Agriculture in the UAE wasn’t always a popular business. Thanks to water scarcity and lack of arable soil, agricultural production in this region have had a challenging history. However, thanks to modern technology, increased water resources, and state-of-the-art irrigation systems, roughly 54 organic farms and three animal production facilities are now in the UAE. By 2013 alone, agricultural production has increased to cover over 4,000 hectares of organic farmland.
So, if you’re an entrepreneur interested in launching their own agriculture business in the UAE, this guide is for you! We’ll walk you through the process of company formation in the UAE. From the benefits of taking on this business activity to the costs, you can expect to undertake during licensing and formation. Let’s dive right in!
The Benefits of Operating an Agricultural Business in the UAE
There is a wide range of benefits to agricultural business setup in the UAE. From a business-friendly environment to lucrative tax incentives, there’s no shortage of ways that being a UAE grower can benefit you and your shareholders. So let’s take a look at just a few advantages this business activity carries with it!
1. Strategic Location
Thanks to the UAE’s proximity to the Arabian Gulf and international shipping routes, commodities’ export and imports are streamlined and effective. This gives you the power to quickly exchange goods without worrying about the red tape often found in transporting goods.
2. Modern Infrastructure
The UAE is home to modern infrastructure, including transportation, highways, and internet activity. But it’s also home to advanced irrigation systems and techniques that make owning and operating an agriculture business possible and financially rewarding.
3. Ease of Doing Business
The UAE government has long placed emphasis on developing straightforward processes for conducting business, making it easy and enjoyable to invest in and operate a company in the region. Between the tax benefits and the relaxed visa policies, finding a prosperous trade in the UAE has never been easier.
4. Skilled Workforce
The UAE has a large pool of skilled workers, making operating a business easy. You’ll find everything you need to operate a successful enterprise, from supply management to marketing and distribution.
5. Seminars and Training
Agriculture businesses can enjoy the benefits of training and seminars on modern farming practices and techniques, making your job easier and more efficient.
6. Tax Benefits
As we’ve mentioned, businesses operating in the UAE have no tax responsibilities and are permitted full ownership over their company. Additionally, you are permitted 100% repatriation of profits.
7. Economic and Political Stability
The UAE has a stable political and economic climate, minimizing financial risks in regions with tumultuous governance.
Documents Required to Start an Agricultural Business in the UAE
Securing the proper licensing is a big part of company formation in the UAE. This requires you to submit a license application through the UAE Department of Economic Development (DED). Along with your application, you’ll be required to submit the following documents:
• Copies of Passports for all Shareholders
• Copies of Visas
• Two Passport Sized Photographs
• Entry Visa Information and Stamp Pages
• Memorandum of Association
• Articles of Association
Starting an Agricultural Business in the UAE
As we’ve stated, the first step of forming your new business in the UAE will be to secure the appropriate licensing. For companies in the UAE farming industry, you’ll have the choice between one of several license types, including:
• Aquaculture License
• Agricultural Activity Practice License
• Livestock Production License
In many cases, investors will choose to hire a third-party business setup consultant to assist them with the process. But if you decide to apply for licensing on your own, here’s what you’ll need to know. Below, we’ve put together a small checklist to put you on the right track.
1. Choose Your Business Activity
There are plenty of different business activities to undertake in the UAE, and your first step in the business formation process will be to decide which one works best for your needs.
2. Register a Trade Name
Your business venture will need a name! This will require you to submit a trade name request to the DED. Trade names may not be previously chosen by another entity and may not contain profanity or religious connotations. Failure to abide by these rules will result in the outright rejection of your application.
3. Decide on a Legal Structure
Before conducting business, you’ll need to define your company’s legal structure. This legal structure will determine how your business handles profits, losses, and more. Here, you’ll decide whether you will operate as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), sole proprietorship, and more.
4. Choose a Business Location
The placement of your business will not only determine your business’s potential exposure, but it will also deem the regulations you’ll need to follow. For example, many companies in the region will either choose to form in the Mainland or one of Dubai’s many Free Zone jurisdictions. For more information on picking the best location for your company, a business setup consultant expert like MSZ Consultancy can help.
5. Gather Documentation and Submit Application
Using the documentation mentioned earlier, you’ll want to submit your application through the online DED portal and pay any required fees.
6. Receive License
After ample time for processing, you should receive your business license within a few days. You’ll be legally permitted to conduct business in the UAE upon receipt.
7. Open Bank Account
All businesses operating in the UAE will need to form a corporate bank account. This account will make exchanging goods, services, and currencies straightforward.
The Cost of Starting an Agricultural Business in the UAE
Determining the total costs of forming any business in the UAE can be challenging. After all, you’ll be responsible for fees, startup expenses, infrastructure, and general overhead. As such, it can be hard to put a direct price on the business formation process.
However, you can expect licensing costs to be roughly AED 15,000. Beyond licensing, you’ll also need to consider office space costs, warehousing, utilities, and more. For a better understanding of the entire expenses required during business creation, the expertise of business consultants can be highly beneficial.
MSZ Consultancy Is Your Number One Resource for Starting Your Agriculture Business
Whether you’re diving into aquaculture or have plans to raise and sell livestock, forming an agricultural-based business in the UAE can be highly advantageous. Despite the benefits, the process of licensing and business formation can be complicated for foreign investors and those that aren’t immediately familiar with UAE business practices.
But we can help! MSZ Consultancy has years of experience assisting entrepreneurs and company owners to navigate the landscape of business operations in the region. From company set up in the UAE to securing the assistance of PRO services, we handle everything, making it easy and rewarding to conduct your day-to-day affairs.
And it doesn’t matter whether you’re a single investor or part of a larger corporate group; MSZ Consultancy’s team of business and legal experts can minimize your responsibilities while maximizing your potential profits.
Give us a call today at +971 52 544 1248 and let our team provide you with a quote on how we can streamline your business!