When starting a business in Dubai, one requirement you will often come across is the attestation of your official documents.
From applying for a UAE business license to processing visa applications for employees, entrepreneurs are required to prove the authenticity of their submitted documents at various stages of the business set up process in Dubai. In order to do this, they have to provide attested photocopies of their documents to the relevant government departments before they are authorised to open a business in Dubai.
Fortunately, there is a streamlined system for attesting documents in Dubai. Below is a breakdown of the three-stage process, involving the Dubai Notary Public Courts, Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
Submission of documents for initial attestation at the Dubai Notary Public Courts
In addition to the original copy of the document to be verified, other documents need to be submitted to prove the identity of the applicant. These ID documents can include the applicant’s passport, his or her Emirates ID, family card or a proof of residence such as rental agreement or utility bill.
- Submitting bilingual documents: Some documents are required to be submitted in both English and Arabic. These documents need to be translated by a trusted interpreter and stamped to provide proof of the translation’s veracity. A business consultant in the UAE will be able to guide you about the type of documents that require both translations.
- Verifications: The documents are then examined by a notary and reverified by a second notary. A fee is due at the payment counter at this point. After it is paid, the applicant may collect his or her documents from the second notary, who will retain one original copy of the submitted documents.
- Obtain a stamp from the Ministry of Justice on the attested documents
This stamp is necessary for the successful execution of the attestation process. The stamping is a quick process and requires payment of a small fee before it takes place. Many people delegate this process to a business consultant in the UAE, though many visit the MOJ office themselves too.
- Obtain a stamp from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the MOJ-stamped documents
The attestation is not considered complete until this stamp is obtained. The stamp signifies that the concerned document has been examined to guarantee the validity of its previous stamps, as well as, the authenticity of the signatures on the document. Again, the stamp done at MOFA requires the payment of a fee, which varies with the type of document being attested.
The entire process can also take place electronically by uploading scans of the original document through the MOFA website or app. Alternatively, the applicant may visit a physical location such as a UAE embassy, a Customer Happiness Centre or a UAE mission abroad.
After the successful completion of the attestation process, entrepreneurs can initiate the process of obtaining a UAE business license to open a company in Dubai.