The UAE Commercial Companies Law requires that each company established in the UAE have one or more UAE national partner(s) who hold at least 51% of the company’s capital. Companies that undertake certain activities are exempt from the 51% requirement, including oil companies with concession agreements, companies involved in the oil and gas industry, companies that produce electricity and gas, companies involved in treatment of water and transmission and distribution. Foreign banks are exempt from having to appoint a sponsor. Companies established in free zones are exempt from the 51% requirement, if the relevant free zone has special provisions regulating the company.
According to the Companies Law, onshore companies may be incorporated under different forms among which limited liability companies, private and public shareholding companies. Foreign companies also have the possibility of registering branch offices or subsidiaries as onshore companies in UAE. All types of onshore companies have different shareholding structure and share capital requirements as it follows Limited liability companies must have at least one UAE national partner holding at least 51% of the paid-up capital,
Licensing requirements are applicable to all types of companies.
An office space is mandatory and residence visas are possible depending on the size of the office / work premises.
There are no accounting or auditing requirements.
According to the UAE , Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 concerning Commercial Companies, investors may set up the following forms of companies: There are seven categories of Permanent Establishments and other form business organization listed below.
Joint Liability Company,
Simple Civil Company,
Limited Liability Company,
Public Joint Stock Company,
Private Joint Stock Company,
Branches or Representative Offices of Foreign Companies
Free Zone companies,
Branch Offices vs. Representative/Liaison Offices
Civil /Professional Firms
Dubai Fast-Track License
Commercial Agency Agreement
The simple regulatory system,
The tax-free economy,
The lack of capital gains and corporate tax in Dubai,
The possibility of owning real estate,
Multiple currency available bank account for companies,
The skilled Dubai workforce.
There are three categories of licenses for all business activity in UAE :
Commercial licenses: covering trading activities.(49% Foreign Partner shares and 51% Local Partner )
Industrial licenses: for establishing an industrial or manufacturing activity.
Professional licenses: covering professional services, craftsmen and artisans.(100% Foreign Partner Shares)
All businesses, must also obtain a trade license from the emirate concerned before it can begin the business.Licensing procedures may vary from emirate to emirate. Specific information is available through the following Chambers of Commerce & Industry:
The required documents to obtain the license and more can be required depend upon the nature of activity
Copy of the applicant’s passport (with a residence permit / visa for citizens of countries)
Naturalization identification copy( UAE National only)
A letter of NOC from the current sponsor (employer has no objection to the dismissal of the employee)
Passport copy of the director and a letter of NOC from the current sponsor / director. Resolution of the Board of Directors of the company at the opening of the new establishment, if the partner is an active entity in the UAE or abroad (permission must be officially translated into Arabic, certified at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, the consulate or embassy of GCC, the consulate and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates).