Establishing companies in the Emirates

Companies considering residing in Dubai or other parts of the UAE can benefit from a very advantageous business environment. This includes free zones as well as many tax and regulatory exemptions.

What arethe different types of companies in the Emirates?

A limited liability company

In terms of setting up a company in Dubai, it is the most commonly used company status for companies owned by non-UAE nationals who wish to conduct business activities. SARL is a private company and this company’s shares cannot be offered to the public.

International Company Limited

Much like a British limited company or a German limited company, it requires a minimum capital of AED 10,000,000, as well as a minimum of 10 founders responsible for setting up the company.

Private Limited Company

Close to a private UK company, a minimum capital of AED 2,000,000 and at least three founding shareholders is required. Shares of a private company cannot be the subject of a public offering, but in all other respects the regulations applicable to a private limited company also apply to a private company.


Although a branch may carry out activities similar to those of the parent company, some activities, such as importing goods, are reserved for UAE nationals.

Representative office

It can only promote the activities of the foreign parent company, in particular by collecting information and seeking orders and projects to be carried out by the same parent company. He is not entitled to carry out the activities of the parent company. Representative offices are also subject to restrictions on the number of employees they can sponsor, and because of these restrictions, representative offices tend to act as an administrative and marketing center for the parent company.

What documents do I need to submit to create my company?

You will need to provide the following documents:

  • A certified copy of your passport
  • Certified copies of two proofs of nominal address less than three months old
  • Bank reference letter in the original language and in English

Free zones in the United Arab Emirates

For foreign investors considering setting up a company in Dubai, there are a number of free zones that have a special legal status within the UAE. Companies planning to establish a company in Dubai and do business in free zones are not subject to many restrictions imposed by the Companies Law and other UAE laws and regulations.

Each free zone is independently governed by a free zone authority (FZA), which is responsible for issuing licenses to companies operating within it. Entities operating in a free zone may be wholly foreign-owned and enjoy certain guarantees, regardless of any subsequent changes in federal or local laws.

Ras Al Khaimah

The United Arab Emirates is considered one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and Ras Al Khaimah has one of the fastest growing emirates. There are several reasons for Ras Al Khaimah’s popularity: It is one of the most cost competitive free zones. Its proximity to Dubai is also very beneficial for trade and transportation.

Ras Al Khaimah is ideally located, just 45 minutes from Dubai, and in close proximity to three distinct ports, including Saqr Port, where more than 1,400 ships dock each year. Of all the emirates, it is the closest to the Strait of Hormuz, which facilitates the shipping of goods. Geographically located between Europe, Africa and Asia, Ras Al Khaimah is an extremely advantageous location for international trade.

Ras Al Khaimah has an international airport, and one can find a large amount of storage facilities there at very competitive prices. This emirate also has an “open skies” policy, meaning there are no restrictions on the number of flights or arrival and departure times. With only a 3-hour flight, in any direction. You can access more than 25 countries with a total population of less than 2 billion people.


Read also: Benefits of establishing companies in Dubai


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