The UAE Commercial Law provides foreign investors two options in relation to their expansion into the UAE. Each of these legal forms gives the company varying amounts of access to function in the local market. The Foreign Branch Office and Representative Office legal forms, allow foreign companies to establish a presence in the UAE while retaining 100% ownership. The offices function as extensions of the parent company and have no separate legal identity. The parent company remains liable for all activities conducted under the branch / representative license. Below you can see the steps for company setup in UAE, Dubai
7 steps involved in establishing a branch office in UAE ( New company process in Dubai )
- The foreign entity must file an application for the issuance of a license with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. Along with the application, the entity must submit a Service Agent Agreement entered into with a 100% UAE-owned Company or a UAE national.
- The Ministry of Economy and Commerce will then forward the application to the Economic Department to secure the local government’s approval.
- From the Economic Department, the application will be forwarded to the Federal Foreign Companies Committee for approval. At this stage, the application must bear a note from the Ministry of Economy and Commerce indicating the specific activity or activities the branch office will be permitted to be undertaken in the Emirate.
- Once the approval of the Federal Foreign Companies Committee is obtained, the required Ministerial license will be issued by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. In the said license, the specific activity or activities to be engaged in by the foreign branch office is indicated.
- The branch office is then entered in the Commercial Register of the Economic Department. Here, the required license is issued.
- After the issuance of the required license from the Economic Department, the branch office is entered in the Ministry of Economy and Commerce’s Foreign Companies Register.
- Last stop is at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where the branch office is registered.
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