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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm an independent futures daytrader looking to relocate to the UAE.
I've done quite a bit of research on the different company types on offer but I haven't found the best solution yet. I need a company type that allows for financial trading (personal funds only, no clients) and that comes with a residence visa.

Here's what I've found out so far:
-RAK Offshore allows for financial trading but comes without residence visa
-RAK Onshore doesn't allow for financial trading but comes with residence visa
-DIFC allows for financial trading and comes with residence visa but depending on the type of license, capital requirements are very high (500K USD - 2 Million USD).

I'm very interested in hearing how other traders have structured their activity in the UAE.

Thanks
 

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Why not register an advisory firm and trade your own funds since you're not taking on clients. It's less hassle and you don't have to deal with all the regulatory requirements involved. You can also register an offshore entity (e.g Mauritius, Seychelles IBC) on behalf of the advisory firm to handle actual trading or holding of financial assets etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Why not register an advisory firm and trade your own funds since you're not taking on clients. It's less hassle and you don't have to deal with all the regulatory requirements involved. You can also register an offshore entity (e.g Mauritius, Seychelles IBC) on behalf of the advisory firm to handle actual trading or holding of financial assets etc.
Thanks for your reply cronus. I assume that by "advisory firm" you mean a RAK Onshore vehicle, as Investment Consulting is an activity that's officially compatible with such a structure?

Thanks
 

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Trade your own account and use "Consultancy/Services Licence" under a the RAK Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ) for your residence visa. You can rent a flat and trade from there. Since you will not be soliciting in the UAE or trading for UAE clients, there's no reason to complicate things. Thousands of expats trade their own account. It's nothing unique that you need some kind of regulatory oversight for.
 

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Thanks for your reply cronus. I assume that by "advisory firm" you mean a RAK Onshore vehicle, as Investment Consulting is an activity that's officially compatible with such a structure?

Thanks
Yes an investment consulting or just a plain consulting firm. Several options will suffice such as a RAK Onshore entity or even one in the DMCC/JLT as well as the Ajman freezone.

The occasional problem with using freezones in other emirates is that you might live in Dubai yet need documentation (e.g medical test results) from the emirate that issued your company license/visa. Not everyone likes to take the occasional drive out into the heart of the desert or towards the northern coastline. :)

For example you can only get a driving license from the emirate that issues your visa and where your freezone entity is located. So if you have a RAK incorporated entity, you need to spend bit of time in RAK to get a RAK driving license. There are exemptions and ways around this but you might find the hassle tiresome. So its up to you to weigh the pros and cons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes an investment consulting or just a plain consulting firm. Several options will suffice such as a RAK Onshore entity or even one in the DMCC/JLT as well as the Ajman freezone.

The occasional problem with using freezones in other emirates is that you might live in Dubai yet need documentation (e.g medical test results) from the emirate that issued your company license/visa. Not everyone likes to take the occasional drive out into the heart of the desert or towards the northern coastline. :)

For example you can only get a driving license from the emirate that issues your visa and where your freezone entity is located. So if you have a RAK incorporated entity, you need to spend bit of time in RAK to get a RAK driving license. There are exemptions and ways around this but you might find the hassle tiresome. So its up to you to weigh the pros and cons.
Thank you very much for those informations cronus, they're extremely helpful. I never considered DMCC but I just did some research about it and it might be the perfect free zone for my needs as it is located in Dubai and it offers a special license for Single Family Offices, thus allowing trading of financial products, as long as no external funds are involved. Perfect!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Trade your own account and use "Consultancy/Services Licence" under a the RAK Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ) for your residence visa. You can rent a flat and trade from there. Since you will not be soliciting in the UAE or trading for UAE clients, there's no reason to complicate things. Thousands of expats trade their own account. It's nothing unique that you need some kind of regulatory oversight for.
Thanks for your reply nite. That would of course be the easiest solution, but to obtain a "Consultancy/Services Licence" I need to submit a business plan and later on I guess that I'll need to have some professional activity going on with my newly-created company, or is it possible to use a RAK FTZ company as a shell with no real activity?
 

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You may want to check Fujairah Creative City as well. It's a bit easier to setup (Consultancy, Services licence), as they don't require business plan. Also Fujairah residence visa is issued for 3 years compared to 2 years in Dubai for instance (not sure about RAK). The fees for new company up to 3 residence visas are AED 25,000. They have increased annual renewals from AED 17,500 to 21,000 (new clients only).

