Location: Middle East

UAE - Abu Dhabi office

UAE - Abu Dhabi overview

Equiom in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Equiom’s portfolio in the UAE is extensive with five offices in the region, each specialising in its respective field. The offices work closely together to ensure continual expert knowledge sharing and to provide the highest level of service to clients. Many clients benefit from using a combination of solutions across the offices.

Links Group supports foreign organisations who wish to set up a business in the UAE, while safeguarding their status as business owners. Links Group provides a number of solutions to suit your business needs should you already have a presence or be looking to expand into the Middle East. Equiom Group acquired Links Group in September 2016, allowing it to expand the geographic reach of both companies and broaden their respective service offerings.

Links Group pioneered a model in 2002 whereby a Links Group controlled corporate entity is able to act as the local partner as shareholder/sponsor, or national service agent, thereby minimising the risks associated with appointing an unknown individual, addressing succession issues while meeting the requirements of the UAE Commercial Companies Law.

Links Group has an exemplary track record, is compliant with international corporate standards and is also Trace and ISO 9001:2015 certified, meaning the high quality of its services are recognised worldwide.

Why choose the UAE?

  • Strategically located at the heart of one of the world’s most prosperous and rapidly developing regions 
  • Ranked 11 of 190 countries in the 2019 ‘Doing Business’ report published by the World Bank
  • No UAE corporation or personal income tax
  • World class infrastructure in place with substantial investments being made in further developing the current landscape and industrial manufacturing projects, especially in the run up to Expo 2020 and UAE Vision 2020

For more information visit linksgroup.com

UAE - Abu Dhabi Services

Links Group, an Equiom company, supports foreign organisations who wish to set up a business in the UAE, whilst safeguarding their status as business owners. Links Group can provide a number of solutions to suit your business needs should you already have a presence or be looking to expand into the Middle East.

  • End of Service Savings Plan

    Equiom, through its network of global offices, is able to provide trustee solutions for organisations who wish to enhance their End of Service Gratuity obligations to their employees.

    End of Service Gratuity (EOSG) is a statutory severance pay across the UAE, and many other Middle Eastern jurisdictions, and is comparative with a retirement savings or pension scheme.

    The majority of companies in the UAE do not separate cash to cover their employees’ EOSG liabilities from their working capital. So while employers accrue this obligation within their balance sheet, this is typically not ring-fenced and circumstances such as a large claim or an unanticipated number of leavers at any one time can adversely impact on cash flow for a business. Likewise, this could result in unease for employees who are worried that their gratuity may be under threat in the event of an adverse action against the company.

    Equiom has provided independent professional services to manage End of Service Gratuity risk for companies in the Middle East for over 20 years, adapting to the changing landscape along the way. We provide a range of services from simple trust structures to sophisticated fully interactive solutions to suit the needs of any business, large or small, in the GCC.

  • Payroll & People Services

    Equiom provides a range of payroll and people services that can be tailored to suit any company in the UAE, regardless of its size or the number of employees.

    Our highly trained team can support your organisation’s needs, whether you are looking to reduce your operational costs or simply do not have the in-house expertise or resource available. Equiom complies with all the latest regulations in the region, so that you can rest assured your staff are taken care of for the duration of their employment, including setting up their visa, payroll and even taking care of their End of Service Gratuity.

    Equiom provides an unrivalled level of service with fully dedicated client relationship teams on hand 24/7 to answer your questions.

    Our payroll services in Abu Dhabi include:

    • Provision of a secure UAE compliant monthly wage protection system (WPS)
    • Co-ordination of payroll administration
    • Maintenance of payroll related records including provision of payslips
    • Assistance in obtaining mandatory UAE medical insurance
    • HR consultancy services
    • HR on-boarding and administration services
    • UAE orientation

    Our people services in Abu Dhabi include:

    • Turnkey visa services for any company in any Emirate in the UAE, whether you need employment visas, dependent visas, investor visas, domestic worker visas (free zones), visit visas, golden visas, tourist visas, short-term visas, mission visas or even visa cancellation
  • Risk & Compliance Services

    Equiom provides outsourced Compliance, Risk and Money Laundering Reporting Officers (MLRO) to organisations in the UAE. 

    This service is ideal for SMEs, those who are thinking of setting up in the region, looking to consolidate an existing business, those looking for temporary cover when there are unexpected staff absences or even for organisations that wish to undertake additional compliance training.

    Equiom’s managed compliance solutions are the perfect complement to any organisation and deliver considerable benefits to clients. Our hands-on experience means we are able to help our clients develop and manage effective compliance programs to identify issues before they become violations.

