In brief, it is the economy which proved to be extremely resilient in a difficult global economic climate and opportunities to do business in the country are many. The UAE has entered the millennium as one of the Middle East’s most dynamic countries and is rapidly becoming a model of what successful planning and vibrant enterprise can achieve and it has every reason to be proud of its achievements and confident about the future. UAE Business Environment is Internationally standardized, highly efficient, excellent service quality and advanced infrastructure welcome the entrepreneur in Dubai. As one of the most developed and modern states in the world, Dubai offers a large number of benefits for those who wish to setup their business.
UAE Company Law No. 8 of 1984 was promulgated and implemented in full in early 1993.Under the Commercial Companies Law, Federal Law No. 8 of 1984, UAE nationals must own a minimum of 51% of all public and private shareholding companies and limited liability companies. In practice, many public and private shareholding companies, especially those engaged in insurance and banking, are expected to be wholly owned by UAE nationals, and defines seven categories of business organization, which can be established in the UAE. It sets out the requirements in terms of shareholders, directors, minimum capital levels and incorporation procedures. It further lays down provisions governing conversion, merger and dissolution of companies.
The various categories of business
organization defined by the law are:
Any company incorporated outside the United Arab Emirates may operate any commercial, industrial or professional activity through one of the following legal forms:
Branch of a Foreign Company
Limited Liability Company: this kind of company shall be established to operate any commercial or industrial activity, including one or more UAE national partner whose shareholding shall not be less than 51% of the paid-up capital.
Private / Public Shareholding Company:this kind of company shall be established to operate any commercial or industrial activity, including one or more UAE national partner whose shareholding shall not be less than 51% of the paid-up capital.
The basic requirement to conduct business activity in the UAE is to obtain
one of the following three categories of licenses:
Are the licenses under which the natural or juridical person is licensed to practice any
trade activity for the purpose of profit making through buying and selling of goods and
services. These licenses are given to (for example) wholesale or retail trade enterprises,
financial consulting offices, banks, insurance companies, contractors, hotels, transport
and storing establishments
Industrial /Manufacturing Licenses
Are the licenses under which the natural or juridical person is licensed to practice any investment activity the object of which is to discover natural resources or to transform raw materials in terms of its structure or appearance into manufactured or semi manufactured products, or to transform the semi-manufactured products into fully manufactured products by using mechanical power, and segregate the products, filling, assembling or packing them.
Are the licenses under which the natural or juridical person is licensed to practice any profession in which he depends on his physical or mental efforts rather than depending on a cash capital. This license is given to practice some professions such as auditing, consultancy services and studies, business, medical and educational services as well as other personal services.
These licenses are all issued by the Economic Department or similar nominated Department of the respective Emirate. However, licenses for some categories of business require approval from certain ministries and other authorities: for example, banks and financial institutions from the Central Bank of the UAE; insurance companies and related agencies from the Ministry of Economy and Commerce; manufacturing from the Ministry of Finance and Industry; pharmaceutical and medical products from the Ministry of Health.
More detailed procedures apply to businesses engaged in oil or gas production and related industries.
Practicing some trade activities (e.g. jewellery and insurance) requires the submission of a financial guarantee issued by a bank operating in the UAE.
Under this license the foreign partner will be the 100% owner with a local partner as a service agent.