FAQs

These FAQs are designed to provide a better understanding of DMCC, our licenses and our other legal and technical tools. They provide basic information, sometimes about fairly complex topics.

ABOUT DMCC

Who is DMCC?

DMCC, a strategic initiative of the Government of Dubai, was established in 2002, with a mandate to provide the physical, market and financial infrastructure required to set up a commodities market place in Dubai. DMCC offers a unique opportunity for market participants in a wide range of commodities industries in four broad sectors including precious commodities (gold, diamonds, coloured stones and pearls), energy related sectors, steel and base metals and soft agricultural commodities (tea, cotton and others). The Centre aims to attract key players throughout the entire value chain of each of these commodity sectors, together with a range of support industries such as finance, logistics, consulting and insurance. DMCC was the first UAE free zone authority to offer freehold business premises, in addition to all other standard free zone services. These comprise a 50-year holiday on personal and income taxes, full foreign ownership of business and a one-stop shop facility for processing of all documentation including immigration and licensing needs.

Are DMCC and JLT two separate Free Zones?

Until January 2014, the DMCC Authority offered two types of licenses: DMCC and JLT. DMCC Free Zone companies operate in the commodities and related sectors, while JLT Free Zone companies operate across non-commodities related sectors. From February 2014, the authority licenses all activities under the one DMCC license. All companies previously licensed under the JLT license will progressively transfer to a DMCC license.

What do I need to do to change my company suffix from JLT to DMCC?

Click on the http://www.dmcc.ae/suffix-announcement.pdf?v=1 for a full set of instructions and frequently asked questions

What is the location of DMCC?

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) is located in Almas Tower, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, near JLT Metro Station. 
DMCC Free Zone Department is located on Level 1, where existing DMCC members can visit the Client Service Centre, Level 1, near the main lobby elevators.
For company setups, clients can visit the Client Registration Centre, Level 1, near the escalators.
 

To know the location of DMCC, please download the DMCC location map at http://www.dmcc.ae/contact-us, or you may reach Almas Tower by entering the following Coordinates on your GPS: 25.0689° N, 55.1412° E
Alternatively, for directions to Almas Tower, please find below:
 
Directions to Almas Tower, Jumeirah Lakes Towers from Dubai 

 
Take Sheikh Zayed Road E11
Take Interchange No 5 and First Al Khail St to your destination
Keep right to continue on Exit 32 for 260 metres
Take the ramp on the left to Interchange No 5 for 900 metres
Keep right at the fork, follow signs for  Jumeirah Lakes Tower/Emirates Hills for 280 metres
Continue onto Interchange No 5 for 1 kilometre
Keep right for 850 metres
Merge onto First Al Khail St for 1.2 kilometres
Slight Right for 130 metres
Slight right for 270 metres
Turn right 
Almas Tower will be on the left

Directions to Almas Tower, Jumeirah Lakes Towers from Abu Dhabi
 
Follow E10 and E11 to D 61 in Dubai
Merge onto Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan St for 3.7 km
Continue onto E10 for 31.1 km
Take the exit on the left onto E11 for 79.5 km
Take the Emirates Hills exit from E11 
Take Sheikh Zayed Road E11
Take Interchange No 5 and First Al Khail St to your destination
Keep right to continue on Exit 32 for 260 metres
Take the ramp on the left to Interchange No 5 for 900 metres
Keep right at the fork, follow signs for  Jumeirah Lakes Tower/Emirates Hills for 280 metres
Continue onto Interchange No 5 for 1 kilometre
Keep right for 850 metres
Merge onto First Al Khail St for 1.2 kilometres
Slight Right for 130 metres
Slight right for 270 metres.
Turn right 
Almas Tower will be on the left

BENEFITS OF FREE ZONE COMPANIES

What is a Free Zone?

A Free Zone or Free Trade Zone or Free Economic Zone, is a designated geographical area where certain taxes or restrictions on business, employment or trade do not apply in the same manner that they apply to the country in which the zone is located. An area within which goods might land, handled, manufactured or reconfigured, and re-exported without the intervention of the customs authorities. Only when the goods move to consumers within the country in which the zone is located do they become subject to the prevailing customs duties. Free Zones are often organised around major seaports, international airports, and national frontiers — areas with many geographic advantages for trade.

What are the main benefits of setting up a Free Zone company with DMCC?

In summary, DMCC Free Zone companies enjoy 0% corporate and personal tax for 50 years, 100% foreign ownership, simple set up process, assistance with sponsorship of employees and many other UAE government related services, which incorporate a wide range of affordable property choices.

Is there any corporate/income tax applied to the companies or to the individuals?

There is no corporate/income tax on individuals or companies operating in the Free Zone. This applies for 50 years from the time of registration of the company.

Do I need a UAE Partner to form a company?

One of the many advantages of setting up a company in DMCC is that it offers 100% foreign ownership. You do not need a UAE Partner to form a company at DMCC unless your business is a pharmacy. In this instance, the Ministry of Health requires a UAE National shareholder in order to issue the required No Objection Certificate (NOC).

Do I need to visit different government departments and ministries in order to form a company?