    By appointing an Equiom Compliance Officer, MLRO or Risk Officer, you will be safe in the knowledge that the individual you will work with is:

    • Authorised, qualified and experienced to carry out compliance duties
    • A UAE resident 
    • Knowledgeable about the DFSA rulebook and regulatory obligations
    • Familiar and capable with meeting reporting requirements and timelines
    • Able to train your employees and Board of Directors
    • Able to resolve complex regulatory and compliance issues
    • Up-to-date with compliance issues (each team member undertakes over 35 hours of continuing professional development activities each year)

    Equiom also provides advice and guidance to clients on regulatory issues and problems, as well as delivering training to firms in relation to compliance, anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing. Training sessions are tailored to individual businesses and are designed to:

    • Educate employees on compliance and regulatory matters 
    • Educate senior management about their regulatory responsibilities
    • Fulfil mandatory AML training for all relevant employees to meet DFSA requirements (training should be provided to each relevant employee at least annually)

    Equiom is also able to provide data protection advisory to clients in the UAE to:

    • Assist in the assessment, design and implementation of appropriate controls for the processing of personal data and the general obligations of companies that hold personal data to secure and maintain its confidentiality and privacy 
    • Data protection training 
    • Outsourced Data Protection Officer
  • Structure Set Up & Support Services

    Our corporate insight gives you valuable foresight

    For clients thinking of setting up a new business or branch of a foreign company, or those looking to consolidate the ownership structure of an existing company in the UAE, we simplify the process by providing an appropriate solution and structure.

    Equiom (through Links Group, an Equiom Company) provides market leading corporate services ensuring clients meet their business needs. We help to incorporate, restructure and transfer sponsorship (Emirati ownership where required by UAE law) for hundreds of clients, protecting their ownership and ensuring that they maintain control of their interests every step of the way.

    In addition to providing sponsorship solutions, Equiom is able to assist companies with options to maximise the safety and security of their company’s assets. Many foreign companies choose to hold their equity shareholding in the onshore UAE business through offshore structures. We provide support for offshore company formation both in the UAE and in other jurisdictions, as a registered agent, incorporating the holding companies. For clients, this translates into expert service, competitive fees and a quick turnaround time.

    We offer the following company services across all Emirates of the UAE:

    • Formation of a UAE Limited Liability Company (LLC) - this entity must be majority owned by an Emirati local partner. A Links Group controlled corporate entity wholly owned by Emirati nationals and managed by Links Group is able to act as a corporate local partner thereby minimising the risks associated with appointing an unknown individual, addressing succession issues and meeting the requirements of the UAE Commercial Companies Law
    • Establishing a branch of a foreign company in the UAE, subject to market restrictions which Links Group is able to guide you through
    • Change of local partner to a Links Group corporate partner
    • Corporate restructuring to consolidate foreign party beneficial ownership and control
    • Offshore company formation- the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Cayman Islands, RAK International Corporate Centre (RAK ICC) among others
    • Free zone set up    
    • Notarisation & attestation services
    • Escrow services
    • Key personnel, including company directors, nominee shareholders and company secretarial services
  • Trustee & Fiduciary Services

    Trust is something that is earned

    Operating throughout the world’s most stable and reputable jurisdictions, our international trust and foundation specialists identify the most appropriate trust structures to protect and enhance your private or corporate wealth and assets.

    Our experienced teams operate in both common law and civil law jurisdictions. We guide you through the complexities of local laws and regulations to find the right solution for you, organising the initial establishment of a trust or foundation and administering it carefully to maximise the benefits. We ensure its legal and tax status is maintained and provide regular accounting and financial reporting.

    Over the years, we have earned an enviable reputation as leading professional trustees, dedicated to maintaining our clients’ prosperity. We aim to give you more control over your assets today, and more confidence about your holdings tomorrow – helping ensure that your family, employees, or favoured charities are well looked after for years to come.

    In the UAE we can assist with:

    • Private trust companies
    • Managed trust companies
    • Employee benefit trusts
    • Employee ownership trusts
    • Charitable trusts
    • Property unit trusts
    • Purpose trusts
    • Will trusts/pilot trusts
    • Executor services
    • Benefits of a trust
    • Asset protection and careful planning to ensure tax efficiency
    • Succession planning with full control on how assets are distributed upon death  
    • Confidentiality and the avoidance of a public probate court hearing

UAE - Abu Dhabi Team

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