License Types

License Types

The UAE offers a diverse range of business licenses, all with unique benefits and requirements

As a business hub known for its economic growth and diverse opportunities, the UAE offers a variety of licenses to suit various industries and business activities.

Understanding the specific license types and their associated requirements is crucial for entrepreneurs and companies aiming to establish a presence in the UAE. Including professional licenses for service-based businesses to commercial licenses for trading enterprises, and industrial licenses for manufacturing activities and more.

Our aim is to equip you with the knowledge necessary to navigate the licensing process smoothly, ensuring compliance with local regulations and paving the way for your business success in the vibrant UAE market.

100% Foreign Ownership in the UAE
Companies carrying on activities with a “strategic impact” will continue to be subject to foreign ownership restrictions. We expect the issuance of a list of restricted activities that will still require local ownership, and a list of activities that will allow 100% ownership. There are over 1,000 trading and service activities that will allow you to incorporate with 100% expat ownership.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Limited Liability Companies (LLC) are one of the most common types of commercial entities that entrepreneurs and corporations can establish in the UAE. With a quick and easy setup process and a broad range of available license activities, LLCs are widely preferred by entrepreneurs and corporations that want to penetrate the UAE market and establish a solid footing in the Middle East region.
Branch Office
Setting up a Branch Office of a foreign company in Dubai is easy and an attractive prospect as it can be 100% foreign owned or require a provided a local service agent who is appointed. A Branch Office in Dubai is an extension of a local or foreign parent company. It is a full-fledged business, permitted to perform contracts or conduct other activities as specified in its licence. A foreign Branch Office may only engage in activities similar those of its parent company.
Trade Representative Office
If your foreign company is looking for exposure in the UAE market, you may want to set up a Trade Representative Office. This type of representation is useful in promoting a foreign company and introducing your products to UAE companies as a non-trading ‘shop-window’.
Professional Service Licence
A Professional Licence/ Civil Company (sole trader or partnership) is a business for professionals in recognised fields such as consultants, doctors, lawyers, engineers and accountants. The bearer of a Professional Licence can only practise professional business and the company is 100% owned by the individual partners.
Free zones
A foreign investor can set up a company in the UAE in one of the many free zones. Free zone authorities are the government bodies that register and issue business licences to non-resident companies in the UAE free zone. Free zones allow corporate structures to have a physical presence in the UAE. They allow 100% foreign ownership and offer prebuilt facilities and modernised one-stop-shop registration and administrative services.

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