Legal Business Categories in Dubai UAE
You can form different types of companies in UAE, each with its own benefits and limitations. Before you set up your business in Dubai, you need to be aware of the legal provisions for each type of business and select the category that best suits your interests. Shuraa Business Setup helps you with company formation in UAE across all these categories.
- Sole Proprietorship: This type of business is owned and operated by an individual, who will get all the profits and will be solely responsible to service all the debts. Only UAE or GCC nationals can own a commercial or industrial type sole proprietorship.
- Civil Company: This type of business involves several professionals, of any nationality, from the fields of medicine, law, engineering or accountancy. Foreign nationals will require a local service agent, if there is no UAE or GCC national as a partner. For consultancy activities, foreign nationals can have 100% ownership, but for engineering activities, a local UAE sponsor is required.
- Limited Liability Company: This type of business can have two to 50 shareholders. An LLC can indulge in only industrial and commercial activities, with the exception that banking and insurance companies can also form an LLC. Such companies need a UAE sponsor.
- Partnership Company: Partnership Company: This type of business has two or more partners, who can be either general partners or limited partners. UAE nationals will be general partners and foreign nationals will be limited partners.
- Private Shareholding Company: This type of business can be set up by less than three people, where the majority are UAE nationals. The company needs to have a minimum share capital of AED 2 million.
- Public Shareholding Company: The capital of this type of business is divided into equal shares, so is the liability. There must be at least 10 founding members, a majority of them should be UAE nationals. This company requires a minimum capital of AED 10 million and the founding members must subscribe to a minimum of 20-40% of the share capital.
- Freezone Company: In this type of business, foreign investors are allowed 100% ownership of their companies and they can avail of tax and import duty exemptions. These companies function out of designated freezone areas in UAE and cannot trade within UAE.
Joint Venture: In this type of company, partners share the profit and losses on projects. UAE national will have a larger share, but there is no need to get the agreement notarised.
Branch of a Foreign Company: This type of business will be a branch of the foreign company, which will have 100% ownership. Import of goods for this company can only be done through a local trading firm.
- Representative Office: This type of business can only promote and market its parent company’s products and must appoint a local service agent.
- Branch of a Dubai-based Company: This type of business must undertake any one or all activities included in the main company license.
- Branch of a UAE-based Company: This type of business must undertake any one or all activities included in the main company license.
- Branch of Freezone Company: If you are a freezone company, you can expand your operations to Dubai mainland by getting a branch licenses from economic development department. You will need a local UAE sponsor or a local service agent for this type of business.
- Branch of a GCC-based Company: This type of business must undertake any one or all activities included in the main company license.