Business Setup in UAE

Once you have finalized that you are going to form a new company in the UAE.

It’s very imperative to make the right choices of your legal business structure. This legal business structures options available in the UAE are mentioned below:

  1. Mainland Companies
  2. Free Trade Zones Companies
  3. Offshore Companies

How to setup your business in UAE mainland?

UAE Mainland Companies:

To setup your mainland companies you will have to reach the Department of Economic Development (DED). UAE is made of 7 emirates which is Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain.

The first step to setup a business in UAE mainland, it is mandatory to appoint a “Local Sponsor”. It is important as you will have a local person who knows the right approach while you are doing business in the UAE. Along with appointing a Local Sponsor, you will have to choose the business activity you will be conducting. Based on the business activity you have to choose the Legal Structure of your company. Which are mentioned below?

Limited Liability Company (LLC): If you choose this as your legal structure of the business then 51% of your Company shares are owned by the Local Sponsor. You will be owning 49% of the Company Shares. This is the company law of UAE. You do not have to worry as the profit is not distributed as per the Company Shares. You will have to agree to a yearly fee to be paid to the Local Sponsor for using his name in the Company License. The profit shares are distributed at the discretion of the partner/owner/ director of the company. Majorly it’s suitable for Trading Companies as it is mandatory to be an LLC.

Professional License: For service industry then this can be the best option of legal structure for you. It allows 100% of the shares to be allocated to a foreigner/investor. As the Local Sponsor is appointed as the “Local Service Agent”. In this legal standing of the license, the Local Sponsor is entitled to a yearly fixed fee for being a part of the company.

Representative Office: This legal structure of the company also needs a Local Service Agent. The entity is limited on behalf of the parent company to be involved in Marketing and Gathering Information.

What is the process flow of starting a company in mainland UAE?

  1. Approval of Initial Name and Business Activity from the Department of Economic Development.
  2. Approval from related Ministry for conducting business.
  3. Prepare Company’s Memorandum of Association (MOA) and get it notarized from the courts.
  4. Receive your office Ejari / Estidama on your new company name.
  5. Submit all the documents to the Department of Economy for final approval.
  6. Once the documents are accepted you will receive a confirmation on your registered mobile number/email account that you have given at the time of application.
  7. Pay the license issuance fees as per the payment voucher and collect your license.
  8. Before applying for a Residence / Employee visa you will need to register the company with the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Immigration.
  9. Once its registered you will be given online username and password to access the Ministry portal for submission of visa application.
  10. For a trading company, it’s a must to get import/export code from custom’s authority in order to import or export any goods within outside the country.

Grapes Advisors are well equipped to assist you with all the documents preparation and get all the necessary approval from the required ministry for new company incorporation. We can also help with Corporate / Local sponsorship.

How to setup your Freezone Company in UAE?

Every emirate in the UAE has its own Freezone offering similar benefits and advantages. There a designated Freezone based on your business activity. Such specialized Freezone gives an added advantage when you are looking to setup a specialized business activity. There are more then 55+ Freezone available in UAE which can suit your business requirement in setting up your Freezone company. Below is the list of UAEs Freezones.

Abu Dhabi – Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone (ADAFZ), Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM), ADPC – Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone (KPIZ), Twofour54, Industrial City of Abu Dhabi, Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones, Masdar City Free Zone.

Dubai – Dubai Academic City, Dubai Airport Free Zone, Dubai Biotechnology u0026amp; Research Park (DuBiotech), Dubai Car and Automotive City Free Zone (DUCAMZ), Dubai Design District, Dubai Gold and Diamond Park, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai Industrial City (DIC), Dubai International Academic City, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai Internet City (DIC), Dubai Knowledge Village, Dubai Logistics City, Dubai Media City, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre or Jumeirah Lakes Towers Free Zone, Dubai Outsource Zone, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Dubai Studio City, Dubai Techno Park, Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone, International Media Production Zone, Jebel Ali Free Zone, Economic Zones World.

Sharjah – Hamriyah Free Zone, Sharjah Airport International Free Zone, U.S.A. Regional Trade Center (USARTC) Free Zone, Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone, Sharjah Media City Free Zone,

Ajman – Ajman Free Zone, Ajman Media City Free Zone.

Ras Al Khaimah – Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ), RAK Maritime City Free Zone Authority (RMCFZA), Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority, Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone, Ras Al Khaimah Media Free Zone.

Fujairah – Fujairah Free Zone, Fujairah Creative City.

Umm Al Quwain – Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone (UAQFTZ).

Key benefits that Freezone Company offer are:

  • 100% foreign ownership.
  • 100% Freedom from taxes.
  • 100% Repatriation of profits.
  • Effortless visa issuance procedures for students, staffs and faculties.
  • Allowed to do business within Freezone boundary or outside the country.
  • Mostly used for trading outside the country.

Freezone Company setup cost can be cheaper as all the Freezone in UAE offer startup packages. All Freezone offer packages such as 1 Visa package along with Flexi-Desk as the office option. You can scale your Freezone package as per your requirement. You can even rent/buy huge space for your office or for your industry setup.

What documents are required to setup a Freezone Company in UAE?

  • Passport copy with UAE entry stamp page of all the Shareholder in the company.
  • 2 Passport size photographs with the white background of all the shareholder.
  • 3 to 5 suggest a name for your new company.
  • Business Activity.
  • Number of Visa’s that you will need in your new company.

Grapes Advisors can help you form your new Freezone company in any Freezone jurisdiction based on your business requirement.

How to setup your Offshore Company in UAE?

An offshore company is a company that can assist your business to have Asset ownership in UAE. UAE has 3 offshore jurisdictions, which are Ajman Offshore, Rak Offshore (RAKICC) and Jebel Ali Offshore. Only registered agent of the offshore jurisdiction is allowed to register offshore companies on behalf of their clients. When you form your offshore company in UAE jurisdiction you do not need to get your documents attested with international embassies and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

What documents are required to setup an Offshore Company in UAE?

  • Passport copy of all company Shareholders with a minimum of 6 months passport validity.
  • All Company Shareholders Utility bill in their name for the proof of residence.
  • Shareholder Personal Bank Account reference letter.
  • Resume of all the shareholders.
  • Applicant signature as per the passport on all the Application.
  • Signed MOA u0026amp; AOA.
  • Suggest 3 to 5 new company trade names.
  • Copy of UAE entry stamp on the passport.
  • Visit Visa copy if applicable.