You don't need to go there to setup a company or do the medical, they have office in Dubai and medical can be done in Al Baraha hospital. I also think that passport for visa stamping can be submitted in their Dubai office.

If you have Swiss driving licence, you can convert it on a single visit to Fujairah. You will also need to go there if you like to obtain NOC from Creative City & police for alcohol licence. Adding any dependants will also require you to travel there, but it's super easy. I was adding my baby lately and it took me less than 30 mins. The good thing in Fujairah is that immigration department is opened until late and it's never busy. Well, it's never busy anywhere in Fujairah, that's not Dubai after all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
You may want to check Fujairah Creative City as well. It's a bit easier to setup (Consultancy, Services licence), as they don't require business plan. Also Fujairah residence visa is issued for 3 years compared to 2 years in Dubai for instance (not sure about RAK). The fees for new company up to 3 residence visas are AED 25,000. They have increased annual renewals from AED 17,500 to 21,000 (new clients only).

You don't need to go there to setup a company or do the medical, they have office in Dubai and medical can be done in Al Baraha hospital. I also think that passport for visa stamping can be submitted in their Dubai office.

If you have Swiss driving licence, you can convert it on a single visit to Fujairah. You will also need to go there if you like to obtain NOC from Creative City & police for alcohol licence. Adding any dependants will also require you to travel there, but it's super easy. I was adding my baby lately and it took me less than 30 mins. The good thing in Fujairah is that immigration department is opened until late and it's never busy. Well, it's never busy anywhere in Fujairah, that's not Dubai after all.
That's very interesting, thanks about all the information regarding Fujairah, Malbec. If I understand you correctly the Consultancy/Service license is only required in order to be able to apply for the residence visas and no actual business activity in the chosen sector is needed, is that it? (The consulting/service company is essentially an empty shell)
 

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That's very interesting, thanks about all the information regarding Fujairah, Malbec. If I understand you correctly the Consultancy/Service license is only required in order to be able to apply for the residence visas and no actual business activity in the chosen sector is needed, is that it? (The consulting/service company is essentially an empty shell)
It can be an empty shell but you need to state the salary you will pay yourself in employment contract. Upon visa renewal (after initial 3 years), they will ask 6 months bank statement to see whether you get the salary claimed. If salary was received in cash they require salary slips, so the latter would be easier to prepare yourself if you don't intend to pay yourself a monthly salary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
It can be an empty shell but you need to state the salary you will pay yourself in employment contract. Upon visa renewal (after initial 3 years), they will ask 6 months bank statement to see whether you get the salary claimed. If salary was received in cash they require salary slips, so the latter would be easier to prepare yourself if you don't intend to pay yourself a monthly salary.
Good to know, thanks Malbec. Two last questions: If you opt for the consulting option in Fujairah Creative City, do you have to define what type of consulting you intend to do or do you simply incorporate a generic consulting company? What level of detail regarding your company's activity is required in the documents you have to submit?

Thanks again for your advice.
 

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Good to know, thanks Malbec. Two last questions: If you opt for the consulting option in Fujairah Creative City, do you have to define what type of consulting you intend to do or do you simply incorporate a generic consulting company? What level of detail regarding your company's activity is required in the documents you have to submit?

Thanks again for your advice.
I am not sure if you have to define type of consultancy, better check with them but probably yes since it is such a broad term. Didn't ask them since I defined anyway. Together with application form you have to provide a short one page description of the company profile, activities and services it provides.
 

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Sorry to bump up this old thread but this is exactly what I was looking for and was wondering if anyone could help out.

I'm a cryptocurrency trader and am thinking of moving to the UAE. I've contacted Fujairah Creative City and they've said that this sort of activity isn't included in their Free Zone, which is strange since they have an activity titled "Investment Consultancy". The main cryptocurrency exchange in the UAE, Bitoasis, only deals with personal bank accounts rather than business bank accounts. However, if I'm correct, the Creative City Freelancer permit should have the bank account in your personal name, so wouldn't this work.

I've contacted them again asking for further clarification but thought I'd ask here as well, since a lot of people seem to be doing this sort of thing.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks
 

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Just register as an "Investment Consultancy". they won't ask any questions.
Thanks for the reply. That's exactly what I was thinking.

Another question if you don't mind:
I also own a number of websites that make affiliate revenue through Amazon. If I set up a freelance permit with "Investment Consultancy", will I be allowed to do this as well, or will I need to set this up separately under "Online Marketing"?

