by Gerard Hobby, Head of Legal
The UAE has taken a number of significant steps in recent times to raise the quality of the business environment through the introduction of international standard regulatory procedures.
In particular, the introduction of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) systems and processes for designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFPBs) has considerably strengthened controls and oversight for business establishment and to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
IFZA Dubai fully supports doing everything possible to combat these illegal activities and reinforce the UAE’s long-standing efforts to strengthen the implementation of international standards on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation. We have implemented our own best practice AML and KYC (Know Your Customer) Policy and an AML Compliance Manual for staff. We now complete full UBO certification as part of our client on-boarding in compliance with the UAE’s AML regulations and have also fully implemented controls and reporting processes for businesses that are subject to the UAE’s Economic Substance Regulations (ESR).
IFZA’s licensing and registration processes have been enhanced and supported with digital forms where possible. For example, individuals are now able to set up a company from anywhere in the world through an electronic or “e-Legal” document verification and document signing process.
For most IFZA Business Licenses with activities that require a third party regulatory approval, we are now able to arrange for the completion of the registration and issue of the license prior to the company obtaining the third party regulatory approval. This allows clients to establish an administrative presence (for example, lease an office, open a bank account, obtain residence visas for staff) while working on obtaining the required approval.
While the UAE’s business and regulatory environment will continue to evolve and may increase its levels of sophistication with regard to compliance, IFZA is committed to ensuring the simplest and most efficient business registration and licensing processes while respecting current regulatory procedures.