The UAE is emerging as one of the fastest-growing economies, on the international front, and the opportunities for starting a business here, are galore. For expatriates, setting up a business venture, in the UAE, is relatively easy. The rules and regulations regarding the setting up of business, by foreigners, are well-defined and straightforward.
The country has introduced several economic reforms that facilitate business setting up by foreign nationals and an unwritten assurance of ease of doing business. The whole scenario is promising and encourages foreigners to bring an existing business into the UAE or start a new business venture. What makes the proposition lucrative is that there are no taxes levied on companies’ incomes, barring a few, such as foreign banks and oil and gas companies.
While the policies and procedures for expatriate entrepreneurs are simple, they are required to comply. One such specification requires certificate attestation and commercial document attestation. The certificate attestation in UAE is mandatory for a work visa, and commercial document attestation in UAE is needed for setting up of business.
Understanding Document Attestation
Attestation is a process that involves verification of the documents by a competent authority. In the UAE, only specific administrative and government agencies have the power to authenticate documents. The procedure is in place to prevent fraudulent persons, with fake documents from entering the country. Several consultants and agencies, in the UAE, assist prospective entrepreneurs with the attestation formalities, for a nominal charge.
The Relevance of Document Attestation
Why is document attestation required for setting up a business in the UAE? The main reasons that the UAE is particular about document attestation are –
- Prevent deceitful persons from gaining entry into the country, using fake documents and credentials
- Ensuring only genuine people, with no links to nefarious groups and communities are granted entry into the UAE
Confirming that the best talent comes into the country
- Checking the legitimacy of the business proposal
- Verifying the authenticity of the documents
Document attestation is similar to a background check and done by scrutinising various documents, such as personal documents, educational documents and commercial documents.
List of documents that require attestation in the UAE
1. Personal documents and certificates
Personal documents include records that establish the applicant’s identity, such as, passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce certificate, work and experience certificate etc. The passport proves a person’s nationality and identity. At the same time, the birth certificate establishes age, place of birth and corroborates identity, and the rest of the documents indicate the individual’s marital status and work experience.
2. Commercial Documents and Certificates
Starting a business in the UAE requires requisite permissions and licenses from government authorities, the most crucial of these is the trade license. The trade license is an official document that accords foreign individuals and companies approval to trade in the UAE. A trade license gives the licensee explicit rights to establish a business or trade in the country.
Suppose established overseas businesses wish to operate in the UAE. In that case, the original business-related documents, issued in another country, will need to be attested, before applying for a trade license.
Commercial documents comprise all documents required to open a new branch or office or start a business. The documents and certificates that will need to be verified include –
- Export Invoice
- Power of Attorney
- Trading license
- Company license
- Certificate of origin
- Certificate of incorporation
- Memorandum of articles etc
Before approving the visa, the government agencies seek information on company/business status, assets, plan of action, details on start-ups etc.
3. Educational Certificates
Educational documents need attestation as well. The scrutiny of these documents establishes the applicant’s academic credentials.
Procedure for Attestation
A defined set of structure and procedures for attesting documents is prescribed under the law, that applicants must follow. The attestation of documents should happen in sequential order— starting with one agency certifying the papers followed by the next and so on. It is essential to maintain the right order, of which the agency attests the documents, to avoid delays and hassles. You cannot skip the attestation from one agency, or jump the sequential order. Attestation offices do not entertain documents that the earlier attestation office, on the list, has not approved.
The order in which to have the documents attested is –
- Attestation by the Notary Public
- Attestation by the State Home Department
- Attestation by the Ministry of External Affairs
- Attestation by the UAE embassy attestation centre
- Attestation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Attestation (MOFA)
How the document attestation impacts new business setup
A commercial venture in the UAE entails the inclusion of economic activities; they go hand in hand. In situations like this, the government must verify the minutest detail about the applicant, before granting a visa to start commercial activities in the country. Hence, it is crucial to have all documents in order, before submitting them for attestation. Simply put, the attestations pave the way for obtaining a visa and trade license to operate businesses in the UAE. The checks satisfy the UAE government of the veracity of the documents and the applicant’s honest intent.
If you intend to set up a business in the UAE, you will need to follow the above guidelines. However, the whole process could seem daunting and may deter you from pursuing your dream. How do you go about getting the documents attested could be one of your main concerns. That is where a reliable attestation service could be of assistance.
Agencies providing attestation services in UAE handle document attestation for their clients and take the burden off them. You can trust an attestation agency to get the job done for you. With the attestation taken care of, you can turn all your energy and efforts into other important aspects concerning your new venture