UAE guide for Egyptian start-ups and corporations



The United Arab Emirates is considered as one of the most ideal places to set up your business as it is popular with its sturdy economic growth worldwide. It is also considered to be one of the largest financial centers in the world. There is also no need to be concerned because the UAE government has set strict laws against illegal activities and fraud in the country.

In the UAE, companies can be formed in three different jurisdictions (Mainland, Free Zone, and Offshore);

Mainland Companies:
  • No restrictions on doing business outside the UAE.
  • Licenses issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED)
  • Different types of licenses (Professional, Commercial, and Industrial)
  • Professional licenses cover professions, services, and craftsmen.
  • Commercial licenses cover all kinds of trading activities.
  • Industrial licenses cover manufacturing.
Free Zone Companies:
  • No UAE national shareholding required.
  • No currency restrictions.
  • Exemption of import and export tax.
  • Exemption of corporate tax for 15 years and eligible for renewal for additional 15 years.
  • Only operate within the free zone.
Offshore Companies:
  • Exemption of corporate, personal, and capital tax.
  • International Invoicing.
  • Multi-currency bank accounts.
  • No minimum share capital.
  • Full foreign ownership is allowed.
General steps for incorporating a business in UAE:
  1. Reserving the name of the business and submitting the application to Department of Economic Development (DED) and paying the fees.
  2. Obtaining preliminary approvals on the type of business, trade name, and identity of the partners.
  3. Drafting the Memorandum of Association and a local agent agreement if required.
  4. Acquiring business premises.
  5. Opening a bank account.
  6. Obtaining a trade license.
  7. Obtaining a company registration certificate from the Ministry of Commerce.
The most common legal form of companies in the UAE is the Limited Liability Company (LLC) as it is the preferred choice for entrepreneurs when the main basis of the business is to make sales in the region. Even though other types of companies allow 100% of foreign ownership, foreign investors are permitted to only hold up to 49% of quotas in LLC companies.

Once you determine the structure of the business and local partners, you will need to:
  1. Choose the name of the business and reserve it at the Department of Economic Development (DED).
  2. Draft the Memorandum of Association and have it signed at the Notary in the presence of all partners.
  3. Obtain the regulatory approvals and arrange a lease agreement.
  4. Obtaining a trade license.
  5. Register the company with the authorized industry and commerce department.
Eldib & Co helps companies comply with UAE compliance requirements with a full suite of services In addition to our global portfolio of services; we provide extra support, tailored to specific local requirements.

Contact us at mail@eldib.com to find out how we can help establish or grow your business.
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