Guide to Registering a Company in the UAE

Are you gearing up to bring your business dreams to life in the setting of the United Arab Emirates (UAE)? Brace yourself for an exhilarating journey! With its thriving tourism industry, strategic location and progressive government policies the UAE presents an opportunity for businesses, in diverse fields.. Before you take the plunge make sure to explore our detailed manual on registering a company in the UAE in 2024.

How to Register a Business in the UAE

documentation for establishing business

To set up a company in the United Arab Emirates you need to go through these procedures.


  • Decide on the structure that works best for your business whether its a sole proprietorship or a Limited Liability Company (LLC) based on your ownership and liability preferences.
  • Choose the emirate that fits your business needs best as each emirate like Dubai or Abu Dhabi has its Department of Economic Development (DED) with specific registration criteria. Research to find the fit for your business goals.
  • Get approval by submitting a detailed business plan and obtaining preliminary nods from the relevant authorities.
  • Register your trade name and legal documents by picking a trade name and preparing important paperwork like the Memorandum of Association (MoA) and Local Service Agent (LSA) agreement if required.
  • Obtain your business license by submitting all documents and fees to the DED, for final approval and issuance of the license.

Free Zones

  • Choose your free zone: Each free zone caters to specific industries and offers distinct benefits. Research and select the free zone that aligns with your business sector and goals.
  • Request a business license: Send your application and required paperwork to the free zone authority, for review and authorization.
  • Meet conditions: Based on the selected free zone you might have to organize visas rent office premises or fulfill particular financial criteria.
  • Obtain your license: Upon completing all steps you will be granted your business license allowing you to conduct business within the chosen free zone.

Advantages of Registering a Company in the UAE

registration form for business

Here are the compelling benefits of company registration in the UAE:

  • Prime location: Positioned at the intersection of East and West, the UAE provides access to lucrative markets spanning continents.
  • Business-friendly atmosphere: Simplified procedures, tax incentives, and governmental backing nurture a thriving business environment.
  • Varied free zones: Tailored to specific sectors, these zones offer tax breaks, capital repatriation, and full foreign ownership.
  • State-of-the-art infrastructure: Top-tier airports, robust communication networks, and modern amenities facilitate seamless business operations.
  • Diverse workforce: Access to a highly skilled and multicultural talent pool drawn from around the world.

Documents Needed to Establish a Business in the UAE

Below are the essential documents needed to kickstart a business in the UAE:

  • Passport copies of all partners/shareholders
  • Business plan
  • Memorandum of Association (MoA) and Local Service Agent (LSA) agreement (if required)
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from current sponsor (if currently employed)
  • Bank reference letter Lease agreement for office space
  • Additional permits and approvals pertinent to your business activity

Prerequisites for Establishing a Business in the UAE

establish business in uae

Here are the fundamental requirements to establish a business in the UAE:

  • Visa sponsorship: You must arrange visa sponsorship for yourself and your staff, adhering to specific criteria.
  • Local partnership: Depending on your selected legal framework and emirate, you may need a local partner with a certain ownership stake.
  • Share capital: Minimum share capital prerequisites differ based on the legal framework and emirate of choice.
  • Bank account: It is compulsory to open a corporate bank account in the UAE for conducting business activities.