Company Formation

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Company Formation

Dubai Business Setup

License Categories
In the United Arab Emirates the Federal Law identifies specific license categories that are permitted to establish:

  • Partnership Company
  • Limited Partnership Company
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Public Joint Stock Company
  • Private Joint Stock Company

  • The new Commercial Companies Law introduced that comes into force in the second half of 2015 represents an evolution of the UAE’s existing Commercial Companies Law. The most important changes adopted in the new Law are:

  • Sole shareholder allowed in limited liability companies (LLCs) as natural person or company and in private joint stock companies (PrJSC) as a company;
  • Allowing partners in LLCs to pledge their interests in LLCs;
  • LLCs and JSCs may be established as holding companies to conduct activities solely through subsidiaries;
  • The Quorum for the General Assembly has been increased to 75% of share capital present;
  • The minimum share capital for PrJSC has been increased to of AED5m (PrJSC) and for PJSC to AED30m;
  • JSCs may have authorised share capital of up to 2x issued share capital;
  • Allowing founders to list their businesses and retain 70% of the shares;
  • Abolishing the requirement that a company cannot issue bonds for a value exceeding the company’s share capital;


  • The most used type used by foreigner's is the LLC. The Federal Law specifies that the minimum shareholder equity reserved to locals is 51% whereas 49% shall be in favour of the expatriates. We can introduce an honest and trustable local partner. Investors that are aware of having majority of the stakes held by the local partner should not be concerned since profit and loss distribution can be otherwise redistributed allowing the foreign shareholder to retain 100% profits through a profit sharing agreement with the local partner. GCC nationals can form an LLC without reserving shares to an UAE national. Recent innovation from the new UAE Commercial law is the possibility to form an LLC as single partner.

    The LLC companies can have specific activities as for the classification made by the Department of Economic Development. For each company are allowed only a specific number and type of activities. Only the LLC General Trading company is allowed to operate multiple trading activities.

    Business Categories

    In Dubai the Department of Economic Development recognizes more than 2000 business activities organized in different sections and groups depending on the nature of the business that has to be carried out. Some businesses in order to be licensed from the Department of Economic Development need an additional approval from further Government Authorities as for example food trading, printing, publishing, air transport and services, tourism activities, education and training, engineering and contracting, financial services, legal services, medical services, and generally all industrial activities involving manufacture of goods.

    Select the right business activity is one of the most important step in establishing a business. Is essential to keep in mind that legal procedures depends on the nature of the business that is intended to be formed. Businesses can be established under three different categories: professional (specialized services to customers as consultancy or activities where a well-defined profession is required as carpentry, windows making and fixing, etc.), commercial (any business involving trading of goods to other companies or end users) and industrial (manufacturing and processing goods or packing products as for example mining and quarrying, food products processing and packing, personal care products processing and packing, wooden and metal products manufacturing, etc.). Under the professional, commercial and industrial activity type there are different sectors and group and the most used are:


  • Agricultural
  • Mining and Quarrying
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Wholesale and retail trade
  • Hotel and Restaurants
  • Real estate, Renting and Business activities
  • Education
  • Health and Social Work
  • Other community, social and personal service activities

  • We support and guide our customers through the legal and administrative process in order to consent them to receive the Approval or No Objection Letter from the appropriate Government Authority for the business categories that they choose. We are able to assist you with the authorization procedure with the Government entities described in the page Amendments and Registration.

    Benefits of Dubai Company
    The Emirate of Dubai is the traditional commercial hub of the United Arab Emirates and offers a favourable business environment, an excellent and efficient business infrastructure, a well-developed transportation system and is a top international venue for conferences and exhibitions. Its strategic location and the prominence role of the Dubai International Airport and Jebel Ali Port in the Middle East make Dubai the hub of the region. A company formed in Dubai Mainland offers a wide access to the economy with a strong physical presence and the possibility to directly operate in the local market.
    Basic Documents required
  • Approval of trade name (Al Bastaki Business Services will handle this issue);
  • Initial Approval for the activities (Al Bastaki Business Services will handle this issue);
  • Passport copies for the shareholders;
  • Passport copy and CV (Resume) for the Manager;
  • Approval issued by other Government Authorities according to the type of activity (Al Bastaki Business Services will handle this issue);
  • Lease agreement (Documents) – A physical address is mandatory by UAE Law for any registered company (Al Bastaki Business Services can assist you while searching for your office providing an office space for your startup);
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    +971 (0) 4 238 4333

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