How to Set Up a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Dubai

by Zaara 13, Aug 2017

How to Set Up a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Dubai

Dubai is one of the most prosperous and cosmopolitan cities in the Middle East, combining the elements of both the East and the West. It is one of the most favourable business destinations the world over.

One of the ways to set up a business in Dubai is through a Limited Liability Company or LLC for short. A Limited Liability Company in Dubai is the most common form of business. It can be formed by a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 50 shareholders, whose liability is limited to their shares in the business capital. Most companies with foreign partners opt for an LLC, because of the fact that this is the only option that gives maximum legal ownership, i.e. 49%, to an expatriate for a local business. As it is mandatory to have a UAE national as a partner in the LLC (51% shareholding), the prospective investor has the option to choose the one UAE national (sponsor) as a partner in the company.

LLC is flexible and differential profit-sharing arrangements are also possible. This provides the foreign investor with a great edge as 51% of legal equity is with a local partner.

Steps to Start a LLC Company in Dubai

 

The Department of Economic Development is the regulatory authority for LLC company setup in Dubai. The steps are as under –

1.Decide on a Trade Name

Choose a suitable name that is unique as well as relatable to your business.

2.Choose a Location

Choose a location that suits you according to the type of your business. Company operations have to be carried out through a physical/virtual office or warehouse.

3.Get a Local Sponsor

Make an agreement with a local sponsor who will own 51% of shares in your LLC business and the remaining 45% can be owned by you.

4.Get Required Documents

Collect all the required documents and submit them to the Department of Economic Development (DED) along with completely filled application.

5.Obtain License and Pay Fees

Get trade license, Memorandum of Association (MoA), share certificates, tenancy agreement, certificate of incorporation, visas, labour cards, and other legal documents from relevant authorities.

The documents required to be submitted in DED and other authorities according to the type of LLC to be formed in Dubai are as follows –

  • Duly filled registration application form
  • Passport copies of all shareholders and managers of the company
  • Passport copy of the local sponsor
  • NOC from sponsor (if manager or partner has residence visa in UAE)
  • Memorandum of Association (duly attested from a public notary)
  • Registration of trade name and initial approval from DED
  • Bank reference letter of each shareholder
  • Location plan and tenancy contract attested by Dubai Municipality’s Planning Department and Civil Defence Department

All the documents must be attested and notarized from the applicant’s home country and UAE consulate. The notarization procedure takes sufficient time and it should be done soon after taking a decision about business setup in Dubai.

Benefits of a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Dubai

  • Dubai LLC offers unrivalled access to the wider UAE economy.
  • No specific minimum capital needed.
  • Investors can manage the business without any day-to-day interference from the local partner.
  • Convenient to open corporate bank accounts along with easy availability of credit facilities.

This business entity is ideal for a business looking to offer consulting services with an Emirati national as a reliable joint venture partner. The Dubai LLC formation cost depends on the type of activity you choose for your business.

Commitbiz is a Business Setup Consultants organization having skilled consultants with more than a decade worth of experience in establishing the businesses in UAE. Our team has established their credibility in providing services to small, large and medium enterprises. We have set up businesses for international organizations and business owners in Dubai and understand the fundamentals of this area. We are registered agents and provide complete package solutions on company formation, registration, setup, etc. To get more information on our services or to jumpstart your business in Dubai, contact us for more information.

FAQs

1. How to form an LLC or mainland company in Dubai?

A trade name is required to establish an LLC or a mainland company. The business owner/ investor has to obtain some approval related to the products or services along with the trade name. Memorandums of the Association of the enterprise have to be submitted with a lease contract and another necessary document in DED.

2. What is the minimum capital to form an LLC in Dubai?

A minimum capital of AED 300000 (USD 81,810) is required in Dubai.

3. What are the benefits of setting up an LLC company in Dubai?

The primary benefits include –

  • An LLC can conduct any type of business activity, excluding insurance, banking, and investment.
  • There aren't any restrictions on the number of visas that can be obtained.
  • The investors of an LLC company can avail investor's visa under which they can get investor status in the Emirate along with their family.
  • An LLC is exempted from paying the standard 5% customs duty on imported goods. Also, restrictions are not imposed on real estate ownership.

4. How many members must an LLC have?

Under the new UAE Commercial Companies Law, an LLC may be formed with a single shareholder. Still, it is common practice for foreign investors to have a minimum of 2 shareholders to meet the UAE foreign ownership requirements.

5. Is a Registered Agent required?

There is no requirement for a Registered Agent. Still, due to foreign ownership restrictions, a foreign investor must seek advice and use a firm with extensive experience and expertise in setting up UAE mainland LLCs.

6. Does forming an LLC offer any tax benefits?

Yes. An LLC is permitted to trade anywhere within the UAE and GCC. In addition, an LLC can obtain a Tax Residence Certificate from the UAE Ministry of Economy.

7. What types of the licence can an LLC hold?

An LLC can operate under the following licence types:

  • Commercial – covering all kinds of trading activity;
  • Professional – covering professions, services and crafts;
  • Industrial – covering industrial or manufacturing activities.