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Moving my UK company to UAE

Moving my UK company to UAE

Old Jan 3rd 2016, 2:54 pm
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Default Moving my UK company to UAE

I have a UK based company. My entire business is online, and I have customers from over the world - mostly from the US. My wife and I are considering moving to Dubai and working there for some time, so I thought it would be a great idea to move my company there too and save tons on tax! It's great that I'm able to do this as my business is all done online.

I've been doing a bit of research as I currently use PayPal and Stripe as my online payment merchants. Unfortunately they are not supported in UAE

I understand it's possible to open a GBP bank account in UAE but I'm not sure if it has a UK sort code and account number. So I'm wondering if it's possible to keep a UK based bank account for my business but trade from UAE?
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Old Jan 3rd 2016, 3:22 pm
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Default Re: Moving my UK company to UAE

Originally Posted by wasimkham View Post
I have a UK based company. My entire business is online, and I have customers from over the world - mostly from the US. My wife and I are considering moving to Dubai and working there for some time, so I thought it would be a great idea to move my company there too and save tons on tax! It's great that I'm able to do this as my business is all done online.

I've been doing a bit of research as I currently use PayPal and Stripe as my online payment merchants. Unfortunately they are not supported in UAE

I understand it's possible to open a GBP bank account in UAE but I'm not sure if it has a UK sort code and account number. So I'm wondering if it's possible to keep a UK based bank account for my business but trade from UAE?
I believe that you can move to Dubai with your wife on a Family visa. AFAIK you can then tell the UK government that you are no longer based in the UK for tax purposes (less than 90 days spent in the country per year), and you can still take payments into your UK bank account without having to pay tax in the UK.
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Old Jan 3rd 2016, 3:44 pm
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Default Re: Moving my UK company to UAE

Originally Posted by oneshandyandy View Post
I believe that you can move to Dubai with your wife on a Family visa. AFAIK you can then tell the UK government that you are no longer based in the UK for tax purposes (less than 90 days spent in the country per year), and you can still take payments into your UK bank account without having to pay tax in the UK.
Thanks for the response. That does sound more of a personal tax situation though as my UK business bank account will have to remain open which means my UK Ltd company must stay active. If it's still active and I'm continuing to pay funds into the same account, I don't think it would really go down well with HMRC if I stopped paying tax just because I've registered my company in Dubai. Any experience of doing this with companies?
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Old Jan 3rd 2016, 3:49 pm
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Default Re: Moving my UK company to UAE

If you don't maintain a UK address British banks might close your account(s). An alternative would be a GBP off-shore account in the Isle of Man or Channel Islands.

I do not know how the Dubai authorities might see a local business banking off-shore (from Dubai). You would presumably need a local account for business expenses, which you could fund from your GBP account via xe.com, WorldFirst, etc.
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Old Jan 3rd 2016, 3:49 pm
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Default Re: Moving my UK company to UAE

Originally Posted by wasimkham View Post
Thanks for the response. That does sound more of a personal tax situation though as my UK business bank account will have to remain open which means my UK Ltd company must stay active. If it's still active and I'm continuing to pay funds into the same account, I don't think it would really go down well with HMRC if I stopped paying tax just because I've registered my company in Dubai. Any experience of doing this with companies?
Ah you're quite right! No, I have no personal experience as a business, only self employed, so I better not make anything up. Someone else on here has probably done it.
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Old Jan 3rd 2016, 4:00 pm
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Default Re: Moving my UK company to UAE

Originally Posted by wasimkham View Post
Thanks for the response. That does sound more of a personal tax situation though as my UK business bank account will have to remain open which means my UK Ltd company must stay active. If it's still active and I'm continuing to pay funds into the same account, I don't think it would really go down well with HMRC if I stopped paying tax just because I've registered my company in Dubai. Any experience of doing this with companies?
You've linked a number of ideas that are not actually linked. You can have a UK company that is resident overseas and not subject to UK tax, and you can have a GBP account (as I described above) and have a non-UK business.

So it is perfectly possible to have, for example, a UK registered company with a business based in Dubai but banking in the Isle of Man, and the company would not be subject to UK tax, except to the extent that it did business in the UK.
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Old Jan 3rd 2016, 4:23 pm
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Default Re: Moving my UK company to UAE

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
You've linked a number of ideas that are not actually linked. You can have a UK company that is resident overseas and not subject to UK tax, and you can have a GBP account (as I described above) and have a non-UK business.

