UAE: Company Incorporation


If you wish to open a branch of a foreign company in the UAE, there are some conditions that your company has to meet, for you to be able to do so.

Note: The information mentioned in this article does not apply to companies incorporated in any of the UAE’s free zones, companies incorporated in a GCC country with no investors from outside any of the GCC countries, nor the companies operating in the petroleum, energy, and water desalination sectors.


 To incorporate a company (a brunch) within the UAE, you need to:

  1. Have an appointment with an Emirati service agent.
  2. Get a business license from the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.
  3. Get your company entered into the commercial register and the foreign companies register.
  4. Keep an independent balance sheet as well as an independent profit and loss account for the UAE branch of the company.
  5. Have a registered auditor (in the UAE accountant and auditor register).
  6. Keep your company records within the UAE.
  7. Respect the basic conditions as well as your license’s objectives.
  8. Submit the report of the auditor in addition to a copy of the budget and closing accounts to the Ministry of Economy (one time a year).
  9. Make sure to notify the Ministry of Economy, within one month, in the case of the company’s name change or a merger with another company.
  10.  Make sure to renew the registration of your company with the Ministry of Economy (every year).


If you fail to meet the operating requirements when you are conducting business through your company within the UAE, you may be held personally responsible.


The fees depend on the UAE entity type, and it includes the business registration, government fees as well as opening a corporate bank account.

Find a detailed fees table here.

1. Judicial department, accessed October 2020,
2. Healy Consultants group PLC, accessed October 2020,

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