Ownership Requirements

Arrangement of Local Sponsors

Legal Structures for Business

Company formation in Dubai

The basic requirement for all business activity in Dubai is one of the following three categories of licenses:

Commercial licenses covering all kinds of trading activity

Professional licenses covering professions, services, craftsmen and artisans;

Industrial licenses for establishing industrial or manufacturing activity

These licenses are all issued by the Dubai Economic Department. However, licenses for some categories of business require approval from certain ministries and other authorities: for example, banks and financial institutions from the Central Bank of the UAE; insurance companies and related agencies from the Ministry of Economy and Commerce; manufacturing from the Ministry of Finance and Industry; and pharmaceutical and medical products from the Ministry of Health.

More detailed procedures apply to businesses engaged in oil or gas production and related industries.

Practicing some trade activities (e.g. jewellery and insurance) requires the submission of a financial guarantee issued by a bank operating in Dubai.

In general, all commercial and industrial businesses in Dubai should be registered with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Ownership Requirements

Fifty-one per cent participation by UAE nationals is the general requirement for all UAE established companies except:

In respect of foreign companies registering branches or a representative office in Dubai; In professional or artisan companies where 100% foreign ownership is permitted.


A Limited Liability Company (L.L.C) can be formed with 49% shareholding of expatriates and 51% shareholding in favour of local U.A.E. national. Nominee arrangement is normally made with U.A.E. national to hold the mandatory shares in favour of expatriate partner. This provides effective total control to manage the company and enjoy all profit. The minimum capital required to form an L.L.C. in Dubai is US$ 81,800 which has to be deposited in bank and shall be blocked for approximately 2 weeks time.

The L.L.C should have specific activities as per classification made by the Department of Economic Development, Dubai. Only one category of activities is given to one company except in General Trading where minimum capital requirement is US$ 818,000.L.L.C. is perhaps the only type of entity available for trading and manufacturing concerns.

Arrangement of Local Sponsors

In United Arab Emirates mainland, all types of business entities require local partner/sponsor. Often enterprises, without any intermediary support, meet with inappropriate local partner/sponsor. Kayzed has empanelled disciplined U.A.E nationals with varied background and expertise to choose from. All these U.A.E. nationals are well educated with fluency in English.


A Foreign company can form a branch of such company with 100% shareholding in the name of Head Office with the appointment of U.A.E., national as an agent. Such entity except in the cases of banks or insurance companies , would not be permitted to involve in actual trading which would only be permitted through awarding agency to U.A.E. operating company.


Such office can be established in the Emirate of Dubai by any International Company or enterprise to represent in the UAE in order to promote its products and services, expand its activities or facilitate the conclusion of commercial contractual agreements between the company represented by the office and its client. Such an office neither carry out any trading activity nor enter into any commercial deals of whatsoever nature


Procedures & Cost: A company in any free zone can be established either as a free zone establishment (FZE) or a branch of the foreign company. Such company can be owned 100% by foreign investor with no involvement of local partner or sponsor.

Currently there are more then 20 Free Zones in U.A.E., which offer the following incentives to the investors:

In general, most of the free zones issue the following types of licenses:

Trading Licence

Industrial Licence

Service Licence

Currently there are more then 20 Free Zones in U.A.E., which offer the following incentives to the investors.

Some of the salient features are:

100% foreign ownership

No corporate taxation for 50 years; renewable for an additional 50 years

Freedom to repatriate capital and income

No personal income tax

Full exemption from import duties

No currency restrictions

No bureaucratic red-tapism

No recruitment problems

Modern efficient communication

State of the art infrastructure

Abundant energy

Attractive working environment


Dubai Airport Freezone

Dubai Cars & Automotive Free zone

Dubai Internet City

Dubai Metal & commodities free zone

Dubai Media Free zone

Dubai Gold and Diamond Park

Jebel Ali Free Zone

Knowledge Village

Dubai Health care city

Hamriya freezone

Sharjah Airport Freezone

Ajman Free zone

Ras Al Khaima Free zone

Fujairah Freezone

ABR Free zone

Dubiotech –Advancing the Business of sceince

Dubai flower centre freezone

Dubai international financial centre

Dubai logistics city (DLC)

Dubai Maritime City

The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre(DMCC)

The world’s first free zone

Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority(DSOA)

Dubai Studio city(DSC)