A company – be it onshore or offshore – will require a bank account to undertake any kind of business. Opening a corporate bank account in the UAE is a relatively straightforward procedure for UAE Mainland Companies. However, customer identification requirements may vary depending upon the size and activity of the business.
The financial Institution will request information detailing the legal existence of the entity. Companies that are owned by corporate entities will need to provide a full set of corporate documents in order to identify the management and ultimate beneficial ownership of the structure. In most cases, these documents will need to be notarised/legalised in their country of origin and again in the UAE.
Global initiatives against tax evasion, money laundering and terrorist financing in the past decade have obliged the Central Bank to impose enhanced customer due diligence procedures on financial institutions that open accounts for Offshore Companies. As a result, banks have had to adopt a risk-based approach to account opening. The financial institution must further understand the customer’s primary business areas, the anticipated volume of currency and total deposits, the level of revenues and its main customers and suppliers.