned by the employee namely the basic salary after deducting all allowances and bonuses that used to be given to him/her.
(Article 134, Federal Law No 8/1980)

Does an employee have the right to claim his dues if one year has elapsed from the date they were due?

No claim of any entitlement shall be heard if brought before the court after the lapse of one year from the date on which the entitlement became due. (Article 6, Federal Law No 8/1980)

How is the end-of-service gratuity calculated?

The calculation of end of service shall be as follows:

Is the end-of-service gratuity calculated for the fraction of a year?

An employee shall be entitled to an end-of-service gratuity for the fraction of the year in proportion to the period of employment provided that the employee has completed one year of continuous service.
(Article 133, Federal Law No.8/1980)

In case of the death of an employee, who would be entitled to receive the end of service?

In the event of the employee’s death, the employer must pay the end-of-service gratuity to those entitled thereof.
(Article 136, Federal Law No.8/1980)

Is the employer required to provide an experience certificate to the employee upon termination of contract/ upon resignation?

The employer shall give the employee, upon the request thereof and at the end of his contract of employment, a certificate of end of service in which the date of commencement and termination of the employment, the total duration of employment, the type of work performed, the last paid wage and supplements, if any, shall be mentioned.
The employer shall return any certificates, documents or tools belonging to the employee.
(Article 125, Federal Law No.8/1980)

Can an employee work for another employer although his/her sponsorship is still on the original employer but he/she has obtained a no-objection certificate to work for a third party?

An employee may not work for a third party without following the relevant legal procedures and checking with the Labour Affairs Section at RAKEZ.

What action should be taken by the employee in case the employer refuses to have his/her expired labour card renewed?

In such case, the employee should report the matter to the Labour Affairs Section of RAKEZ.

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Last Updated on 12/29/2019 9:23:05 PM

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