Business Incorporation UAE: Dubai’s Path to Company Formation and Registration

Eslam Mobarak
Published 2 months ago on 7 April, 2024-695 views
Business Incorporation UAE and Dubai Guide to Company Setup

Establishing a Business Incorporation UAE or a firm in top-tier Dubai is the wisest decision. Our comprehensive overview covers all aspects of setting up a Business Incorporation UAE. The UAE is always open for business. Whereas your jurisdiction creates impediments at every turn, business incorporation in the UAE may provide a more efficient process. The UAE is the next frontier for UHNWI investment. If you’re considering establishing a business in the UAE or elsewhere, our comprehensive approach will help you do it quickly and successfully.

Read more: Business Infrastructure UAE: Paving the Path to Prosperity in the Emirates


Business Incorporation UAE

The United Arab Emirates understood global investment and how to attract it by providing appealing incentives. Unsurprisingly, it has enticed the world’s top investment firms to establish offices in the UAE. The UAE government is committed to developing its approach to Business Incorporation UAE. They are pioneering the Bashr online company formation service, which unites services and allows investors to register their firms in the UAE in 15 minutes via a unified online platform.

This platform collaborates with federal and local government agencies to provide business licenses. Abu Dhabi Business Centre provides investors an instant license to launch their business online. They acquire their commercial license without travelling to the UAE in person.

Read more: Business Funding Consultants Dubai: Your Strategic Guide to Startup Financing


Business Setup Services in Dubai

Business Setup Services Dubai
Business Setup Services Dubai

Dubai Economy and other Dubai government organisations that govern key sectors have established the Dubai Virtual Commercial City Program for worldwide businesses and investors. This enables investors to develop a virtual corporation in the Emirates even if they do not dwell there. Previously, the UAE mandated that 51% of a company’s stockholders live within the country.

However, this is no longer true with the Amending Commercial Companies Law. Today, you can form an LLC in the United Arab Emirates with all stockholders living abroad. Opening a business in the UAE opens the way to obtaining a UAE residency visa.

Read more: Business Financing UAE; Your Guide to SME and Corporate Business Loans in Dubai


Identify Business Activity in the UAE

Your business activity is the foundation for determining the legal form and type of license you require, such as commercial, industrial, or professional. A corporation can have more than one business activity, with over 2,000 to choose from in the UAE. Deciding on a business activity is analogous to laying the first brick of a house. There are ten sorts of licences. They are as follows:

  • Industrial.
  • Commercial.
  • Professional.
  • Tourist.
  • Agricultural.
  • Occupational.
  • Trading or General Trading.
  • Consultancy or Services.
  • Media.
  • Facility.

Read more: UAE labor law: important terms, regulations, and key benefits


Foreign Investment Businesses UAE

Comprehensive Guide Business Incorporation UAE
Comprehensive Guide Business Incorporation UAE

A Foreign Investment Company is one in which the Foreign Investor can own up to 100% of the shares. Foreign Investment Companies are licensed by the competent licensing authorities following the provisions of the Foreign Direct Investment Law and registered in the Foreign Investment Companies Register. Here are the requirements for foreign investment incorporation establishment:

  • The company’s activities should be on the “Positive List” defined in the Foreign Direct Investment Law.
  • The firm should contribute to the country’s economy, safeguard the environment, and ensure public health and safety.
  • The corporation must comply with all the standards outlined in the Federal Investment Law and its revisions.

The licensing body of each Emirate UAE determines the specific activities listed in the Positive List and the level of permissible foreign ownership. As a result, it is best to check in with partnerships regularly to get up-to-date information on this.

Read more: Business Loans UAE; Apply to Business Finance UAE Bank Loan


Offshore Business Incorporation in the UAE

UAE Offshore Company Incorporation
UAE Offshore Company Incorporation

An offshore company is formed primarily to conduct business outside of its jurisdiction. The UAE’s two most important offshore jurisdictions are the Jebel Ali Free Zone and the Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone. An offshore corporation is typically established in a favourable country that does not impose corporate or personal income taxes, reporting obligations, or limits on employment practices. An offshore company’s fundamental limitation is that because it is exempt from taxes and laws, it cannot conduct business in its place of establishment.

