There is no doubt that Dubai is a far better place than France in terms of doing business. This is the result of the UAE government’s never-ending efforts that have turned Dubai and the rest of the many other Emirates into a business hub for the world. You will find everything you need to run a business successfully and earn a good profit from it. It is the ideal location to start a business for any french citizen.
If you are also willing to move your French business to Dubai, UAE, this guide is for you. Read on to get the necessary information on the process, requirements, legalities, and much more.
Table of Contents
Reasons to Move FR Business to Dubai, UAE
Here are some of the many reasons that will force you to move your French business to the Emirates:
1. Language Barrier
French is the official language of France. It is widely spoken in the country. Foreigners cannot communicate with other people if they don’t know french. But the language itself is hard to learn. That is why people or expats don’t understand it fully. Meaning that businesses targeting a non-French-speaking market will not be able to make sales due to the language barrier.
2. Cultural Differences
Different cultural norms and expectations also create problems for businesses to build strong relationships with their customer base and adapt to the local french market.
3. Inflexible Work Culture
Businesses face tons of issues due to the inflexible work culture of France. The French work culture is quite popular for its inflexible approach to work and rigid structure. It makes businesses unable to utilize new technologies and adopt new approaches that can make their work fast and easy.
4. Limited Access to Funding
The next problem is limited access of the business owners to funding. They are unable to get the initial capital to start and investments to scale up and compete with their competitors in the market.
5. Resistance to Change
Businesses cannot introduce themselves to new services and products in France. It is because they resist change and innovation in different industrial sectors of the country. Business owners and stakeholders cannot do anything about it.
6. Complex Regulations and Bureaucracy
The regulatory environment in France is hard to navigate. There exist so many rules and procedures to follow. It slows down the process of starting and establishing a business or a startup in the country. Hence, it lowers the morale of new and fresh entrepreneurs.
7. High Tax Burden
Due to extremely high tax burdens in France, businesses fail to remain profitable in the long run. And ultimately they fail and they have to wrap up and close everything.
8. Labor Costs and Laws
Labor costs in France are comparatively high with respect to other parts of the world. Plus, the country has strict labor laws, creating another challenge for businesses to deal with.
9. Competition from Established Businesses
There are already so many established businesses and large-scale companies in various business sectors of France, making it a challenge for new and small businesses and startups to launch and grow in the country. In other words, there is a lot of competition in France in the business sectors.
10. Economic Uncertainty
The French economy has been tons of different facing challenges in recent years. These challenges include a sluggish growth rate and high levels of public debt. This causes a lot of difficulties for businesses to get investments in the form of loans and make strong financial decisions.
11. Talent Shortage
There is a huge shortage of skilled and talented labor in some of the industries in France. This creates a challenge for businesses to find the skillful people they need to grow and succeed.
Types of Residency Visas in the UAE
If you envision residing in Dubai for an extended period, obtaining a visa that facilitates both work and a prolonged stay in the UAE is necessary. Fortunately, the UAE government offers several types of residency visas, tailored to meet your specific circumstances. Here are the major types of residency visas that you can avail of:
An employment visa is the first type of residency visa in the UAE. It can be obtained when a company within the UAE hires a foreign national such as a french citizen. This type of visa enables you to work and live in the country in a legal way.
In this case, your employer will be your sponsor to issue the visa. Employers can be government-owned enterprises or private companies established in the free zones or mainland of the UAE. The employment visa’s validity with a mainland company is 2 years and is 3 years with a government entity or free zone company.
Green Visa for Investors
If you are a foreign investor and want to take part in commercial activities in the UAE, the green visa for investors is your best bet. This type of Residency visa is valid for two years only.
The requirements of this visa include:
- The approval of the competent local authorities
- The ICP’s (Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Ports Security) approval of the investment as per the investors rating system applied
- Proof of the investment.
Investor or Partner Visa
A company investor or partner visa is given to
- Foreigners who own a company
- French individuals who have shares in an existing company
- French citizens who are expatriates and are willing to set up their own businesses in the UAE
This visa is valid for 3 years and can be renewed upon expiration. If you have this visa, you can legally work and live in the UAE. You can also sponsor the visa of your family.
UAE Resident Visa via Property Investment
Expatriate or French investors can submit applications for a five-year resident visa in the UAE without a sponsor if they meet the following requirements:
- The property must be owned for at least 3 years
- The investor needs to invest in a property or building with a gross value of at least AED 5 million
- The money used to do investment in real estate must not be on a loaned amount
French citizens with UAE resident visas can sponsor their families for resident visas. Here are the requirements:
- Employees are allowed to sponsor the visa of their parents. Employees need to sponsor both parents. The death certificate will be required if the mother or father is deceased. The minimum monthly salary should be AED 20,000.
