Entrepreneurial spirit is alive and kicking in Dubai.
Last year there were nearly a quarter of a million business registration and licensing transactions – up 4.6% on the previous year. Dubai’s business landscape is competitive, diverse and full of opportunities. But from a legal point of view, it’s also full of bureaucracy, regulations and obligations on the part of you as a business owner.
Enter: The Government Liaison Officer. Known as PRO in Dubai, this is a requirement for every company. It’s the person responsible for processing official paperwork – visa applications and renewals, company licences, labour cards, and so on.
But there’s a question: Should you or someone already within your organisation take care of this, or should you outsource PRO services?
Here’s why outsourcing is the best option.
It may be that as a professional you’re used to dealing with that kind of project management, but there’s a difference between getting things done and getting things legal. Beneath the practicalities there’s a whole other level of administration – planning permission, liaising with government inspectors, consultation periods and dealing with lawyers when things go wrong.
It’s the same with a business and that’s where PRO services come in.
How dedicated PRO services can help save time
A dedicated business services provider can cover the back and forth on a whole range of issues for you. Visas, yes, but they can also help with setting up your company or additional branches in the first place and they can take care of approval and renewal of trade licences too.
They can help you with practicalities like opening corporate bank accounts, getting legal documents notarised and they can assist you with the legalities surrounding trademarks and copyright as well.
Saving time isn’t just a matter of delegation and hoping for the best. By getting professional PRO services from experts, you’re essentially buying in their experience as well. Navigating Dubai’s legal processes can be time consuming, but there’s no real reason why you can’t do any of it yourself.
What it comes down to is whether it makes sense to spend the time trying to understand the processes then carry them out – or whether to hire professionals who already know the ropes and can get started immediately.
How dedicated PRO services add expertise
Having outsourced PRO services on all of your paperwork and government administration can save you hours of time of going back and forth on what’s needed. Having been through those processes successfully time and again means they’ll know how to get results fast.
There are two parts to this. First, removing yourself from lengthy waits and complex legal processes hands back valuable business hours that you would have otherwise lost. But it can also help you to avoid falling foul of obligations and requirements.
For example, in January this year the UAE cabinet approved a list of penalties imposed on businesses for violations of tax laws. Among them are running a business without a licence (AED 5,000), failing to renew your licence (AED 250), and a heftier AED 20,000 for submitting false information to the Department of Economic Development.
It’s not like you’re deliberately committing any of those offences, but as a busy and stretched professional it’s easy to miss something that ends up having severe consequences.
How dedicated PRO services help keep your company in good standing
As a business owner and operator, it’s a good idea to keep a clean record with the Dubai authorities. Delays in responding to deadlines or requests, or failing to meet them completely can negatively impact your business records.
Failing to renew your licence could see your company blacklisted, which could mean cancellation of your employees’ visas and sponsorships and even the annulment of your own residence visa. In short, dedicated PRO services removes this worry.
PRO services can sweep away other aggravations by providing something akin to a concierge service. This means they take responsibility for picking up documents, clearing them with governmental departments, and then delivering them back to you.
They will keep you updated on the progress of everything they take care of and they retain a record of your company’s documentation, along with receipts and copies of government charges, expenses and any supporting documents.
How dedicated PRO services give you peace of mind
It’s good to know that your company dealings are both transparent and ready to respond to any future requests and obligations. With that in mind, PRO services will also ensure you are kept informed about changes to the law and any alterations in your own responsibilities as times moves on.
In the end, outsourcing PRO means more focus on your business
While there’s nothing in the business owner’s rulebook against tackling everything yourself, spreading yourself too thin isn’t a smart move. After all, your primary focus is building and growing the business.
Outsourcing PRO services to experienced professionals allows you to effectively compartmentalise a whole swathe of time-consuming and intricate processes. It’s about having the reassurance that as you build your business, you’re doing so on a sound legal footing.
In the same way that you could do your own accounts, but an accountant would do them more effectively, PRO services exist to alleviate the responsibility of hitting deadlines and preparing a paper trail. They untie the red tape from your hands and allow you to get on with running your business.
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