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How to set up a company in Dubai with 100% foreign ownership?

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:41:00


UAE always favour businesses entrepreneurs may

UAE has always been in favour of businesses and entrepreneurs. You may come to the country with an idea, but UAE will provide you with all facilities for you to reap the best harvest. From its ultra-modern infrastructure to a stable economy, UAE is the dreamland for every business owner. With the relaxations on foreign investments by allowing 100% ownership the possibilities to grow is never-ending.

The Commercial Companies Law, enacted on 1st June 2021, permits 100 % foreign ownership of onshore companies in the UAE.

The UAE Cabinet will arrange a commission comprising the appropriate authorities' representatives to suggest activities of strategic influence. They have authorized 122 business ventures spanning 13 industries, enabling full foreign ownership. Limits would still apply to foreign-owned companies that engage in "strategic impact" activities.

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is one of the best retail entities that entrepreneurs can set up in the UAE. LLC gives the business owners complete protection from liabilities. As per UAE law, LLCs must have at least one or more Emirati partners or local sponsors. It means that the local partner or sponsor must own at least 51% of the shares in the LLC. To promote a foreign company one can set up Trade Representative Office. But they are not allowed to practice the trade.

The Foreign Direct Investment Law (FDI) has streamlined foreign ownership restrictions in specific business sectors. It allows as much as 100% foreign ownership in UAE for businesses. However, to achieve this exemption, the applicant had to fulfill several requisites, such as share capital contributions and technology usage. Moreover, the relevant licensing authority has the final power.

Steps to set up the company with 100 % foreign ownership.

  1. Finalize your business activity AND BUSINESS CODE
  2. Decide the company’s structure
  3. Reserve a name and register in the trademark registry
  4. Procure an office space, if the company is established on the mainland
  5. Obtain requisite approvals from competent authorities
  6. Obtain your business license
  7. Manage visas and open a bank account

Frequently asked questions

1. Can a foreigner register a company in Dubai?

Foreigners can and usually start businesses in Dubai. As per the new Federal laws, 100% foreign ownership is possible in UAE.

2. How much will it cost to register a company in Dubai?

The cost of business setup in Dubai counts on the business activity, company location, and approvals

3. How can foreign nationals get UAE 100% ownership of an existing LLC company in the UAE?

A foreign national who is the current proprietor of the LLC company can hire a business setup advisor who can help gain 100% ownership of an existing LLC company in the UAE by following these steps

  • Prepare the Application for amendment of license.
  • Prepare the amendment of MOA
  • Take the pre-approval from the Department of Economic Development
  • Apply for DED
  • Pay the fees.

4.  Are there any restrictions for foreign investors?

Terms and conditions will apply depending on business activity.

With foreign investors flowing into the global business hub, UAE hopes to benefit from the resources across the world. Taking a peek into the future, these foreign investments will uplift Dubai as the best environment to seed any business. Taking into consideration the growing business standards, encouraging these investments will be optimal for the country’s future ventures.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971526443004