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Abu Dhabi
Form of government:
Federal Monarchy
83 600 км2
4 million
Dirham UAE(AED)

How to open a company in the Emirates (UAE)

To register a company, first of all, it is necessary to determine the type of activity. Depending on the type of activity chosen, it is necessary to obtain the appropriate license. When choosing a company name, there are a few things to keep in mind. The company name must meet the following requirements:

  • should not repeat or be similar to the name of a company that is engaged in the same or similar type of activity;
  • should be related to its type of activity;
  • cannot contain the name of Allah, biblical names, names of government bodies, slogans of local, Arab or international companies, organizations or institutions;
  • cannot be the same or similar to a trade name that is already registered with the UAE Ministry of Economy;
  • cannot be contrary to public order or public morals;
  • should not mislead the consumer about the type of activity of the company, its importance, size, etc.
  • in the event that a license is not issued after the expiration of the company name reservation period, the name will be automatically cancelled;
  • The Department of Economic Development reserves the right to refuse to register a name or change it if there are already existing similar names, if the name does not comply with existing rules and requirements.

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Organizational and legal forms

In accordance with the laws of the United Arab Emirates, non-residents can create companies of five organizational and legal forms in order to organize their presence within the country. So, a company can establish a permanent establishment, open a branch, create a new company in the free zones of the UAE, establish a civil company (there are restrictions on creation in some emirates), or enter into a commercial mediation agreement.

The Law on Commercial Companies of the UAE determines that the participant of any of the companies that are created in the country must be at least one participant-citizen of the UAE, whose share in the authorized capital of the company cannot be less than 51%. However, this requirement of holding a substantial share in a company by a citizen of the country does not apply to companies that operate in the territory of the United Arab Emirates, including companies that operate in oil and gas production, companies engaged in electricity generation, etc. Companies established in free zones are not subject to the above requirement, in case there are special provisions in the relevant zone that regulate the activities of companies.

What is included in the price?

By paying for the registration of your company in the UAE, you receive the following range of services:

  • payment of state fees;
  • providing a legal address and an agent in the UAE;
  • preparation and registration of constituent documents of partnership;
  • payment of notary fees and fees for obtaining apostille on company documents;
  • payment for nominal services in one year:
  • preparation of one general power of attorney;
  • issuance of company certificates;
  • declaration of trust, a letter of transfer of shares;
  • seal production;
  • delivery of documents and seal by the courier to Ukraine.

Types of companies

Basically, there are 3 main types of companies in the UAE:

  1. Onshore companies outside Free Economic Zones. Ownership by foreigners - no more than 49%. At least 51% must belong to a citizen of the UAE (at the same time, a citizen of the UAE signs an additional agreement, which indicates that 51% does not actually belong to him). In practice, this type of company is rarely used - this type of company is necessary to provide services directly in the local market of the United Arab Emirates, as, for example, in the case of opening a hotel. The Law 'On Commercial Companies' establishes the following organizational and legal forms of onshore companies:

    • Limited Liability Companies;
    • Private Joint Stock Companies;
    • Public Joint Stock Companies;
    • Joint Participation Ventures;
    • Partnerships (Limited Partnerships, General Partnerships).
  2. Onshore companies in Free Economic Zones (FEZ). To date, there are more than 30 SEZs in the UAE. Some of them are more specialized in a particular industry, such as Dubai Media City, which is dominated by media companies, or Dubai Knowledge Village, where most universities are located. Other SEZs provide the opportunity to register companies for almost all types of activities. Given the presence of a large number of free zones, specialized and without a separate specialization, today in the Emirates it is possible to register companies for almost any type of activity with 100% ownership by foreigners. The activities of these companies are regulated by special laws adopted by free economic zones. A company incorporated, according to this legislation, has the right to conduct business only in the territory of the Free Zone or outside the UAE. For companies in Free Economic Zones, the following organizational and legal forms are possible:

    • Company with one founder (Free Zone Establishment);
    • A company with several founders (Free Zone Company);
    • Representative office of a foreign company (Permanent Establishment).
  3. Offshore companies in free economic zones. Companies of this type have the right to conduct almost any type of activity outside the UAE. 100% foreign ownership allowed. For this type of company, there are no requirements for renting an office or filing reports. Companies cannot take advantage of double tax treaties. Advantages of companies registered in the UAE:

    • Low tax burden;
    • Lack of registers of beneficiaries;
    • The possibility of obtaining a residence permit and resident visas;
    • No thin capitalization rules, no transfer pricing;
    • Possibility of opening bank accounts in the UAE.