Branch Office Setup

UAE Business Setup | 7 Steps In Establishing A Branch Office

UAE business setup: Advantages, documents needed and 7 steps in establishing a branch office in Dubai

A UAE business setup is quite easy to do for foreign individuals or companies. See the video below for further information.

Please invest 2 minutes of your time to watch the UAE business setup video below. It spells out how you can benefit. Or if you prefer to read, then feel free to skip the video and go straight to the text below:

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A foreign entity planning a United Arab Emirates [UAE] company registration must decide on whether they wish to do a new business registration or a branch office one.

One of the most important features of UAE business setup is that foreign entities are allowed to establish wholly owned branches in the Emirate but must have a UAE national who is a ‘Service Agent’.

UAE business setup: Advantages

Federal registration of a branch office falls within the jurisdiction of the Commercial Companies Law.

Under the said jurisdiction, a foreign entity may obtain either a trading branch office license or a non-trading representative office license.

A foreign entity planning on a UAE business setup with a view to establishing a branch office in the Emirate must file an application with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce.

UAE Business Setup | 7 Steps In Establishing A Branch Office

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UAE business setup: Have us contact you by filling in the box on the right

UAE business setup: Documents required

From the parent company

  • Certificate of Incorporation.
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association.
  • Board Resolution.
  • Audited Financial Accounts.
  • Power of Attorney (issued in favor of the company-appointed General Manager).
  • Bank Guarantee issued in favor of the Minister of Economy and Planning; said bank guarantee, which must be in the amount of AED 50,000, must be renewed every year.
  • A ‘Service Agent’ agreement with a UAE national

The location proposed to be utilized by the branch office must be approved. Also, certain fees have to be paid prior to the issuance of a license.

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UAE business setup: 7 steps involved in establishing a branch office

1. The foreign entity must file an application for the issuance of a license with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. Along with the application, the entity must submit an Service Agent Agreement entered into with a 100% UAE-owned company or a UAE national.

2. The Ministry of Economy and Commerce will then forward the application to the Economic Department to secure the local government’s approval.

3. From the Economic Department, the application will be forwarded to the Federal Foreign Companies Committee for approval. At this stage, the application must bear a note from the Ministry of Economy and Commerce indicating the specific activity or activities the branch office will be permitted to be undertaken in the Emirate.

4. Once the approval of the Federal Foreign Companies Committee is obtained, the required Ministerial license will be issued by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. In the said license, the specific activity or activities to be engaged in by the foreign branch office is indicated.

5. The branch office is then entered in the Commercial Register of the Economic Department. Here, the required license is issued.

6. After the issuance of the required license from the Economic Department, the branch office is entered in the Ministry of Economy and Commerce’s Foreign Companies Register.

7. Last stop is at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where the branch office is registered.

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In UAE business setup, questions as to the difference between a branch office and a representative office are almost always asked.

As provided for in Article 314 of the Commercial Companies Law, a representative office of a foreign company set up in Dubai is limited in the activities it may conduct within the emirate.

The main difference between the two is that, based on the qualifications of a foreign branch office as detailed above, a representative office is limited to the functions of a marketing and administrative center in the emirate operating for and on behalf of the foreign company.

Another factor that must be taken into account when considering a UAE business setup is that a representative office may have only 4 employees.

UAE Business Setup | 7 Steps In Establishing A Branch Office

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UAE business setup: Have us contact you by filling in the box on the right

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Branch Office Setup was last modified: May 9th, 2017 by Ramapati Singhania

Ramapati Singhania

He strives for excellence in all he does and brings out the best in his people through guidance, a strong vision and support. He is exceptionally open-minded, flexible, dependable, understanding and straightforward in all words and actions and encourages personal as well as professional growth.

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