UAE Company Registration: Complete Guide

Looking to start a company in the UAE? This guide will cover the procedure for UAE company registration, along with its benefits, requirments and costs.


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    Company Registration in the UAE

    When it comes to expanding your business horizon, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) presents an attractive canvas of opportunities. Known for its robust economy, strategic global position, and investor-friendly environment, the UAE is a beacon for entrepreneurs and businesses worldwide. If you’re looking to start a business in the UAE, the journey begins with UAE company registration, a process streamlined to encourage economic growth and foreign investment.

    Why Choose UAE for Company Registration?

    The UAE has become a magnet for business professionals worldwide, and for good reason. Its advantageous position at the meeting point of Asia, Europe, and Africa offers a fantastic base for global connection and trade. With a stable political environment, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and a tax-friendly regime, the UAE has become a top destination for entrepreneurs and investors alike.

    The country’s thriving economy, driven by sectors such as tourism, real estate, and technology, has consistently demonstrated robust growth. In addition, the government is proactive in implementing policies and regulations that favor business activities, making it an attractive hub for global commerce.

    Steps for UAE Company Registration

    Setting up a business in the UAE involves a well-structured procedure that guarantees an easy and hassle-free encounter.

    Here are the essential steps:

    To start a business in the UAE, each step in the registration process requires careful attention:

    Step 1: Business Activity Selection

    The type of business you choose determines the rules, regulations, and requirements that apply. It’s crucial to align your business activity with one of the categories specified by the UAE Department of Economic Development.

    Step 2: Legal Form and Company Type 

    Understanding the legal forms available in the UAE, such as establishing a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a Free Zone entity, or an Offshore company, is key. Each form has its compliance requirements and benefits.

    Step 3: Trade Name Reservation 

    A trade name not only reflects your business identity but also needs to comply with the UAE’s naming conventions. It cannot have been previously registered, and it must be approved by the licensing authorities.

    Step 4: Initial Approval and Legal Documents 

    This stage involves getting approval from the DED, which signifies the UAE government’s no objection to your business. You’ll need to draft and attest your company’s Memorandum of Association (MOA), and for certain activities, additional approvals may be required from relevant ministries or departments.

    Step 5: Local Sponsor or Service Agent

    For a mainland company, finding a local sponsor (a UAE national) or a service agent is a regulatory prerequisite. In the case that your business is an LLC, this sponsor will own 51 percent of the shares.

    Step 6: Business Location and Tenancy Agreement 

    Securing a business location and getting a tenancy agreement is essential. For mainland companies, the location must meet specific requirements, while in free zones, it may include flexi-desks or offices.

    Step 7: Licensing and Registration

    Once all prior steps are completed, you must apply for a business license—be it commercial, industrial, or professional. 

    Step 8: Open a Corporate Bank Account

    Finally, open a corporate bank account to properly handle the financial aspects of your firm.

    Documents Required for UAE Company Registration

    Before you start a business in the UAE, prepare to submit the following documents:

    • Duly filled application form for company registration.
    • Copy of passport and visa for non-residents for all shareholders and directors.
    • Business plan.
    • Memorandum of Association (MOA) and Articles of Association (AOA).
    • No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the present sponsor for expatriates.
    • Verification of the original permission certificate and trade name reservation.

    Types of Companies for UAE Company Registration

    You have several options to choose from when registering a company in the UAE:

    Limited Liability Company (LLC)

    One of the most common forms of business setup on the mainland. An LLC allows you to trade within the UAE and internationally. While it requires a UAE national as a majority shareholder, recent reforms have relaxed these rules for certain sectors.

    Free Zone Company 

    Every Free Zone is centered around one or more business categories, and only those businesses are eligible for permits. A Free Zone Company can be 100% foreign-owned, is exempt from taxes, and can repatriate all profits.

    Offshore Company 

    These entities are set up in specific jurisdictions under the UAE’s offshore company laws. A legal corporate entity created with the goal of conducting business outside of both its registration jurisdiction and the place of its ultimate ownership is known as an offshore company.

    Branch Offices 

    Foreign companies can set up branch offices that can carry out business within the scope of their parent company. They must appoint a local services agent but the parent company retains 100% ownership.

    Representative Offices

    Similar to branch offices, these can undertake marketing and administrative functions but cannot conduct business within the UAE.

    Sole Proprietorships

    This is an entity owned and operated by one individual, responsible for all debts and liabilities. The scope for sole proprietorships is somewhat limited for foreign nationals.


    These are formed between two or more partners who will share the profits according to a pre-agreed ratio. There are various kinds of partnerships, such as general partnerships, limited partnerships, and participation ventures.

    Benefits of UAE Company Registration

    The advantages of registering a company in the UAE are numerous and compelling:

    • Tax Benefits: One of the primary reasons entrepreneurs and investors choose the UAE is its tax-friendly environment. There is no personal income tax, no corporate tax for most businesses, and no import/export duties within free zones.
    • Ease of Doing Business: The government of the United Arab Emirates has continuously endeavored to optimize commercial procedures, rendering the operation and growth of businesses very convenient.
    • Access to Global Markets: The UAE’s advantageous location makes it simple to access markets in Europe, Asia, and Africa, making it a perfect launchpad for international expansion.
    • Political Stability: The UAE enjoys a stable political climate, ensuring your business investments are secure and protected.
    • Excellent Infrastructure: The UAE has excellent infrastructure, including modern transportation, communication, and utilities, providing a comfortable and efficient environment for businesses.

    Cost of UAE Company Registration

    The cost of registering a company in the UAE varies depending on several factors, such as the type of business, the location, and specific requirements. Generally, you can expect costs to cover trade name registration, license fees, visa fees, and other regulatory expenses. For a specific estimate depending on your demands and business plan, it’s best to speak with a business professional from OnDemand International.

    Why should you register your UAE company with OnDemand International?

    Setting up a business in the UAE is a rewarding endeavor, but it can also be complex and challenging if not done correctly. OnDemand International is your trusted partner in making this process as smooth as possible. Our expert team has in-depth knowledge of UAE business regulations, and we specialize in guiding entrepreneurs and investors through every step of company registration.

    We make sure you make the best selections possible by providing solutions that are specifically designed to match your unique business demands. From selecting the right business activity to obtaining approvals and managing documentation, we handle it all. Our goal is to empower you to make your business dream a reality in the UAE.


    UAE company registration is the first step towards a world of prosperous business ventures. The UAE offers a strategic location, tax advantages, and a pro-business environment, making it the best option for investors and company owners wishing to launch a venture. 

    When it comes to realizing your company aspirations in the UAE, OnDemand International is your dependable partner. We offer professional advice and customized solutions to navigate the company registration process smoothly. Don’t miss the chance to tap into the UAE’s dynamic business landscape. Start your journey towards success today.


    Yes, in certain free zones, you can have 100% foreign ownership. Mainland companies typically require a local partner with at least 51% ownership.

    Yes, Dubai has several free zones that cater to businesses in the textile industry. These zones offer various incentives and advantages for international investors.

    Having previous experience in the textile sector can be helpful although it’s not necessary. You can hire experienced staff or partner with people with the requisite experience.

    Dubai has regulations in place to ensure textile items are safe and of high quality. It’s critical to understand these rules and ensure compliance when importing and selling textiles.