A branch office refers to an offshoot of a parent company 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 parent company's name, and offer services to its customers. It is not allowed to carry out any activities 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 Open a Branch Office in Dubai?
For setting up an office in Dubai, the following steps can be followed:
1. Document Attestation
The major documents of the
2. File an Application
Apply for initial approval from Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED)
3. Finalize the Office Space
Look for suitable office space according to your activity it could be a physical or virtual office. Now, get a lease agreement.
4. Obtain a Business License from DED
Once the Department of Economic Development approves the application, apply for a commercial license. The DED shall issue the license, 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 your Office Setup in Dubai
Your office setup in Dubai requires 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 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
[Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association, the Certificate of Incorporation must be translated into Arabic and duly notarized by a public notary]
Opening an office in Dubai needs a license be it a new establishment or a branch office. 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 Services to Look for Your Branch Office Setup in Dubai
For an Office setup in Dubai, make sure you are provided with the following services.
- 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
The Cost of Setting up a Branch Office in Dubai
The cost structure for setting up a branch office in Dubai is
|Name and Initial approval fees||AED 990|
|License fee (at DED)||
AED 10,000 (Approx.) +
5% Annual Office Rent
|Notarization charges(Dubai court)||AED 627|
|Virtual Office||AED 6,000 + 5% VAT|
|Establishment Card||AED 575 Yearly|
|Labor Card||AED 550|
|Investor Visa (per person)||Approx. AED 4,600 Valid 3 years|
|Employee Visa Processing* (per person)||
Approx. AED 7,500
Valid 2 years
|Medical Insurance (Optional)||AED 980|
Is a physical office required to set up a branch of a foreign company in Dubai?
No, you can even have a virtual office.
To whom did the Dubai branch office need to be registered?
The Dubai branch office must be registered with the Dubai Department of Economic Development.
Do I get 100% foreign ownership of the parent company?
Yes, you will.
Which is the best location for opening a branch office in Dubai?
Dubai mainland is the best location for a Branch Office setup in Dubai.
What is the average cost of opening a Branch Office in Dubai?
The average cost for setting up a branch office in Dubai is around 30500 AED.