No, the DMCC Service Centre offers you a comprehensive set of solutions allowing you to license and set up your business quickly and efficiently in the DMCC Free Zone. Services ranging from registering the trade name, licensing the company, visa applications, Emirates ID typing, real estate, insurance, IT, telecom, interior, and other services are all strategically located at the first floor of Almas tower.

NEW COMPANY SETUP

Are you interested in setting up a company in DMCC?

You can familiarise yourself with the DMCC Company Formation Glossary.
Moreover, find answers to all your questions related to company setup at www.dmcc.ae/company-setup-faqs.pdf.

1. Getting Started

How can we reserve the name of the company?

You will be asked on your online initial application to provide three preferred company names. DMCC will always aim to reserve your first choice and will ensure that there are no other companies with the same name or a name similar enough to be indistinguishable. Please be aware that there are certain words that may not be used and these are clearly mentioned on the application. The name of all new companies will end in DMCC. Please note that branch companies will always adopt the name of the parent company followed by the suffix ‘DMCC Branch’.

I have decided to form a company in DMCC. Whom should I contact next?

Congratulations on your decision. You are among a large and growing group of entrepreneurs and business people who have chosen DMCC as their preferred destination to do business. To continue the process please: 1) Complete the online form 
2) Call the DMCC Call Centre at 800 3622 or +9714 4249600
3) Email us on setup@dmcc.ae
4) Visit our New Company Set Up Counter number 13 at Level 1, Almas Tower, Jumeirah Lakes Towers

How many days will it take to set up a company?

As soon as the necessary documents have been submitted online, your company can be set up within two to three weeks. In the interest of maintaining DMCC Free Zone’s reputation as the place for good business, DMCC conducts due diligence reviews as part of all company setup procedures. In a limited number of cases, DMCC reserves the right to refuse to set up a company and the applicant will be informed.

I currently have a company in another UAE Free Zone, can I transfer that to DMCC?

No, you cannot transfer a company or license from any Free Zone to another; you will need to set up as a new company. However, we can aim to give you the same company name and activity. Please contact our Member Services Team to discuss further.

2. Documents Required

Does a client need to provide a power of attorney?

It is not mandatory for clients to have power of attorney (POA) unless they require someone to represent them before the authorities if they are not available. A Power of Attorney (POA) is a written legal authorization by an individual(s) to another individual(s) to represent or legally act on his or her behalf. In the case of company affairs, the powers may vary from incorporating the company to any post incorporation amendments, where the POA holder represents the individual(s) before the authorities to sign the Resolution, Memorandum, and Articles of Association among other documents. A POA remains in force until revoked, or for a limited time.

What documents are required to form a company?

All requirements are outlined under company set up

Do you have formats of the resolutions required for formation of company?

Yes, suggested formats are available for download here

3. Costs

What is the first year breakdown cost of setting up a company?

Please click here to view the breakdown of our first year costs.

Are there any fees when submitting the Company Setup online application?

Yes, there is an initial application fee of AED 1000 for company setup online application.

What methods of payment can I use?

DMCC allows multiple payment options including cash, cheque, credit card, and direct deposits. Once licensed, most of our member companies choose to keep a minimum balance in their member portal account, which enables them to use services immediately without having to top up the account first.

What are the pricing rules for licenses and activities?

There are three types of licenses; Services, Trading and Industrial. Each license carries an annual fee of AED20,000 (Different Pricing for Industrial license, General Trading, Business Centre and Hotel would apply)
Within each license type, up to 6 activities in the same division (activity code beginning with the same first 2 digits i.e. 50xx-xx) can be included in the fee of AED20,000 annually.

Additional activities over 6 activities beginning with the same first 2 digits (i.e. 50xx-xx) can be added for a fee of AED1,510 per activity annually.
Additional activities that begin with the same first 1 digit (i.e. 51xx-xx) can be added for a fee of AED10,000 annually, and this allows up to 6 activities from that same new activity division (2 digit group i.e. 51xx-xx).
Additional activities that begin with completely different first 2 digits (i.e. 74xx-xx) can be added for a fee of AED20,000 annually, and this allows up to 6 activities from that same new activity division (2 digit group i.e. 74xx-xx).
Any activities that are from a different license type (Services, Trading and Industrial) will require a new license, at a fee of AED20,000 annually regardless of the code. (Different Pricing for Industrial license would apply)

If a company wishes to operate from two different buildings in JLT, a different license is required for each location.
Any amendment to license activities, will incur a one-time administration fee of AED1,510.

4. Business Activities

What kind of activities that are allowed in DMCC?

At DMCC, you can choose from over 600 business activities ranging from over 20 sectors such as Energy, Commodities, Gold and Diamonds, Technology, Constructions, FMCG, Healthcare, Aviation, Shipping, Education, Media, Professional Services, Financial Services as well as Personal and Community Services. For further details, please refer to the DMCC Allowed Activity List on www.dmcc.ae under the How-To Guides webpage —> Starting a Company under 'Resources' and Managing a Company under 'Licensing Services'. 

Can a trading and service activity be on the same license?

