One of the most common practices of ensuring that a foreign company retains their foreign ownership in the UAE is by registering the company or incorporating it. This basically ensures that the parent company gets to keep all 100% of its ownership while still operating in Dubai. By incorporating their companies in Dubai, the foreign investors are basically opening up a Branch or Representative Office over there.
No matter whether the foreign investor is planning to incorporate a branch or representative office in Dubai, both of them are required to undergo a commercial registration and obtain a business license in the name of the parent company. It is also a requirement by law to appoint a National Service Agent (NSA) by foreign companies. This agent has to be a UAE national individual or can be a 100% owned national corporate entity. The agent basically serves as a sponsor for all foreign companies or investors.
In order to register a foreign company in Dubai one has to go through several steps. These steps include the following;
- The first step involves talking to one of the Sovereign’s consultants. He or she will be able to guide the foreign investor in choosing the correct legal structure of the business they wish to undertake. The type of business one wishes to perform in Dubai may have an impact on the kind of company they are allowed to run in Dubai.
- As mentioned before, an agent of the National Service Agent needs to be appointed before the registration can be done. Sovereign Corporate Services has gone on to create a large number of 100% UAE owned LLC that handle all the legal matters of foreign companies and investors. They can act as the NSA agents.
- The third step of registering a company in Dubai involves the submission of all the legal documents. This includes;
- the certificate of incorporation of the parent company in the home country of the foreign investor, along with all the articles of memorandum and articles of association.
- Once this is shown, the foreign company needs to show all the audited accounts of the parent company dating back to the last two years.
- A statement containing all the detailed accounts of the business activities of the parent company is also needed to be submitted.
- A written statement by the board members showcasing whom they are authorizing to be the General manager of the branch in Dubai. This statement should also include that the parent company agrees to adhere by all the rules and regulations of the UAE.
- A copy of the passport of the General Manager who will be in charge of the office in Dubai.
- 2 Copies of proofs of the area of residence of the General Manager.
- A copy of the CV of the General Manager.
- 1 copy of the Bank Statement of the General Manager.
- Once all the documents have been finalized, they need to be attested and notarized in both the home country as well as in Dubai. This part of the registration process should be done as soon as the documents are finalized because it takes a significant amount of time to do so in the UAE.
- In Dubai only English and Arabic languages are accepted. Therefore if the documents of the foreign investor are of a different language then they need to be further translated into Arabic before they can be submitted to the authorities in the UAE. Even if the documents are in English, it is wise to have another set of copies translated into Arabic before submission. This will ensure that there are no confusion or setbacks when the documents are being verified and will give off the impression that the investor is serious about their intention to conduct business in Dubai.
- All the requested documents will be finally submitted to the Sovereign. Once they receive the documents, the entire verification process will begin and the application will be processed from the start till the end. The Department of the Economic Development is responsible for issuing the business license once it is approved by the Ministry of Economy.
The entire procedure described is to incorporate a branch office or a representative office of an already existing company in Dubai. By doing so, the foreign investors can wholly control their company with no local interference. The registration process is long and it has multiple steps with quite a number of requirements. However the application processing period is fast. It takes around 10 to 15 business days to issue a Certificate of Registration after which operating in Dubai becomes a breeze.