Limited Liability Company (LLC)
UAE Foreign Ownership Restrictions
Sovereign Corporate Shareholder Model
Strategic Partnership with Government of Dubai
Steps to setting up an LLC:
Speak with one of Sovereign’s consultants who will advise on the correct legal structure based on the activities that a business intends to undertake in the UAE and its intended markets. A client may further choose to obtain a legal opinion to confirm Sovereign’s advice.
If a mainland (onshore) legal entity is the preferred option, then a UAE local partner will be required to hold 51% of the shares in the LLC. See the Sovereign Corporate Shareholder model above.
The required documentation will vary greatly depending on the type of business activity, including but not limited to:
- Certified passport copies for all shareholders and managers;
- Copy of the UAE residence visa, if applicable;
- No Objection Certificate (NOC) from current UAE residence visa sponsor;
- 2 x Certified proofs of address for each shareholder;
- 1 x Signed Sovereign Application Form;
- 1 x CV for each shareholder;
- 1 x Professional / bank reference letter for each shareholder.
All documents are required to be notarised and attested in both the applicant’s home country and at the relevant UAE consulate. The notarisation process should be commenced as early as possible because it can take a significant time.
If the shareholder is to be a corporate entity, the required documentation will include:
- Memorandum and articles of company;
- A board resolution agreeing to incorporate a new LLC in UAE;
- A power of attorney (POA) to the General Manager to incorporate the new LLC.
All documents must also be translated into Arabic by an official translator before they can be presented to the authorities in the UAE.
All requested documents to be submitted to Sovereign, which will then manage the application process from start to finish.
Advantages of setting up an LLC in Dubai/UAE
The liability of the shareholders is limited to their shares in the company’s capital;
An LLC may conduct any type of activity except for insurance, banking or investment;
An LLC can legally trade anywhere in the UAE, including the Free Zones;
No restrictions on the number of visas that can be obtained;
No restrictions on the location where the company can rent/buy office premises;
The government has permanently waived any paid-up capital requirements.
Disadvantages of LLC formation Dubai/UAE
Employee visas need to be renewed every 2 years (Free Zones run for 3 years);
Longer time to establish than a Free Zone company, typically 8 to 10 weeks;
External approvals may be required from UAE government ministries, which is chargeable and time consuming.
Dubai LLC Formation - FAQs
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