An offshore company cannot do business in the UAE. However, investing in companies, buying property, and having bank accounts are normally permissible. Establishing an offshore corporation does not qualify you for a resident visa in the UAE. Here are the Offshore business requirements:

  • A corporation registered in an offshore jurisdiction has all of the benefits of an offshore company and must always have a Registered Agent. James Berry & Associates are registered agents for the Jebel Ali Free Zone and can establish an offshore business for you.
  • Offshore firms can be owned entirely by foreign persons and companies.
  • An offshore company requires at least two directors.
  • An office space is not required; however, the registration must be renewed annually.

With a thorough understanding of government processes and considerable expertise in the UAE market, James Berry & Associates’ foreign company incorporation team can provide customers with bespoke company formation alternatives and valuable services.

Read more: Business banking Dubai UAE; Setup corporate bank account in Emirates banks


Offshore Company Formation RAK

Offshore Company Formation RAK
Offshore Company Formation RAK

Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is one of the seven emirates of the UAE. A company founded in RAK is a UAE firm that has all of the benefits of a UAE company. The Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA), managed by the Ras Al Khaimah government, is responsible for establishing RAK enterprises. The government only allows licensed registered agents to develop businesses in Ras Al Khaimah; we at Winston Wolfe are such agents.

They are licensed to provide full-service and consulting services. If they determine that an RAK company suits your needs, they are authorised to guide you through the complete setup process of opening a bank account for your new RAK company. People like you can gain a legal presence in the UAE through the Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority, and Winston Wolfe can help you establish one. By allowing you to establish a legal presence in the UAE, you may take advantage of the vast array of benefits available there.

Read more: Business Development Dubai; Best executive jobs careers in UAE


Benefits of Establishing a Company in RAK

Business Incorporation Process UAE
Business Incorporation Process UAE

Given that the UAE is comprised of seven emirates, you might choose any of them for your company incorporation. However, the benefits of establishing a company in RAK include the following strategic advantages:

  • RAK is only a 45-minute trip from Dubai.
  • RAK provides easy access to all markets in the MENA region.
  • In real terms, 31% of the world’s population lives within a four-hour flying radius.
  • First-class, direct access to express freeways, seaports, and airports.
  • Sharia Law does not affect RAKIA-based companies.

The essential advantage of choosing RAK over any other emirate is that you get all of the benefits the UAE offers and the most straightforward business formation process in the UAE. Non-free zone firms are classified as Establishment (E) corporations, excellent for a single shareholder, or Limited Liability firms (LLCs), best suited for two or more partners. Partners might be individuals, businesses, or both.

Free zone firms are classified as Free Zone Establishments (FZEs) for single shareholders or Free Zone Limited Liability firms (LLCs) for two or more partners. Partners might be individuals, businesses, or both. Establishing a local or foreign firm branch in RAKIA is also feasible if the parent company has a valid business license from any licensing body, whether in the UAE or elsewhere.

Read more: Business Opportunities UAE: Profitable Ideas for Successful Businesses in Dubai


Limited Liability Company in the UAE

Free Zone and LLC Company Setup UAE
Free Zone and LLC Company Setup UAE

The most popular type of business entity formed in the UAE nowadays is a limited liability company. An LLC can be founded by at least two and a maximum of fifty people, with liability restricted to their share of the company’s capital. According to the Commercial Companies Law, a foreign firm or individual may own 49% of an LLC’s share capital, with the remaining 51% held by a UAE national individual or a UAE company owned entirely by UAE nationals. Here are the requirements for the formation of a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in the UAE:

  • Determine the LLC’s exact business activity. An LLC may hold a Commercial, Professional, or Industrial License.
  • Join forces with a UAE-based partner. Our extensive knowledge of the local market and our relationships with renowned and well-respected UAE nationals can assist you in identifying a suitable local partner for your business needs.
  • Reserve a trade name for the LLC and seek initial activity clearance from the Department of Economic Development.
  • Sign the Memorandum of Association.
  • Find an office for the LLC and get the Ejari.
  • Complete the licensing process with the DED and receive your license.

