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    Company Setup in the UAE

    Start, expand and grow your business in Dubai or anywhere in the UAE

    With ADAM Global

    ADAM Global is a name trusted since 2002 for Companies like yours from all over the world to set up, grow and expand their business in the Middle East and specifically the United Arab Emirates. We put your ambitions at the center of everything we do and hold your hand throughout your business journey.

    You are wondering How to start a business in the United Arab Emirates? Browse through these quick links on this page to find out more on company set up in the UAE.

    Quick Facts about the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

    The United Arab Emirates is a country situated on the end of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering the states of Saudi Arabia and Oman as well as sharing a maritime border with Qatar and Iran.

    The country is a federation of the seven emirates or cities and constitutes of Abu Dhabi (the capital), Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaima, Fujairah and Umm Al Quwain

    The UAE enjoys a quite strategic location, substantial financial reserves, sizeable sovereign wealth fund, promising investor home economies as well as consistent government spending.

    Foreign Direct investments contribute to a stable and progressive economy with the focus of the government being primarily on economic diversification.

    What are the benefits of starting or expanding a business in the UAE?

    Long Term Value

    UAE is ranked #1 regionally & #7 globally in terms of long term value creation of their resources among 62 other countries.


    UAE’s Competitiveness is ranked # 1 worldwide across 23 indicators, including Government Decision and Global Talent.

    Ease of Doing Business

    UAE is ranked 1st in the Arab World and 11th internationally in the “Ease of Doing Business Report” published by World Bank that evaluated 190 countries across several factors.

    Stable Economy

    The UAE has a robust economic outlook moving away from the oil-driven economy by diversifying its income resources via the Vision 2021 strategy set forth by the ruler.

    Government Spending & Support

    The UAE has injected over 300 Billion AED to encourage economic growth via innovation initiatives. So far, over 100 Initiatives are ongoing, all promoting a versatile digital economy.

    Excellent Arbitration System

    The UAE laws outline the rights of every citizen and promote equality regardless of race, religion, gender, nationality or social position. It also has well-defined laws to protect the interest of business owners and their businesses

    Safety & Security

    The UAE is known to be one of the safest and most secure countries in the world. In an official survey conducted recently, over 96.1 % of citizens said they feel safe and secure in the country.

    The Business Landscape

    What are the jurisdictions in the UAE for Company Setup?

    The United Arab Emirates corporate law is responsible for governance, and financial regulation for any new business in the UAE. There is a separate corporate code for each emirate. You can set up your company in any one of the following emirates.

    1. Abu Dhabi Company Setup
    2. Dubai Company Setup
    3. Sharjah Company Setup
    4. Ras Al Khaimah Company Setup
    5. Ajman Company Setup
    6. Fujairah Company Setup
    7. Umm Ul Quwain Company Setup

    Types of Company Setup in the UAE

    Depending on the activity and purpose of the company, you can setup your company in any of the following jurisdiction in the United Arab Emirates

    Mainland Company Setup

    The Mainland Company Licence or Onshore Company Trade Licence is issued by the respective Emirates Department of Economic Development (DED). Mainland companies are setup if you plan to do business within the local UAE market as well as internationally. Mainland Companies usually require a local partner. Ask us about Individual and Corporate Sponsorships.

    Free Zone Company Setup

    Freezone Licences are issued by the relevant freezone authority. Currently, UAE has over 40 Freezones to choose from. We can help you choose the one that suits your short terms and long term needs. Freezone companies are 100 % foreign-owned and are usually set up for import and re-export. You can do business within the designated zone and must appoint a local distribution agent for trade-related activities in the mainland.

    Offshore Company Setup

    UAE has three offshore jurisdictions, and their relevant offshore authorities are responsible for issuing the offshore incorporation documents. Offshore companies can also be referred to as International Business Companies that are setup for various benefits including tax efficiency, asset protection and risk distribution.

    What are the types of trade licence for Company Setup in the UAE?

    Below are some of the most common type of trade licence to setup a company

    Commercial Licence

    Covers trade and commercial activity.

    Professional Licence

    Covers all kind of professional services.

    Industrial Licence

    Covers large-scale industrial activities such as manufacturing and packaging.

    E-Commerce Licence

    For online trading and e-commerce activity.

    Freelance Permit

    In essence, the freelance permit is not a licence but a legal permit that allows individuals and employees of UAE based companies to do freelancing work.

    What are the legal forms of business for Company Setup in the UAE?

