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Open a Company in Dubai

Open a Company in Dubai

Foreign citizens can open various types of companies in Dubai, provided they respect the provisions of the Company Law which was recently amended. The procedure to open a company in this Emirate is not complicated and can be completed in just a few days, thanks to the integrated services the Government offers. If you are interested in opening a company in Dubai and need support, you can rely on our lawyers.

 Quick Facts  
 Types of local companies

– limited liability company (private and public),

– free zone company,

– sole trader, etc. 

 Legal forms available for foreign companies

– subsidiary,

– branch,

– representative office

 Minimum number of shareholders

 At least one shareholder is required for the private company, and a minimum of 3 is necessary for a public one.

 Minimum number of directors  1
 Resident director required (YES/NO)

Yes, no matter the business form 

 Local legal address required (YES/NO)

Yes, any local company must have a registered address in Dubai or the free zone it is established in. 

 Minimum share capital

 There are no more minimum share capital requirements for limited liability companies in Dubai.

 Local bank account required (YES/NO)

 Yes, it is necessary to open a bank account in Dubai for any type of enterprise.

 Business registration steps

– documents creation,

– documents filing with the Trade Register,

– tax and VAT registration

 Registration documents

– application form,

– Articles of Association,

– shareholders and directors details,

– proof of local address,

– bank account opening certificate

Visit required for incorporation (YES/NO) 

A visit may be required to complete various formalities, such as the opening of the bank account. 

Taxes to pay 

– income tax,

– value added tax

 Corporate tax rate

 9% on profits of more than AED 375,000 starting with June 2023 

 Advantages of opening a company in Dubai

– quick registration procedure,

– low taxes,

– competitive business and labor market

 Business registration support (YES/NO) Yes, you can rely on our lawyers in Dubai for assistance in opening a company. 

Steps to open a company in Dubai

Compared to other countries, in which the company registration procedure can commence right after selecting the appropriate business form, in Dubai an additional step is required.

The steps to launch a business in Dubai are the following:

  1. identifying the activity to undertake;
  2. selecting the legal form of the company based on the respective activity;
  3. draft the company registration paperwork;
  4. obtaining the company name approval and an initial acceptance from the Trade Register;
  5. finding a suitable place for the company’s activities;
  6. setting up a company bank account;
  7. registering the company with the Companies Register;
  8. obtaining the necessary operating license;
  9. register for taxation and obtain a VAT number.

Even if there are several steps to complete, the procedure to open the Dubai company can be in fact completed in a matter of days.

If you need assistance in setting up the desired business form, do not hesitate to get in touch with our Dubai lawyers who can represent you during the procedure, especially if you need a visa to enter the country.

Documents to draft for setting up a company in Dubai

The list of documents you need to have when filing for company registration in Dubai contains:

  • the trading name reservation form;
  • the application form, which is a standard document issued by the Trade Register;
  • the Memorandum and Articles of Association in case of corporate entities (private and public limited liability companies);
  • proof of having a local address in Dubai (a lease agreement, a rental contract, etc.);
  • a bank certificate indicating the opening of the bank account.

Our law firm in Dubai can help you prepare all documents for opening a business. Also, should you need representation, you can grant one of our lawyers a power of attorney to represent you, thus simplifying the entire procedure.

Here is also an infographic on this subject:

Types of business licenses you can obtain in Dubai

There are several types of business permits enabling local and foreign investors to open companies in Dubai. These are:

  • the occupational license;
  • the commercial license;
  • the industrial license;
  • the professional business permit;
  • the agricultural permit;
  • the tourism license.

If you are interested in setting up a company in a Dubai free zone, specific licensing requirements apply in each of them.

As a foreign citizen, it is also possible to move to this Emirate through a Dubai freelance visa which comes with various advantages.

Special requirements for foreign investors

The main special condition you need to respect as a foreign entrepreneur who wants to establish a company in Dubai is obtaining a residence and/or work visa if you want to manage your business from within the country.

Our lawyers can help you apply for residency in Dubai if you want to move to the UAE.

How to open a limited liability company in Dubai in 2024

After you have chosen the name of the company, the next step you need to do in order to establish an LLC in Dubai in 2024 is to draft the memorandum of association, the basic foundational document of the company. This official paper must be attested by one of the attorneys in Dubai.

Afterwards, you will have to register your company with the Company Register in Dubai. The Economic Department will approve your company and it will issue a license for it, according to the industry in which your company operates. 

Why set up an LLC in Dubai in 2024

Starting a business in the Emirates in 2024 implies selecting an appropriate business form and, in Dubai, the limited liability company seems a great option for those seeking to register a legal vehicle they are accustomed to. Moreover, the simple registration formalities are easy to respect.

The creation of a limited liability company in Dubai in 2024 implies preparing a few documents and filing them with the Trade Register. The procedure takes only a few days to complete.

Advantages of a limited liability company in Dubai

According to the Companies Law in UAE, the limited liability company is a type of enterprise which does not necessitate a complicated forming procedure. It is also open to a huge variety of commercial activities except banking or insurance activities. Through the LLC, you can access the local markets of Dubai; all you need is to find one or more persons with whom you are going to share the liability of the company. The most common shareholding model for an LLC is 51% of the shares owned by a local sponsor and 49% by the foreign investor.

It is also possible to establish your company without a sponsor, if you open it in a free zone. But even if you share the ownership of the company, it doesn’t mean that you will share as well the profits. You can either pay annually a fixed amount of money to the local sponsor or a certain percentage of the revenues.

Another advantage of forming an LLC in Dubai is the 100% tax free. Moreover you have the possibility to open a global bank account in a fast and easy manner. As a foreign investor and founder of an LLC, you are also offered by the UAE a residence visa that you might use if you intend to settle for a longer period of time in Dubai. 

If you want to open a limited liability company in Dubai in 2024, our lawyers are at your service. Here is also a video on this subject:

Number of companies in Dubai joining the Chamber of Commerce increases

According to the latest news, the first half of 2023 came with an increasing number of businesses in Dubai, according to the Chamber of Commerce:

  • between January and June 2023, the number of new companies entering the Chamber of Commerce grew by 43% compared to the same period last year;
  • this increase represents a total number of 30,146 subscribed to the Chamber.

The increasing number of companies is also a good indicator of the good economic outlook for the Emirates.

Economic predictions for UAE

The UAE is expected to have substantial economic growth, with growth rates of 3% in 2023 and an even stronger 4% in 2024. These positive forecasts are mainly due to the non-oil sector’s outstanding performance, which is anticipated to benefit from the booming travel and tourist sector, wise government policies, and technical breakthroughs.  The government has demonstrated its commitment to economic growth through the implementation of numerous commercial and social projects during the past recent years. Among these historic measures are the approval of 100% foreign ownership in a wide variety of commercial and industrial sectors and the introduction of an insolvency law.

If you want to open a company in Dubai and need assistance, please contact us.

Online Incorporation in Dubai

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