If you’ve been too scared to start a small business due to the country’s strict bankruptcy laws, well, help could soon be at hand.

H.H. Sheikh Mohammed, ruler of Dubai and Vice President of the UAE, has announced that the UAE is updating its legislation around bankruptcy in order to promote and encourage local entrepreneurs.

While details of the exact amendments have not yet been confirmed, it’s anticipated that the new law will address the country’s current bounced cheque rule.

As it stands in the UAE, criminal charges can be brought against individuals who issue bad cheques.

The existing legislation meant many business owners and executives facing financial strife would choose to flee the country and their debts rather than face jail, something the new insolvency law hopes to put an end to.

Sultan Saeed al-Mansouri, the UAE’s economy minister, has confirmed that the new law should be in place by the end of the year.

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“The need for a bankruptcy law is there, as soon as possible,” he said, according to Gulf Business, which also reported that small business owners had departed the UAE with around Dhs5 billion in debt last year.

The new law is additionally expected to lay out protocol for corporate bankruptcies and improve businesses’ access to bank funding.

The new federal law “will reflect positively on the national economy in terms of the possibility of keep abreast of changes”, said Sheikh Mohammed on his website, adding that it will “enable enterprises to achieve the highest possible performance and therefore drive growth going forward”.

So if you’ve got a great business idea, 2017 looks like the year to put it into fruition…

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