Starting and running a business involves a lot of groundwork. Fortunately, opening a corporate bank account for your business in the UAE is easy and convenient.

A company in the UAE (offshore or mainland) is required to open a corporate bank account to undertake business. The UAE has a vast number of banks ranging from international banks such as HSBC, Standard Chartered and others to local banks such as Emirates NBD and ADCB. Opening and setting up a corporate bank account is an important decision and you need to carefully consider options that best suit your requirements.

First and foremost, you need to get a business license that the bank will review in order to confirm your company as a legitimate business. To establish a business you need to choose your business activity, decide a final company name, fill in the application form, submit the documents and receive your business license.

Documents required

Gathering all the required documents is key in ensuring a smooth process while opening a corporate account.

Here are the list of documents required:

  1. Company trade license
  2. Share certificates
  3. Certificates of registration
  4. Passport copies of shareholders
  5. Company memorandum and articles of association
  6. Board of directions resolution to open the corporate account and assigning authorized signatories.

These are usually the standard documents required while opening a bank account for a business. The exact documents required might vary depending on the nature and size of your business as well. It is good practice to have all these documents ready. If the bank asks for any further documents, you won’t have to waste any time gathering the mentioned documents above.

Companies based outside UAE

For companies based outside the UAE, all documents should be attested by the UAE embassy from the country of origin as well as The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UAE.

Residence visa for shareholders

Some banks in the UAE require proof of residency visa from shareholders while other banks don’t require it. It is best to find out if the bank you are choosing has such requirements to minimize any delay in the process.

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Duration of application process

The time frame for opening a corporate bank account varies from one bank to another. There is no set timeframe and it might take 2-4 weeks to open an account depending on the circumstances. It can take longer if certain documents are not verified by the bank.