representative office vs office representation

[EXPLAINED] Representative office vs company representation

Before diving into explaining what the differences between a representative office and a company representation business are, let us learn about them individually.

Defining representative office and company representation

A representative office is a branch / extension of its headquarter. It is a small division which solely represents one company. All its activities and outputs are on behalf of the headquarter and to facilitate the main office’s business. Whereas company representation enterprises are agents who can locally promote multiple foreign businesses. Moreover, this service is available for both commercial businesses as well as corporates.

Moreover, the company representation businesses can also offer franchise models to international chain entities. They, however, need to obtain franchise agreement from the government. This legal document lists the expectations of the franchisor and entails the all the operational aspects.

Setting up a representative office in Dubai

The following section will explain the process for setting up a representative office in Dubai as well as the documents required for the same:

Process for setting up a branch office

Depending on the headquarter’s nature of business, the branch office can either be a professional sole-establishment, or a commercial limited liability company. The overlapping procedure for setting up a branch office with either of the corporate structures includes:

  1. Obtaining initial and name approvals
  2. Payment of various government charges including Tasheel fee, license fee and yearly fee
  3. Getting your ejari (tenancy contract) done
  4. Acquiring TRA approval, LSA notarisation and company stamp
  5. Paying foreign name charges

Documents required for representative office

Sole Establishment (Individual Shareholder)Commercial Establishment (Corporate Shareholder)
Passport copyPassport copy of the manager
Visit visa or resident visa copyManager’s visit visa or resident visa copy
Resident visa holders need to acquire a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the employer/sponsor and also a copy of the Emirates IDResident visa holders need to acquire a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the employer/sponsor and also a copy of the Emirates ID
Passport size coloured photographPassport size coloured photograph
Options on trade name / company name (to check their availability)Options on trade name / company name (to check their availability)
Activity details of the company to be formedActivity details of the company to be formed
 Parent company’s documents –
– Incorporation Certificate – Board of Resolution – Articles of Association – Share Certificate – Memorandum of Association

Setting up a company registration business in Dubai

This section will explain the process for setting up a company registration business in Dubai as well as the documents required for the same.

Process for becoming a company registration agent

According to the Department of Economic Development, this business falls under the services category. Therefore, a professional license is required for entities representing international companies in Dubai. The process includes – Obtaining initial and name approvals; paying various government charges including Tasheel fee, license fee and yearly fee; getting your ejari (tenancy contract); acquiring TRA approval, LSA notarisation and company stamp; and paying foreign name charges (if any). However, experienced business setup professionals will be able to guide you best.

Documents required

  1. Passport copy
  2. Visit visa or resident visa copy
  3. Additional requirement for resident visa holders

    – No Objection Certificate (NOC) will be required from the employer/sponsor

    – Emirates IDPassport size coloured photograph

4. Options on trade name / company names (to check their availability)

5. Activity details of the company to be formed

Representative office vs company representation agent: Which one is beneficial?

Businesses that are ready to test the international waters, may often wonder – Should we open up our own representative office in our target location or go with a company representation firm? According to company formation experts, it is wiser to choose a company representation agent and assess the market first. Based on that, they may later choose to set up a branch office by availing the appropriate license.

Still contemplating your options? Consult with experts

If you are wondering how to go about expanding your business footprint in the UAE, talk to the company formation specialists at Shuraa Business Setup. They will put forward your options and walk you through the entire process. Furthermore, they will also give an overview of the documents required for setting up your representative office as well as partnering with a company representation agent.

Get in touch by calling on +971 44081900. You can also send a WhatsApp message to +971 501287254 or drop an email to info@shuraa.com