Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How many types of licenses are there in IHC?
    • There are two types of license in IHC;
      • Humanitarian Organization License (branch)
      • Commercial Entity (FZ LLC and Branch)
  2. What is a Humanitarian Organisation?
    • The Branch of Local, International, Governmental, Non-Governmental or Non-Profit Organization licensed in the Free Zone; or an Organization, Agency, Program or Fund of the United Nations operating from the Free Zone.
  3. What is a Commercial entity?
    • A branch of a Commercial Company or an FZLLC, for profit, licensed by the Authority.
  4. What are the Relevant Criteria to consider the application for IHC Licenses?
    • Humanitarian Organization License (branch):
      • The Humanitarian Applicant should provide proof of having international presence and being operational and active in the international humanitarian arena; and
      • The Humanitarian Applicant should not be conducting or willing to conduct its activities in the UAE; and
      • The Humanitarian Applicant must be impartial, independent, and neutral in delivering humanitarian assistance, regardless of religious, ethnic, racial or other consideration.
    • Commercial Entity License:
      The Commercial Applicant must provide evidence on conducting business that is humanitarian related or that could be humanitarian related.
  5. What is the requirement to register and license a Humanitarian Organisation IHC?
    The registration and licensing of a Humanitarian Organisation branch is processed in 2 stages at IHC. Below requirements to be submitted to IHC respectively at stage 1 and 2.

    • Stage 1
      1. Application Form
      2. Certificate of Incumbency from HQ (An official document comprises of the names of head quarter’s directors, trustees etc.)
      3. Passport copies of the head quarter’s directors, trustees and appointed Manager for Dubai branch
      4. Copy of the headquarters’ Registration Certificate / License and MOA/Bylaw.
      5. License copies or other verification confirming any other branch offices (applicable to Humanitarian Organisations)
      6. Duly filled UBO Declaration with variables.
      7. Copy of headquarters’ financial audit report of the last financial year
        • Latest Audited Financial Report (signed by the auditor, by the management, and includes the auditor’s independent opinion/report)
        • List of contributors with contributions above USD 15,000
      8. Reference letters or copies of agreements signed with UN agencies or Humanitarian Organisations (if applicable)
      9. Business plan as per attached template. While using the template, please avoid the first page which is exclusively the guidance for you, should not be part of your final business plan.
    • The Registration and Licensing Committee will review the above documents and issue its acceptance / rejection. If the application is accepted, the applicant will be requested to submit the required legal documents (as per stage 2) within 3 months.
    • Stage 2
      1. Attested and notarized Good Standing Certificate
      2. Attested & notarized board resolution as per IHC template
      3. Attested & notarized copy of Articles of Association, Memorandum of Association or by-laws
        Note: All above documents should be issued from Headquarters, duly notarized & attested from UAE Embassy & legalized from Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dubai
      4. Signature specimen of authorized signatory as per board resolution (should be signed in presence of IHCA’s relevant employee)
      5. NOC from current sponsor if the appointed Manager is holding UAE residence visa
  6. What are the requirements to register and license a Commercial Entity IHC?
    • Commercial FZ LLC can be owned by either (A) Individual/s or (B) Non-individual (companies) shareholder/s.
    • Commercial FZ LLC by Individual shareholder(s) – Stage 1
      1. Application Form
      2. Passport copies of shareholder/s, appointed board of directors, secretary & manager along with their CV copies
      3. Reference letters or copies of agreements signed with UN agencies or NPOs (if applicable)
      4. Bank reference letter for the individual shareholder(s)
      5. Business plan as per the attached template. While using the template, please avoid the first page which is exclusively the guidance for you, should not be part of your final business plan.
      6. Duly filled;
    • The Registration and Licensing Committee will review the above documents and issue its acceptance / rejection. If the application is accepted, the applicant will be requested to submit the required legal documents (as per stage 2) within 3 months.
    • Commercial FZ LLC by Individual shareholder(s) – Stage 2
      1. Shareholder resolution as per IHC template (should be signed in presence of IHCA’s relevant employee)
      2. Signature specimen of authorized signatory (should be signed in presence of IHCA’s relevant employee)
      3. NOC from current sponsor if the appointed Manager is holding UAE residence visa
      4. Confirmation letter from any UAE bank confirming that the share capital (A minimum of AED 50,000/-) is deposited
        Note : IHC will issue a letter in the name of your selected bank to open an account for the share capital deposit along with the initial approval.
    • Commercial FZ LLC by Non-individual (companies) shareholder/s. – Stage 1
      1. Application Form
      2. Copy of registration certificate or license copy
      3. Certificate on Incumbency of the company shareholder (An official document comprises of the names of the directors/authorised signatory)
      4. Copy of MOA/By Law
      5. Passport copies of appointed board of directors, secretary, shareholders & manager along with their CV copies
      6. Reference letters or copies of agreements signed with UN agencies or NPOs (if applicable)
      7. Latest Audited Financials for the corporate shareholder. (Signed by the auditor, by the management, and includes the auditor’s independent opinion/report)
      8. Business plan as per the attached template. While using the template, please avoid the first page which is exclusively the guidance for you, should not be part of your final business plan.