No, they have to be on two different licenses. All trading activities will be grouped under one Trading License and all service activities will be grouped under one Service License.

How many activities can I have under one license?

Within each license type (Trading, Service or Industrial), up to six business activities in the same Division (activity code beginning with the same first two digits i.e. 50xx-xx) can be included in the standard annual license fee. Additional fees will apply when adding activities from a different Division. (Please refer to Costs Section)

Can I add an activity after my license is issued, what should I apply for?

Yes, you can.
In case you wish to add an activity from the same license type (adding a trading activity on your trading license), then you can apply for ‘Change of Activity’ through your DMCC Member Portal. For further details, please refer to the How-To-Guides under Managing a Company on DMCC website www.dmcc.ae.
In case you wish to add an activity from a different license type (adding a service activity while holding a trading license), this will be considered as an additional license, hence, you will need to apply for a new Service License through your DMCC Member Portal. For further details, please refer to the How-To-Guides under Managing a Company on DMCC website www.dmcc.ae.

If I have a Free Zone company, can I do business outside the Free Zone?

Yes, your company may conduct business outside of the UAE without restriction, provided it is legal. If you wish to trade within the UAE (known as “Onshore”) there are two main methods for doing so. The first one is to trade directly with an LLC company that has an import/export license. As part of the terms of trade, they would need to clear any goods through customs. Secondly, you may enter into an agreement with a logistics company that would clear the goods and deliver them to the mainland. For services companies wishing to provide services to a company outside the free zone, the general rule is that the services must be provided within the Free zone. There are certain exceptions, such as recruitment services where stricter rules apply.

Are there any activities that would require special approvals?

Yes, there are a number of activities that are regulated by third party authorities where a No Objection Certificate (NOC) is required in order to add such activity on DMCC license.  For example, In order to open a Clinic in DMCC Free Zone, an approval from the Dubai Health Authority is required. 

Do business activities require specific property type?

Yes, while most activities do not require a particular property type (Flexi Desk, Service Office, Physical Office or Retail Space), certain activities require a specific property type such as a physical office space or retail space. Please check the Property Type requirement related to your selected activity when searching for or selecting activities on DMCC Member Portal. For further details, please refer to the DMCC Allowed Activity List on www.dmcc.ae under the How-To Guides webpage.

Are there any additional property requirements related to additional licenses?

Yes, having more than one license will require additional property arrangements, which depends on the property type designated to the selected business activity. Such as additional physical office space that should maintain a minimum of 50 square meters per license, additional Service Office per license, or additional Flexi Desk per license. 

Is a business plan required for all business activities?

Not all activities require a business plan. Please check the Business Plan requirement related to your selected activity when searching for or selecting activities on DMCC Member Portal. For further details, please refer to the DMCC Allowed Activity List on www.dmcc.ae under the How-To-Guides webpage.

As a Branch Company, can we add any activity that we wish?

A Branch Company can indulge in the activities that the parent company is currently performing provided these activities are available in DMCC.

Does DMCC require a specific Business Plan format?

No, DMCC does not require any specific format for business plan. A typical business plan should include details of the business, its operating activities and regions, SWOT and financial analysis.

5. Types of Licenses

What Types of Licenses Does DMCC Issue?

The types of licenses offered at DMCC are
Trade License: To carry out trading activities as specified in the License
Service License: To carry out service activities as specified in the License
Industrial License: To carry out light manufacturing activities as specified in the License

Can I apply for two separate licenses under one company name?

Yes, this is possible depending on the satisfaction of the conditions of the licenses. In some cases, where a company wishes to conduct several activities that are similar in nature the authority allows unlimited activities to be conducted under one license. However, if the activities are unrelated, separate licenses are required. DMCC offers a General Trading License that allows a client to trade from a paper clip right up to an airplane. The products and categories that are covered under General Trading are defined by Customs and are subject to change based on Customs requirements. There are certain product classifications that are not covered under General Trading License, including Defence Equipment / Military, Gold and Gold Jewellery, Diamonds and Diamond Jewellery and Tobacco and Tobacco Products. We recommend you speak to one of our expert Member Services Executives who will advise you further.

6. Importing and Exporting of Goods

Do I need to pay Customs duty to bring the goods to DMCC?

Free Zone licensees can import goods or equipment into the Free Zone from a foreign country without payment of customs duties. While Free Zones are physically within the borders of the UAE, they are outside the customs borders. Customs duty is only paid when goods are moved out of the Free Zone; that is, imported into the UAE. Numerous warehousing facilities are available in the port for companies that wish to store and re-export their goods. A deposit is payable to the full value of the customs duty, which is refunded on re-export. DMCC recommends that its members contact Dubai Customs to ensure they are completely familiar with all requirements. It is important to ensure that customs records are kept in good order otherwise penalties may apply. Please visit www.dubaicustoms.gov.ae and go to the Free Zone section under Declaration and Clearance.

What can I import?

Generally, Free Zone companies may import goods that are consistent with their commercial license. The main exception to this is when a company wishes to import goods for their own use, say furniture, and equipment for their office operations. This is allowed, however it is important for those companies to keep good records of all items that have been brought into the Free Zone, as customs will need to see that those items have not been, later, transferred to the mainland without payment of customs duties. It is important to ensure your company is fully compliant.

