To offer a nurturing environment for growing businesses, banks in the UAE have come up with innovative banking products and services. For quick, convenient and frequent transactions of large volumes, several banks in the UAE provide business bank accounts. However, the service charges and minimum balance requirements for such accounts are relatively high, making it unaffordable for small businesses to open a business account. To resolve this issue, some banks offer zero balance business bank accounts in the UAE.
With a zero balance account, you don’t need to maintain a minimum balance to enjoy the banking services. The banks do not charge a fall-below fee if you have a low balance in your business account and other transactional charges are less in comparison to normal business accounts. The article below gives detail about zero balance business accounts in the UAE.
Features and Benefits of Zero Balance Business Accounts in the UAE
Apart from low service charges and zero minimum balance requirements, the zero balance business accounts offer a host of benefits for entrepreneurs and new business owners. With such business accounts, you get high transactional and daily cash withdrawal limits. Key benefits of zero balance business accounts are as follows.
- Zero Minimum Balance Requirement - As the name suggests, in a zero balance business account, you don’t need to maintain a minimum balance whatsoever. The accounts thus help you focus on other business-related expenses rather than maintaining a fixed account balance every month.
- Business Debit Card with Large Transaction Limit - With a zero balance business account, you get an internationally accepted business debit card to access your funds electronically. Additionally, the business debit cards come with large transactional limits so that your business runs uninterrupted. The debit card services and the limits may depend on the bank you open a business account with.
- Complimentary Chequebooks - For providing multiple transactional channels, the zero balance business accounts offer a free chequebook facility for convenient fund access. While the number of chequebooks may be limited to 1 or 2 per month with some banks, you may receive unlimited chequebooks with some other banks.
- Online Banking Suite - When opening a business bank account in the UAE, you get a full suite of online banking facilities, where you can perform multiple transactions within seconds from anywhere and at any time.
- Dedicated Relationship Manager - With a relationship manager, the banks take your burden of fund management. A relationship manager helps you with investment schemes and savings options to benefit your business. Similar to a normal business account, you get a dedicated relationship manager with a zero balance business account.
- Convenient Business Loans - Holding a zero balance business account makes you eligible for business loans. Once you have a relationship with the bank, you can conveniently apply for loans and credits at low interest rates and extended repayment periods.
- Competitive Forex and Trade Finance Rates - With a business account in the UAE, you get competitive forex and trade finance rates.
- Multiple Foreign Currencies Accepted - Most zero balance business accounts operate in multiple foreign currencies such as USD, GBP, EUR, JPY, and CNY. With multiple currency options, you get global business exposure with the reliability of a local bank.
Popular Zero Balance Business Bank Accounts in the UAE
With several banks offering business bank accounts, finding the best zero balance business account that suits your needs can be a tedious task. To help you with your selection process, we have compiled a list of the best business bank accounts with no minimum balance requirement in the UAE.
RAKStarter Business Account
RAKBANK has introduced the RAKStarter account as a zero balance business account, especially for new businessmen and entrepreneurs. As a RAKStarter business account holder, you don’t need to maintain a minimum balance or pay a fall-below fee. Since a new business requires capital inputs and investment, you can focus on your business expenses without worrying about the account maintenance fee and other charges.
Key features of RAKStarter business bank accounts are as follow.
- Account Operates in Multiple Currencies - Along with UAE Dirhams, the RAKStarter business account operates in multiple foreign currencies like USD, GBP, EUR and more. However, you may receive a different interest rate for operating your business account in different currencies.
- Earn Interest Rates on your Account Balances - RAKStarter is one of the few business accounts that offer interest rates on the account balance. With an account in the AED denomination, you can earn up to a 0.25% interest rate on the account balance.
- Unlimited Chequebook Facility - For quick and convenient fund transfers, the bank offers unlimited chequebooks. You can use the cheques for local and international fund transfers frequently and in large volumes.
- Competitive Interest Rates on FDs - As a RAKStarter business account holder, you get competitive interest rates on business fixed deposits. You can use the business fixed deposits for growing your business over the years.
- Uninterrupted Online Banking Services - With a RAKStarter business account, you get access to a full suite of online banking services. You can make online transactions, manage your funds and track your business expenses with ease from anywhere and anytime.
- Free Business Insurance - To deal with unforeseen events that can cause losses to your business, the RAKBank zero balance business account comes with complimentary business insurance.
- Dedicated Relationship Manager - To manage your funds and business investments, the bank offers a dedicated relationship manager who assists you with up to date investment opportunities and savings options.
