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Home >Business Setup (UAE Resident Companies) > Foreign Companies (Branch/Representative Office)

Foreign Companies (Branch/Representative Office)

A company incorporate outside the United Arab Emirates may conduct business activities in United Arab Emirates through any of the following legal forms

  • Limited Liability Company
  • Branch of a Foreign Company

The foreign company can become member of a Limited Liability Company by holding 49% shares in the company. A UAE National shall hold the majority of shares (51%) in a Limited Liability Company in UAE.

The following are basic laws governing the setting up of branch of a foreign company

  • A foreign company may not establish branches unless licensed to do that by the Ministry of Economy after obtaining the approvals of concerned authorities and appointing a UAE National as Local Service Agent.
  • The obligations of the Local Service Agent towards his company and third parties shall be limited to rendering the services required for the company without holding any responsibility or financial commitment in respect of his company's branch or office business or activity inside the Emirate or abroad.
  • Foreign companies licensed to work in the state based on the provisions of the above paragraph may not start their business in the state unless they are registered in the Foreign Companies Register in the Ministry of Economy.
  • The offices and branches of the foreign companies shall be the headquarters of its business and its business shall be subject to the provisions of the law.
  • The foreign companies, its offices, and branches shall have an independent budget, independent profit /loss accounts, and shall have an auditor.
  • If the foreign companies, or their offices, or branches practiced their business inside the state without carrying out the abovementioned provisions, the persons practicing such business shall be personally and severally responsible for that.

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