Can I sell goods in the local market?

You can sell goods in the local market through a distributor. A Free Zone company may not directly retail goods to the local market.

What import and export duty applies to goods?

The Customs duty for most items is calculated on the CIF value at the rate of 5%. Imports of liquor/alcohol are subject to a 50% customs duty on their CIF value while imports of tobacco products draw a 100% duty on their CIF value. Many essential items are duty free such as staple foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals. Gold and diamond traders benefit from a special arrangement between Dubai Customs and DMCC. Diamonds may be imported at a rate of 1% service fee, and gold is imported at a rate of 0.32% service fee, both payable to Dubai Customs. Due to the changing nature of customs, it is always advisable to refer to www.dubaicustoms.gov.ae, wherein the duties applicable are available according to HS codes.

How easy it is to market/exhibits our products in the Dubai?

The UAE has a growing economy with demonstrable political stability. The Dubai Government has invested significantly in developing a robust framework for foreign direct investment. Moreover, DMCC actively works with member companies, creating opportunities for business, through industry networks and clubs. Dubai World Trade Centre hosts a vast programme of exhibitions and conferences that are attended by global industry leaders.

What documents do customs need to see?

The documents required by customs may include goods declaration, bill of lading, certificate of origin and invoice copies. However, other documents may be required. As customs requirements may change from time to time, we advise you to visit the Dubai Customs web site for the most up to date information. www.dubaicustoms.gov.ae

What are HS codes?

The Harmonised System Codes (HS Code) is a standard issued by the World Customs Organization (WCO) to unify the classification of the goods. These are six digit codes for identifying different products across the world. For example the code for natural pearls is structured as follows: Section XIV: Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, precious metals, metals clad with precious metal, and articles thereof; imitation jewellery; coin. Chapter 71: Natural or cultured pearls, precious stones, precious metals, metals clad with precious metal, and article thereof; imitation jewellery, coin. Heading 71.01 Pearls, natural or cultured, whether or not worked or graded but not strung, mounted or set; pearls, natural or cultured, temporarily strung for convenience of transport. Code 7101.10 Natural pearls. A full record of HS codes is available through Dubai Customs.

Does DMCC have a Port of its own?

No, however, Jumeirah Lakes Towers is located within 10 km of the main Jebel Ali port, one of the largest ports in the world.

COMPANY SERVICES

When can the company apply for Registration Amendments?

DMCC companies holding a valid company license can apply for any Registration Amendments.

What is the effect of registering Share Pledge Agreement?

It creates a valid pledge over the shares of the company and prevents the transfer of the shares without the consent of the pledgee (named beneficiary of the pledge).

To whom can the shares be pledged? Can it be pledged to an individual or a company?

DMCC only registers shares pledged to a financial institution such as banks as they have the capacity to secure the pledge.

What is the minimum age requirement for an individual to be appointed as an officer of the company?

One should be 21 years old at the time of the appointment.

What are the types of powers being exercised by the officers of the company?

All company officers have inherent powers as mandated by the company’s Articles of Association.  It can be exercised either:
- Singly (can act and represent the company alone)
- Jointly (powers/authorities will be exercised together with another officer)
- Limited (powers/authorities to be exercised are limited as indicated in the Resolution appointing officers to such posts)

When can members apply for the 'Cancellation of Existing Access Approval' service request?

Members can apply for this service request when they wish to cancel an existing access approval/card (PAC). If in case the member wishes to apply employment visa for an employee with active PAC, they first need to cancel the PAC.
Note: This does not cover the temporary access card (TAC) as it is valid for a short period and expires automatically. 

What is the cost of applying for the 'Cancellation of Existing Access Approval' service request?

It is free of charge.

Is the Suffix Change considered as a Company Legal Name Change?

No, it is not a company legal name change as the DMCC Free Zone Authority mandates the change where JLT is now known as an address only; noting that members can obtain a Suffix Change Letter from DMCC that certifies that their JLT Company is the same legal entity, which they can present to any requesting party (Electronic).

1. DMCC Member Portal

Why didn’t I receive my login details for the DMCC portal?

Many organisations use spam filters to restrict junk emails. Sometimes these filters prevent legitimate emails from reaching the intended recipient. This has affected some DMCC members. If your organisation has marked the Salesforce domain as a spam category, you will NOT receive login in details for the DMCC portal. As a preventative measure DMCC strongly recommends that, its members contact their Email Administrator and ask them to ‘whitelist’ the Domain IP Ranges, found in the following link: IP Address Range to be whitelisted.

How can I view my portal balance?

The portal balance will be available for view on the right side of the page after you are logged into your DMCC portal account. Please check under the 'company overview' section.

What do I do if I have forgotten my password?You can reset your password by following the simple steps below: 1. Go to the member services home page 2. Click on 'Forgot or reset your password?' 3. Enter the User Name 4. Click on 'Continue' 5. Password res

You can reset your password by following the simple steps below:
1. Go to the
member services home page
2. Click on 'Forgot or reset your password?'
3. Enter the User Name
4. Click on 'Continue'
5. Password reset link will be sent to the user’s registered e-mail address
6. Click on the link and provide your new password

What do I do if my visa quota is incorrect?

