Company registration in Dubai - An Overview

Every businessman in the world has a dream of starting his own company in Dubai but the process for the same is not easy. Strict rules and regulations by the government and tedious process make company registration in Dubai a difficult and troublesome task.

Before starting a business in Dubai one has to do thorough research on every aspect and must go through all the information about the business activity they are to undertake and ensure that they comply with all the business licensing requirements.

Obtaining a trade license is mandatory for starting any business activity in Dubai. The concerned authority which is responsible for issuing local Dubai company licenses is the Economic Development Department, functioning in different locations.

The different types of trade licenses issued in Dubai include -


Mentioned below are types of Trade Licenses.

  1. Commercial Licenses - Issued to companies engaged in trading activities.
  2. Industrial Licenses - Issued to the companies engaged in manufacturing.
  3. Professional Licenses - Issued to the companies working as service providers, professionals, artisans, and craftsmen.

What are the different types of companies which can be incorporated in Dubai?


There are numerous types of entities which can be incorporated in Dubai such as-

  • Limited liability companies,
  • Private and public joint stock companies,
  • Partnerships,
  • Branch offices,
  • Subsidiaries,
  • Free zone limited liability companies,
  • Free zone establishments.

Limited Liability Company(LLC)


In the Limited Liability Company, the liability of the shareholders is limited to their capital. The maximum number of shareholders in an LLC in Dubai is 50 and minimum is 2. Except for insurance, banking, or monetary investment, the company can carry any business activity.


Steps involved in obtaining a Limited Liability Company Registration in Dubai:

  • Select the company name and define the scope of business.
  • Check the licensing requirements for your business requirement and find a local partner or sponsor.
  • An application can be made to the authorities for the registration of the company. In the case of special requirement on licensing you can proceed with registration only after receiving all the approvals and trade license.
  • The next steps will involve renting an office space and opening a local bank account.

Onshore Company

An onshore company is a business arrangement which is formed and managed within the jurisdiction of the company. There are numerous perks of having an onshore company which include favorable regulation, taxation policies for companies operating outside of the jurisdiction, broad networks of tax treaties, developed business, banking and supporting sectors, etc. Registration of the onshore company in U.A.E. is crucial and beneficial. Generally, owners manage their business by sitting at their native place, but with the Onshore company, one can easily have the working office and can manage them efficiently.


Steps to be taken before Registration of the Onshore Company in Dubai:

  • Select the company name.
  • Define the activity of the company.
  • Select the optimal free trade zone according to the requirements.
  • Check with the free zone authority, to verify the licensing prerequisites.
  • In the case of regular collect all the forms and documents and starts with the company registration.
  • Check the other requirements such as office space and sign the respective rent contract.
  • Open PO Box.
  • Review the requirements of share capital, open a bank account, pay share capital, and get share capital payment confirmation.
  • Get to the final stage of the company registration.
  • Apply and get the company establishment card, immigration card and other documents.
  • Proceed with your residency visa along with the visa for your family and, if required, for employees.

Offshore Company

An Offshore Company is a legal business configuration that is formed and managed outside the jurisdiction of the company.

Steps to be taken before opening the Offshore Companies in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah, UAE:

  • Choose the registered agent.
  • Select the company name.
  • Give the company name to the agent along with other documents;
  • After the name is approved – the agent will hand-over all the incorporation documents which are to be signed by the owner and then forwarded back to the agent;
  • Pay the agent for the incorporation procedure;
  • Receive back from the agent all the incorporation documents;
  • Open bank account- may be with the help of an agent or themselves.

Benefits of setting up your business in Dubai Free Zone are:

  • 100% exemption from taxes on personal or corporate income.
  • Complete ownership for investors regardless of their nationality and domicile.
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
  • Exclusion from all import and export duties .
  • Exemption from all the corporate taxes for 15 years, with a renewal option for 15 years with no requirement of deposit of capital.

Documents required for registering a company in Dubai

  • The articles of association of the company which should contain information about the shareholders, directors and business activities of the company.
  • Translated and notarized copies of the passports of the shareholders and the directors of the company.
  • Duly completed forms issued by the Trade Registrar.
  • Registration in Dubai can be complicated hence it is advisable that you seek the assistance of an expert company registration consultant to proceed with your registration.

Why Vakilsearch?


4 Business Days

At Vakilsearch, we can deliver all your documentation requirements in just four working days. And if you're not totally satisfied, we'll take another couple of days to work on the modifications you need. All at the lowest price, both online and offline.

9.1 Customer Score

We make your interaction with government as smooth as is possible by doing all the paperwork for you. We will also give you absolute clarity on the process to set realistic expectations.

160 Strong Team

Our team of experienced business advisors are a phone call away, should you have any queries about the process. But we'll try to ensure that your doubts are cleared before they even arise.

  • Happy customers
  • Logo of VakilSearch premium customer Indiaproperty
  • Logo of VakilSearch premium customer iBlueBottle
  • Logo of VakilSearch premium customer Sulekha
  • Logo of VakilSearch premium customer Housing.com