“It is for the shareholder to decide if they want to leave the share distribution to the local Shariah laws or want to choose the distribution themselves”

The Grid: The DIFC Wills & Probate Registry (‘the Registry”) has recently launched the first Free Zone Company Will. What protection does this provide shareholders and which free zones does it encompass?

Sean Hird: The Registry launched the Free Zone Company Will in response to the marketplace. It was created as an alternative to the full DIFC Will for cash, car, property, and children. and designed for people who had shares in a free zone company but no other tangible assets here.

So in essence, we are empowering people with the provision of an online template that is specific to free zone companies and is easier and cheaper to put in place because they do not need any bespoke drafting.


November 20, 2016

Consulting in Dubai

“The problem with professional licenses… is that they don’t have limited liability …so you are the asset!”

The Grid: Thank you for speaking at ‘Business Set-up Dubai’, an event by The Grid, where we heard a lot of questions about working as a ‘consultant’ in Dubai.

Effectively, this is where you set up your own company which gives you your own employment residency visa and offer services to other companies. There seem to be a lot of people, who came out here with the Big 4 or a big bank but now opening up their own shop, so to speak. What is the proper business licence for a consultant or consultancy in Dubai?

Stuart Curtis: Anything with ‘consulting’ in it, really, strictly speaking, is a ‘Professional License’.

A professional license can have more than one partner but you can actually request that it is turned into a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a free zone company with one partner or a FZCo, which usually has two partners.


“If you want to travel to Saudi Arabia and various other places, you must be at least a ‘Manager'”

The Grid: Visas affect everyone working here. For most business owners in Dubai, understanding employment residency visas takes a while. Can you explain how the labour system works, particularly in relation to the different types of entities, i.e. free zones vs. onshore companies?

Stuart Curtis: When you have an onshore business, you have unlimited access to visas. The difference being that, in the free zones, they give you a number, so you can have two or five. If you need more, you have to upgrade to the next package and pay more money and more money. (more…)