Please get in touch with our Contact Centre on 800 3622 (toll free within the UAE) or +9714 424 9600 (outside the UAE) or email customercare@dmcc.ae to report your concern. 

Can I cancel a draft request?

Yes, if the status of the request is 'Draft', you can cancel the request by clicking on the button 'Cancel SR'.

How do I view my portal statement?

After logging into your account follow the below steps:
1. Click on the tab “Report Request” - located at the top of your dashboard.
2. Click on “Create New Report Request”
3. Select the record type of new record as “Portal Statement” then Click “Continue”
4. Click on “Save”
5. Wait for 5 minutes for the statement to generate.
6. Click again on the tab “Report Request” - located at the top of your dashboard.
7. Click on the “Report Request Number” - located Under “Recent Report Requests“ 
8. Click on “View”
9. The Portal Statement will be available to view and download.

How do I view my Bank Guarantee Statement?

After logging into your account follow the below steps:
1. Click on the tab “Report Request” - located at the top of your dashboard.
2. Click on “Create New Report Request”
3. Select the record type of new record as “BG Statement to Customer” then Click “Continue”
4. Click on “Save”
5. Wait for 5 minutes for the statement to generate.
6. Click again on the tab “Report Request” - located at the top of your dashboard.
7. Click on the “Report Request Number” – located Under “Recent Report Requests”
8. Click on “View”
9. The Bank Guarantee Statement will be available to view and download.

Is the Portal Compatible with different browsers and smart devices?

The DMCC Portal is compatible with many browsers including but not limited to: Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Safari. You can open the website from Smart phones and Tablets.

How can members access and reach the document re-upload steps from the company portal and perform the re-upload?

The member can follow the below manual steps for documents re-upload:
Step 1 - Login to DMCC online portal.
Step 2 - Click on Pending Actions. 
Step 3 - Check for the appropriate SR Step. 
Step 4 - Click on the SR number.
Step 5 - Navigate to "SR Documents" Section. 
Step 6 - Click "Download/Upload/Review Doc" to view the "Documents to Be Uploaded" page.
Step 7 - Please check the comments and perform the necessary action for the documents where its status is "re-upload".
Step 8 - Click Replace under the "Actions" heading to replace the old document as per the DMCC comments.
Step 9 - Complete the step 6 and 7 for all the documents marked for "re-upload".
Step 10 - Click the button "Return back to SR" at the top of the page to return the SR to DMCC.
Step 11 - Navigate to Section "Steps" and click on the Step No. where status is "Awaiting Re-upload".
Step 12 - Click "change" link beside "Status" to update the step status from “Awaiting re-upload” to “Document Re-uploaded”. (Only if the step is still marked as ‘Awaiting Re-upload’ despite performing all the above)

How can members perform the documents re-upload steps?

The member can follow the below steps for documents re-upload:
Step 1 - Login to DMCC online portal. 
Step 2 - Click on the link in the request for document re-upload notification to go directly to the "Documents to be Uploaded" page.
Step 3 - Please check the comments and perform the necessary action for the documents where its status is "re-upload".
Step 4 - Click replace under the "Actions" heading to replace the old document as per the DMCC comments.
Step 5 - Complete step 3 and 4 for all the documents marked for "re-upload".
Step 6 - Click the button "Return back to SR" at the top of the page to return the SR to DMCC.
Step 7 - Update the step status from “Awaiting re-upload” to “Document Re-uploaded”. (Only if the step is still marked as ‘Awaiting Re-upload’ despite performing all the above)
 

2. License Renewal

Are you looking for information on renewing your license?

Find answers to all your questions related to license renewal such as the tenancy contract, Annual Operation Fitness Certificate, Third party liability insurance, workmen’s compensation and more at www.dmcc.ae/license-renewal-faqs.pdf.

3. Company Closure

What are the different types of company closure (winding up)?

The winding up of the company may either be:
1)    Summary Winding Up under Regulation 81.1.1 of the DMCC Company Regulations: A summary winding up applies in cases where a company either has no liabilities or is able to discharge its liabilities within 6 months, and commences with a statement of solvency.
2)    By its creditors under Regulation 81.1.2 of the DMCC Company Regulations: A Creditors Winding Up commences when the company passes a resolution for winding up and is followed by a meeting with the company’s creditors.
3)    By the court under UAE Commercial Transactions Law No. 18 of 1993 (Volume 5, Bankruptcy and Preventive Composition) and other applicable legislation

My business is not doing well and I need to liquidate the company. Where do I find a liquidators list?

At present, DMCC has not prescribed specific qualifications required for a person to act as a liquidator. The liquidator must be an individual. DMCC does not provide a list of liquidators. However, we recommend that a suitably qualified individual to be appointed. If you are a Director of the company, we strongly advise you to ensure you are fully aware of your obligations under the rules and regulations governing a Free Zone company.

Why is it mandatory to appoint a Liquidator in the winding up of a company?

