April 23, 2024

Key Requirements For Successful Company Formation In Dubai

2 min read
Key Requirements For Successful Company Formation In Dubai


Starting a business in Dubai involves several steps and requirements that need to be met for successful company formation in Dubai. While every case might differ slightly depending on the type of activity, jurisdiction, and other factors, here are some general key requirements to keep in mind:

Determine your business activity:

Clearly define what your business does. It should align with the categories outlined by the Department of Economic Development (DED). Some industries might require additional approvals from other governmental bodies.

Decide upon the legal structure:

Based on your business activity, decide which legal structure suits your needs best. Options include Limited Liability Companies (LLC), One Person Companies (OPC), and branches of foreign companies, representative offices, and Free Zone Entities.

Choose a trade name:

Pick a trade name that represents your company accurately and doesn’t infringe upon existing trademarks. You can reserve your chosen name once approved by the DED.

Find a UAE national sponsor or service agent:

If setting up outside a designated Free Zone, you generally need a UAE national sponsor holding at least 51% shares. Alternatively, certain activities allow for a local service agent arrangement where they facilitate applications and visa processing without equity participation.

Secure initial approval certificate:

Once you submit all required documents, you’ll receive an initial approval certificate allowing you to proceed further. Note that this step may involve paying initial deposit fees.

Rent a physical office space:

Depending on your license category and location, you may need physical office space rather than just virtual premises. Make sure you meet the minimum size requirement stipulated by law.

Sign tenancy contract:

After securing office space, sign a tenancy contract and provide proof of address, usually through Ejari registration.

Finalize memorandum of association (MOA):

Prepare and sign the MOA detailing share capital distribution, management structure, scope of work, etc., according to your selected legal entity type.

Complete external authority approvals:

Depending on your line of work, external authority approvals may be needed. Examples include the Ministry of Economy, Municipality, Civil Defense, Dubai Customs, among others.

Pay fees and collect your commercial license:

Finally, settle all applicable fees and collect your commercial license after receiving final approval from the DED. Keep note that annual renewals are mandatory too.