Making its way to the top as the leading global business hub, Dubai is continually in need of talented finance and accounts experts. And one of the accounting specialties Dubai businesses require is audit services—which is why one of the main queries that often arises is how to get audit license in UAE.
Whether it comes to internal audit or obligatory annual audit for tax compliance and confirmation of following financial standards, the utmost necessary variable is a certified and skilled auditor—or a reliable audit firm. Therefore, if you’re looking to offer your audit services to organizations in Dubai or need to set up your own audit business with a team, you’re aiming well.
There’s no shortage of small business ideas in UAE, and auditing progresses well, given the demand. However, there are requirements and permissions you need to fulfill before you are eligible to practice. It’s nothing complex, but the process requires attention to detail in order to seamlessly start an audit business in the UAE.
Getting an Audit License – A Brief Guide
Before we guide you on how to get audit license in UAE – know what an audit license is. It is the documentation bearing permission for you to conduct auditing services in organizations in a particular city/country. Once you have your license, you can legally inspect a company’s financial records to determine whether there’s compliance in accordance with application finance and accounts and tax laws.
The regulatory authority in the region can grant you your license—which, in the case of Dubai, is the Ministry of Economy (MoE). This organization has set certain requirements for every auditor, including education, experience, and other necessary milestones. To register your audit firm in UAE, you must fulfill more requirements.
General Requirements for Audit License in the UAE
Need to know the proper procedure on how to get an audit license in UAE? Whether you are looking to work solo or set up a team, the first step is to know whether you are eligible. In 2022, the Ministry of Economy (MoE) revised the requirements for potential auditors in Dubai, releasing Ministerial Resolution No. 111-2. According to the new terms, the following are the prerequisites for obtaining an audit license for practicing in Dubai.
- You should have a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance or a related field. A Master’s degree in Finance and Accounts is not mandatory, but it certainly helps tip the scales in your favor when you set up an audit business and seek out good clients.
- It is mandatory for you to pass the exam in International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Additionally, you need to clear exams for International Standards in Auditing (ISAs), the tax and regulation exam mandated by the UAE.
- A minimum of three years of experience in auditing is also a necessary requirement. Plus, you should have a certificate from a recognized organization proving your practice—as well as a certificate of equivalency.
- In order to gain permission to operate a business in Dubai and to acquire proper licensing, you need to be able to fulfill the minimum investment to start business in Dubai (show these via financial records).
- Finally, you need at least two partners to obtain the license. Each partner should have at least five years of experience in auditing. Moreover, you need to have a risk management framework in place.
You know the basics of how to get audit license in UAE. By fulfilling these requirements, you’re very likely to get audit license in UAE with minimal hassle. You should know that the MoE has the power to suspend or retract a license. Therefore, the smart decision is to work with specialists in legal and corporate aspects of audit business to avoid any complications.
Steps for Getting an Audit Business License
Are you ready to set up your audit business in Dubai or any other leading business hub in the UAE? To open any organization in Dubai, you need the following:
A Unique Business Name
You need a name for your audit firm that’s different. You can’t choose a business name that’s currently registered in Dubai. Choose a name that reflects the quality and type of business. As a result of an impressive name, you can build a great rep with potential clients once you get licensed.
Your Business Structure
In Dubai, you can set up your business as:
- Sole proprietorship
- Partnership firm
- Limited liability (LLC)
- Free zone company
As per the new amendments by the MoE for audit firms, sole proprietorship does not apply. Moving further on in how to get audit license in UAE, you need to choose from two business jurisdiction categories. These are the Mainland and Free zones, where the latter is more economically advantageous for foreign individuals who set up their businesses in Dubai—allowing 100% ownership (read 5 Best Free Zones in UAE to Start Business).
An Adequate Location
Commercial space in Dubai can be costly to rent. However, at the same time, you need a proper space to present a commendable image of your business. Therefore, select an office space according to the regulations of the free zone or Department of Economic Development (DED).
Business Bank Account In Dubai
To manage your cash flow, you need a business bank account in Dubai. Having an overseas bank account or a bank account in a region other than your UAE locality is not applicable. Above are the basic steps for setting up a business in Dubai. Moving on, you also need to consider these specific steps to get audit license in UAE.
Get Relevant Permits
To trade as an auditor in Dubai, you need to obtain a professional services license from the MoE. Additionally, you need an audit business license from the DED. Furthermore, any other mandatory permits and licenses depend on the specific category of your business.
Consult Corporate & Legal Experts
It takes a village to run a business. Part of that village can be outsourced help, particularly corporate services. They can guide you through any roadblocks you face in obtaining your license and fill in any gaps. Hence, it’s best to go for specialists; you need business planning, legal, and tax consultants in Dubai to proceed.
Recruit & Train
Professional development will play a crucial role in it and each member of your team should be certified and adequately experienced to practice auditing and related services in the UAE. Investing in in-house training and any workshops offered in the locality is always a great way to strengthen your business for future clients.
Perks Of Being a Licensed Audit Firm In UAE
You know how to get audit license in UAE, but why do you need it? Other than the fact that you need formal permission to run your audit business in Dubai, you also gain traction from well-paying clients. The better you fulfill all necessary and optional requirements of a licensed audit firm, the better you streamline your business in Dubai. Whether you need to provide top-notch financial risk analysis and management services or become a tax preparer sought after by top firms in Dubai, look into all the ways you can solidify your legality and take further steps to improve.
Frequently Asked Questions about Audit Licenses In the UAE
What is the difference between getting an audit license for a Free Zone vs. Mainland?
As a Free Zone audit company, you have some restrictions on activities (regulated by the Free Zone authority) but you enjoy various perks such as a fast setup process, 100% company ownership, and certain financial benefits. As a Mainland company, you have access to the market, but you need an Emirati sponsor and you may not fully own your audit company.
Can I open an audit company without a degree in finance and accounting?
You may be able to proceed with setting up an audit company in the UAE if you don’t specialize in finance and accounts. If you have relevant experience, you can take international and UAE standard exams in Dubai to boost your eligibility and chances of getting a license.
What is the cost of starting an audit company in Dubai?
If you need to work as an employed auditor, then obviously there’s no investment to consider. As a potential audit company owner though, you may need to invest at least AED 20,000. Your total expenses depend on visa processing, trade jurisdiction, licensing costs, accreditations, and office rent, amongst other costs.
Once you aim to start your audit firm in the UAE and get a license, partner with professional services. Do you need further information about how to get audit license in UAE? As specialists in corporate services in Dubai, we can help you streamline the process of obtaining an audit license in UAE. Moreover, we can help you set up your business successfully. Get your audit license in the UAE with proper guidance. We have a team of experts on board, including accounting and bookkeeping specialists, and tax consultants in Dubai.
At Alriyady Corporate Services, we can help you register with relevant regulatory bodies in Dubai and well as retain an existing license or membership. If you want a cost analysis of running an audit firm, our experts can help you out. Obtain your audit license in UAE starting today; reach out to us and we’ll provide comprehensive support at every stage to help you maximize your potential and fulfill your business dreams in Dubai!