The DMCC was setup in the year 2002 as an initiative to create a commodities trading marketplace in the region.
Companies operating from the DMCC have to comply with the following main rules and regulations:
DMCC Company Regulations
These Regulations were issued in 2003 and cover all aspects of company operations in the DMCC. The main sections include Incorporation of Companies, Share Capital, Management and Administration of Companies, Amalgamations, Winding Up provisions and Branch Company Operations.
DMCC Free Zone Rules & Regulations
The 3rdedition of the DMCC FZ Rules and Regulations were issued in 2012. They cover the development and operations of the free zone in general, specifically covering the following topics, among others:
- Governance of the DMCC
- Free Zone licenses
- Freehold and leases
- Building and operation controls
- Employment Affairs
- Employer-Employee relationship
- Health and Safety
UAE Federal Labour Law No. 8 of 1980
While the DMCC is a free zone with its own rules and regulations, labour affairs are governed by the UAE Federal Labour Law No. 8 of 1980. The law is applied in conjunction with the DMCC Free Zone Rules and Regulations.
The UAE Labour Law is extensive and covers all aspects of employment within the country. This includes provisions for employment, types of contracts, remuneration, working hours, leave policies and end-of-service benefits.
Memorandum and Articles of Association
The affairs of every company incorporated in the DMCC are governed by the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association, which are signed during the initial licensing process. The DMCC Memorandum is not usually customizable, but covers all aspects of company operations. This includes information on the licensed activities of the company, restrictions on the license if any, authorised and issued share capital, and details of the initial shareholders.
The Articles are an internal document of a DMCC Company and contain explicit provisions on management of company affairs, including powers of the officers of the DMCC Company, shareholder and director meetings and liquidation provisions.
CHECKLIST FOR COMPLIANCE WITH DMCC LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Here is a quick cheat-sheet on compliance with the DMCC rules and regulations. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and we advise that you check the DMCC main website for latest information.
Company set up
- Have you read and understood the DMCC Free Zone Rules & Regulations?
- Have you read and understood your DMCC Company’s Memorandum and Article of Association?
- Have you advised the DMCC authority of any changes to the company structure, such as increases in share capital, company name amendments, and changes in the senior management (Directors, Managers, Secretaries and Legal Representatives)?
- Have you read and understood the terms and conditions governing your office lease?
- Have you renewed the license of your DMCC Company on time? Do note that you would have to renew your office lease prior to renewal of the license.
Do you have 3rd party liability insurance at all times?
Do you have a valid Operational Fitness Certificate (OFC) for your office?
- Do you have the required NOC’s from all required non-DMCC authorities?
Have you notified the DMCC of any change of physical address of your DMCC Company?
- Have you submitted your annual financial statements to the DMCC Authority? These statements would have to be audited by a DMCC-authorised auditor.
- Are you performing only those business activities that your company is licensed to perform?
- Are all of your employees authorised to work from the DMCC with either a valid work permit, or identity card or access card (for non-sponsored employees)?
- Are your employment contracts in compliance with the DMCC Free Zone Regulations? You should be using the standard DMCC Employment Contract.
- Do you have valid workmen’s compensation and medical insurance cover for your employees?
- Have you advised the DMCC Authority of any changes to your employees details, such as job title and salary?