In addition to forming the LLC, James Berry & Associates may help create a bank account, hire auditors and accountants, and navigate the visa procedure.

Read more: UAE Industry Trends; Forecast growth for ICT sector & Construction Market Size


Free Zone Businesses in the UAE

There are numerous Free Zones across Dubai and the UAE. These Zones are often grouped according to the activities they enable. Each Free Zone is managed independently by its own administrative body. Free Zones allow for 100% foreign ownership, and companies licensed in a Free Zone can conduct business there. Some advantages of being in a Free Zone include the absence of the need for a UAE national to act as a Partner or Local Agent, the high-quality standards and flexibility that global enterprises seek, and one-stop licensing.

Some advantages of being in a Free Zone include the absence of a UAE National as a Partner or Local Agent, the high-quality standards and flexibility demanded by global enterprises, one-stop licensing and administrative service centres, and no recruitment or currency limits. Here are the requirements for establishing a Free Zone company in the UAE are:

  • Identify the specific commercial activity that the organisation intends to do. This will help you choose the best free zone and entity type.
  • Apply to the free zone authority for interim approval.
  • You can use an existing pre-built/serviced office given by the Free Zone or lease your own shell and core office within the Free Zone.
  • Sign both the Memorandum and Articles of Association.
  • Complete the licensing process with the Free Zone and obtain the license and other corporate paperwork for the Free Zone company.

Read more: UAE Career Development Opportunities; Job opportunities and development careers


Setting Up Mainland Company UAE

Setting Up Mainland Company UAE
Setting Up Mainland Company UAE

These are businesses based in the UAE. The mainland is your best option for conducting B2B or B2C business in the UAE. Depending on their business, mainland enterprises may require a local partner. Offshore firms are not permitted to operate in the UAE; hence, UAE ownership requirements do not apply. While free zone companies are limited to the free zones, mainland corporations can operate across the UAE. Offshore companies, of course, cannot do business in the UAE. Furthermore, mainland enterprises are subject to corporation tax in the UAE because their operations are conducted there. In the UAE, both free zone and offshore enterprises enjoy tax-free status.

Read more: UAE Job Market Trends; job opportunities in demand in hiring market trends


Where can I get the certificate of incorporation for the UAE?

In the UAE, the document is issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED) or the Free Zone authority where the enterprise is located. Simply put, the Certificate of Incorporation establishes a company’s legal standing.

What is the difference between Ltd and LLC in UAE?

Ownership and Management: Limited firms have shareholders who own stock in the company, and directors nominated by the shareholders run the company. The owners of an LLC are referred to as members, and their ownership and management structures can be more flexible.

How much does it cost to incorporate a company in UAE?

The cost of registering a Limited Liability Corporation in the UAE can range from AED 22,000 to AED 24,000. Similarly, registering a business in the UAE’s free zones starts at about AED 15,000.

How much does a LLC cost in UAE?

An LLC Company Formation in the UAE typically costs between AED 20,000 and AED 30,000. However, these rates may differ depending on the particular sector and the individual services. Contact Company Setup Consultants for an accurate and customised quote based on your needs.


Business Incorporation UAE is a gateway to new company formation, offering vast UAE business opportunities. Whether it’s a limited liability company, a Free Zone Establishment, or Foreign Investment Companies, the United Arab Emirates provides a conducive environment. With top-notch company incorporation services, starting your business journey in Dubai and across the UAE has never been easier.

We use cookies to personalize content and ads , to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic...Privacy Policy

Accept