Company Setup in Umm Al Quwain in 2024-25: Process & Benefits Explained

Discover the benefits and process of setting up a company in Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone (UAQFTZ) in 2024-25. Learn about the ideal location, 100% foreign ownership, tax exemptions, and more.


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    Setting up a business in Umm Al Quwain, one of the seven emirates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is a promising venture for entrepreneurs and investors. With its strategic location, business-friendly environment, and various incentives, Umm Al Quwain offers excellent opportunities for growth and success. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of company formation in Umm Al Quwain, highlighting the requirements, types of business entities, benefits, and how OnDemand International can assist you in achieving your business goals.

    Procedure for company formation in Umm Al Quwain

    Starting a business in Umm Al Quwain involves several steps that need to be followed diligently. Here’s a breakdown of the company formation procedure:

    • Business Idea and Plan: The first step is to have a clear business idea and a well-structured business plan. It’s essential to identify the industry you want to operate in and assess the market potential.
    • Choose Your Business Activity: Define the nature of your business activities. Umm al Quwain offers a wide range of business activities, from trading to manufacturing and services.
    • Select a Business Name: Choose a memorable and appropriate name for your business. Ensure it complies with the naming guidelines set by the Umm al Quwain Department of Economic Development (UAQDED).
    • Legal Structure: Determine the legal structure of your business entity. A Limited Liability Company (LLC), a Free Zone Company, or a Foreign Company Branch are all common options.
    • Share Capital: Specify the share capital for your business. The minimum share capital requirements vary depending on the chosen legal structure.
    • License Application: Apply for the necessary business licenses with the UAQDED or the relevant free zone authority if you opt for a free zone company.
    • Location and Premises: Secure a physical location for your business premises. This could be a commercial office space or a unit in a free zone, depending on your business type.
    • Submit Required Documents: Prepare and submit all required documents, including a business plan, memorandum of association, and passport copies of shareholders and partners.
    • Payment of Fees: Pay the necessary registration and licensing fees as per the regulations.
    • Approvals and Inspections: Await approvals and inspections from government authorities, including the UAQDED and the Department of Immigration.
    • Obtain a Trade License: Once all approvals are granted, you will receive your trade license, allowing you to legally operate your business in Umm al Quwain.

    Requirements for company registration in Umm Al Quwain

    To successfully set up a business in Umm al Quwain, you need to meet certain requirements:

    • Shareholders: For an LLC, a minimum of two shareholders is required, while a Free Zone Company can have a single shareholder. Individuals or corporations can be shareholders.
    • Directors: At least one director is required for an LLC, and a Free Zone Company can have a single director. Directors can also act as shareholders.
    • Physical Office: Ensure that you have a physical office space, whether within Umm al Quwain mainland or in one of the free zones.
    • Local Sponsorship: In the case of an LLC, a local UAE sponsor is required. This sponsor holds a 51% share in the company, while the foreign investor retains 49%. However, profit and loss distribution can be negotiated.
    • Initial Capital: Depending on your business activity and the chosen legal structure, there may be minimum share capital requirements. Ensure you have the necessary funds.
    • Legal Documents: Prepare all required legal documents, such as the memorandum of association and the articles of association, in compliance with UAE laws.
    • Approvals and Licenses: Be prepared to go through the approval process and obtain the necessary licenses, which vary depending on the nature of your business.

    Types of Business Entities in Umm Al Quwain

    Umm al Quwain offers several business structures to choose from, each with its advantages and suitability for different types of businesses:

    Limited Liability Company (LLC):

    • Suitable for a wide range of business activities.
    • Requires a local UAE sponsor, who holds a 51% share.
    • Offers flexibility in profit and loss distribution.

    Free Zone Company:

    • Ideal for businesses that want 100% foreign ownership.
    • Allows for complete repatriation of profits.
    • Offers various free zones catering to different industries.

    Branch of a Foreign Company:

    • Allows foreign companies to establish a presence in Umm al Quwain.
    • The parent company retains full control.
    • Requires registration with the UAQDED.

    Professional License:

    • Suitable for individuals providing professional services like consultancy, legal, and healthcare.
    • No local sponsor is required.
    • Allows 100% foreign ownership.

    Advantages of Setting Up a Business in Umm Al Quwain

    Umm al Quwain offers several compelling advantages for entrepreneurs and investors:

    • Strategic Location: Located in the northern part of the UAE, Umm al Quwain provides easy access to both local and international markets.
    • Free Zones: Umm al Quwain has dedicated free zones that offer 100% foreign ownership, full repatriation of profits, and various incentives.
    • Skilled Workforce: Umm al Quwain has access to a skilled and multicultural workforce, supporting businesses in various sectors.
    • Quality of Life: The UAE offers a high standard of living, with excellent healthcare, education, and recreational facilities.
    • Tax Benefits: The emirate offers competitive tax rates, with no personal income tax and no corporate tax for most businesses.
    • Stable Economy: The UAE enjoys a stable and diverse economy, making it a safe destination for business investments.
    • Infrastructure and Connectivity: The Emirates has modern infrastructure, world-class ports, and excellent connectivity, facilitating smooth business operations.

    How does OnDemand International Help you?

    At OnDemand International, we understand how difficult it may be to deal with the complications of business creation in Umm Al Quwain. That is why we are here for you at every step of the road. Our skilled staff specializes in delivering personalized solutions for companies and investors wishing to set up shop in Umm al Quwain.


    For entrepreneurs and organizations, establishing a company in Umm al Quwain, one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), might be a strategically advantageous move. The emirate provides a business-friendly climate with various advantages, including tax breaks, simplicity of company formation, and access to the expanding UAE market. However, before forming a company in Umm al Quwain, individuals and organizations must carefully analyze their specific business goals, industry, and regulatory requirements. Seeking legal and financial advice, as well as knowing the local business culture and market dynamics, are critical elements to ensuring a successful and compliant endeavour in this emirate.


    How long does it take to establish a corporation in Umm al Quwain?

    The average time to form a company in Umm al Quwain is 7 to 10 working days.

    What is the licensing fee in Umm Al Quwain?

    Umm Al Quwain Free Zone license fees start at 8,000 AED.

    What is the main industry of Umm Al Quwain?

    The Main industries of Umm Al Quwain are hotels, parks, tourism, fisheries, and trading activities, and manufacturing.