Dubai is one place where everyone wants to set their business up. The strategic location of Dubai, its proximity to the vast oil resources of the Middle-East and enormous business opportunities here make it a vantage point for setting up offshore companies. Note that while Dubai is considered as one of the most chilled out places on earth, Dubai company registration could be easy or difficult depending on how you approach the work.
Types of licenses issued in Dubai
This is an important point for you to note because the documentation related to trade licenses and permissions may vary depending on category of your business. For example, the documentation required for a general category business will vary from businesses involved in healthcare or food trading or financial services.
Given below are the three categories of business licenses that are issued in Dubai. These categories depend on the kind of business you are involved in.
Commercial license is granted to those businesses that engage in all types of trading activities.
Industrial license is granted to those businesses that engage in industrial or manufacturing activities.
Professional license is granted to those businesses that engage in service and crafts and employ artisans and other professionals.
The licenses are issued by the Department of Economic Development. It is a government agency that operates from several offices in Dubai. There is an approval process in place and the approvals are granted by different departments depending on the nature of your business. For example, if your business is in the financial services sector, you must have the approval from the UAE Central Bank. The Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry is involved in all Dubai company registration.
You should also be aware of your business structure because this is a strong determinant in the registration of your business.
The Federal Law in Dubai identifies seven legal business structures. These are
1. General Partnership
2. Partnership in Commendams
3. Public Shareholding
4. Private Shareholding
5. Joint Venture
6. Share Partnership
7. Limited Liability
The procedure for company registration in Dubai
There are about 5 steps involved in the registration of offshore companies in Dubai.
Step 1 involves finding a local partner as your sponsor. This is important because at least 51% shareholding of your business should be in the name of a UAE citizen.
In step 2, you will need to have the Department of Economic Development or DED approving the name and activity of your business.
Since all businesses looking to get registered in Dubai need to have a tenancy contract evidencing their business premises, you need to complete the contract after identifying a business premises – this is the third step.
In step 4 you need to have a Memorandum of Association (MOA) with the sponsor.
The final step involves submitting the MOA to DED along with the tenancy contract and the other legal documents. You also need to pay all relevant fees in this step. Once all the formalities are completed, you can expect the license to be issued within a week.
Establishing a local branch office or representative
Your branch or representative office in Dubai can be 100% foreign owned. But you only get this privilege when you appoint a local agent. The local agent should be a UAE citizen or a company that is completely owned by UAE citizen(s). For more information on this, you need to be aware of the Commercial Companies Law in Dubai.
The need for legal advisory
All that you have read by now should make you feel that registering your business in Dubai is a cakewalk. The actual situation is not that smooth. While the authorities in Dubai are extremely efficient in the handling of company registrations, there are usual red tapes that you come across from time to time. Hence, legal representation of your case is always advised.
Your lawyer will help you with all the aspects of setting up your company in Dubai. They will not only assist with the paperwork but will also ensure that all the legal hassles are obliterated before you get the title deed. They will also liaise with the government departments to push your paperwork faster. And all this can be done without you having to set up camp in Dubai.
Dubai offers you fantastic business opportunities. The process for company registration in Dubai is simpler than in most of the other places. But you still need an expert to handle your case efficiently. And what better for this than a reputed law firm?