Foreign Company Registration in Dubai

Foreign Company Registration in Dubai

Nowadays, Company formation in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the great decision for a businessman. Because Dubai has an impressive business opportunity from any other country and place. Let discuss on company formation process in Dubai step by step. Here we are trying to highlight about that:

Type of Company in Dubai

Before company registration in Dubai you must select the appropriate business type. Click here to know more about register company in Dubai as foreigner. Basically, there are four types of companies in Dubai, the categories are:

  • General companies
  • Free zone companies.
  • Offshore companies
  • Branch offices

Necessary information for Company registration in Dubai

Setting up a company in Dubai as foreigner, you should know the necessary information to be updated before investment.

Minimum capital Minimum capital is USD 82000 and equity cannot over 49 percent being foreign share holder (s)
Share holders Number of shareholders are minimum two and utmost are fifty to registration fresh company
Share value Minimum share value of Dhs one thousand to setup entity in Dubai as foreign investment
License fee Getting commercial license of Dhs 300,000 in Dubai Foreign Company Registration-Incorporation
Bank of Dubai Being Dubai is one of the global business area international banks have entered to provide banking services.
Why free zone Free zone area attracts foreign investors to setup business enjoying tax exemption facilities on particular business

Steps of company registration in Dubai

Here are the steps of company registration in Dubai for foreigner, have look the necessary information:

Step 1: Contact the registration agent
Step 2: Specify your activity type
Step 3: Determine the legal form for your business
Step 4: Obtain a trade name approval for your business
Step 5: Obtain initial approval certificate for your business
Step 6: Prepare a Memorandum of Association
Step 7: Establish a location for your premises
Step 8: Collect your license

Contact the registration agent

Rather than managing the business start-up by your own, hiring an agent is the best option for you. The consultants will help to register the business for you, help with opening your bank account, arrange for an auditor, do your renewals and yet also offer you nominee services. They will also provide necessary requirements to help you registering your legally with minimal problems on your end.

Specify your activity type for company registration in Dubai for foreign

It is very important to select the most appropriate category/categories for your business. You also need to clarify your business activity/activities as to determines the type of business license/licenses legally required.

Example of license according to business activity:

  • Commercial License
  • Agricultural License
  • Professional License
  • Occupational License
  • Industrial License
  • Tourism License

Determine the legal form for your business

The activity/activities of your business and the number of nationalities of the business owners are the most 2 important factor that you need to consider before deciding on the appropriate legal form for your business. For each legal structure, different rules and regulations will be applied to. Thus, make sure to choose the form of ownership that best suits your needs:

  • National Proprietorship (100% National)
  • Commercial Company (51% Minimum National Share)
  • Foreign Company Branch
  • Commercial Agency Agreement
  • Gulf Establishment or Company

Obtain a trade name approval for your business

Consider obtaining approval for your trade name as it is a very important part of the legal procedure. It is better to select a name that ideally indicate the nature of business. Or, you may be free to name your trade by an unrelated name to your business if it is a branch of another company.

After that, get the approval from the Department of Economic Development (DED) for your trade name and activity/activities.You may apply for approval by using a standard application form and submit it to DED. If your trade name is approved, you will receive your trade name certificate.

Obtain approval certificate for your business

Approval certificate enables you to begin the necessary paperwork for your business license other than approaching authorities relevant to your business activity for additional approvals if necessary. For non-nationals, they must obtain approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

Prepare a Memorandum of Association

Make a Memorandum of Association (MOA) with the sponsor and make sure to submit it to DED. When submitting the MOA at DED, be sure to submit along with the License application, required legal documents and the tenancy contract.At this step, all charges and fees must be paid. You should receive your license after about a week from the day you submit the documents.

Establish a location for your premises

Finding out strategic locations is very important for a business growth. After obtaining your legal procedures and form, it would be best to shortlist some locations of your premise with costs and other necessary details. Usually, you will find it easier in free zones, as you will get assistance to find premises suitable to your requirement other than assistance in setting up electricity, internet, water and other amenities.

Collect your license

After receiving all the approvals and fulfilling all legal requirements, you need to pay the associated fees and retrieve your business license. This can be done through DED or through various licensing authorities.

Dubai Free Zone Company

A Free Zone company owner gets 100% ownership for the business set up. No sponsor or agent required for the entire procedure and no restriction will block you down:

  • Get 100% Ownership
  • Can be formed individually
  • Bank account can be opened in Dubai
  • Secrecy maintained 100%
  • No tax
  • Pay Less Renewal Charges
  • Feel free to liquidate anytime
  • Allowed to set up any international business
  • Free to do multiple activities
  • Can hold Properties freely

Offshore Company in Dubai

This type of company registration is usually referring to a business that already operating outside Dubai. (e.g.: a business in Australia opens a new branch in Dubai)

For offshore company registration:

  • No minimum capital required
  • Actual office is minor issue (not required)
  • Must register minimum one director per company
  • Financial records and an annual financial report need to be audited by a professional auditing company and get approval from the free zone.
  • Must hold annual general meetings

Branch office in Dubai

For Branch office open in Dubai:

  • Foreign branch office is allowed to start business in Dubai and generate revenue;
  • Representative or branch office can run business like foreign own shareholding , subsidiary company;
  • Representative office is not allowed to do business in area of UAE;
  • Trade permission is provided by economic development department and name reservation is done of the branch or representative office from said authority in Dubai Foreign Company Registration-Incorporation;
  • Incorporation certificate, MoA & AoA, sponsor’s information, financial data, consent from directors to open office in UAE, engagement confirmation letter of appointing employees, power of attorney of the key employee to operate the business on behalf of the entity of parent company;
  • Ensure notary of all the papers from embassy of UAE;
  • Remit money confirmation letter from any bank of UAE;
  • Office rent or lease documents, undertaking from head corporation, engagement of auditor  and some others should  submit to Economic Department to get clear of office registration;
  • After obtaining trade permission apply for membership of Chamber of Commerce;

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How long does it take to set up a company in Dubai?

Usually, Offshore Companies can be incorporated in within 5 working days.

How long does it take to set up a free zone company?

The time needed will be varied for each UAE Free Zone. The most usual duration would be around 10 working days up to 6 weeks.

How much is the tax charged for each business/company?

0% rate of corporation tax.

Do we need to visit Dubai before starting up a business/company?

Depend on the type of entity that going to be incorporated:
**Most UAE Free Zone, entities can be incorporated without visiting Dubai
**For UAE Offshore companies, each shareholder/director of the new company is required to visit Dubai at least once.
**For Mainland LLC companies, all shareholders/directors need to visit the Dubai/UAE as to sign the company’s articles of association.


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Company Registration Expert Since 2012