The UAE’s Ministry of Economy has asked all companies in the country to submit authentic details of their beneficiaries before June 30, 2021 to avoid penalties

All UAE companies required to submit UBO details before 30th of June 2021

An initiative of the UAE government to combat against activities related to terrorist financing and money laundering, Cabinet Decision (No 58) of 2020 on Regulation of Procedures for Real Beneficiary requires all companies to maintain a register and submit relevant details of their Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBO).

Ministry of Economy has set its deadline for submission of UBO details of all companies under its jurisdiction for the 30th of June 2021.

Fine & Penalties up to AED 100,000

All companies in UAE failing to submit UBO details on or before the deadline will be imposed with administrative sanctions face penalties of up to Dh100,000 from July 2021.

Importantly, the company’s licence can also be suspended for a year for not conforming to the instructions of the ministry.

Details to disclose with the authority are as follows:

  • Details of ownership
  • Details of all Ultimate Beneficial Owners
  • Company business model
  • Company financial records
  • General information including the details of the company from lawyers, banks, and auditors

A real beneficiary or UBO is the natural person controlling or owning at least twenty five (25) percent of the company’s issued share capital, either through direct or indirect control or chain of ownership. A UBO is also any natural person that has control on the dismissal and appointment of majority of company directors.

UAE- New law allowing full foreign ownership of onshore companies takes effect on June 1

The UAE’s Ministry of Economy has confirmed that the amended legislation permitting foreign investors and entrepreneurs to establish and fully own onshore companies, will come into effect from June 1.

Amendment to the Commercial Companies Law will ‘boost country’s competitive edge and facilitate business’, according to UAE Minister of Economy

Minister of Economy Abdullah bin Touq in a tweet confirmed that the latest decision is a new step that reflects the UAE government’s commitment to supporting the economy and enhancing its readiness for the future.

In November 2020, the UAE announced that the of businesses would take effect from December 1, 2020. However, after widening the scope of sectors eligible for full ownership by foreign investors, the law is now ready for roll out from June 1, 2021.

The long-anticipated and widely discussed reform, which will have game-changing implications on the investment landscape of the nation, was approved by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan last year.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has said the UAE now enjoys a fertile legislative environment for foreign direct investors in order to enhance the nation’s competitiveness.

Last month, the UAE’s Ministry of Economy also said it was working on a new legislation to include 10 new sectors to the Commercial Companies Law, which allows 100 per cent foreign ownership of onshore companies in the country.

UAE anti-money laundering: Registration for non-financial entities, individuals extended until April 30

Ministry of Economy extends deadline for registration of designated non-financial businesses & professions in anti-money laundering regulations until 30 April

The Ministry of Economy (MoE) announced the extension of the deadline granted to Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) to register in the systems approved for countering money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism, until the end of April 2021. The extension has been granted due to a large number of companies in the sector coming forward to register in the last days of the previous deadline, which expired on March 31, 2021. Furthermore, the unusual circumstances faced by companies and the business sector in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic has also been taken into consideration.

The Ministry explained that it is mandatory for the targeted companies, which include brokers and real estate agents, auditors, dealers of precious metals and gemstones, and corporate service providers, to register in the goAML system and the Automatic Reporting System for Sanctions Lists before the end of the new deadline. The registration in these systems can be done free of cost. After the registration, they should also take the specified measures to ensure full compliance with the requirements of Federal Law No. 20 of 2018 on anti-money laundering, combating the financing of terrorism and illegal organizations, and their implementing regulations and relevant decisions.

The Ministry called on the concerned companies to take advantage of the new extended period for registration to avoid the penalties and fines stipulated in the law, which will be imposed starting from May 1, 2021. Fines start from AED 50,000 and go up to AED 5 million, while the penalties for companies that fail to register could even lead to the revocation of the license or closure of the facility itself.