The United Arab Emirates, and mainly Dubai is known as the hub for businesses and events due to its strategic location, great infrastructure, availability of resources, event venues, and much more. It is one among the most developed and highly connected business destinations in the world and every organization big and small has or wishes to have its presence in UAE.
Prior to starting a business in UAE, it is advisable to understand the jurisdictions and types of companies which may suit one’s business requirements. The company may be set up either in the mainland, or free zone or as an offshore company depending on the nature of business. The entrepreneur can choose the license based on the activities and services he wishes to start. Obtaining initial approvals, preparation & execution of the legal documents, obtaining office, submission of documents, making payment and issue of license completes the incorporation. Following the issue of the license, the process of opening bank accounts and obtaining visas can be initiated.
On-shore companies or Mainland Companies are to operate and have a presence in mainland United Arab Emirates. These companies require a UAE national either to own 51% shares or in some cases to act a local service agent, except in cases where all the investors are from the GCC countries.
Free Zone companies can be wholly owned by foreign nationals. Free zone companies are mainly set up for conducting overseas business. Business into the UAE for free zone companies are allowed subject to conditions.
Offshore companies also allow full foreign ownership and are mainly used as investment vehicles.