While generally, PR services refer to managing the Public Relations for an Organization, PRO Services in the Gulf region actually refers to managing the Government relations for an Organization. It represents the investor with the government entities, with which regular interaction is required to run a business in the region. This interaction could be for getting a trade license, approvals from related entities, get work-permits and employment visa for employees, cancellation of visa and many other related services.
PRO Services are offered by companies with Document Clearing services as an activity on their trade license. This entitles them to represent other businesses with the Government Authorities for meeting regulatory compliance requirements.
PRO Services can be considered a basic essential service for businesses, consequently, is in itself a business which has attracted a large number of entrepreneurs. As with any popular basic business you get good service providers and not so good service providers. It is critical for customers to have a benchmark to assess the service provider, given the multiplicity of service providers. PRO services is a combination of compliance to stated guidelines and interaction with government officials. Hence, requires a level of experience and communication skill sets.
As with any service, cheapest is not always the best option, this rule also applies when considering a PRO services firm to deliver on your requirements. You can always check out the estimated costs for services you are considering, at the government website, while the site will provide you with an estimate of government charges for specific services, the actual costs would be higher.
The PRO services firms can help in the following areas:
- Business setup advisory services
- Business setup services
- Arranging for Sponsors for your business
- Managing the interactions with the Department of Economy (license issuing authority)
- Managing the interactions with GDRFA (The immigration Authority)
- Managing the interactions with MOHRE (The Labor Authority)
- Arranging for requisite legal documents and guiding through Notarisation process
- Provide cost estimates
- Arranging for Work Permits, Labor cards, and employee visa
- Arranging for investors Visa and Dependent Visas
- Arranging for Visit Visa
- Helping you with options for offices.
- and many more…..
The services are rendered for a fee, these service providers are a big help given that they are well versed with the processes currently in place at any point in time. This helps you have a good understanding of what is involved in setting up a business or getting a visa in this part of the world. This includes documents required, cost estimates and timelines. PRO services or businessmen services can be considered a basic requisite service in the region and as with any such service, it does attract opportunists whose service delivery leaves a lot to be desired, Hence, it is recommended to perform due diligence before deciding on the service provider.
The PRO services usually have a well-established network of related service providers which is also essential to manage a business enterprise, these can extend to accounting services for your business, business centers, auditors, etc. This is a ready network available for a new entrepreneur in a new geography. Many PRO services firms also offer package deals which in most cases would be the attractive option to choose. The usual package deals include Sponsorship, Trade License registration, sponsorship arrangement, and in some cases office arrangements.
While choosing a PRO services or businessmen services firm to partner with, due diligence should be undertaken to ensure the right fit for mutual benefit. Some of the factors you should consider are the overall knowledge of the opportunities available across emirates both mainland and free zone wise, strong network of related service providers to give you a range of options and above all open and transparent communication.
One of the signs to identify problem areas are when service providers quote a fix price for a business set up, ideally, only an estimate is available, further the estimate would be with riders of estimates for additional costs. This is because, the actual costs can only be clear when the payment receipt is generated from the respective departments based on charges levied at that point in time.
Hope this post helps you in you quest for information regarding PRO services in UAE.