According to the UAE laws, foreign investors can open five types of companies in Dubai. Companies can set up permanent ventures, branch offices, companies in the free zones or conclude commercial agency agreements. The UAE Companies Law requires a company to have one or more national shareholders who own 51% of the company’s share capital. Among the companies in Dubai that require a minimum share capital, there are limited liability companies, public and private joint stock companies and partnerships limited by shares.
The share capital is the amount of money each shareholder or founder of a company contributes with when setting up a company. Most types of companies in Dubai will require a minimum number of shareholders who will divide the amounts they put in for creating the company into shares. There are several classes of shares the founders of companies in Dubai can have:
Shares can also carry different rights such as voting, distribution, redemption or dividend rights. Foreign investors registering companies in Dubai must know that the share capital requirements depend on the type of structure employed and whether the company is registered in the Emirate or in one of its free zones.
Please watch our video on the minimum share capital for opening a company in Dubai:
The Dubai limited liability company is one of the sought types of business structures because it has as minimum requirements: two shareholders and proof of sufficient share capital. The responsibility of the shareholders is limited to their participation in the company’s capital.
The Dubai public joint stock company must have a minimum number of 10 shareholders and a start-up share capital of 10,000,000 AED. The share capital of a public joint stock company in Dubai can be partitioned into shares and listed on the Stock Exchange.
A Public joint stock company must amend its articles of association if they want to take on foreign companies as shareholders. Once part of the company they will be considered founding members, therefore they will be held accountable for the company’s obligations.
The private joint stock company in Dubai must have at least 3 shareholders and a share capital of 2,000,000 AED. The start-up share capital must be fully deposited when the company in registered. The private joint stock company may not list its shares on the Stock Exchange. Under some conditions, a private joint stock company may be converted into a public joint stock company.
The partnership limited by shares in Dubai is made up of at least two partners. One of the shareholders will be a general partner and he will be held fully liable for the company’s debts and obligations and a limited partner who will be held accountable to the extent of his or her contribution. The minimum share capital for a limited partnership in Dubai is 500,000 AED.