Charges on RAKStarter Business Account
Following are the charges levied on the RAKStarter business account.
|Type of Charges
||Amount in AED
|Monthly Account Maintenance Fee
|Teller Transaction Charges
|Bulk Cash Handling Charges
|Chequebook Issuance Fee
|Request for Physical Account Statement
||AED 10 per statement
|Early closing of account within 6 months
|Trade License Certificate
CBD Zero Balance Business Bank Account
Commercial Bank of Dubai offers zero balance business accounts for new and nurturing businesses in the UAE. The account comes with lenient charges, monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirement. With the reliability of CBD bank, you get the option to operate the account in multiple currencies, giving international exposure to your business. With the starter business pack, you get a dedicated SME service desk.
Key Features of CBD zero balance business accounts are as follows.
- Multiple Foreign Currencies Accepted - As a CBD zero balance business account holder, you can manage your account in major foreign currencies such as USD, GBP, EUR, JPY, and CNY, apart from UAE Dirhams (AED).
- Complimentary Business Debit Card - With the CBD zero balance business account, you can avail yourself of an internationally recognised business debit card to access funds anywhere and anytime. The cards come with a higher daily withdrawal and transaction limit.
- Standard Banking Fees and Charges - The business account comes with lenient service charges. As a starter business bank account, you pay standard banking fees and charges for using the banking services. Additionally, you don’t need to pay a fee for electronic fund transfers to your own bank account or any other CBD bank account.
- Competitive Forex and Trade Finance Rates - With the CBD zero balance business account, you get competitive foreign exchange and trade finance rates.
- Dedicated SME Helpdesk and Relationship Manager - For business account holders, CBD bank offers an SME helpdesk to resolve the queries related to your funds and finances and helps to grow your new business. With a dedicated relationship manager, you get assistance for future investment opportunities and efficient fund management.
Charges on the CBD Zero Balance Business Account
The list of service charges and fees on the CBD zero balance business account are mentioned below.
|Type of Charges
||Amount in AED
|Monthly Account Maintenance Fee
|Standing Instruction Set up Fee
|Local Remittance in the UAE
|Chequebook Issuance Charges
||1st chequebook is free. AED 50 per chequebook thereafter.
|Cash Deposit over the Counter
|Cash Withdrawal over the Counter
ADCB e-Business Account
ADCB e-Business account is specially designed to support local businesses in their ventures. Since it is a zero balance business account, the bank does not charge any fall below fee on the account balance. Along with the complete support and reliability of ADCB bank, you get lenient charges on the banking services. However, the e-Business account is available only to UAE nationals, residents and individuals from GCC countries. Additionally, you can open this business account in UAE dirhams only as the bank does not entertain foreign currencies.
Following are the features of the ADCB e-Business Account.
- International Business Debit Card - For easy fund access, the bank offers an internationally recognised business debit card with high transaction and withdrawal limits. Additionally, you can use the card to deposit and transfer funds through CCDMs and ATMs.
- One Chequebook Free Every Year - The bank provides one free chequebook every year. For additional chequebooks, you need to pay a fee of AED 52.50 per chequebook.
- Accounts only Available to UAE Nationals and Residents - ADCB e-Business Accounts are available only to UAE nationals, residents and individuals from GCC nations.
- 24*7 Online Banking Facility - For quick and easy fund access, the bank offers an uninterrupted online banking facility. You can transfer large volumes of funds conveniently without visiting the bank.
- Utility Bill Payments - With the e-Business account, you can pay your utility bills online as well as offline. However, with offline payments, you may need to pay an additional service charge.
- Free Domestic Remittance - With the ADCB e-Business account, the bank offers unlimited domestic remittance without any charges.
- Free E-Statement - To maintain and oversee the business transaction details, you can request and review the e-statement anytime without any extra charges.
- Free Teller Transactions - Along with various transaction facilities, you get unlimited teller transactions over the counter free of charge.
Charges on ADCB e-Business Account
Following are the important fees and charges on the ADCB e-Business account in the UAE.
|Type of Service Charges
||Amount in AED
|Account Opening Amount
||Nil and no minimum balance required
|Upfront Yearly Fee
||1 chequebook is free every year. You pay AED 52.50 per chequebook thereafter.
|Inward Remittance in UAE Dirhams
|Remittance in Foreign Currencies
|Outward remittance through SWIFT and Telex transfers
||AED 78.75 (Bank counter) AED 21 (Online banking)
|Account Closure Charges
|Setting Up Standing Instruction
ADCB Smart Start Business Account
For new and upcoming businesses in the UAE, the bank offers an ADCB Smart Start Business account. With a Smart Start account, you don’t need to maintain a monthly account balance and can conveniently focus on your business expenses. However, the account is available in UAE Dirhams and only for UAE and GCC nationals. As an account maintenance fee, you need to pay AED 100 per month. Additionally, the bank does not allow foreign currency payments, whether inward or outward.
