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Types of companies in the UAE

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The United Arab Emirates facilitates great opportunities for modern business. Developed banking and financial sectors, high level of investor confidence and reputation of business environment have attracted into the country multimillion-dollar capital from around the world.

Business in the UAE

An important aspect for organization of business in the UAE is the choice of correct status of legal entity. The choice of such status may depend on the location, strategic objectives and line of your business and other factors. Depending on where you are going to operate your business - on local or international markets - you should determine the type of legal form of potential company.

There are specially dedicated Free Trade Zones in the United Arab Emirates. Such Free Trade Zones have some territorial business restrictions, but, in turn, they provide additional opportunities related to customs and tax exemptions. Such Free Trade Zones restrictions regularly hardly influence most types of international business.

Clarify the cost of opening company, corporate or personal bank account, obtaining a residence visa, or another question regarding business in Dubai, UAE:

Types of companies registered in the United Arab Emirates

The following types of companies with the corresponding advantages are incorporated on the territory of the UAE:

  • Limited Liability Company
    • License available for operating business in the local market;
    • Minimum share capital may depend on type of business, in most cases its contribution is not required;
    • Possibility of obtaining resident visa for owners and employees;
    • No annual financial statements requirement.
  • Free Zone Company - a company registered in FTZ
    • Possibility of ownership of 100 % in the company by foreign subscribers to the capital;
    • Possibility of obtaining license for operating business in the Emirates;
    • Possibility of obtaining resident visa for owners and employees;
    • Reporting requirements;
    • Tax and customs exemptions.
  • Free Zone Establishment – a company in FTZ

    In essence, equivalent of Free Zone Company, but with one shareholder. Everything else is the same as for Free Zone Company.

    International Business Company – a company for operating business outside the UAE

    This is, in essence, an offshore company, as company business shall be operated outside the UAE.

    • No restrictions with regard to number of shareholders;
    • No possibility of obtaining resident visas;
    • Tax and customs exemptions;
    • No reporting requirements;
    • Cost-effective solution;
    • No restrictions with regard to authorized capital.

Participation of local sponsor, acting as service agent or shareholder, is essential for incorporation of companies operating its business at local market of the Emirates.

Some restrictions relating to registration of companies in FTZ apply thereto. For instance, in case of retail trading at the local market of the UAE.

There is a particular type of company for each type of business that best matches its objects and the most optimal in terms of costs, taxes, customs fees and other expenditures.

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