It is mandatory to appoint a Liquidator for winding up a company, as the Liquidator carries out an important duty by determining the assets and liabilities of the company and settling those liabilities in a proper manner. 
All powers of the Shareholders/Directors of the company shall cease upon the appointment of the Liquidator for winding up.  The Liquidator shall determine the financial standing of the company at the time of liquidation and shall be responsible in the discharge of the assets and liabilities of the company.  All these will be included in the Liquidation Report to be provided by the Liquidator during the winding up process.

Who can be appointed as a Liquidator of the company?

Any chartered accountant or law firm registered in UAE can be appointed as Liquidator.  The Legal Registrar may, however prescribe the qualifications required for a Liquidator.

What are the two stages in the liquidation process?

  • First is the termination of the company’s license/s
  • Second is the company deregistration or dissolution
Both of these stages involve submission of resolutions, and may include a public notification process.

What is the publication requirement and who is responsible for this?

A total of 28 days public notification is required during the liquidation process- 14 days for each of the stages in the liquidation process. DMCC carries out the publication in local Arabic daily newspaper (Al Bayan Newspaper) as part of the liquidation process.

What proof is there that the company has been closed?

Official termination letters are provided by DMCC at the end of the process of winding up.

Can a Company Termination application be processed without the NOC from DEWA or ETISALAT/DU?

No, the company termination cannot be processed without the submission of the NOC from DEWA or ETISALAT/DU.

PROPERTY SOLUTIONS

Can I buy an office in the DMCC Free Zone?

Yes, freehold office space is available to lease or purchase within JLT. To learn more visit our Office Solutions page.

Does DMCC offer flexi-desks/virtual office solutions?

DMCC has a wide range of Business Centre products and services available including flexi desks and serviced offices. Please contact DMCC on 800 3622 (toll free within the UAE), + 9714 424 9600 (outside the UAE) or enter your enquiry online at http://www.dmcc.ae/open-a-business-property-services.

Can our company have multiple offices?

Yes, you can have multiple offices in one tower on one license. However, DMCC requires separate licenses for offices that are in separate towers.

What storage facilities are available for precious stones, gold, diamonds etc?

DMCC has state-of-the-art gold and diamond vaults available to lease at Almas Tower, home to the Dubai Diamond Exchange and Dubai Gold Exchange. For vault rates, please contact DMCC on 800 3622 (toll free within the UAE), + 9714 424 9600 (outside the UAE).

Do you have warehouses available?

No, we do not offer warehouse facilities. However, clients may sublease a warehouse outside the free zone or utilize the warehousing and logistic facilities of one of our many member companies operating at the seaport or airport.

Do you have land available for development?

While much of Jumeirah Lakes Towers is already developed making it a very attractive place for business and residents alike, there are still a limited number of land plots available for development. Please contact DMCC on 800 3622 (toll free within the UAE), + 9714 424 9600 (outside the UAE).

Do you allow factories in the DMCC area?

Light industries are allowed in the Free Zone.

What are the facilities for labour accommodation?

There is limited labour accommodation within the JLT Free Zone. For, enquiries, please contact us on the following contact details:
E: customercare@dmcc.ae
T: +971 4 424 9600
Toll Free 800 DMCC or 800 3622

Can my staff live on my factory premises?

DMCC has developed specialised facilities for companies operating in the jewellery and gems sector, whereby staff may be accommodated near the industrial premises.

Can a company with multiple licenses have a Flexi Desk for each license separately?

Yes, any company having multiple licenses can have a Flexi Desk for each license provided that the license activities do not specify certain property type (i.e. the activity does not require a retail shop, physical office space...etc.)
Example: If a company has a trading license on a Flexi Desk and wishes to apply for an additional service license, the new license can also be on another Flexi Desk or the company has also the option to move to a physical office of at least 100 sqm to accommodate both licenses.

EMPLOYMENT & VISA SERVICES

What are the services DMCC offers for employee and dependents visa services?

DMCC provides an array of employee and dependents visa services. For FAQs related to DMCC Visa Services, please refer to www.dmcc.ae/Employment-Visa-Services-FAQs.pdf.
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COMPLIANCE SERVICES

Who should submit the Audited Financial Reports?

All companies registered and licensed by DMCC and operate within the DMCC Free Zone are required to submit their Audited Financial Statements. 

Are branch companies required to submit the Audited Financial Statements?

Yes, Branch Companies are required to submit the Audited Financial Statements ensuring one of the options:
Submit a copy of the Audit Financial Statements of the branch office along with the original Company Audited Financial Report Summary Sheet.
Alternatively,
Submit a copy of the consolidated financials of the parent company and the Company Audited Financial Report Summary Sheet including the contribution of the branch.
Kindly indicate zero (0) for the fields that are not applicable to the branch company.

How can subsidiary companies, with Audited Financial Reports consolidated with the parent company, submit their Audited Financial Statements?

Subsidiary companies, with Audited Financial Reports consolidated with the parent company, can submit a copy of the Consolidated Financials of the parent company and the Company Audited Financial Report Summary Sheet that should include the contribution of the subsidiary company into the consolidated accounts of the group/parent company. Kindly indicate zero (0) for the fields that are not applicable to the subsidiary company.

