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Marios Pampakas

Head of Corporate & Administration


[email protected]

T: +357 25258925



The United Arab Emirates (UAE) comprises seven member states: Abu Dhabi (the capital), Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Qaiwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah. Dubai is the second largest and ranks as the UAE’s most important port and commercial centre.


The UAE has concluded advantageous tax treaties with China, Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands (air transport), Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Sri Lanka (air transport), Switzerland (air transport), UK (transport). It should be noted that the UAE is not on the OECD, UN or EU blacklists so Companies incorporated in this jurisdiction, if carefully structured with professional advice, may be extremely useful for tax planning purposes.


Registration in Dubai

There are a number of different ways of creating an establishment in Dubai, depending upon the function to be carried out. Below identifies the main and most common ones used.


1. Limited Liability Company (LLC)


The main features of the LLC are:

  • Non-national partners are permitted to hold shares not exceeding 49% of the capital, with the national partner holding the remaining 51%.

  • Minimum share capital required is no longer AED300,000 (US$ 81,750), but is determined by the DED at application (can actually be much lower – a move created in August 2009 to encourage new business).

  • Share capital must be fully paid up and deposited with a local bank

  • The shares of LLC companies are not open for subscription by the public.

  • Despite the split in shareholdings, profits may be divided in other ratios agreed upon the two parties


2. Professional Licence




The main features on this type of set up are:

  • They are 100 % foreign owned

  • Must appoint a local services agent

  • The activities that are essentially allowed/appropriate are ones in the service area such as consultancy, civil engineering, medical and educational services

  • The individual applying must hold a relevant professional qualification to the activities they pertain to carry out


3. Branch Office of a Foreign Company


The main features are:

  • They are 100% foreign ownership

  • The branch must have the same name as the parent company

  • Must have a national service agent

  • Branch office can only engage in the activities that are similar to those of the parent company

  • Branch office cannot carry on the business of importing products of its parent company

  • May not practice activities that involve banking, insurance, money investment or operate commercial agencies


4. Representative Office of a Foreign Company


The main features are:

  • Represent their parent company in the U.A.E.

  • Can only promote activities of their parent company

  • They can carry out marketing and promotion of their sales/production of products as well as facilitate contracts in the U.A.E for the parent company

  • Not permitted to credit facilities nor put forward offers.


5. Commercial Agents - Registered Vs Non-Registered


The main features are:

  • They are a representation of a principal (producer/manufacturer) for the purpose of distributing, selling, offering or providing merchandise or services within the state for commission or profit

  • Can Import goods into Dubai in large volumes

  • Comprises of a national owning 51 % and the possibility of a foreigner owning the remaining 49%

  • Two forms of Commercial Agencies, Registered and Unregistered Commercial Agency. The main difference between the two is that a Registered Commercial Agent provides safeguards to protect the Principal and the Agent, opposed to the very few safeguards provided with Un-Registered ones.


Contact us for our schedule of fees.


Diclaimer: The above is intented to provide a brief guide only. It is essential that appropriate professional advice is obtained. XpertAdvice will be glad to assist you in this respect. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

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