Thanks again.
 

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Thanks for the reply. That's exactly what I was thinking.



Another question if you don't mind:

I also own a number of websites that make affiliate revenue through Amazon. If I set up a freelance permit with "Investment Consultancy", will I be allowed to do this as well, or will I need to set this up separately under "Online Marketing"?



Thanks again.


In my (limited) experience setting up a free zone company you can just tick the boxes, or tell their representative which boxes to tick for you, for the activities you intend to undertake from the list permitted by the free zone.

They generally want your business and don't ask too many questions, as Rascal said.
 

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In my (limited) experience setting up a free zone company you can just tick the boxes, or tell their representative which boxes to tick for you, for the activities you intend to undertake from the list permitted by the free zone.

They generally want your business and don't ask too many questions, as Rascal said.
Yeah, I get what you're saying. Just a little confused as to whether it would work because the main cryptocurrency exchange in UAE requires a personal bank account and explicitly states that a business bank account will not work. Having gotten a 2nd reply back from Creative City, they state that the bank account for a freelance company would be under the company name.

So, the only option I can think of is to just set up a freelance company for Online Marketing for my other business. This would get me a residency visa, which I'm assuming would allow me to get a personal bank account. The question is whether I'm then allowed to use a personal account to buy and sell cryptocurrency/commodities without further complications. Any ideas on this?

Another thing to note is that I plan to set everything up and travel abroad for most of the year, operating the business remotely rather than from the UAE. The question is whether I will need to rent a house in order to get a personal bank account set up or whether the included P.O box address for the company be enough to get the account.
 

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Yeah, I get what you're saying. Just a little confused as to whether it would work because the main cryptocurrency exchange in UAE requires a personal bank account and explicitly states that a business bank account will not work. Having gotten a 2nd reply back from Creative City, they state that the bank account for a freelance company would be under the company name.

So, the only option I can think of is to just set up a freelance company for Online Marketing for my other business. This would get me a residency visa, which I'm assuming would allow me to get a personal bank account. The question is whether I'm then allowed to use a personal account to buy and sell cryptocurrency/commodities without further complications. Any ideas on this?

Another thing to note is that I plan to set everything up and travel abroad for most of the year, operating the business remotely rather than from the UAE. The question is whether I will need to rent a house in order to get a personal bank account set up or whether the included P.O box address for the company be enough to get the account.
Hi,
You can open a personal bank account when you have a valid residency visa and preferably a salary certificate (from your own company!).
Don't forget - you need to visit the UAE at least once every 180 days - otherwise your residency visa is automatically cancelled (and this can cause problems with your bank account, utilities, phone etc.)
Cheers
Steve
 

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Hi,
You can open a personal bank account when you have a valid residency visa and preferably a salary certificate (from your own company!).
Don't forget - you need to visit the UAE at least once every 180 days - otherwise your residency visa is automatically cancelled (and this can cause problems with your bank account, utilities, phone etc.)
Cheers
Steve
Hi Steve,

Thanks for the reply. So, would the included P.O box be enough for me to open a personal bank account or would I need a proper home address?

How would I get a salary certificate straightaway? Can I just set up the company and deposit some money and give some of that as a salary? I was hoping to get all this done as soon as possible (hopefully within the next few weeks).

The main worry I have is whether you're allowed to conduct such activities (buy and sell cryptocurrency) via a personal bank account. Any issues with this?

Yes, I read about the 180 day requirement, and it shouldn't be an issue as I plan to spend at least 2-3 months a year in Dubai.

Thanks again.
 

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Hi Steve,

Thanks for the reply. So, would the included P.O box be enough for me to open a personal bank account or would I need a proper home address?

How would I get a salary certificate straightaway? Can I just set up the company and deposit some money and give some of that as a salary? I was hoping to get all this done as soon as possible (hopefully within the next few weeks).

The main worry I have is whether you're allowed to conduct such activities (buy and sell cryptocurrency) via a personal bank account. Any issues with this?

Yes, I read about the 180 day requirement, and it shouldn't be an issue as I plan to spend at least 2-3 months a year in Dubai.

Thanks again.
Hi,
Yes - a po box is fine for opening a bank account.
You need to create your own salary certificate on your own company headed paper.
These follow a normal format - basically person A is employed as an X on a monthly salary of Y,000 AED and we will place this salary into a salary transfer account with the bank on a monthly basis.
No idea about crypto-currency trading and bank accounts.
Cheers
Steve
 
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