      9. Duly filled;
        • IHC Form for UBO Declaration
        • Data of Shareholders (if investor is non-individual)
        • A chart showing the corporate structure of the entity (Up to the individual who ultimately owns the company)
    • Commercial FZ LLC by Non-individual (companies) shareholder/s. – Stage 2
      1. Corporate Shareholders’ Resolution as per IHC template (attached resolution should be drafted by the corporate shareholders’ board)
      2. Good Standing Certificate
      3. Copy of Articles of Association, Memorandum of Association or by-laws
        Note: All above documents should be issued from Headquarters, duly notarized & attested from UAE Embassy & legalized from Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dubai
      4. Confirmation letter from any UAE bank confirming that the share capital (A minimum of AED 50,000/- or a mentioned in the application at stage 1) is deposited IHC will issue a letter in the name of your selected bank to open an account for the share capital deposit along with the initial approval.
      5. Signature specimen of authorized signatories as per board resolution (should be signed in presence of IHCA’s relevant employee)
      6. NOC from current sponsor if the appointed Manager is holding UAE residence visa
    • The Registration and Licensing Committee will review the above documents and issue its acceptance / rejection. If the application is accepted, the applicant will be requested to submit the required legal documents (as per stage 2) within 3 months. In case if your decision is to open a branch of an existing commercial organisation ( either from the on shore or offshore of UAE), please let us know to provide you the branch application and requirements. While setting up the branch there is no requirement of share capital and bank account opening.
  7. What is the maximum no. of shareholders allowed in FZ LLC? Is there a minimum share capital required for FZ LLC in IHC?
    • FZ LLC is a limited liability company with a minimum of one (1) and a maximum of fifty (50) Shareholders. The minimum share capital required is AED 50,000/-
  8. How many activities can be chosen in the license?
    • You may have one activity segment free of charges in the license. However, if you prefer to add more than one activity segment, it will cost you additional AED 1000/- per segment.
  9. Is Manager on the license must have a visa from IHC?
    • The Manager of the Commercial entity shall be sponsored by the Authority pursuant to the Sponsorship Agreement between the Humanitarian Organization or the Commercial Entity and the Authority. However, a Humanitarian Organization may appoint a volunteer who is not under the Authority’s sponsorship as a Manager, provided the following conditions are met:
      • He/she holds a valid UAE residency visa
      • The Humanitarian Organization provides the Authority with a no objection certificate from the volunteer’s current sponsor allowing him/her to work as a volunteer for the Humanitarian Organization in the Free Zone.
  10. Is it mandatory to have office from IHC to issue the license?
    • IHC licensed entities should execute a valid Office Lease in IHC. Once licensed, the Humanitarian Organization or Commercial Entity must, always comply with the terms and conditions of each Lease. Sub-leasing and sharing of any Property are not permitted in the Free Zone.
  11. What are the leasing options in IHC?
    • There are 4 options
      • Physical office
      • Business Centre
      • Warehouse
      • Showroom
  12. What is the License validity period?
    • The term of the License shall be for two (2) years starting from the date of the issuance of the License and ending on the date of expiry of the License.
  13. What are the License Renewal Formalities?
    • A Humanitarian Organization or Commercial Entity must submit to the Authority a renewal request and the required fees and documents no later than sixty (60) days prior to each renewal date.
      Request letter: It needs to be prepared on the letterhead of the Establishment and stamped with the Establishment stamp.
      Original Free Zone License: Old License shall be submitted to the Authority to be replaced by a renewed License once the renewal process is finalized.
      Original Certificate of Good Standing: Issued by the Registrar of Companies in which jurisdiction the Headquarter is incorporated to ensure existence and continuity of the Headquarter or any equivalent document. It should be duly notarized and legalized by UAE Embassy. (Applicable for the companies with corporate shareholder).
      Original Certificate of Incumbency: Official Document issued or approved by the Registrar at the Headquarters declaring the names of the board of directors, trustees, investors. Duly notarized copy of the document shall be accepted. (Applicable for the companies with corporate shareholder).
      Passport copies of the current shareholder(s) and /or directors and appointed manager (Clear and valid passport copies).
      Business plan along with the budget: Any activity or operations for the upcoming year along with the expenditure plan for the upcoming year.
      Confirmation of Lease Renewal: It is required to provide any type of confirmation on the renewed valid lease agreement.
      Copies Insurance Policies:
      Below mentioned insurance policies should be renewed and submit a copy of same along with the rest of the documents.

      • Property All Risk Insurance
      • Public Liability/ Third party liability
      • Workmen Compensation (if applicable)
  14. Submission of Audited Report is mandatory in IHC?
    • Please be noted that the Audited Financial Report should be submitted to the IHC Finance Team directly within the next six months of every financial year ending.
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