Appointing a commercial agent

A foreign company can supply goods or services from abroad in Abu Dhabi through a licensed importer on a supply-of-goods basis or through a commercial agent/distributor. The commercial agent is entitled to statutory exclusive rights to distribute and market products and goods within a certain territory; they receive a commission for services. The agent must register this agency agreement with the Ministry of Economy (MOE).

Prerequisites

  • Agent must be a UAE national or a wholly-owned UAE entity incorporated in the UAE
  • Agent must be listed on the Ministry of Economy’s Commercial Register
  • A commercial agent agreement must include: name, nationality and address of agent
  • If a commercial company, agreement must include company’s name and description
  • If commercial company, include head office, branch addresses and capital amount
  • List of products, commodities and services covered by company
  • Territory that the agreement covers
  • Date on which the agreement comes into effect
  • Duration of the agency and provisions in event of default

What to bring

  • Agent’s trade licence and MOE Commercial Register certificate (original and copy)
  • Authenticated commercial agent agreement (original and copy)
  • Registration fee (varies)
  • Memorandum of Association (MOA) (one certified/one normal)
  • Passport of each partner (copy)
  • Certificate proving commercial agent/company is owned by UAE nationals (original and copy)

NOTE: All documents must be translated into Arabic and certified.

Procedure

@Ministry of Economy (MOE)
  • Notarise the commercial agent agreement in Abu Dhabi, or in country of principal draft
  • If notarised in the country of principal draft, agreement must be attested by the UAE Embassy
  • If notarised in Abu Dhabi, it must be attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Register the agreement with the Ministry of Economy’s Commercial Registration department
  • Submit application form and all documents to MOE 
  • Pay fees (varies)
  • MOE will reply within 15 days
  • If accepted, agent will receive authenticated certificate confirming registration
  • Details of the commercial agent agreement will be published in the MOE’s Commercial Bulletin
  • If declined, MOE must provide reasons for dismissal

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