For Business

Home / For Business / Corporate Law / UAE Company Formation

UAE Company Formation

Our corporate lawyers are highly experienced in onshore and offshore UAE company formations. Our corporate lawyers are registered with the UK Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and the Dubai Legal Affairs Department.

TWS Legal Consultants is a fully digital law firm.  We can organise appointments via video conferencing if this suits your needs.

We have over ten years’ experience providing corporate legal advice to UAE nationals and foreign investors.

Our multi-lingual lawyers have vast experience in cross-jurisdictional and local company formations.  We understand that commercial legal advice often must be obtained quickly – you can have confidence that our guidance is accurate, practical, and bespoke to your business.

What are the advantages of setting up a company in the UAE?

The UAE places 16th in the World Bank’s 2020 Ease of Doing Business rankings, the highest position of any Middle East country.  Investors are attracted to close proximity of oil resources, low energy costs, a willingness to diversify the economy, and a high purchasing power.  Direct business taxation (excluding banks, oil companies and telecommunications operators) is non-existent, along with income tax.  There is also a profitable banking sector and highly-skilled labour force.

What are the options available for UAE company formation?

An investor looking to set up a company in the UAE has several options depending on their commercial ambitions and requirements.  Companies can be set up locally within Dubai, Abu Dhabi or one of the other Emirates.  Alternatively, you can consider incorporating in one of the free zones that operate in the region.

One crucial difference between forming a company onshore in the UAE or one of the free zones is that the former must be at least 51% owned by UAE nationals or UAE companies that are wholly owned by UAE nationals. Local companies can now also be owned 100% by expatriates (depending on activity) but would require a local service agent. A free zone company can be 100% owned by foreign nationals; however, there are restrictions on the kind of services and goods they can deal in.

The rules regarding onshore Foreign Ownership Restriction were relaxed through the Foreign Direct Investment Law (Federal Law No. 19 of 2018).  Our team can advise you of the economic activities and markets which now allow for 100% foreign ownership.

What are the specific issues I need to be aware of when forming a company in the UAE?

The business landscape in the UAE is geographically and culturally diverse.  Foreign investors who succeed are those who appreciate that the laws and customs of the region differ from those of the West.

For example, licenses in the UAE are not generic; instead, they are specific to the nature of the business activity and its location.  Furthermore, the Commercial Companies Law and the Trade Agencies Law is the primary federal legislative framework controlling commercial activities in the UAE.  At the same time, each Emirate and free zone has its own set of rules and regulations.  By instructing us, you can relax in the knowledge that we have a deep understanding of the law as well as strong relationships with regulators and the local courts.

Why choose us?

Our team provides expertise in establishing all types of business entities, both onshore and offshore,  Foundations and special purpose vehicles (SPV’s), for particular projects.  We offer professional and personalised legal advice and representation to clients who wish to set up a business anywhere in the country, ensuring that applications meet the approval of authorities in respective jurisdictions.   Furthermore, we also offer bespoke solutions to suit specific budgets.

Along with a confirmation that our lawyers will help with the process of setting up your company, instructing us gives you the competitive advantage of having qualified lawyers safeguarding your interests by fortifying these into the incorporation documents itself.

Keeping your business innocuous and compliant with the changing policies in the region is fundamental to the advice we dispense.  We ensure that your activities are following the rules and regulations at Federal, Emirate and free zone level.

To book a consultation with one of our corporate law team, please contact us:

Get in touch today to book your complimentary Wills and Guardianship consultation by clicking here with one of our wills specialists. We are happy to help you.

  • Contact our offices

  • Make an enquiry