Business Start-up Consulting in UAE: Advising or Selling

Great business formation specialists with solid business ethics, impeccable reputation and long years of experience can be vital to helping you start your business in one of the most competitive and important growth destinations in the global market – the UAE.  They can do everything from helping you learn about your prospective market, choosing the business licence or office, ensuring legal compliance, giving you the right tax advice and much more. They can make your job much easier and reduce the risk factor for your business.

As the UAE business landscape abounds with these consultants who help clients invest in the UAE, you might want to think about whether your formation specialists has your best interests at heart or is just selling services. Let’s take a look at some factors to consider.

The Client Focus

A consultant who adds real value to the client-consultant relationship is somebody who remembers that it is always about the client, and not about selling the service. He should spend time understanding your needs and create a robust future roadmap for your business plans. This roadmap should anticipate the problems that you might face in the future and have your back covered.

As a newbie in the UAE market, you might not be fully aware of how to tap into the country’s growth potential. When it comes to choosing the jurisdiction suited to your business you have to factor in yardsticks like location, price, business type, office facilities, expansion options, renewal charges, ease of operations and approachability. But a well-established consultant can help you with a long-term vision so you get great value out of the service.

Most importantly, your consultant should not be selling ice to the Eskimos. If they are recommending a service that you do not need; that would be selling, not real consulting. To elaborate further, if you are intending to do a trading activity, your consultant should not try to SELL you a business license in a jurisdiction dedicated to media businesses.

The Balanced Approach

A great business consultant would offer you well-calculated choices. Of course, he can use his skills, previous experience and expertise to strongly narrow down recommendations, but this should be based on what is best for the client and not on the extra incentives he earns from a business facility to push their services to his or her clients.  If your consultant is telling you about just one particular business facility alone, maybe you need to check the intention. Ideally, you should be given a few choices weighing the pros and cons according to factors like cost, value-for-money, business suitability, hidden and recurring costs, infrastructure or scalability.

Applicable operational regulations vary from one emirate to another though 100% company ownership, 0% corporation and personal tax, 100% repatriation of capital and profits, no currency restrictions and 100% import and export tax exemption benefits are uniform throughout the UAE.

For example, a client who advises his or her client about the wrong business license or location in the UAE without regard to the nature of your business to push real estate inventory for the extra incentive is somebody who lacks integrity.

The Trust Factor

Potter Stewart,
the famous American lawyer and Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1958 to 1981, once said, “Ethics knows the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.” Consultants should remember this as they are trusted advisors hired to use their skills and expertise for helping clients to create winning strategies, overcome hurdles and achieve goals. Transparency and trust underpin this relationship.

While advising you on how to start or expand your business in the UAE, your consultant should fully disclose the pros and cons of the decisions that you make. You should be well-informed of factors such as the consequences of registering your business under a specific type of license, applying in jurisdictions with hidden cost implications, new amendments that can have legal or operational complications.

The Accountability Test

Your consultant should never forget that he is accountable for his client’s business success in the UAE. Your consultant is partially responsible for your business success or failure.

The consultant should never breach your confidentiality or misuse insider information to promote his or her own business interest.  They should disclose conflict of interest if there is any. That way, you have the prerogative of making informed choices.

Trust can be created only when the client knows what he is getting. Once your consultant does that, his reputation can go up several notches higher as you would always recommend the consultant to someone else.Also, beware of fly-by-night operators who might close shop one fine day. They make a few quick bucks with no thought to your business. Remember that, compliance is a continuous process. You always need to go with a well-established specialist who has his ear to the ground and can liaise with local government authorities and make sure that you overcome legal, technical, administrative and financial challenges.

To conclude, great formation consultants can be ‘’friends, philosophers and guides’’. You are banking on their experience in the UAE market and valuable advice to help your entry and future success. So make sure that you choose a well-qualified consultant, who values on services – even though they might be slightly more expensive – that delivers that promise. No point in being penny wise and pound foolish. Spend time researching them on social media, review testimonials, ask about them in trust circles, talk to them and then choose them if it’s a great suit. 

Choose wisely, as a good formation consultant in UAE can be great partner in helping you achieve your desired business outcomes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *