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London Chamber
Knowledge base
Company Registration in the UAE

Company registration in UAE enables to experience a conducive environment for business by availing enormous benefits offered by UAE. It is a popular choice among foreign investors for setting up a company mainly due to the 100% foreign ownership, tax savings, ease of doing business, up-scaled business infrastructure, e-governance system, top-class lifestyle, and growing business opportunities.

The Jurisdiction of Company Registration in UAE is categorized into three- Mainland, Free Zone, and Offshore Jurisdiction. The Mainland Company can now be registered as a 100% expatriate-owned entity in UAE as per the recent Cabinet Resolution of 2021. However, depending on the business activity and industrial sector, there are certain regulations to be fulfilled by the investor.

The Free Zones and Offshore Companies can be set up with 100% expatriate shareholding. However, they are distinct in their characteristics, business operations as well as governing business laws. The cost of Free Zone Company Registration in UAE starts from AED 11,700 for a One Visa Quota package. The Free Zones in UAE offer a wide range of business activities and license types to choose from



Company Regitration Process In UAE

Step 1: NAME & ACTIVITY APPROVALwe will submit documents for Company name & Business activity approval.

Step 2: OBTAINING COMPANY DOCUMENTSWe will get the company registered remotely & obtain all documents and company stamps.

Step 3: OBTAINING RESIDENCY VISAwe will apply for your Company Immigration Card and UAE Residency visa.

Step 4: STAMPING VISA: The investor has to fly to UAE for doing a Medical test and stamp Residence Visa on the passport.

Step 5: BANK ACCOUNTWe coordinate effectively with UAE banks to open Company & Personal Bank Accounts.


Mainland Company Registration In UAE

UAE Mainland is home to numerous large multi-national companies, small and medium companies, retail shops, restaurants, coffee shops, shopping centers, and more. Brands around the world are looking for an opportunity to tap into the mainland of UAE. Mainland Company Registration in UAE is one of the most sought-after business investments by investors to actively reach out to the multi-cultural audience and expand to the local UAE markets. Following are the major company structures in the Mainland of UAE.

According to the recent Cabinet Decision of 2021, there is a significant change for the Mainland Company Registration process. The mainland companies can now be 100% expatriate-owned across selected business categories ranging from commercial, industrial, trading, etc.

A. Limited Liability Company (LLC)

The Limited Liability Company structure is one of the popular company structures in the mainland of UAE. Investors choose a Limited Liability Company usually when there are two or more shareholders (up to 50) and want to establish a company in the mainland of UAE. There are various business benefits in setting up an LLC Company in the region for entrepreneurs.

The main advantage of an LLC Company Shareholder is the liability in the company is only to extent of the shares owned and personal wealth remains protected. Limited Liability Companies can be formed in the Mainland of UAE for a variety of business activities. Commercial, Services, and industrial activities can be executed through the formation of an LLC Company. For LLC Company Formation there is a 100% expatriate ownership on the selected list of business activities as per the recent amendment in the companies Law. There is no requirement of a local UAE National Sponsor or a Corporate Sponsor (Company with UAE National as the Shareholder) for setting up an LLC Company in the mainland of UAE.

However, the services companies require to appoint a UAE Local Service Agent to register the company as an LLC Company in the mainland of UAE. The local Service Agent will have no shareholding or control in the company operation or profits.

B. Proffecional Company 

Professionals in the field of consulting, legal, accounting, doctors, etc., can form a Civil Work Company in the Mainland of UAE. The owner can retain 100% ownership of the company's shares. To register a Civil Work Company with the Department of Economic Development (DED), It requires appointing a Local Service Agent for an annual fee to liaise with Government authorities.

For entrepreneurs, single owners, and skilled professionals to easily start a business in UAE, opening a Civil Works Company is a good option. The Dubai Economy offers a wide range of Professional Licenses for entrepreneurs to choose from. Opening a Civil Works Company in UAE has numerous benefits and the 100% ownership for the shareholder with no requirement of a UAE National as a partner is a highlight. (requires a Local Service Agent).

C. Branch or Representative Office of Foreign Companies

Investors who have an existing office in the Free Zones of UAE or any company outside of UAE can form a Branch or Representative Office in the Mainland of UAE. There are certain requirements and criteria for the formation of a Branch or a Representative Office. Opening a branch office in UAE is a lucrative business investment for companies who are looking at actively expanding to the UAE Local markets. Branch Office enables large organizations to streamline their business operations across new markets and also to test the market conditions and audience response before investing in a wide expansion plan.



Company Registration In the UAE Free Zones



UAE is renowned for its successful Freezones. Freezones are well-defined areas within UAE that are governed by Free Zone Authorities with power to issue Business Licenses. As the name envisages, an entrepreneur is free to grow without any hindrance from Authorities while doing business. At Freezone, an entrepreneur can precisely estimate the cost of running his company.

Each Free zone is a hub of huge number of multi-national companies from all countries in the world. This multi-national and multi-cultural business environment in Freezones make it look like the typical cross section of the world.

UAE Free Zones are the designated areas in UAE, where the expatriates can fully own and operate their business. Free Zone Company Registration in UAE is a prospective business investment for expatriates from all over the world.


Benefits of company registration in UAE Free zones


Types of Registration Licenses:

-Professional License

-Commercial License

-Industrial License

-General Trading


-Events Management

-Virtual Assetes


Types of Companies:

-General partnership

-Limited partnership

-Limited liability company (LLC)

-Public joint stock company (PJSC)

-Private joint stock company (PrJSC)

-Civil company

-Local company branch

-GCC company branch

-Foreign company branch

-Free zone company branch

-Sole establishment

-Holding companies


The cost of registering a company in the UAE

Company registration in Dubai and other regions of the UAE is different according to various features and factors. These factors include the type of company, the license issued, the desired area for starting the business, the number of partners and the name of the company.


The most important free zones of the United Arab Emirates for company registration:



Jebel Ali Freezone

Hamriyah Free zone

Khalifa Economic Zone (KEZAD)

Umm Al Quwain



Dubai CommerCity

Dubai World Trade Center

Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone



For more information, contact our consultants at Sohatoos.



updated on: 2024/02/20