Business set up in UAE

Free Zones:


A foreign investor can fully own and control their business without the requirement of having a UAE national partner.


Free Zone Benefits:

  • 100% Ownership
  • Can be formed by only one individual
  • Can open a bank account in Dubai
  • 100% Secrecy maintained
  • 0% Tax
  • Less Renewal Charges
  • Can be liquidated anytime
  • Can do international business
  • Can do multiple activities
  • Can hold Properties


Types of free zone license:

  • General Trading License
  • Industrial License
  • Service License
  • National Industrial License


The UAE Commercial Companies Law requires that each company established in the UAE have one or more UAE national partner(s) who hold at least 51% of the company’s capital. Companies that undertake certain activities are exempted from the 51% requirement, including oil companies with concession agreements, companies involved in the oil and gas industry, companies that produce electricity and gas, companies involved in treatment of water and transmission and distribution. Foreign banks are exempted from having to appoint a sponsor.


A company can create a permanent establishment, establish a branch office, create an entity in a UAE free zone, create a civil company (currently limited to Sharjah and Dubai), or enter into a commercial agency agreement.


Types of licenses:

  1. General Partnerships: This entity may only be established between UAE nationals.
  2. Limited Partnerships: This entity usually has one active partner who manages the company and a silent partner who does not participate in day-to-day management.
  3. Limited Liability Companies: This entity is defined as an association with a maximum of 50 partners and a minimum number of two partners. Each partner’s liability is limited to the extent of its share participation in the capital of the company.


Branch Offices / Representative offices

A branch office has the same legal identity as its parent company and conducts business under the name of its parent company. This type of entity can carry out a variety of activities (as approved by the Department of Economic Development of the relevant Emirate).


Branch offices are regarded as fully-fledged businesses permitted to perform contracts or conduct other activities as specified in its license.