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Open a business bank account: For free zone and mainland companies

The entrepreneur’s checklist can be as long as it is varied, particularly when starting up or moving a business to a new jurisdiction.

As well as applying for your license, deciding where to set up, and registering your name and activities, several more tasks are vying for your attention. You may also need to organise visas for you and your family, leases for your business and residential premises, and opening of a corporate bank account.

The latter is not always a simple process for overseas entrepreneurs looking to do business in the UAE. But, while you will need to meet somewhat strict due diligence criteria, you can significantly increase your chances of account opening by working with a local expert like Creative Zone.

In this article, we’ll explain exactly how we can help, looking at:

  • The benefits of working with Creative Zone
  • Documents required to open a business bank account in Dubai, UAE
  • Frequently asked questions

The benefits of working with Creative Zone

The corporate bank account landscape in the UAE can take some navigating, particularly if you are new to the country and its many institutions.

When you partner with Creative Zone, we can talk you through the UAE’s 46 licensed banks, from the big local names, such as Emirates NBD, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, First Gulf Bank and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, to the international players like HSBC and Barclays.

We’ll take the time to understand what you require from your banking services before advising you on the financial institution most suited to your needs.

Your Creative Zone contact will also talk you through the basic eligibility criteria. For example, you must have a UAE trade license to open a corporate bank account. You may also need a residency visa, though some banks will open accounts without this.

Next, we will guide you through the following steps to open a business bank account in Dubai, UAE:

  • Meet with representatives of your chosen bank for a short consultation.
  • Submit your application, complete with supporting documents (see below).
  • Receive your account documents – including cards and chequebooks if requested.

Documents required to open a business bank account in Dubai, UAE

Incomplete documentation is one of the most common reasons for account application rejection. When you work with Creative Zone, we’ll help you submit as much supporting documentation as possible to increase your chances of acceptance.

As a minimum, you should expect to be requested to provide the following:

  • A complete account application form.
  • A signed directors resolution sanctioning the opening of the account.
  • A copy of your passport and Emirates ID.
  • Proof of a residency visa (not required by all banks).
  • Proof of residence address, from your home country if not a resident of the UAE.
  • Certified company documents – including share certificates, certificate of incorporation and articles of association.
  • A business plan and company profile.
  • Bank statements for the past three to six months.

Another common sticking point is residency. While some banks will open accounts for non-residents, it does limit your options.

If you are not yet a UAE resident and do not intend to, or cannot, become one, you also have the option of opening a call account. This type of account can send and receive payments but has no access to other facilities such as a debit card or chequebook.
You may also require further documentation depending on how your company is incorporated. For example, if your company is wholly owned by another, you will need certified documents for both companies.

Frequently asked questions

Can I open a zero balance business bank account in Dubai, UAE?

No. In most cases, you will need to deposit at least AED 10,000 to open a corporate bank account in the UAE.

How long does it take to open a bank account in the UAE?

Provided that your application and documents are in order, you can expect to receive your bank cards and other supporting account documents within four weeks.

Do I need to maintain a minimum balance to open a business bank account in Dubai, UAE?

In most cases, yes. Most UAE corporate bank accounts require you to hold a minimum balance between AED 10,000 and AED 150,000.

How to open a corporate bank account in the UAE with Creative Zone

To open a corporate bank account in the UAE, you’ll first need a trade license. And while the steps required to obtain one are not too complicated, a certain amount of prior knowledge is required. Specifically, it is vital to ensure that your business license and visa applications are entirely free from errors.

This can be somewhat stressful, so as we have advised throughout this article, the fast-track to getting up and running is through working with a company formation specialist.

Here at Creative Zone, we offer you the best solutions to start your company in the UAE. You get fast, reliable and unbiased advice on your unique business setup requirements. We can help you choose the right kind of license for your business activity and take you through the entire process from start to finish.

You can let us deal with the hassle of registering a company while you focus on your business. And working with us means you get the best budget-friendly and cost-effective solution to help make your business dream a reality.

Over ten years, Creative Zone has helped more than 36,000 entrepreneurs set up their businesses. Whether it is a mainland business setup, offshore company setup, free zone company setup, or the issuing of trade licenses and any related activity for registering a company, Creative Zone is your one-stop-shop.

Our customer-first focus and our staff who speak 22 languages mean you get a tailored package to suit your specific needs. We have worked with clients from around the world, setting them up in over 200 different business activities.

Let Creative Zone make your journey into business ownership quick and hassle-free.


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