Company Formation Dubai



Establish a Subsidiary in Dubai

Updated on Wednesday 07th September 2016

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Dubai is UAE’s most important trading network and hosts a great number of companies operating in all industries. Dubai’s legislation allows for free trade which is why it is probably one of the UAE’s most attractive cities for foreign investors. One can open onshore companies inside the Emirate or in one of its free zones. Many foreign companies wanting to have an established presence in Dubai open branch offices or subsidiaries.  The main difference between a branch office and a Dubai subsidiary resides in the independence the subsidiary has. While the branch office is tied to the parent company, the subsidiary will be able to conduct its own operations in Dubai.



Registration steps for opening a subsidiary in Dubai

All companies operating in Dubai are required to register with the Department of Economic Development (DED). The first step towards establishing a subsidiary in Dubai is to appoint a local agent to handle the registration procedure. 

Under the Dubai Company Law, foreign entities are allowed to register subsidiaries under the form of limited liability companies which is one of the most popular business vehicles in the country. The following steps must be followed to register a subsidiary in Dubai:

  • -          reserving a company name,
  • -          obtaining approval from the DED for the trading activities to be undertaken,
  • -          drafting and notarizing the Memorandum and Articles of Association for the subsidiary,
  • -          submitting information about the shareholders with the DED.

Once the registration is completed, the Dubai subsidiary will be required to apply for a trading license with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The video below presents the main steps to take when opening a Dubai subsidiary:


Obtain a trading license for the Dubai subsidiary

In order to obtain the trading license, the following documents must be submitted with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry:

  • -          the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Dubai subsidiary in original and copy,
  • -          an application form,
  • -          a name approval letter issued by the DED,
  • -          a company approval letter issued by the DED,
  • -          copies of the shareholders’ passports.

The Dubai subsidiary will also need to obtain clearance from the Municipality Building Department, as it must have a registered office in the Emirate.

For information related to trade licenses available for setting up subsidiaries in the Emirate, please contact our company formation agents in Dubai. You can rely on our agents for accounting services also.



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