Forming an LLC in UAE is an involved process.
Identifying a Sponsor
The first step is identifying a sponsor. Every business or company founded by a foreigner in the UAE must have a local sponsor. A sponsor or a service agent is an UAE national (man or woman) or a UAE-owned company who takes the responsibility of bringing you into the UAE as an investor, employee or even tourist. Some categories of companies, especially in the Services sector require a Service agent only as against a real sponsor. In case of a Free Zone, the Free Zone is the sponsor.
There are various types of sponsors and each type bring their own benefits to the table
- A Service Agent, which is the simplest type of sponsor, merely signs the documents from various Govt. departments, required to obtain a license.
- A more expensive and moderate type of sponsor will help you open a bank account or resolve an issue with your licenses and documents, with concerned Govt. agencies. Needless to say, he has some clout
- The most expensive and advanced levels of sponsors are high-ranking Govt. officials or businessmen/women from rich families who have all the necessary connections throughout the UAE to fast-track any requirement or issue-resolution.
Payment Terms for the Sponsor
Sponsors typically own 51% of the business, but in reality, most of them do not partake your profits but only levy an annual service fee. In case of Professional Services like Legal, Medical, Advertising, etc, the sponsor has 100% ownership. Depending on the category of your business, the annual sponsorship fees can vary from a couple of thousand US dollars for a small and medium enterprise to several million dollars for a large corporation.
Selecting a name for your business
There are various restrictions while choosing a name and CSU will guide you through the same.
Typical set of documents include:
- An application form that is duly filled
- Passport Copies of the partners or founders involved
- JInsiyya or Naturalization book (a copy) of the Local Partner(s)
- No Objection Letter from the local sponsor for expatriate partners
- Wherever applicable – initial approvals from concerned departments such as the Municipality, RTA, National Media Council etc
Preparing the Memorandum of Association (MOA)
- Once the MOA is prepared, it must be attested by a Notary Public
- The court document should be typed by a legal translator and his/her seal and signature must be affixed on the same
- Contacting the Planning Dept. of Dubai Municipality, or Department of Economic Development (DED) regarding leasing the working premises and then preparing a tenancy contract from the same
- Having the tenancy agreement approved by the above department(s)
- Submitting the initial approvals, Name reservation certificate, attested MOA and attested Tenancy Contract at the DED
- Obtaining the payment voucher and making the payment