First and foremost, a UAE 'golden' business license gives clarity to companies. Just as vital, it can help them better manage admin costs. Image Credit: Shutterstock

The UAE, long recognised as a global hub for business and entrepreneurship, is set to further attract innovation and growth after it revealed plans to grant long-term business licenses. At the recent meeting of the Economic Integration Committee, the proposals for 5-year ‘silver’ and 10-year ‘golden’ business licenses were discussed.

This proposed initiative will further enhance opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and businesses in the UAE through providing them with a longer-term scope. With the aim of encouraging foreign direct investment and business continuity, the proposed licenses are set to offer additional benefits to the business environment.

Through the introduction of these long-term licences, the UAE is offering businesses bigger confidence boosters, flexibility, and stability in comparison to the options available now. Currently, there are relatively few businesses with multi-year licenses. Some free zones with their own licencing authority, such as in Ras Al Khaimah, had recently explored extended licensing with a 5-year silver visa.

Therefore, the introduction of new extended licenses in the UAE would help businesses with competitive licence pricing over an extended period and thus leading to reduced costs, alleviation of admin work, and providing business security.

For businesses in free zones, the introduction of 10-year licenses is particularly promising. Free zones have historically attracted a significant portion of foreign investment due to their bespoke regulatory frameworks and tax incentives.

Encourage businesses of all sector – and sectors

The extension of licensing periods to 10 years is expected to enhance the UAE's competitiveness on a global scale, attracting more FDI and stimulating economic growth. With such options, the UAE demonstrates its commitment to supporting businesses of all sizes and sectors, encouraging entrepreneurial innovation, and driving sustainable development.

It may be expected that certain sectors and industries may be granted these longer-term licenses based on their strategic importance or contribution to the UAE's economic diversification objectives. Such as its Vision2031 initiative, or its aim be a sustainable environmental-friendly economy. It is expected that the proposed ‘golden’ licenses will be subject to widespread availability, should companies meet the required criteria, similar to that of the golden visa for individuals.

The Economic Integration Committee and the newly proposed licenses are key indications of the pivotal role the Committee has in enhancing the UAE’s business environment and regulatory frameworks. And elevate the country’s appeal to international investment and entrepreneurship.

As the specifics of the implementation and eligibility criteria are yet to be disclosed, businesses await further details on the timeline and implementation of the new licensing scheme. Anticipation is high for the transformative impact it will have on the UAE business landscape…