So it is perfectly possible to have, for example, a UK registered company with a business based in Dubai but banking in the Isle of Man, and the company would not be subject to UK tax, except to the extent that it did business in the UK.
That sounds great and exactly what I'm looking for. Do you have any experience with any reputable companies that can help me facilitate the move?
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Old Jan 3rd 2016, 4:32 pm
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Default Re: Moving my UK company to UAE

Originally Posted by wasimkham View Post
That sounds great and exactly what I'm looking for. Do you have any experience with any reputable companies that can help me facilitate the move?
Sorry, I can't recommend any specific advisor, but I would recommend you consult a Chartered Accountant with experience of off-shore/overseas companies. A large firm of Chartered Accountants, such as Ernst&Young, KPMG, or Deloittes, could advise, but would be relatively expensive; a medium sized firm of Chartered Accountants with international affiliates would likely be your best option. That said even a small local firm of Chartered Accountants should have enough knowledge to advise you.
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Old Jan 4th 2016, 6:47 am
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Default Re: Moving my UK company to UAE

No disrespect to you Mr OP, but you are clearly not running the next Amazon if you have to ask on an expat forum if it is possible to move your company out of the country. Get yourself a professional advisor like Pulaski said and base your decision on what they say..

First figure out how to move your company out of the claws of the Inland Revenue and then (separately) establish how you will run the company whilst living in Dubai. Sounds like a free zone setup, but if you are trading online only (i.e. no stock) you might as well be established somewhere else unless you need the residence visa a FZ company provides. If there is stock involved there is all kinds of extra considerations to take into account not least shipping costs which are astronomical in this part of the world. Also you'll be liable for VAT in every country you deliver goods/services even if your company is based in Dubai. Usually the couriers will handle all of that for you (in the case of physical goods anyway), but the cost still exists.

Do your homework..

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Old Jan 4th 2016, 8:56 am
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Default Re: Moving my UK company to UAE

You can't just "move a company" but you can relocate and set up in the UAE. I have clients who have done something similar.

You have to set up a company in the UAE, organise residency visas for you and your family and declare yourself UK non-resident for tax purposes. A UAE bank account would not have a UK sort code (why would it?) although it is possible to get a Sterling denominated account but if you need a UK sort code a decent offshore account is a better bet, although you'll also legally require an AED account for the business and also a personal one to deal with bills etc in the UAE.

You, and your company being non-resident, doesn't automatically mean your income is not liable to UK income tax. That depends on various factors such as where the income "arises", how long you remain non-resident, how much time you spend not only in the UK each tax year but how many of those days are spent working there, (entirely different number).

There is a lot to be taken into consideration and it will cost to relocate and set up a new company in the UAE.
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Old Jan 4th 2016, 9:27 am
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Default Re: Moving my UK company to UAE

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
If you don't maintain a UK address British banks might close your account(s). An alternative would be a GBP off-shore account in the Isle of Man or Channel Islands. I do not know how the Dubai authorities might see a local business banking off-shore (from Dubai). You would presumably need a local account for business expenses, which you could fund from your GBP account via xe.com, WorldFirst, etc.
I've been living out here for almost 9 years and have kept my UK account back at home associated with my PO Box address over here - no issues in them wanting to close the account.
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Old Jan 4th 2016, 9:40 am
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Default Re: Moving my UK company to UAE

Originally Posted by mission View Post
I've been living out here for almost 9 years and have kept my UK account back at home associated with my PO Box address over here - no issues in them wanting to close the account.
"Might"
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Old Jan 4th 2016, 12:59 pm
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Default Re: Moving my UK company to UAE

Originally Posted by mission View Post
I've been living out here for almost 9 years and have kept my UK account back at home associated with my PO Box address over here - no issues in them wanting to close the account.
I think it depends on which bank it is..
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Old Jan 4th 2016, 1:33 pm
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Default Re: Moving my UK company to UAE

you don't have to use Paypal. Look at the regionally focused PayFort to get payments sent offshore.

E-commerce laws here are poor and you'll be working in the fringes of legality. Offshore payments for on-shore activities is technically a no-no but many a place does it. PayFort is your friend.
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