UAE nationals or nationals from Gulf Co-operation Countries (GCC) can setup a sole proprietorship concern in the UAE with various restrictions and conditions.

  1. In case the investor or ‘proprietor’ is a UAE national, he must have a license to conduct the particular activity, by himself. If so, he/she can fill up the necessary application with the Department of Economic Development (DED) and attach the necessary documents.
  2. In case the investor/proprietor is the citizen of a GCC country, he or she can conduct business in the areas of industry, agriculture, livestock, fisheries and contracting, as long as he holds a license to do the same in his home country.
  3. By legal resolution, the above list was expanded to include retail or wholesale trade that can be conducted by a natural or juridical person.
  4. In case of a GCC citizen being a juridical person (and not a natural) wishing to conduct business in the area of retail or wholesome trade, the investor must be in the form of a company where 51% of the shares are held by one or more UAE nationals.
  5. In any of the above cases, the investor/proprietor cannot open branches in the UAE.

General note: There may be slight variations in the Terms & Conditions for setting up the company in Dubai, as against rest of UAE. Please consult CSU for more details.

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