Applying for a bank account in the UAE: Why business activity matters on your trade licence

The UAE has rapidly transformed into one of the leading financial and business hubs in the world, as investments and enterprises continue to thrive. It ranks 16th in the World Bank’s latest “Ease of Doing Business” listing, the highest spot attained in the Middle Eastern and African (MENA) region. 

The UAE is also home to a diverse set of industries – trade, tourism, healthcare, and manufacturing. All these make UAE an attractive launchpad for those looking to start their own business. 

The UAE has a mix of local and foreign banks that serve the financial needs of businesses. Banks in the UAE are famous for providing a high level of privacy, which provides another level of protection for corporate customers. 

Businesses can apply for a corporate account with international banks. For small enterprises or startups, it may be ideal to apply for an account with a local bank as they offer more flexibility. 

Opening a bank account to conduct any kind of business is relatively straightforward. However, you need to be privy to the different measures and regulations when it comes to corporate banking activities. 

Here are a few things to note when starting a corporate bank account:

Specifying your business activity on your trade licence

Businesses can only conduct any type of activities after registering and getting a licence. This is one of the first steps when starting a business in UAE. The licence serves as validation for the bank to recognise your business. Without a licence, banks may not recognise your business and approve your account. 

You can choose from different types of licences, but what matters is that your business activity matches the licence you’re applying for. This is especially important if you are applying for a bank account. 

For example, if you are planning to sell products online, you may need an e-trader licence. This reflects that your business activity will be conducted through social media. A commercial licence may be more appropriate for business activities that require importing products abroad and selling them online. 

In case your business activity does not reflect what is on your trade licence, this may cause issues with your bank. This is why you need to make sure your business activity matches what is indicated on your licence. Specifying this clearly may help increase the chances of getting approval from a bank.

Different types of business licences

Choosing the right business activity is not only important in applying for a bank account, but also for obtaining the right licence. 

  • Commercial – If you are selling products, whether online or retail, you may need a commercial licence. 
  • Industrial – This often includes businesses that specialise in manufacturing goods. 
  • Professional – If you are running a marketing, events, or similar types of consultancy services, a professional licence may be more appropriate. 
 
The more accurate you are with your business activity, the less trouble you will face when opening a bank account. The right business activity and licence will make it easier for the banks to understand the nature of your business, so be sure you have proper documentation. 

Getting assistance for opening your bank account

The regulations and documentation involved in opening a corporate bank account can be confusing for those who are just starting out their business. You do not have to handle everything on your own, though. 

Our team at ExpressPRO can help in opening your corporate bank account to make sure all the details and the right documents are submitted. This takes away the extra burden in setting up your business, so you can focus on more important aspects. 

One of the biggest advantages of getting assistance from our team is we can connect you with trusted banks. We can help you choose which one is most suited to your business and can best serve your needs when it comes to financing and managing your account. 

We will handle the paperwork and communicate with the banks on your behalf. We will basically act as your representatives so you can dedicate more time and effort into setting up your business. 

Ready to open a bank account for your business in the UAE?

If you are planning to set up a corporate bank account for your business, we are here to help. Contact our team and learn how to get started. Fill out the form below so our team can assist you with your business setup and bank account opening.

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