    There are eight types of legal entities in the UAE to start a business. Once you have discussed with your consultant the purpose of your company and the type of business activity

    Sole Proprietorship

    This type of company is the simplest form of company setup, and the Foreign Investor or Entrepreneur is the sole owner of the company. 100 % Liability is on the sole owner.

    Limited Liability Company

    In the UAE, a limited liability company also is known as LLC company is a company in which a min of 1 and max of 50 shareholders can be appointed. The Liabilities are limited to the shareholder’s capital share.

    Civil Company

    Civil Companies in the UAE are formed for Doctors, Engineers, Accountants and Lawyers. Although this type of company is 100 % wholly owned by the professional partner, a UAE Local Service Agent is usually appointed.

    Private Shareholding Company

    In UAE, a Private shareholding company is 51% owned by UAE nationals appointed as directors and chairman. The public has no access to shares of the company and the min share capital required is 2 Million AED with a min of 3 Shareholders. It protects the interest of the shareholders without risking being overtaking by large public corporations.

    Branch of Foreign Company

    Branch office carries the same legal identity as that of the parent company and conducts the same type of business as that of the parent company. There are certain restrictions involved in terms of trading activity. Requires Local Service Agent.

    Representative Office in the UAE

    Unlike a branch office, a representative office only promotes the activity of the parent companies, taking order and projects to be executed by the parent company. The Representative office only acts as a liaising office and is incorporated for increased market visibility. Requires Local Service Agent.

    The Process of Company Setup in the UAE

    Costs: What is the general price for starting or setting up a company in UAE?

    The cost will ultimately depend on various factors:

    • The Type of Business and business activities
    • The preferred Emirate for incorporation
    • The Legal Entity of the company
    • Number of Visas required

    UAE Company Setup Cost Comparison Chart

    Values are based only on average estimates and should not be considered as a final legally binding cost.We will be able to provide you an  accurate quote; Please discuss your specific needs with our consultants. There are many questions that will enable us to determine the right type of business and helping you save cost.

    The Chart is only intended for general educational purposes The cost only includes average government fees and exclude service and other administrative costs

    Mainland Freezone Offshore
    Abu Dhabi n/a
    Sharjah n/a
    Fujairah n/a
    Ras Al Khaimah
    Umm Al Quwain n/a
    Local Sponsor Fee n/a
    Local Service Agent n/a
    Corporate Sponsorship Starting AED25,00 n/a
    Royal Sponsorship Starting AED 0.5 M-1M n/a
    Can rent office space? No No No

    How to start or register your Company in the UAE

    At ADAM Global, we guide you and hold your hand through each step of your business journey. Although the process is quite detailed, below is an 8 Step Process highlighting the essential incorporation procedure for your company formation in the UAE with our highly experienced staff.



    Select the right type and legal form of business



    Submit all documents



    We file an application



    We get approval for company name & activity



    Signature on the incorporation documents



    Submission to Registrar of a relevant authority



    You will be notified when your company is approved



    Open Corporate Bank Account. We can assist

    How Can ADAM Global Assist me in Company Formation in the UAE?

    ADAM Global is a pioneering Consultancy and Business Service company that began its journey dating back to 2002. Our experts and advisors are all highly experienced consultants who have assisted clients from all over the world to start and expand their business in the United Arab Emirates.

    We do not simply assist in the incorporation of business but hold your hand throughout your business journey. We offer ;

    • Complimentary advise and bespoke consultancy with a highly experienced business advisor
    • Guidance and assistance to select the type of business, office location and/or Flexi desks
    • Government Liaising to take care of your legal requirements to incorporate a company in the UAE. Our outstanding reputation with local authorities ensures the process is efficient
    • Registered Office with PO Box
    • A registered agent with various Freezones
    • Preparation of complete documents and business plans
    • Preparation of registration forms
    • Preparation of Incorporation certificate
    • Assisting in opening a bank account
    • Ongoing support locally as well as internationally to kickstart or grow your business

    Avail attractive offshore packages ! Apply now for a free consultation

    Frequently Asked Questions on Company Formation in UAE

    You have more question about company setup in the UAE. Browse through this section to get a quick overview or schedule a consultation with an expert business advisor. You can also use our chat facility to speak to our advisors right now.

    The companies where a UAE Local Partner is mandatory are ,LLC companies, Private and Public Joint Stock Companies as well as Civil companies with engineering activities.
    Yes, certain businesses can only be setup by UAE Nationals. These include joint liability companies (partners must be UAE nationals), Simple commandite companies, industrial or commercial type sole proprietorship, Licence for home-based businesses as well as SME licence (in Dubai).

    Have Questions?

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