Assistance in Company Set Up

Company Setup in UAE

What is a company and how to setup in UAE?

A company is a legal entity formed to conduct business activities, typically involving the production or sale of goods and services. In the UAE, setting up a company involves establishing a legal structure and obtaining the necessary permits and licenses to operate within the country's regulatory framework.

Eligibility Criteria

Why is it important to setup a Company?

If you plan to run a business in UAE, you need to setup a company with all legal compliance and below are the reasons why is it important to setup a company in UAE.

  • Market Access: Establishing a company allows access to the UAE market and opportunities to engage in commercial activities, serve customers, and generate revenue.
  • Legal Protection: A registered company offers legal protection to its owners and shareholders, limiting personal liability for business debts and obligations.
  • Credibility: A formal company structure enhances credibility and trustworthiness among customers, suppliers, investors, and business partners.
  • Tax Benefits: Depending on the type of company and its activities, there may be tax benefits and incentives available, such as tax exemptions or reduced rates.
  • Growth and Expansion: Setting up a company creates a platform for business growth, expansion into new markets, and the ability to attract investment and talent.

Steps to Setup a Company in UAE

Steps to set up a company in the UAE typically include:

  • Determine Business Activity: Define the type of business activity, industry sector, and location for the company's operations.
  • Choose a Legal Structure: Select the appropriate legal structure for the company, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or free zone entity.
  • Reserve a Trade Name: Register a unique trade name for the company with the relevant authorities to ensure legal recognition and branding.
  • Obtain Necessary Licenses: Apply for the required licenses and permits based on the business activity and legal structure chosen, including trade licenses, professional licenses, and industry-specific permits.
  • Register with Authorities: Register the company with the Department of Economic Development (DED) or the relevant free zone authority in the UAE, depending on the chosen location and legal structure.
  • Open a Bank Account: Open a corporate bank account in the UAE to facilitate financial transactions, payroll, and business operations.
  • Visa and Immigration: Process visa and immigration requirements for company owners, employees, and dependents, if applicable, through the UAE's immigration authorities.

Who needs to Setup a Company in UAE?

Entities that may need to set up a company in the UAE include:

  • Local Entrepreneurs: UAE nationals and residents looking to start a business or expand their existing ventures.
  • Foreign Investors: International businesses and investors seeking market entry or establishing a presence in the UAE.
  • Startups: New ventures, startups, and innovative businesses looking for opportunities in the UAE's dynamic environment.

What if you fail to comply with company setup process?

Failure to comply with the company setup process in the UAE may result in various consequences, including:

  • Legal Penalties: Non-compliance with company setup requirements may lead to fines, sanctions, or legal action by regulatory authorities.
  • Operational Restrictions: Failure to obtain necessary licenses and permits can result in operational restrictions, business closures, or suspension of activities.
  • Reputation Damage: Non-compliance can damage the company's reputation, credibility, and trust among stakeholders, affecting business relationships and opportunities.

Documents Required to Setup a Company in UAE

Documents required to set up a company in the UAE may vary depending on the legal structure, business activity, and location, but typically include:

  • Passport copies and visa copies of company owners and shareholders.
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association (MOA and AOA).
  • Trade name reservation certificate.
  • Proof of address for the company's registered office.
  • Bank reference letter and proof of initial capital deposit.
  • Business plan and feasibility study (for certain activities).
  • License application forms and supporting documents.
  • NOC (No Objection Certificate) from relevant authorities, if applicable.
  • Employment contracts and visa application forms for employees, if applicable.
  • Any other specific documents required by regulatory authorities or free zone authorities in the UAE.

How UAE Tax Zone can help in Company Setup?

UAE Tax Zone provides comprehensive assistance and support to businesses in the company setup process in the UAE. Here are five key ways UAE Tax Zone can help:

  • Expert Guidance: UAE Tax Zone offers expert guidance and consultation on the legal and regulatory requirements for company setup in the UAE. Their team of professionals provides insights into the various legal structures available, licensing requirements, and procedures to ensure a smooth and compliant setup process.
  • Legal Structuring: UAE Tax Zone assists businesses in choosing the most suitable legal structure for their operations, whether it's a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or setting up in a free zone. They help businesses understand the implications of each structure on liability, ownership, taxation, and operational flexibility.
  • Documentation and Paperwork: UAE Tax Zone helps businesses prepare and organize the necessary documentation and paperwork required for company setup, including trade name reservation, Memorandum and Articles of Association (MOA and AOA), shareholder agreements, and other legal documents. They ensure that all documents are in compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Licensing and Permits: UAE Tax Zone assists in obtaining the required licenses, permits, and approvals from government authorities and regulatory bodies in the UAE. They guide businesses through the application process, liaise with authorities on behalf of the client, and ensure timely issuance of licenses to start operations legally.
  • Business Setup Packages: UAE Tax Zone offers comprehensive business setup packages that include a range of services such as company registration, trade name reservation, office space leasing, visa processing, bank account opening, and ongoing support. These packages are tailored to the specific needs and preferences of businesses, providing a hassle-free and cost-effective solution for company setup.
  • Ongoing Support: Beyond company setup, UAE Tax Zone provides ongoing support and advisory services to businesses, including compliance with tax regulations, accounting and bookkeeping services, VAT registration and filing, and general business consulting. They serve as a trusted partner throughout the business lifecycle, helping businesses navigate challenges and achieve their growth objectives in the UAE.


1. What are the types of companies I can set up in the UAE?

  • Mainland company (LLC)
  • Free zone company
  • Offshore company

2. What are the requirements for setting up a mainland company (LLC) in the UAE?

  • Minimum two shareholders and maximum 50
  • At least one director
  • Physical office space in the UAE
  • Local sponsor (for certain business activities)

3. What are the advantages of setting up a free zone company in the UAE?

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • Tax incentives and exemptions
  • No currency restrictions
  • Simplified import and export procedures

4. What are the steps involved in setting up a company in a UAE free zone?

  • Choose a free zone
  • Reserve a company name
  • Submit the application and required documents
  • Obtain a license and lease agreement
  • Open a bank account

5. What is an offshore company in the UAE, and what are its benefits?


  • An offshore company is a non-resident company that operates outside the UAE.
  • Benefits include tax neutrality, confidentiality, and asset protection.


6. What is the role of a local sponsor in setting up a mainland company in the UAE?

  • A local sponsor is a UAE national or a company owned by UAE nationals who holds 51% of the company's shares.
  • The local sponsor does not have involvement in the company's operations or profits but is required for legal compliance.

7. Can foreign investors own property in the UAE for business purposes?

  • Yes, foreign investors can own property in designated areas known as freehold zones, allowing them to establish businesses and real estate.

8. What are the ongoing compliance requirements for companies in the UAE?

  • Annual license renewal
  • Audit and financial reporting
  • Visa processing for employees
  • Compliance with local regulations and laws

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