Legal forms in UAE

Any activity carried out in the UAE, as well as business projects of any nature, shall be licensed. The licensing procedure is regulated by the federal Government and the authorities of the emirates, therefore the requirements and regulations differ in every emirate. The newly formed companies require registration with the Ministry of Economic Affairs or the Departments of Economic Affairs or the local Trade Chambers and Free Trade Zones subject to the legal form.

The fundamental federal legislative base ensuring control over business activity in the United Arab Emirates is the Commercial Agency Law and the Commercial Code that can be downloaded from the official web-site of the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the United Arab Emirates (www.economy.ae).

Registration beyond Free Trade Zone with involvement of the UAE citizen

Any company located beyond any of FTZs and other free zones shall have at least one partner that is the UAE citizen and owns at least 51% share. Since 2005 the citizens of the Gulf may own 100% share in the authorized capital of the company within the UAE.

Registration in UAE FTZ

Any license issued by any of FTZs is valid only in a certain FTZ it is issued for. Any companies and organizations located in the free trade zones are prohibited to advertise trade or offer their goods and services within UAE, however permitted to carry out such activities beyond the Emirates.

If they plan to carry out such activities in the UAE, they may act through Agency, Representative office, Distributor or Parent company that has a license issued by the competent authorities of the United Arab Emirates and paid the import duty at the rate of 5%, if the goods or services are provided to the local market. For the purpose of viewing goods and services or obtaining advises the prospective customers have access to the offices located in the FTZ. In such a case, the agent’s services are not required when the goods or services are purchased from UAE or any other countries.

Registration in UAE

The offshore company shall have the legal address in the country of the registered agent approved by the competent authorities of the UAE, as well as ensure accounting, submit the annual reports to the shareholders and deliver it to the Registrar of Companies.

Types of special licenses:

  • license to commercial activity;
  • license to trade operations;
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