Empowering UAE's Global Business Aspirations: The Role of Trusted Digital Business Licences

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Simon Gordon


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Empowering UAE's global business aspirations: The role of trusted business licenses

The dynamic landscape of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) presents an exciting promise of unparalleled opportunities for international businesses around the world. Between the rush of multi-national corporations clamouring to set up shop in the UAE’s diverse free zones, and the strategic initiatives of Public Sector authorities to attract and support such businesses – how can we make this as efficient as possible? There is an ever-growing need for business processes to be further optimised to accelerate and facilitate such tremendous growth.

The necessary timeline of complex incorporation processes

International businesses looking to operate in the UAE need to provide a digitally attested business license. However, the journey towards registering and incorporating a business is notoriously complex and manual, involving a multitude of due diligence checks and the careful logging of key corporate information, so businesses may find themselves involved in a long-drawn out process to obtain an official business license.

Difficulties in verifying trusted business information

Rapidly growing business landscapes, such as the free zones in the UAE, tend to experience many alterations to businesses and their related information. Companies and shareholders come and go at lightning speed, making it a challenge for both Public Sector authorities and other business stakeholders to verify the validity and authenticity of a business license.

Such challenges arise due to the static nature of traditional licenses. Static licenses cause licensing authorities to lose control over their licenses beyond the point of issuance as there is no effective way to communicate to the wider business ecosystem if a business license has been suspended, revoked, or updated.

Compounding this challenge is the fact that traditional licenses, whether in PDF or paper formats, can be easily tampered with. This makes it necessary for Public Sector authorities and business stakeholders to verify the business licenses of the companies they are transacting with. However, the process of verifying a business license is a manual and typically unreliable one. Often, it requires visual comparisons between an obtained copy against an official copy stored in the licensing authority’s repository, which may be prone to human error and can slow down sales cycles and deal flows.

Without a quick and easy way to tell if a business license is authentic, tamper-free, and valid, Public Sector authorities and international businesses may find themselves running to keep up with the speed of the UAE’s growth as a global business hub.

Facilitating business mobility across free zones

The key to addressing these challenges lies in embracing trusted digital business licenses. These blockchain-based licenses, digitally attested by the licensing authority, offer a revolutionary solution. The use of digital signatures, metadata, and blockchain technology provides a secure layer of authenticity and prevents unauthorised tampering. In addition, trusted digital business licenses are instantly verifiable with either a QR code scan or an online verifier portal, eliminating the tedious and unreliable processes of manual verification associated with traditional licensing, and ensuring businesses can transact with a piece of mind. Lastly, trusted digital business licenses are dynamic in nature, meaning these business licenses always reflect their latest status – even if an older copy is being verified.

In essence, trusted digital business licenses streamline the complex incorporation process through digital automation, and enable Public Sector authorities and businesses to operate easily across different free zones and stakeholders with trusted, current, business information.

UAE experts agree that trusted digital business licenses are the next step

One business attacking this challenge head-on appeared at the world’s largest tech show held in Dubai in October 2023, Expand North Star. Singaporean business Accredify emerged as the champion at its start-up pitch competition. Accredify is a start-up that works with Public Sector authorities in issuing trusted digital business licenses. The judging panel, consisting of esteemed experts from UAE business authorities, including the Ministry of Economy and the Dubai Future District Fund, acknowledged the transformative potential of trusted digital business licenses, highlighting its necessity in enabling the UAE’s aspirations to become the world’s leading global business hub.

Global momentum in the adoption of trusted digital business licenses

The adoption of trusted digital business licenses by governments around the world is a testament to how fundamental it is in facilitating business in today’s evolving climate. Singapore’s business licensing authority, by working with Accredify, has streamlined business licensing and reduced verification time from 15 minutes to a mere 5 seconds.

Similar success stories echo across borders, with organisations in Australia and Japan already implementing Accredify’s trusted digital documents to enhance digital trust within their ecosystems. To further illustrate the significant business impact of trusted digital documents, Accredify has already seen the issuance of over 2.5 million trusted documents, with over 12 million verifications performed on these trusted digital documents to date.

Not missing the opportunity to become a global leader

As the UAE strives to become an international business hub, the implementation of trusted digital business licenses emerges as a strategic imperative. Streamlining processes, enhancing control, and facilitating cross-border operations, these licenses promise to accelerate the entry of global corporations into the free zones and redefine the UAE’s business landscape, cementing the UAE as the ultimate global business destination. The time has come to usher in a new era of business documentation, marked by efficiency, security, and the guarantee of trust.