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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 19 August 2018

Abu Dhabi extends company licence package to GCC nationals and UAE residents

The initiative helps new companies reduce costs by letting them obtain commercial licences without an office

Tajer Abu Dhabi is part of the three-year Dh50 billion stimulus package for the emirate unveiled in June.  Victor Besa / The National
Tajer Abu Dhabi is part of the three-year Dh50 billion stimulus package for the emirate unveiled in June.  Victor Besa / The National

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development launched its expanded Tajer Abu Dhabi licence package on Sunday, which is now open to applications from all GCC nationals and UAE residents with an Emirati partner.

The service, which allows new companies to obtain commercial licences without an office or physical presence, is part of the three-year Dh50 billion stimulus package for the emirate unveiled in June by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

The scope of the latest initiative has also been increased to include 1,057 eligible commercial activities. It will now also accept three legal formats: one-person companies for Emiratis; one-person companies for GGC nationals and limited liability companies for residents in partnership with Emiratis.

This aims to ease business conditions for entrepreneurs and small-to-medium enterprises looking to set up in the emirate.

“Tajer Abu Dhabi allows them to start their businesses at a much lower cost since they no longer have to invest in office space and all the associated costs,” said Saif Al Hajeri, chairman of the department. “This will allow them to focus both time and money at the important early stages of their business into growth and innovation, further increasing their contribution to the economy.”

Last week the department told The National, it is implementing seven of the 10 strategic initiatives linked to the Dh50bn stimulus package, which aims to bolster growth in Abu Dhabi’s economy, attract more foreign direct investment and create jobs. Among them is a centralised claims platform called Sharakah which will speed up payments to private sector companies and resolve any disputed fines.

Tajer Abu Dhabi was first launched late last year allowing Emiratis to set up businesses in 100 different commercial activities without an office. The electronic service also sped up the licensing process, granting licences in two steps: entering data and paying fees following an application review.

Its expanded Golden Package of Tajer Abu Dhabi now includes commercial activities under seven categories, including business and contracting, commerce, services and operations, consultancy and design and transportation and management.

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The department said the licence will also aid the growth and development of businesses that operate via social media, allowing them to transact as an entity and therefore export and import, open bank accounts and work with government organisations.

Mr Al Hajeri said the department expanded the beneficiaries of Tajer Abu Dhabi following the high demand it “witnessed from Emiratis in its first phase”.

“During that phase, we successfully issued 1,800 licenses within six months, which represents around 20 per cent of total economic licenses issued in the Emirate during the same period,” said Mr Al Hajeri. He added that the goal of the service is to improve business conditions for entrepreneurs and SMEs, “a key engine of the national economy”.

Last week Mr Al Hajeri said the department wanted to help the more than 350,000 SMEs in the UAE - which make up more than 94 per cent of the total number of companies operating in the country - and address some of the current challenges for growth, such as funding and access to market opportunities. SMEs contribute to more than 60 per cent of gross domestic product and the UAE aims to expand this figure to 70 per cent by 2021.

The Golden Package of Tajer Abu Dhabi has been designed to complement the Tamm System - another recent initiative launched by the department and Abu Dhabi's Smart Solutions and Services Authority, which allows investors to issue licenses from anywhere in the world, at any time.

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