UAE Allows 100% Foreign Ownership of Companies

UAE Allows 100% Foreign Ownership of Companies

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Foreigners opening a company in the United Arab Emirates will no longer need an UAE shareholder or agent under changes to UAE company law that will go into effect on June 1.

The UAE’s Companies Law has been the topic of discussion for quite some time now. The reason? A revolutionary amendment that’ll allow 100% foreign ownership if your business structure and activities satisfy the expected criteria.

It’s a extra ordinary opportunity for all the business aspirants looking to launch their dream venture in the heart of the Middle East, Dubai. This implies that 100% ownership in the UAE won’t be restricted to the free zones anymore.

Business formation in the mainland region typically needs you to partner with a local sponsor (UAE national) who’ll have 51% shareholding in your company. But, it all changes with the new amendment in the Companies Law.

Now as per the Positive List of UAE entrepreneurs can have 100% ownership for few Trading activities. A positive list is the record of economic sectors & activities which are eligible for foreign direct investment and their ownership percentage.

The List also specifies the conditions to met and the minimum share capital required for a foreign national or company to fully own a mainland company.

So, the question is, how should ex-pats go about it? Well, all you need to do is get in touch with us, and we’ll provide you with all the insights to enjoy 100% foreign ownership in the UAE.

Business setup in Dubai mainland with 100% Foreign Ownership

The new age investors and entrepreneurs prefer to launch their company in the mainland region to make the most of the lucrative business opportunities. Follow the steps mentioned below to form your company in Dubai’s local marketplace:

Business Activities

You need to list down all the business activities that you wish to carry out in Dubai. The Department of Economic Development (DED) maintains a list of more than 2,000 permissible business activities, and you need to choose depending on your requirements.

It’s your business activities that decide the type of license you should obtain in the UAE. You don’t need to worry if some of the business activities aren’t mentioned in the list. All you need to do is apply for external approval, and you’ll get the legal permit for those activities too.

Company’s Structure

Most expats prefer to open a limited liability company (LLC) in Dubai to kick start their business operations. Now, with 100% ownership for foreign investors in the UAE, it’s easier than ever to form such a company in the mainland region. It’s because you don’t need to hire any local sponsor and share your company’s ownership.

A local service agent (LSA) would help you set up your enterprise in the UAE by providing assistance with documentation, translation, etc., without having any legal stakes in your company.

Furthermore, don’t hesitate in reaching out to us, if you’re unaware of any process or want to know more about 100% ownership in Dubai mainland, and our business advisors would take care of the rest.

Reserve a Trading Name

All companies must have a unique trading name irrespective of their UAE business ownership structure. The business name you choose should be indicative of your concerned industry and shouldn’t be a gimmick of some other brand’s name. Ensure that you abide by all the naming convention protocols to avoid any legal trouble.

The name should be free of any derogatory terms or words that are insulting or controversial. Moreover, always use a person’s full name if you wish to keep it as the official name of your venture in Dubai mainland.

Office Space

You need to have an office space that suits your brand’s personality because it has an impact on how your clients perceive your company. Therefore, explore the various options available in Dubai and pick among your favorites. It’s better to rent office space in the UAE as it’s cost-effective, easy to procure, and doesn’t hinder if you plan for relocation.

Moreover, you’re also saved from the hassle of selling a real estate property in case you have purchased an office space for your venture. You can also secure cost-efficient virtual offices in Dubai for your company’s registration and opening of bank accounts.

Business License

Once you’re done with all the above steps, it’s time to apply for your business license. All legal entities in the UAE must have a valid business license to continue their business activities in the country without any trouble. Furthermore, ensure that you renew your license at least one month before the expiration date.

You should hire a reliable LSA who’ll help you with the paperwork and procedure related to business licensing. He/she won’t have any legal participation in your company, so you can enjoy 100% foreign ownership in the UAE. It’s better to consult with Horizon Biz Consultancy’s business experts to get more clarity on how to obtain 100% ownership in Dubai mainland for expats.

Open a Bank Account

You’ll need to manage visas for yourself and your loved ones during your stay in Emirates. Moreover, you can also apply for visas for your domestic staff and relatives, depending on your requirement. All businesses should also open a corporate bank account to manage all the monetary transactions. Ensure that you choose a reliable bank that offers long term business benefits.

Benefits of starting your company in Dubai

The business incorporation game has changed altogether as the UAE allows 100% foreign ownership in the mainland region. Here are several benefits of opening your company in Dubai:

  1. You’re allowed to trade freely within Dubai, all across the UAE, and internationally when you establish your company in the mainland. Therefore, you’re able to capture an increased target audience and turn them into your customers.
  2. You can enjoy 100% foreign ownership in the mainland region, thanks to the latest changes in the UAE Federal Law No. 19 of 2018 on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Therefore, you’ll have complete control over the operations and finances of your company because the LSA won’t take any part in the way you carry out the business activities.
  3. Mainland companies enjoy more flexibility compared to other business setups because you deal directly with the DED in this scenario. Moreover, preferences for government projects and other related assignments are also given to companies in the Dubai mainland.

You don’t need to hire a local sponsor or offer 51% ownership of your company as the UAE allows 100 foreign ownership for all foreign investors who meet the defined business criteria.

Let us join you on this success venture!

How Can We Help?

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