- an investor who is willing to sponsor their family needs to make a mandatory, refundable deposit of AED 3,000 for every family member.
- Employees can sponsor their families no matter what their job title is. The minimum requirement of salary is AED 4,000 or AED 3,000 plus accommodation every month.
Ten-Year Residency Visa or Golden Visa
You can get a six-month multiple-entry visa and use it to facilitate the issuance of a golden residency or ten-year residency visa. You can extend this visa to support the completion of the residency process.
Retirement visa provides foreign nationals and resident expatriates over the age of 55 the facility to reside in the UAE even after ending their employment. They can obtain a long-term residency visa for a duration of 5 years, with the possibility of renewal, if they fulfill the following eligibility criteria:
- Must have at least AED 1 million as savings
- Invest in a property valued at AED 2 million
- Have an active income of at least AED 20,000 a month
Things to Must Know Before You Move Your Business from France to Dubai
There are multiple things that you must know before you move your business from France to the Emirate. It includes getting to know about the necessary visas, permits, and licenses. Other things are as follows:
The city has a cosmopolitan and diverse culture. But there exist cultural differences in Dubai compared to France, such as attitudes towards social norms, dress, and behavior.
High Cost of Living
The cost of living in Dubai is comparatively high. But you can afford it as the salaries are also high and businesses do flourish in the City. So, it is a win-win situation for employees as well as business owners. The same cannot be said about many cities in France: Similarly, although Dubai has a high standard of healthcare, you must research the availability and cost of private health insurance before you move here.
It will be beneficial for you to learn a few Arabic phrases. Although English is the primary language of businesses in Dubai, still people love to speak and communicate in Arabic. Learning some basic Arabic will improve your integration and communication into the local community of the city.
Get Ready for the Heat
Dubai suffers from warm to hot weather every day of the year. It has a hot and arid desert climate. During the summer months, the temperatures can go to extreme levels. Surviving without air conditioners and accessories that give protection against heat is impossible. If you are moving to Dubai, it will be a significant adjustment for you since you will be coming from a temperate climate in France.
Adapt to the Traffic
You will find a huge number of private cars on the roads of Dubai. You might have to face heavy traffic during rush hour which can be frustrating. To deal with it, make yourself a frequent user of the public transportation facility and try to not drive at peak rush times.
Respect Islamic Holidays
The UAE is a Muslim-majority country. That is why people here celebrate a lot of religious holidays, such as Eid and Ramadan holidays. These are special occasions for them and can have an effect on business operations and other trade activities. So, ensure you are aware of them. In general, work and businesses are suspended these days.
It is crucial for you to familiarize yourself with the local rules and regulations of Dubai because the city and France operate under a legal system that is different from one another.
Before going to the main process, let’s see which documents (not limited to) are required:
- Filled new business setup application
- Certificate of reference from a personal bank of every shareholder (depending on business structure type)
- Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) General Manager, Director, and shareholder passport and utility bill copies
- A business plan
- Copies of your French company documents (if applicable)
Process to Move FR Business to Dubai, UAE
You can continue with the process once you have all the necessary submission documents. Moving an FR company to Dubai is not as difficult as it may seem. Without any substantial direction or assistance from qualified company setup advisors, the business can be started if the steps are followed correctly.
To relocate your French company to the UAE in an easy and trouble-free manner, follow these steps:
1. Choose a Jurisdiction
Pick a jurisdiction that is appropriate for your business first. It’s because many locations in Dubai and the UAE only permit specific kinds of commercial activities. Don’t start a business in a jurisdiction only to find out you can’t operate there afterward!
Choose between moving to the mainland and moving to a free zone. Some advantages of starting a business in the free zone include the ones listed below:
- Import and export taxes are completely excluded.
- no corporate or personal taxes.
- You will receive all capital and profits.
- complete corporate control.
- currencies are unrestricted.
However, you’ll need to choose the mainland option and deal with a company there that will charge a fee if you want to directly do business with the local market in the UAE. If you want to open a company on the mainland, you are free to deal directly with both domestic and international markets. If your business does not fall under the category of professional services, you will need to work with a local partner who will hold 51% of the company’s shares.
2. Choose a Location
The location of your firm comes next on the list of priorities. The two economic zones where you can operate your firm are the free zone and the mainland. You need to locate it in the chosen jurisdiction. Some free zone locations permit the operation of certain sectors or activities, such as those in the media, finance, or technology.
