How to Start a Business Advisory or Strategic Consultancy Services Business with Meydan Free Zone

Business advisory or strategic consultancy services businesses are professional firms that provide guidance and advice to other companies on how to improve their operations and achieve their business goals. They have a team of experts who specialise in various fields, such as finance, marketing, human resources, and operations, and use their knowledge and skills to help clients solve problems, optimise their performance, and identify growth opportunities.

For instance, if a company is struggling to attract customers, a business advisory firm might help them rebrand or redesign their marketing strategy. Or if a company is experiencing operational inefficiencies, a business advisory firm may analyse the company’s operations to identify bottlenecks or areas for improvement. They may also help businesses develop strategic plans, improve financial management, or explore new markets. In essence, business advisory or strategic consultancy services businesses help other companies make informed decisions and achieve their desired outcomes.

The following are Business Advisory-related business activities you can choose when applying for your business license:

7020.11 – Strategy Advisory Services

Strategy advisory services under management consultancy services play a crucial role in helping businesses and other organisations navigate the complexities of managing their operations. From providing guidance on strategic and organisational planning to financial decision-making, marketing objectives, and human resource policies, management consultants offer comprehensive support to help businesses achieve their goals. 

They also assist with production scheduling and control planning, ensuring that resources are utilised effectively and efficiently. In addition, management consultants provide advice on public relations and communication, lobbying activities, and the design of accounting methods, cost accounting programs, and budgetary control procedures. 

With their expertise, businesses and public services can benefit from improved planning, organisation, efficiency, and control, enabling them to make better-informed decisions and achieve greater success.

Exclusions

The following activities are not included in this business activity:

  • Creating computer software for accounting systems
  • Providing legal advice or representation
  • Engaging in accounting, bookkeeping, auditing, or tax consulting
  • Offering architectural, engineering, or other technical advisory services
  • Conducting advertising activities
  • Carrying out market research or public opinion polling
  • Providing executive placement or search consulting services
  • Providing educational consulting services

Third-Party Approvals

No third party approvals are required for this business activity.

6619.02 – Investment Advisory Services 

Investment advisory services are an important aspect of financial services and include a range of auxiliary activities that are not classified elsewhere. These may include financial transaction processing and settlement activities, such as those involved in credit card transactions. 

In addition, investment advisory services are a key area of focus for those engaged in this industry. Mortgage advisers and brokers also play a critical role in providing advice and guidance to those seeking to buy or sell a property. 

Furthermore, trustee, fiduciary, and custody services are also offered on a fee or contract basis to assist with the management of financial assets. Credit card transaction processing and settlement activities are another critical component of investment advisory services, enabling the smooth and efficient transfer of funds between parties. 

Overall, investment advisory services provide vital support to individuals and businesses seeking to manage their finances effectively and efficiently.

Exclusions

While investment advisory services play a vital role in helping individuals and businesses manage their finances, it’s important to note that certain activities are excluded from this category. 

This includes the activities of insurance agents and brokers, who specialise in providing insurance products to clients. Additionally, the management of funds is not considered part of investment advisory services.

Third-Party Approvals

No third-party approvals are required for this business activity.

6619.13 Financial Advisory and Financial Analysis  

While financial advisory and financial analysis are distinct areas of expertise within the broader financial services industry, they are closely related and often work in tandem. Financial advisory services may include a range of auxiliary activities, including financial transaction processing and settlement activities, such as those involved in credit card transactions. 

Additionally, investment advisory services are often provided as part of a broader financial advisory package, alongside other services such as mortgage advising and broker services. Trustee, fiduciary, and custody services may also be provided to help clients manage their financial assets effectively. 

Credit card transaction processing and settlement activities are another critical component of financial advisory services, enabling the smooth and efficient transfer of funds between parties. Overall, financial advisory and financial analysis services are essential for individuals and businesses seeking to manage their finances effectively and efficiently.

Exclusions

While financial advisory and financial analysis play an important role in helping individuals and businesses manage their finances, it’s important to note that certain activities are excluded from these categories. 

This includes the activities of insurance agents and brokers, who specialise in providing insurance products to clients. Additionally, the management of funds is not considered part of financial advisory or financial analysis.

Third-Party Approvals – Pre License

In order to run a successful business that offers both financial advisory and financial analysis services, it is essential to obtain approval from the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) prior to obtaining the license. This regulatory approval is crucial for ensuring that the service provider meets the required standards and complies with the regulations established by the SCA. 

This, in turn, is essential for ensuring that the business is able to attract and retain customers, as clients need to have confidence in the quality and reliability of the services provided. By obtaining regulatory approval from the SCA, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to maintaining the highest standards of quality and safety in the provision of financial advisory and financial analysis services.

6920.05 – Advisory Activities and Representation on Behalf of Clients Before Tax Authorities

The activity involves various tasks related to accounting and financial record-keeping. These include recording commercial transactions from businesses or other entities, preparing and auditing financial accounts, examining accounts and certifying their accuracy, preparing personal and business income tax returns, and providing advisory activities and representation on behalf of clients before tax authorities. 

The activity also includes accounting, bookkeeping, and auditing activities, as well as tax consulting and bookkeeping services.

Exclusions

This activity excludes:

  • Data processing and tabulation activities
  • Management consultancy activities, including the design of accounting systems, cost accounting programs, and budgetary control procedures
  • Bill collection services

Third-Party Approvals

No third-party approvals are required for this business activity.

8110.11 – Security and Safety Advisory 

Facilities support services comprise a range of activities offered within a client’s facility, such as general interior cleaning, maintenance, trash disposal, guard and security, mail routing, reception, laundry, and other related services to support the smooth running of operations within facilities. 

These units provide operational staff to carry out these activities, but are not liable for the core business or activities of the client. This activity includes the management of facilities, such as military bases, prisons, and other facilities (except for computer facilities management).

Exclusions

This business activity does not include:

  • Providing only one support service, such as general interior cleaning or heating. In such cases, the appropriate activity should be selected based on the specific service provided.
  • Providing management and operating staff to run an entire establishment belonging to the client, such as a hotel, restaurant, mine, or hospital. In such cases, the unit operated should be classified under the relevant activity.
  • Providing on-site management and operation of a client’s computer systems and/or data processing facilities.
  • Operating correctional facilities for a fee or contract basis.

Third-Party Approvals – Pre License

To establish a business that provides security and safety advisory and to ensure that clients are attracted and retained, it is necessary to obtain approval from the Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA) of Dubai prior to obtaining the license. 

ESR

It is important that you adhere to the rules & regulations of Meydan Free Zone, by submitting your ESR on time, and supporting its efforts to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. 


The Economic Substance Test is reported through the submission of the Economic Substance Return within one year after the end of the financial year. Notification must be filed by companies whose financial years began on or after January 1st, 2019, and ended on or before December 31st, 2019. Recently established companies must also submit their Economic Substance Return the following year.

Business activities 7020.11, 6619.02, 6619.13, 6920.05, and 8110.11 are not subject to ESR.

AML

Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions are required to comply with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws by implementing the Ministry of Economy’s requirements. An existing licensee has already registered for goAML following the awareness campaign that ended on April 30th, 2021. New licensees must comply with the requirements after obtaining their license to avoid potential fines.

Business activities 7020.11, 6619.13, 6920.05, and 8110.11 are not subject to AML regulations, however, activity 6619.02 – Investment Advisory Services is. To avoid potential fines, new licensees who engage in investment advisory services must comply with the AML requirements after obtaining their license.

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