Branch Office in Dubai

A branch office refers to an offshoot of a parent company that is located abroad. The purpose of a branch office is to promote and market the products/services of the parent company, enter into transactions, finalize agreements in the name of the parent company, and offer services to its customers. It is not allowed to carry out any activities which its parent company is not permitted to. A branch office in Dubai is ideal for tightly regulated industries like Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI).

How to Set Up a Branch Office in Dubai?

For setting up a branch in Dubai, the following steps can be followed:

1.Appoint a Local Services Agent

Find and appoint a local service agent (LSA), who is required to be a UAE national or a company wholly owned by UAE citizens. The role of the LSA is to administer chores such as obtaining licenses, permits, visas, etc. for a fee. He/she does not take part in any operations, management or ownership of the office

2.File an Application

Apply for initial approval from the Ministry of Economy (MOE)

3.Get Approval from the Ministry Of Economy and Federal Foreign Companies Committee

Ministry of Economy will issue their own approval and then further documents (hard copy) that will be required to submit are mentioned below. Ministry of Economy will forward the application to Federal Foreign Companies Committee with a note that specific activities are granted to a branch office to carry out in Dubai.

4.Obtain a Business License from DED

Once the MOE approves the application, apply for a commercial license at the DED. The DED shall issue the license, which is valid for 1 year, and renewable annually.

5.Register with Commercial Authorities

After the successful completion of documentation work and licensing so that you have everything at hand, the branch office can register itself with commercial authorities and it is entered in the register of the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. Lastly, the branch office is registered at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.


Documents Required for Setting up a Branch Office

For the initial approval from the Ministry of Economy (MOE), the following documents would be required:

  • Proof of trade name reservation
  • Application forms for registration
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA) of the parent company
  • A copy of the Certificate of Incorporation of the parent company
  • The director’s passport copy
  • A no-objection letter issued by the parent company
  • Copies of the passport and naturalization book of the local service agent
  • A power of attorney for the local director
  • Parent company’s management board resolution for opening a branch in Dubai

[The MAA and the Certificate of Incorporation must be translated into Arabic and duly notarized by a public notary.]

For obtaining a commercial license from the DED, the following documents are required:

  • The initial approval from the MOE
  • A statement listing the business activities to be carried out, issued by the parent company
  • Audited financial statements of the parent company for the last 2 years
  • A copy of the property lease agreement of the branch office in Dubai, stating the plot number
  • Copies of all the documents submitted earlier to get the initial approval

What Branch Office Setup Services We Provide in Dubai

Commitbiz can assist you with the following services if you want to set up a branch of a foreign company in Dubai:

  • Preparing the application documents
  • Identifying a reliable local service agent
  • Obtaining approvals and permissions from government departments
  • Helping with opening a corporate bank account for the branch office
  • Assisting with finding a suitable location for the branch office setup in Dubai

Why Us?

Our branch office setup services are a cumulative offering derived from years of professional experience and liaison with public departments, rendering end-to-end procedural solutions for foreign business entities. Our pan-UAE presence allows you for setting up a branch office in Dubai or any other emirate quickly.
We at Commitbiz Management Consultants have our team of experts to help firms set up their office in Dubai and the rest of the UAE. Should you decide to open a business here, do contact us, even if it’s just for friendly advice.


1. Is a local service agent required for opening a branch office in Dubai?
Yes, a local service agent (LSA) is to be mandatorily appointed to open a branch office in Dubai. He/she can either be a UAE national or a company owned wholly by UAE nationals.

2. Is a physical office required to set up a branch of a foreign company in Dubai?
Yes, a branch office in Dubai should have a physical office. A copy of the property lease agreement of the branch office in Dubai must be submitted to the DED once an approval from the MOE has been received.

3. What is the cost of setting up a branch office in Dubai?
The cost structure for setting up a branch office in Dubai is:

Applying at the Ministry of Economy AED 5,000
Registering with the Ministry of Economy AED 10,000
Capital deposit with the Ministry of Economy AED 50,000
Registering and licensing with the local government (approximate) AED 10,000
Local service agent fee (approximate) AED 15,000
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To whom did the Dubai branch office need to be registered?

The Dubai branch office must be registered with the Ministry of Economic Companies Register and the Dubai Chamber.

Did I get 100% foreign ownership of the parent company?


What types of commercial activity are permitted in the Dubai freezone?

  • Broadcast Management
  • Consultancy
  • Education and Training
  • Event Management
  • Film, Production, and Post-Production
  • Industrial Information Technology Services.

What kinds of business activity may be carried out through the Dubai branch office?

  • Banking
  • Insurance
  • Financial operations