1. Company Formation

Company Formation

United Arab Emirates as we call it has to become the regional trading hub of the Middle East along with being enormously growing business capital. UAE will introduce high quality global standard infrastructure, government services and recreational environments. Excellent communication infrastructure will promote business networking and give them a leading edge when they interact internationally.

1.  Process of starting business in Abu Dhbai

  • Starting a business in ordinary ways involves a series of steps, including:
  • Identifying a business activity
  • Selecting an appropriate legal form
  • Registering the trade name
  • Applying for an initial approval
  • Drafting a Memorandum of Association and local service agent agreement
  • Select a business location
  • Get additional government approvals
  • Submit documents and pay fees

2.  Identify business activity

Business activity is the basis for selecting the legal form and type of license, whether commercial, industrial or professional, etc. There are six types of licenses they are: industrial, commercial, professional, tourism, agricultural and occupational.

Select the legal form

The legal form depends mainly on the business requirements. Moreover, the legal form is basis for identifying applicable laws and regulations. In the UAE, an investor can select one of these legal forms:

  • General partnership
  • Limited partnership
  • Limited liability company (LLC)
  • Public joint stock company (PJSC)
  • Private joint stock company (PrJSC)
  • Civil company
  • Local company branch
  • GCC company branch
  • Foreign company branch
  • Free zone company branch
  • Sole establishment
  • Holding companies.

Note: the legal form of the business must match the business activity.

3.  Register the trade name

A trade name distinguishes one business from another. It also reflects the nature and the form of the business. An investor can apply for the trade name through the economic department in each emirate, through its website or mobile application.

4.  Provisions for selecting the trade name:

The trade name must:

  • Be followed by the business structure acronym (legal form of the company) such as: LLC, EST, PJSC, PrJSC
  • Not violate the public morals or the public order of the country
  • Be compatible with the required type of activity and the legal status of the company or business entity
  • Not contain names of any religion, or governing authority, nor names or logos of any external bodies
  • Not have been previously registered.

5.  Initial approval

An initial approval means that the UAE Government has no objection for the business to be established in the country. It also allows the investor to proceed with the next steps in setting up a business. It does not, however, grant the authority to run or practice the business activity.

Foreign investors must obtain the approval of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs before getting the initial approval.

Some activities require additional approvals from government entities related to that particular business before applying for the initial approval. These include activities related to legal affairs, security affairs and financial securities and commodities.

6.  MOA and LSA

Depending on the legal form of a business, a completed and signed Memorandum of association (MoA) or a local service agent agreement (LSA) of the business is required. The memorandum of association is required for the following business legal forms:

  • Limited partnership
  • Limited liability company (LLC)
  • Public joint stock company (PJSC)
  • Private joint stock company (PrJSC).

7.  Select a business location

All businesses in the UAE must have a physical address to operate. The business premises and location must comply with the requirements defined by the respective emirate’s Department of Economic Development, as well as the land planning regulations of the local municipalities. Office and warehouse rental agreement must be provided. Some emirates require the agreements to be attested.

8.  Get additional government approvals

In some cases, additional approvals from government entities governing certain business activities are required. The following are examples of such activities sorted by ministry:

  • Ministry of Interior

           Ministry of Interior issues approvals for activities related to general transport - driving schools, fire equipment, alarm and             safety systems, used-car dealers, used auto-parts, car rental.

  • Ministry of Justice

           Legal activities and legal consultancy

  • Local municipal department

           Architectural and engineering affairs

  • Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA)

           Telecommunication activities

  • Executive Council

           Travel and tourism, general services, charter trading, ship and maritime agencies, car clubs, charter air transport and                   foreign company branches

  • Ministry of Economy
  • Insurance activities and insurance consultancy
  • Local health departments

           Health-related activities

  • Supreme Petroleum Council

           Onshore and offshore gas and oil-field services and onshore and offshore oil drilling operations

9.  Collect the business licence

After completing the above steps, investor can collect the business licence from service centres of the economic departments or through their websites.

Ignite representation of companies are experts with the company formation laws and regulations in the UAE and provide optimized solutions to set up your business with required License and other legal documents.