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Home >Business Setup > Business Setup (UAE Resident Companies)

How to start your business setup in the UAE (Resident Companies)

The United Arab Emirates is a sovereign, federal, presidential and elected monarchy comprising seven absolute monarchical emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain,Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.The Department of Economic Development is the key government body in each Emirate for registering legal business entities and they are the legal authorities responsible for business setup in the UAE.

Main Benefits

  • Could do business in any part of UAE.
  • No corporate tax
  • Can rent office anywhere in that particular Emirate of registration
  • Can get any number of visas depending on facilities taken / business


Company Formation in Dubai - Sharjah - UAE

The United Arab Emirates is a great choice to start a company and establish presence if the investor has a viable business setup plan and is looking to tap into one of the safest and most affluent markets in the world. To operate a business in the country you must be licensed by the government. A business license is a certificate that permits a natural person or legal entity to practice a particular type of activity in line with the legal requirements and conditions relating to that particular activity in each of the Emirates. The Department of Economic Development(DED) is the key government body issuing licenses for resident companies in each Emirate of United Arab Emirates. The seven emirates each have their own Department of Economic Development as their license issuing authority. A business setup licensed by the DED is governed by the laws of the country. This is different to a business setup under the Free Zone and Offshore licenses which is subject to specially enacted rules and regulations insulated from the main laws of the country. Investors choose to get their companies registered by DED if they expect substantial volume of economic activity inside the UAE.

Advantages of Setting Up Business in UAE

International Company Formation In Dubai - Sharjah - UAE offers significant cost-saving advantages not generally available elsewhere such as:

  • No foreign exchange control
  • Competitive import duties (4% with many exemptions)
  • Competitive labour costs – labour force is multi lingual and skilled
  • Competitive energy costs
  • Competitive real estate costs
  • Competitive financing costs and high levels of liquidity
  • No corporate profit or personal income taxes (except for oil companies and branches of foreign banks)
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits allowed

Types of Legal Business Structures

A business shall be registered and licensed in UAE as a resident company in any of the following legal forms

  • Individual Establishment
  • Civil Company
  • General Partnership
  • Simple Limited Partnership
  • Joint Participation
  • Public Joint Stock Company
  • Private Joint Stock Company
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Partnership Limited with Shares
  • Branch of a Foreign Company
  • Branch of a UAE Company

Business Licenses in UAE

In the UAE, the business licenses are classified mainly into commercial, professional, industrial, agricultural, trade and tourism.

A Commercial License is issued to owners of companies or establishments which practice business in line with the definition of the term as provided for in Federal Law No.18, from 1993 regarding the promulgation of the Commercial Transactions Law.

A professional license is issued to the business dependent on intellectual abilities and talents.

An Industrial License is issued to owners of factories of all types.

An Agricultural License is issued to owners of farms of vegetable and / or animal and/or sea produce, which conduct processing activities for their products to sell for profit making.

A Trade License is issued to the tradesman who practices a trade whose revenues would accrue to him depending on his physical effort or with the assistance of certain tools and equipment, whether alone or with no more than five workers.

A Tourism license is issued to the owners of tourism facilities that undertake tourism activities and services such as, but not limited to: hotels, travel offices, tourist restaurants, tourist boats rental and floating restaurants.

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