For instance, Dubai Media City, as its name suggests, is a free zone designated for media companies or businesses involved in the media industry. In Dubai Media City, the corporate offices of well-known media organizations like BBC, CNN, and Thomson Reuters are located. The offices of important international financial services companies like Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs International, and Credit Suisse AG are located in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), which serves as another example.
Over time, though, a number of industry-specific free zones have started to welcome all kinds of commercial businesses in addition to the ones they were intended for.
There are several reasons you might want to establish your business close to other businesses in your field, aside from restrictions. Examine the available modes of transportation as well. If your business is heavily reliant on imports and exports, you should think about one of the free zones near an airport or seaport.
Many different industries are thriving in the UAE. The commitment to diversification outside the oil economy will benefit new companies that support this strategy in 2023 and beyond.
3. Choose a New Business Name
Before deciding on a company name, be sure it is appropriate legally because the UAE has strict naming conventions. If your present company name complies with the regulations, you can maintain it. If not, you must first alter it before registering it.
Any names that use offensive language or make allusions to Allah, Him, or other sectarian, political, or religious groups like the FBI or Mafia are forbidden. If you choose to name your firm after someone, they must be a partner or owner of the business, and their whole name must be used—no initials or abbreviations are allowed.
4. Complete the Incorporation Paperwork
After that, you must deal with the required paperwork. A business name and activity application must be completed and submitted to the right government officials, along with copies of the shareholders’ passports. Some free zones require a business plan or Non-Objection Certificate (NOC). It is a letter from your current sponsor attesting to your authorization to establish a new business in the United Arab Emirates.
When registering your business in the UAE, you must complete an application to register your chosen business name and activity. Also, give copies of shareholders’ passports.
The minimum capital requirements that mainland enterprises must meet must be included in a Memorandum of Association.
5. Checking and submitting your paperwork
Contact the Department of Economic Development (DED) of your chosen Emirate to register your business and trade name. After that, give the required documentation. Links to the relevant offices can be found on the UAE government website under Information and Services. Following evaluation and approval of your application, you will be sent your business license.
6. Apply for a License
The government will go through your application and then grant you a business license. You will normally only require a few standard documents, such as a completed application form and copies of shareholder passports for the license, regardless of where the company setup takes place. In some free zones, you could also be required to present a business plan.
7. Open a Bank Account
You will receive all the documents required to open a bank account for your company after your paperwork has been returned to you. You need a bank account before you can start trading in the UAE. In the UAE, there are many active local and international banks. Depending on the unique needs of your company, you can choose the one that is best for you. The available banks include:
- Commercial Bank of Dubai
- Emirates NBD
- Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
- Noor Bank
- Ajman Bank
- Emirates Islamic
8. Apply for a Visa
Applying for a visa is the final step in transferring an FR company to Dubai. Many free zones let you apply for a visa for yourself along with dependents and personnel. The precise number of visas you can get will depend on the free zone you choose to establish the business.
It is crucial to get expert advice if you wish to sponsor someone for a visa, such as a spouse, child, maid, or driver. It is so because you and the person you are sponsoring can meet all entry requirements. Plus, you are able to do so in the free zone you have chosen.
Assuming everything is in order, the procedure of visa application consists of four straightforward steps:
- Entry permit
- Status adjustment
- Medical fitness test
- Emirates ID registration and visa stamping
An owner of a mainland corporation can submit as many visa applications as necessary. However, businesses operating in free zones can be subject to restrictions that vary from free zone to free zone.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
How long can a French citizen stay in Dubai?
French nationals can get visas at the airports of the UAE through the Visa on Arrival program and are permitted to stay there for 90 days.
Can I move to Dubai and start a business?
Yes, you can move to Dubai and start a business here. Just follow the rules and regulations and the process to establish a business in the Emirate.
What are the legal requirements to move to Dubai?
When moving to Dubai, foreign nationals must obtain a health card and residency license. Additionally, within 60 days of your arrival, your company must submit an application for your e-card and e-contract.
Why are companies moving to UAE?
UAE provides a business-friendly environment, low taxation, support t companies, and tons of other benefits that make businesses earn and flourish in the strong economy of the UAE.
Move Your French Business to Dubai with RIZ & MONA CONSULTANCY
So, this concludes our discussion on how to move your French business to Dubai, UAE. The process when followed in the right way is good enough to ensure you establish your new business in the UAE.
RIZ & MONA CONSULTANCY is a competent and experienced team of business setup experts that are offering services for relocating businesses from any country to Dubai and UAE. Contact us now and leave everything to us as we will take care of the process and ensure your business is shifted from your current country to Dubai in an error-free and professional way.