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UAE Company Registration

Company Law in UAE

Company law in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) governs the formation, operation, and dissolution of companies in the country. The UAE has various forms of business entities, each with its own set of provisions and regulations. The UAE Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 on Commercial Companies (the "CCL") is the primary law regulating companies in the UAE. Here's an overview of the provisions of company law in the UAE, its features, and the procedure for company registration:

Provisions of UAE Company Law:

1. Types of Companies: UAE company law allows for several types of business entities, including:

  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Joint Stock Company (Public and Private)
  • Partnership
  • Sole Establishment
  • Branches of Foreign Companies

2. Foreign Ownership Restrictions: The UAE has historically had restrictions on foreign ownership of companies, with a requirement for a UAE national sponsor or partner in many cases. However, recent changes in law have allowed for 100% foreign ownership in certain sectors and specific free zones.

3. Capital Requirements: The law may specify minimum capital requirements for certain types of companies, such as LLCs and joint stock companies.

4. Licensing and Regulatory Authorities: Depending on the emirate and the nature of the business, various licensing authorities and regulatory bodies oversee company registrations and operations.

5. Governance and Management: The governance structure, board composition, and management of companies are subject to regulations under UAE company law.

Features of UAE Company Law:

1. Limited Liability: Most forms of companies in the UAE offer limited liability protection to shareholders or partners, meaning their personal assets are generally protected from business debts and liabilities.

2. Free Zones: UAE offers numerous free zones where foreign companies can establish a presence with various incentives, such as 100% foreign ownership, tax exemptions, and simplified registration procedures.

3. Taxation: The UAE follows a territorial tax system with no federal income tax on corporate profits, making it a tax-efficient jurisdiction for businesses. However, there may be taxes at the emirate level and Value Added Tax (VAT).

Procedure for Company Registration in UAE:

1. Determine Company Type: Choose the type of company that best suits your business needs and complies with foreign ownership regulations.

2. Select a Business Name: Choose a unique and compliant business name for your company.

3. Find a Local Partner or Service Agent (if required): Depending on the type of company, you may need to find a local partner or service agent if you're not eligible for 100% foreign ownership.

4. Reserve the Business Name: Reserve your chosen business name with the relevant authority.

5. Prepare Documents: Gather the required documents, which may include a memorandum of association, articles of association, and other relevant paperwork.

6. Register with Authorities: Submit your application and required documents to the relevant government authorities in the respective emirate.

7. Obtain Necessary Approvals: Your application may need to go through various approvals, including from the Department of Economic Development (DED) or the relevant free zone authority.

8. Pay Fees: Pay the registration and licensing fees as required.

9. Register for VAT: If applicable, register your company for Value Added Tax (VAT).

10. Receive Trade License: Once all requirements are met and approvals are granted, you'll receive your trade license, allowing you to conduct business legally.

Taxation in UAE:

  • The UAE has no federal corporate income tax for most companies.
  • Companies in certain sectors and free zones may be subject to taxes at the emirate level.
  • The UAE introduced VAT, and businesses with annual taxable supplies exceeding a certain threshold must register and charge VAT on their goods and services.

Required Documents:

The specific documents required for company registration can vary depending on the type of company and the emirate where you are registering. Generally, you will need:

  • Passport copies of shareholders or partners
  • Proposed company name
  • Memorandum of association
  • Articles of association
  • Proof of initial capital

Our experts and network partner will guide you in formation with relevant government authority in the specific emirate where you intend to register your company.

The information on the registration process, forms, fees, and required documents, as regulations may change over time.

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