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General introduction
Incorporating a Limited Liability Company
Establishing a Branch or Representative Office
Commercial Agency
Public Sector Procurement
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Incorporating a Limited Liability Company

Under the Commercial Companies Law or CCL (Federal Law No. 8 of 1984 Concerning Commercial Companies as amended by Federal Law No 1 of 1984 and Federal Law No 13 of 1988, Federal Law No. 15 of 1998), foreign investors are permitted to hold up to 49 per cent equity ownership in UAE companies, 51 per cent of the equity must be held at all times by one or more UAE nationals.

The Limited Liability Company or LLC is the most popular method of establishing a commercial company in the UAE, unless the business involves banking, insurance and investment activities conducted on behalf of third parties where a Public Joint Stock Company is required. Articles 218 to 255 of the CCL (inclusive) regulate the establishment of limited liability companies. The LLC requires a minimum of two and a maximum of 50 members and minimum capitalization of Dh300,000. Management of the LLC is vested in the ‘managers’ (up to five natural persons) who may or may not be UAE nationals.

The procedures for establishing an LLC and obtaining a trade licence can be obtained from the Chambers of Commerce of each emirate. There are also a number of efficient law firms in the UAE who can assist you with the process.

Other commercial structures regulated by UAE company law are General Partnerships, Simple Limited Partnerships, Joint Participation, Public Joint Stock Company, Private Joint Stock Company and Partnerships Limited with Shares, most of which, except for the Private and Public Joint Stock Companies, are not readily used.

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