Dubai Business Setup

Requirements for Conducting Business in Dubai

To perform basic business activities in Dubai, you’ll need a license. There are four categories depending on the sector you wish to do business in:

•  Commercial License –This form of license is for any type of commercial business. In most cases, this license is issued for businesses that are engaged in trade (imports, exports, etc.).
•  Professional License –This license is issued to businesses that wish to engage in professional services/activities or non-commercial activities. In most cases, this is related to professions that require a specific type of expertise; such as Consultancy services.
•  Industrial License –This license allows a business to manufacture goods as well as anything else related to industrial enterprises.
•  Branch Office of a Foreign Company License –The UAE issues this license to any company whose Head Office (or Parent Company) is located somewhere other than within the UAE’s borders.

All licenses are issued by Dubai Economic Department. Depending on the license, however, you may also need additional approvals from various related Authorities. For example, banks and financial institutions will require approval from the Central Bank of the UAE. Insurance companies and related agencies require approval from the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. Manufacturing companies need approval from the Ministry of Industry, and, pharmaceutical and medical products require approval from the Ministry of Health.

Limited Liability Companies (LLC) in Mainland Dubai

The LLC is the most popular type of business model in the UAE. It provides an ideal stepping-stone for new businesses to secure local and national sponsorship. It also protects employees and investors from the need to worry about taxes and liberty on bank transactions. Additionally, it makes getting work visas for foreign employees easier.

LLCs are most important for non-national partners. Shares for LLCs are not open to the public, nor are they negotiable. Additionally, partners in LLCs are not required to present capital to authorities for incorporation. Also, non-national partners are permitted to hold shares but not exceeding 49% of the capital. However, profits may be divided on other agreed upon ratios. These could take into consideration such things as the efforts of non-national partners in management, provisions for technology, or expertise. Under an LLC, a foreign partner may still undertake management of the company and fix the annual fee/profit for national partners.
The primary purpose of establishing an LLC is the trade of physical goods both inside and outside of the UAE. The Dubai Economic Department allows 5 to 6 business activities from the same trading group per trade license. If partners or investors wish to trade in multi commodities and goods, they can apply for a “General Trading License”.

Conditions to Establish an LLC

There should be no less than 2 partners and no more than 50.
The company’s objective should not include insurance, banking, investments, or professional services.
UAE national’s shares should be no less than 51% of the company’s capital. This takes into consideration the business activities reserved for nationals.

Procedures for the Incorporation of an LLC Firm

•  Approve the Company Name
•  Prepare a Memorandum of Association
•  Authenticate the Memorandum of Association
•  Approve the Memorandum of Association
•  Inscribe the company name in the Commercial Register at the Trade Licensing Department.
•  Publish the date of the company’s incorporation
•  Obtain a Trade License
•  Give us a call today and we’ll help you establish your business’s own LLC in Dubai mainland.


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