By law, foreign nationals setting up a company outside of a free zone must sign a Local Agency Agreement with a UAE national. The local agent is referred to as a ‘sponsor’. The sponsor (not to be confused with the terms ‘commercial agent’ or ‘local service agent’) is obliged to assist with all government related issues, such as obtaining permits, trade licences, visas and labour cards. The sponsor’s signature will be required for most application forms. In return, they own 51% of the company and will receive a percentage of the profits.
If you do not have a sponsor, you can contact the Advocates Law Firm (theadvocates.ae) which has a recommended list.
- Sponsor must either be a UAE national or a company that is 100%-owned by UAE nationals.
- Setting up an LLC or public/private shareholding company.
What to bring
- Passport and Resident ID of business owner and sponsor (copies).
- Attested Memorandum of Association (original and copy).
- Attested articles of association (original and copy).
- Passports of all board members or partners (copy).
- Letter from DED to certify sponsor is UAE national.
- Department of Economic Development (DED).
- A contract (Local Agency Agreement) is signed by both parties and notarised.
- Legalise the contract if setting up a branch office.
- Get contract authenticated at the UAE embassy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Translate contract into Arabic.
- Seal contract with notary public of Dubai Courts.
- Contract is ready to be submitted in all procedures for setting up a company.
Latest NewsView More
Downtown Dubai, dubbed the ‘Centre of Now’, and the nearby dynamic financial district, are hotspots for t...
There is much more than stores and eateries at The Dubai Mall, one of the world’s largest shopping destinations...
The UAE continues to develop at pace and almost every week makes incredible announcements. There are too many formid...
The culinary culture in Dubai takes a detour from its usual gastronomic delights to introduce a new breed of ‘m...
Traditional office settings too mundane? Or perhaps one too many distractions while working from home? We have the so...