How to submit the Audited Financial Statements?

Please refer to the instructions on the process of submitting the Audited Financial Statements on the following link under Compliance services: http://www.dmcc.ae/managing-a-company.

When are the Audited Financial Statements due for submission?

All companies are required to submit their Audited Financial Statements within 90 days from the end of their Financial Year. 

What is Company’s Financial Year?

Financial Year, in respect of a company means, each successive period of 12 months commencing immediately after the end of the previous financial year with the exception of the first financial year. The first financial year of a company shall commence on the license issued date and shall be for a period of not less than 6 months, nor more than 18 months (provided that it does not exceed the end of the Financial Year).Branch companies can follow the same Financial Year of their parent or Mother Company. 

How to change the company's Financial Year and when will it be effective?

To change the company’s Financial Year, please refer to the guidelines available on the website. Kindly refer to the below link:
http://www.dmcc.ae/ManagingACompanyDocs/2.2.7.1.appointment-for-change-of-financial-year26-OCT-2015.pdf?v=1
Please note that you can apply online for the change in financial year, keeping in mind that it will be effective only on the next financial year.

Our business has no operation/activity and no bank account; do we still need to submit the Audited Financial Statements?

Yes, As per article 4.5 of Free Zone Rules and Regulation, “Licensee must conduct all or a substantial part of their business or operations within the Free Zone in order to maintain a valid License and Registration”, irrespective of the company being operational or not, it needs to submit the Audit Financial Statements regardless of its business condition. Moreover, it is also required for the DMCC member to be operational in order to be able to renew the license.

Is there a standard currency that should be used in the Audited Financial Statements?

Yes, DMCC system accepts only the UAE dirham currency figures, hence, if your current financials are in USD or any other currencies, kindly convert these figures into UAE Dirham using the current market rate to fill out the Company Audited Financial Report Summary Sheet.

Who should audit the company's Financial Statements?

Kindly refer to our suggested List of Dubai Auditors on the following link: http://www.dmcc.ae/List-of-Audit-Companies-2016-29052016.pdf
Please note that Auditing firms that are not yet on this list are also accepted; however, they are requested to submit their Letter of Intent and requirements to register in DMCC List of Auditors.
For Branch/Subsidiary companies that have chosen to submit the Consolidated Statements, the Auditor of the parent company needs to be the same Auditor to sign and confirms the Company's Audited Financial Report Summary Sheet

What will happen if a company does not submit the Audited Financial Statements on time?

The company will receive a notification to submit the Audited Financial Statement. If there is no response on the notification within the specific timeframe, there will be an initial fine of AED 5,000 and a sanction on the company portal account. Please note that Fines are recurring on a monthly basis until the company submits it is Audited Financial Statements.

Can a company appeal against the fines charged to it?

Yes, a company can appeal against the fines charged to it; where the Free Zone Management will review the appeal and DMCC will advise the company on its final decision. To find out about the appeal application procedures, please refer to the Compliance Services section at http://www.dmcc.ae/managing-a-company

Can a company request an extension for the submission of its Audit Financial Statements?

Yes, to request extension, a proper Request Confirmation Letter from the company’s auditor must be submitted to DMCC; noting that it will be subject to DMCC Authority approval.

How will my company’s financial reporting period be determined?

When you set up your DMCC Company, your first financial year automatically commences on the day your company was registered (‘incorporated’). Even if your company has not yet become licensed and commenced its operations, the date of incorporation is the first day of the company’s financial existence. This is because it is the date of establishment of the company’s equity (shares) which must be recorded in the financial statements.
 
Selection of the financial year closing date is at the choice of the company. Most companies select 31 December, 30 June, 30 September, or 31 March, but it may be any date. This date will be recorded in the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association at the time of incorporation, and can only be amended by an official request through DMCC.
 
The first financial reporting period will depend on the following:

If the company registration date is less than 6 months before the first occurrence of the financial reporting closing date, then the first financial statements will not be due until the second occurrence of the financial reporting closing date.
Eg. Company registered on 11th November 2015. Financial closing date is 31 December. The first financial statements are for the period 11th November 2015 to 31st December 2016, covering a period of 13 months and 19 days.
 
If the company registration date is more than 6 months before the first closing date, then the first financial statements will be due on the first occurrence of the closing date.
Eg. Company registered on 1st May 2015. Financial closing date is 31 December. The first financial statements are for the period 1st May 2015 to 31 December 2015 a period of 8 months.
 
Thereafter, the financial reporting period will always comprise the 12-month period up to the financial closing date, unless there has been an amendment to the financial reporting period.

What if my company did not commence operations during the first financial reporting period?

Companies that have not yet commenced operations prior to the end of the first financial reporting period must submit a statement confirming that the company has not yet commenced operations.

