UAE Company Registration: Complete Guide

Looking to start a business in the UAE? Discover the complete procedure and requirements for UAE company registration in this comprehensive guide. Register your business in the UAE with our company formation experts.


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    Company Registration in the UAE

    Are you an entrepreneur seeking to expand your business in the Middle East? If so, consider UAE company registration for your business growth. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) stands out as a prime destination for establishing your business in the Middle Eastern region. In 2020, the UAE boasted approximately 343 thousand private sector establishments, many of which were owned or invested in by foreigners. 

    According to the World Investment Report 2023 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the UAE attracted a significant foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow of USD 22.737 billion (AED 83.5 billion) in 2022 alone. These figures underscore the UAE’s allure as a prime location for corporate growth. Whether you’re looking to launch a new business or grow an already-existing one, the process of UAE company registration can be a seamless and rewarding experience.

    Through this guide, we will be going over the process for business registration in UAE. We will further cover the benefits, documentation and requirements to register a business in the United Arab Emirates.

    How to Register a Business in the UAE?

    The process to register a business in the UAE is listed below:


    Choose your legal form 

    From sole proprietorships to Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), decide the structure that best aligns with your ownership and liability preferences.

    Select your emirate

    Each emirate (like Dubai or Abu Dhabi) has its own Department of Economic Development (DED) with specific requirements. Research and choose the emirate that suits your business goals.

    Obtain initial approval

    This involves submitting a detailed business plan and securing preliminary permissions from relevant authorities.

    Register trade name and legal documents 

    Choose a unique trade name and draft essential documents like the Memorandum of Association (MoA) and Local Service Agent (LSA) agreement (if required).

    Secure business license 

    Submit all documents and fees to the DED for final approval and license issuance.

    Free Zones:

    Select your free zone

    Each free zone caters to specific sectors and offers unique benefits. Research and choose the zone that aligns with your industry and objectives.

    Apply for a business license 

    Submit your application and required documents to the free zone authority for review and approval.

    Fulfill additional requirements

    Depending on the free zone, you might need to secure visas, rent office space, or fulfill specific capital requirements.

    Receive your license 

    Upon fulfilling all requirements, you’ll receive your business license to operate within the free zone.

    Documents Required to Start a Business in the UAE

    The documents required to start a business in the UAE are mentioned below:
    • Passport copies of all partners/shareholders
    • Business plan
    • Memoradum of Association and LSA agreement (if applicable)
    • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from current sponsor (if employed)
    • Bank reference letter
    • Lease agreement for office space
    • Other permits and approvals specific to your business activity

    Requirements to Set up a Business in the UAE

    The basic requirements to set up a business in the UAE:

    • Visa sponsorship: You’ll need to sponsor visas for yourself and your employees, which involves fulfilling specific criteria.
    • Local partner: Depending on your chosen legal structure and emirate, you might require a local partner with a minimum ownership percentage.
    • Share capital: Minimum share capital requirements vary based on the legal structure and chosen emirate.
    • Bank account: Opening a corporate bank account in the UAE is mandatory for business operations.

    Benefits of UAE Company Registration

    The compiling benefits for company registration in the UAE are:

    • Strategic location: At the crossroads of East and West, the UAE offers access to lucrative markets across continents.
    • Business-friendly environment: Streamlined processes, tax advantages, and government support foster a thriving business ecosystem.
    • Diverse free zones: Catered to specific industries, these zones offer tax exemptions, repatriation of capital, and 100% foreign ownership.
    • Advanced infrastructure: World-class airports, robust communication networks, and modern facilities support business operations.
    • Multicultural workforce: Access to a highly skilled and diverse talent pool from across the globe.

    Taxation in the UAE

    The UAE boasts a tax-friendly environment:

    • Corporate Income Tax: No corporate income tax for businesses operating outside free zones. Specific industries such as petrochemical ventures and foreign bank branches are liable to taxation within the UAE
    • Value Added Tax (VAT)applicable to most goods and services.
    • Free zones: Offer complete tax exemptions on corporate income and import/export duties.


    If you want to set up a business in the United Arab Emirates, then you can speak with our business formation experts from OnDemand International. As a leading provider of company registration services in the UE, we offer comprehensive support to guide you through the entire process.

    From registering your business to acquiring the necessary documentation and assisting with opening a bank account, our experts at OnDemand International will be with you every step of the way. By contacting us to register your business in the UAE, you can focus on growing your business while we handle the complex administrative tasks involved in UAE company registration. Contact us right now to register your company and take advantage of the UAE market’s enormous potential.


    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.