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Registering a Company in the United Arab Emirates

Michael Decker
Michael Decker

Registering a company in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) is a relatively easy and effortless process. However, it requires compliance with various rules, which are very important to know before setting out. Our firm has already begun to assist Israelis interested in establishing a company and doing business in the UAE, in close coordination with the authorities in the Emirates and cooperation with a leading company in the field. In this article we share with you the knowledge we have already accumulated and explain how you, too, can register a company in the UAE.

Registering a Company in the UAE – Why Should You Do It?

Registering a company in the UAEThe corona crisis has hit the world and its economic consequences are expected to be felt for many years to come. However, the crisis has also created new opportunities, with one of the most significant for Israeli citizens being Israel’s peace agreements with the UAE and Bahrain. The agreements led these countries to lift the economic boycott of Israel and opened new avenues for Israelis interested in doing business in one of the most important economic regions in the world, in a wide range of fields.

As you may know, starting a business and registering a company in Israel are bureaucratic processes that may take several months. In the UAE, however, this is not the case—it is often possible to register a company within a few days at most. In addition to this, the tax policy in the UAE is very convenient for businesses: currently there is no income tax for individuals there. Corporate tax applies only to foreign companies in the field of banking and to companies in the field of energy (oil and gas). The amount of VAT in 2020 was only 5% and, in many cases, it is possible to get a VAT refund at the end of the year. All this will allow you to set up a profitable business more easily than in most countries in the world.

Selected Business Fields in the UAE

The UAE offers a variety of possible occupations. It is known and obvious that the field of energy (oil and natural gas) is very developed there, in light of the many oil and gas reserves found in the Emirates. The tourism business, too, is booming in Dubai, with an average of about 20 million tourists visiting there in recent years. Accordingly, the hotel business, tour guide business, and restaurant business are fields in which it may be worthwhile to invest. The real estate field Is also prominent in the Emirates, with both construction companies and real estate agencies flourishing there.

In addition to the above fields, commerce and e-commerce have been developing rapidly in the UAE in recent years, as have the fields of high-tech and Internet services. Since Israel is a significant high-tech exporter, it is to be expected that these fields will attract many Israeli businessmen.

What is the Process for Registering a Company in the UAE?

There are several options for registering a company in the UAE, foremost of which are registering a new company and registering a branch of a foreign company. There are not many requirements for registering a local limited liability company (LLC), and these include, among other things, holding passports of the planned company’s shareholders, a certificate verifying lack of objection by the relevant authorities in the UAE (called a no objection certificate [NOC]), and the breakdown of share capital between the company’s shareholders. In certain fields of occupation, such as energy or banking, additional certificates and documents may be required.

As stated above, in addition to registering a new company, it is possible to register a local UAE branch of a foreign company existing in Israel or another country. To do this, the company’s Israeli organizational documents are needed. If the company name is not taken by an existing UAE company, it will be possible to connect between the parent company and the new branch, and register the branch.

How Can You Decide Which Channel of Registration is Best for You?

The channel of registration that is most relevant to you depends on a number of factors, including the location in the UAE where you would like to operate. The laws and rules in Dubai, for example, are different from those in Abu Dhabi. Also within specific emirates, different regions have different rules. In Dubai, the free trade zones allow for full ownership of a company.

In the Dubai Mainland, however, joint ownership with a local sponsor will usually be required at registration. The division of ownership, in these cases, will usually be 49/51%. Our firm provides close legal assistance throughout the process of registering a company in the UAE, and advises Israeli investors and businessmen to find the most appropriate channel of registration for them.

Contact Our Experts to Establish a Company and Start a Business in the UAE

In this article we have briefly explained the process of registering a company in the UAE. Our law firm in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv specializes in commercial law and immigration law, and assists clients from Israel and around the world in establishing businesses in the UAE. Our lawyers will be happy to be at your service and answer any further questions you may have on the subject. You can contact us through the phone numbers or email address listed below.

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