A public shareholding company, also referred to as a public joint stock company (PJSC), is a company where the business capital is divided into equal shares, with each shareholder's liability limited by their respective number of shares. A PJSC in Dubai is required to have at least 10 founding members, and its management should be vested in a board of directors consisting of 3 to 15 persons whose term of office may not exceed 3 years. The founder members may only hold 35% of the share capital, with the remainder required to be offered to the public. The Chairman and majority of the directors in a public shareholding company must be UAE nationals.
The law stipulates that banking, insurance, or other financial companies should be run as public shareholding companies. Foreign banks, insurance and financial companies, however, can set up in Dubai by opening a branch or representative office.
The minimum capital required to set up a public shareholding company in Dubai is AED 10 million (about $2.7 million) with a nominal face value of AED 1 to 100. For a banking company, the minimum capital required is AED 40 million, and for insurance and investment companies, it is AED 25 million. For establishing a public joint stock company in Dubai, the other prerequisites are preparation of a founders’ agreement, a prospectus or invitation for public subscription supported by an overall business plan or feasibility study and an auditor’s certificate, a due diligence survey, a memorandum and articles of association.
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