RULES, REGULATIONS AND OBLIGATIONS

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

DMCC companies must comply with the following:
1) DMCC Company Regulations (1/03), 2003 and its amendments DMCC Free Zone Rules and Regulations, 3rd edition, 2012 and its amendments;
2) Any UAE Federal Law (to the extent that they apply to the Free Zone) Any applicable Dubai laws to the extent they apply to the Free Zone and insofar as these do not interfere with the overriding principles contained within the FZ Regulations, and
3) Any mandatory industry codes and/or professional memberships that are a requirement to hold a particular license category. DMCC company regulations and Free Zone rules and regulations are available on the website.

Why does DMCC request notarised or notarised and attested documents?

International Law mandates the legalisation to authenticate or certify a legal document so a foreign country's legal system will recognize it as valid and with full legal effect.

What is notarisation of a document?

Notarisation of a copy certificate is a legal method of confirming that a reproduction of an original document is true, exact, and complete.

What is legalisation?

Legalisation is the process of authenticating or certifying a legal document so a foreign country's legal system will recognize it as valid and with full legal effect. It is the official confirmation that a signature, seal or stamp on a document is genuine. Having a document legalised does not mean that its contents are accurate, and it does not carry any sort of official approval by the office that performs the legalisation.

Who performs the legalisation?

The national department responsible for foreign affairs of the country from which the document is issued usually performs legalisation.

How are documents legalised?

The office performing the legalisation will firstly check the signature, seal or stamp on the document against their database. Then they attach an apostille (the legal term for the legalisation certificate) to confirm that the document is genuine.

Why do documents need to be legalised?

If you are going to use certain documents overseas, for business or personal reasons, you may be required to have those documents legalised before they can be accepted. The stamp of authenticity gives the authority you are dealing with confidence that it is a genuine document.

What is attestation?

It is the act of witnessing a signature for declaring that a document was properly signed and declared by the signer to be his or her signature. Example: Attesting UK Documents for use in the UAE - the United Arab Emirates require documents that are issued in the UK to be attested before they can be legally used in the UAE. This is a two-step process, which requires the addition of an Apostle Stamp by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and then subsequent consular attestation by the UAE Embassy in London. For the avoidance of doubt, attestation is sometimes referred to as legalisation.

Is there a requirement to appoint auditors and to submit annual accounts of the company?

Yes, an annual financial audit must be conducted and submitted to DMCC. While the standard reporting period is one calendar year, a company may nominate a different reporting period. The first reporting period will commence from the date of incorporation and must not be less than six months and not more than eighteen months.

Does the audit have to be done by a local auditor?

The auditor needs to hold valid license by the UAE Ministry of Economy. Before engaging an audit firm, DMCC advises all companies to ensure their auditor holds the necessary licenses.

MEDIATION SERVICES

What is mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary and flexible form of dispute resolution in which a neutral third party assists parties to work towards a negotiated settlement of their dispute. The parties retain control of the decision on whether or not to settle and on what terms.

What are the advantages of mediation?

Mediation provides a private forum in which the parties can gain a better understanding of each other's positions and work together to explore options for resolution. It often narrows the issues in dispute very quickly and whilst it does not always result in settlement, it is a highly successful method of ending disputes. Most importantly, in case of settlement between the parties, it avoids the significant time and expense of formal court proceedings.

Does mediation mean that I cannot take my claim to court?

No, mediation is a consensual, optional process and a party can end its participation in a mediation whenever it chooses to, and for any reason. Mediation does not prevent a party taking its claim to court at any time unless the parties have settled their claims and have agreed that the matters between them are resolved. 

Who can attend a mediation?

The parties themselves should attend the mediation. However, the parties may choose to bring along another person to act in a supportive capacity if they feel it would be helpful.  In the case of a party that is a company, its representative must have authority to negotiate a settlement at the mediation. 

What is the role of DMCC as mediator?

The mediator from DMCC will act as an impartial facilitator to assist the parties with their negotiations. It is not the mediator's role to tell the parties what their rights are, or how they should resolve the dispute, and he or she does not have authority to impose any binding decision on the parties.
Unlike a judge or arbitrator, the mediator will not decide the case on its merits, but will work to facilitate agreement between the parties. The mediator will also ensure that all parties understand and agree to the terms of any settlement reached.
DMCC asks all parties participating in the mediation process to sign an acknowledgement accepting the role that DMCC plays in the mediation and what it will and will not do in resolving the dispute.

What should the parties do to prepare for a mediation?

The dispute is more likely to be resolved when the parties are well prepared. Parties should review the documents relevant to the dispute in advance of the mediation and be clear as to where they stand on each of the issues. It is also important to provide documents to DMCC ahead of the mediation so that the mediator can prepare for the mediation. 

What happens at a typical mediation?

DMCC will review the documents provided to it in advance of the mediation to identify the key issues. The mediator conducting the mediation will greet the parties, provide an overview of the process and his or her role, and will invite each party to give its perspective on the dispute and highlight points of particular concern. The mediator will then try to facilitate the parties in negotiating a settlement, and in doing so may have private discussions with each party. The mediator may also suggest a further meeting with the parties if he or she considers it appropriate (for example, if one party needs further time to consider a particular issue).
If, at any time, a party considers that a settlement is unlikely to, or cannot, be achieved, that party may withdraw from the procedure and seek alternative means of resolution, such as court action.