How to Set Up a Bookkeeping or Accounting Business in the UAE

June 6, 2024

The UAE’s economic outlook is bright, with a projected GDP growth rate of 4.1% for 2024. This promising growth creates a fertile environment for new businesses and, consequently, a higher demand for bookkeeping and accounting services. Entrepreneurs looking to establish a bookkeeping or accounting management business in the UAE will find a landscape ripe with opportunities.

One of the key trends driving this industry is the adoption of cloud-based accounting software. These technological advancements simplify bookkeeping tasks and offer remote access, making services more efficient and accessible. Professionals skilled in these technologies are in high demand, as businesses seek to leverage the benefits of cloud computing to streamline their financial management.

Moreover, the UAE boasts a thriving ecosystem for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). These businesses often prefer to outsource their bookkeeping and accounting needs, rather than manage them in-house. This preference creates a substantial market for accounting services, as SMEs look for reliable and efficient ways to handle their financial records. 

If you want to set up a bookkeeping and accounting firm in the UAE, these are some of the business activities you can choose:

7020.03 – Design of accounting methods or procedures, cost accounting programmes, budgetary control procedures

This activity involves providing businesses with specialised advice and assistance in financial management. This includes designing effective accounting methods and procedures, creating programs to track and manage costs, and establishing budgetary control procedures to monitor performance against budgets. These services aim to enhance the accuracy and efficiency of an organisation’s financial operations.

However, 7020.03 specifically excludes certain activities to maintain a clear focus. It does not cover the design of accounting software, legal advice, direct accounting, bookkeeping, auditing, or tax consulting. Additionally, it excludes technical advisory services in fields like architecture and engineering, as well as advertising, market research, executive placement, and educational consulting.

  • Third-party Approval: This business activity does not need third party approval.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Return: This business activity is exempt from this requirement.
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: This business activity is exempt from this requirement.

6920.00 Accounting and bookkeeping Activities

This activity encompasses a broad range of accounting and bookkeeping services. This includes recording commercial transactions for businesses or other entities, preparing and auditing financial accounts, and examining and certifying the accuracy of these accounts. It also covers the preparation of personal and business income tax returns, as well as providing advisory services and representation for clients before tax authorities. These activities ensure that businesses maintain accurate financial records and comply with relevant regulations.

However, certain activities are explicitly excluded from this classification. These exclusions are data-processing and tabulation activities, management consultancy services such as designing accounting systems, cost accounting programs, and budgetary control procedures, and bill collection services. 

  • Third-party Approval: This business activity does not need third party approval.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Return: This business activity is exempt from this requirement.
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: This business activity must meet these requirements.

6920.01 Recording of commercial transactions from businesses or others

This subcategory is dedicated to maintaining accurate records of financial transactions for businesses and other entities. It involves systematically documenting all financial activities to ensure precise and reliable financial reporting. This foundational aspect of accounting supports businesses in tracking their financial health and meeting regulatory requirements.

  • Third-party Approval: This business activity does not need third party approval.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Return: This business activity is exempt from this requirement.
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: This business activity must meet these requirements.

6920.02 Preparation or auditing of financial accounts

This subcategory focuses on the preparation and auditing of financial accounts. This includes creating detailed financial statements and reviewing them to ensure accuracy and compliance with accounting standards. Auditing involves examining financial records and certifying their correctness, providing confidence to stakeholders regarding the integrity of the financial information.

  • Third-party Approval: This business activity does not need third party approval.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Return: This business activity is exempt from this requirement.
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: This business activity must meet these requirements.

6920.04  Preparation of personal and business income tax returns

This activity specialises in preparing income tax returns for both individuals and businesses. This service ensures that tax returns are accurately completed and filed in compliance with tax laws. Additionally, it includes advising clients on tax-related matters and representing them in interactions with tax authorities, helping them navigate the complexities of tax regulations effectively.

  • Third-party Approval: This business activity does not need third party approval.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Return: This business activity is exempt from this requirement.
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: This business activity must meet these requirements.

Did you find what you were looking for? Explore the other guides in our Activity Hub for exploring unique business ideas in Dubai and navigate the essentials of business setup with ease.

You can also calculate your business setup costs easily using our handy cost calculator and choose from our customized company setup packages to find your perfect fit.

Get your business license in the UAE today and explore a world of opportunities waiting for you.

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