Following are the key features of the ADCB Smart Start account.
- Free Business Debit Card - With the Smart Start account, you get a free business debit card to access your funds from ATMs and CCDMs across the country. The business debit card comes with large daily transaction and withdrawal limits to support adequate cash flow for your growing business.
- Free Chequebooks - For seamless fund transfers, the bank offers a chequebook facility. The bank does not charge any fee for the first chequebook per year. For subsequent issuance, you need to pay a fee of AED 200 per chequebook.
- Free E-Statements - To track and manage your business cash flow, you can request free e-statements at regular intervals as per your preference.
- Free Access to ADCB Corporate Banking - With the Smart Start Business Account, you get complimentary access to ADCB corporate online banking along with a soft token facility. You can manage, monitor and conveniently access your business funds with the corporate internet banking facility.
- No Foreign Currency Allowed - The Smart Start Business Account operates in UAE Dirhams only and no transactions are allowed in any other currencies.
Eligibility Criteria for Opening a Zero Balance Business Bank Account in the UAE
Banks in the UAE have lenient eligibility criteria for opening a business account. Generally, a business owner needs to have the identity proof of business partners, proof of residence and a valid trade license. The following are the requirements for opening a zero balance business bank account.
- Valid Trade License - In order to apply for a business account, you need to have a valid trade license issued by the Department of Economic Development UAE.
- Documents of all Stakeholders - All the company stakeholders must abide by the UAE trade policies and produce all the documents required by the bank.
- Residency - UAE residents need to have Emirates ID and business incorporation details, while an expat needs a passport and UAE work permit or visa. The expats need to produce a valid UAE visa with the address details mentioned on it.
Documents Required for Opening a Zero Balance Business Account
While applying for a business account in the UAE, you need to make sure all your documents are in place. Following is the list of documents you need to submit during a zero balance business account opening.
- A passport and proof of residence for all the representatives and signatories
- A passport of the company director
- Bank account statements of all the company’s stakeholders (last 6 months statements)
- Reference letter from the business partner/partners
- Registry of shareholders
- A list of investors, current clients or future potential clients
- Details about the business account-related activities
- An original and a copy of Emirates ID of the shareholders or representatives
- A valid trade license from the DED (Department of Economic Development)
- Articles and Memorandum of Association
- Certificate of Incorporation of the company
Note - You may need to submit additional documents at the bank’s discretion.
How to Apply for a Zero Balance Business Account in the UAE?
Once you have your documents ready, you can apply for a business bank account using the online or offline mode. The banks in the UAE offer a convenient application process through numerous channels, including phone banking and IVR services. You can follow any of the methods given below to apply for a zero balance business account in the UAE.
- Online Application - For an online application, you need to visit the bank’s official website and scroll through the zero balance business bank accounts offered by the bank. Subsequently, you need to select a bank account that suits your business requirements. Later, you need to enter your personal and contact details and submit the online application form. The bank will contact you for the further application process.
- Offline Application - To apply offline, you need to visit the nearest bank branch with all the relevant documents pertaining to your identity and business. Later, you need to fill out an offline account opening form and submit it to the bank representative along with all the documents.
- Phone Banking - You can also reach out to the bank through phone banking and raise a request to apply for a zero balance business bank account.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Is there a monthly account maintenance fee for a zero balance business account in the UAE?
Ans: Depending on the bank, you may need to pay a monthly account maintenance fee on your business account. The charges and fees vary depending on the bank.
Q2: Which bank has the lowest service charges on zero balance business accounts in the UAE?
Ans: Considering various charges and fees on the business account, RAKStarter and ADCB e-business accounts are the most affordable.
Q3: Do I get a chequebook facility with a zero balance business account in the UAE?
Ans: Cheques are one of the most preferred fund transfer tools in the UAE, so most banks offer a chequebook facility with their zero balance business accounts in the UAE. While some banks provide one free chequebook every year, a few banks offer unlimited chequebooks.
Q4: Can I operate my business bank account in a currency other than AED?
Ans: Yes, most banks in the UAE offer business accounts in multiple currencies such as USD, GBP, EUR, and JPY, apart from UAE Dirhams.