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Setting up a Branch Office In UAE

Setting up a branch office in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), specifically in Dubai, involves a specific process that requires adherence to local laws and regulations. Here's a general overview of the steps you would typically need to take

About Setting up a Branch Office In UAE

  • Understand Legal Structures
  • Choose a Local Sponsor
  • Obtain Initial Approval
  • Prepare Legal Documents
  • Obtain a Trade Name and License
  • Register with Relevant Authorities
  • Find a Suitable Location
  • Obtain Residency Visas
  • Open Bank Accounts
  • Commence Operations

Explanation About Setting up a Branch Office In UAE

It's important to note that regulations and processes can change, so it's recommended to consult with legal and business

experts who are well-versed in UAE company formation before embarking on this journey

Working with experienced professionals

will help ensure that your branch office is set up in compliance with local laws and regulations.

Before setting up a branch office in Dubai, you should familiarize yourself with the different legal structures available for foreign businesses. In the UAE, foreign companies can establish either a branch office or a representative office. A branch office is allowed to conduct commercial activities, while a representative office is limited to marketing and research activities.

For setting up a branch office, you'll need a local sponsor, who can be either an individual or a company that is a UAE national. The sponsor will not have any financial stake in the business but will be required for legal purposes. The sponsor's involvement is a common requirement for foreign businesses in the UAE.

You'll need to submit an application to the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) for initial approval. This application typically includes details about your business activities, ownership structure, and financial information. Once approved, you'll receive an initial approval certificate.

You'll need to draft legal documents including a Memorandum of Association (MOA) and a Local Service Agent Agreement (for a branch office). These documents will outline the business activities, ownership structure, and the roles and responsibilities of the local sponsor and the foreign company.

You'll need to choose a trade name for your branch office and apply for a trade license from the DED. The trade license will specify the activities your branch office is allowed to undertake. You'll also need to provide the necessary documentation and fees.

Depending on your business activities, you might need to register with specific regulatory authorities or government bodies. For instance, certain industries like finance, healthcare, and education might have additional licensing requirements.

You'll need to find a suitable office space for your branch office. The location should align with your business needs and the regulations set by the DED.

Once your branch office is established, you can apply for residency visas for your employees. This process typically involves medical tests, visa applications, and other administrative requirements.

You'll need to open a bank account for your branch office to conduct financial transactions. Different banks have different requirements, so it's advisable to research and choose a bank that suits your needs.

Once all the legal requirements are fulfilled, you can officially commence your branch office's operations in Dubai.