Company Registration in Abu Dhabi

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What is Company Registration in Abu Dhabi?

United Arab Emirates encourages local and foreign investors to set up companies in all Emirates. Abu Dhabi is among the most successful Emirates in the UAE. Process of company registration in Abu Dhabi is quite simple in case all the documents are prepared and all the necessary licenses are obtained. In Abu Dhabi, foreign investors may also register companies if they are partner with a local investor, or in one of Abu Dhabi's free zones which allow 100% foreign ownership. With major new projects announced in the oil, gas and construction industries, as well as the tourism industry economy of Abu Dhabi is in a booming stage.

Types of Company

  • General Partnership company
  • Joint Venture Company
  • Partnership-en-commend am
  • Public Shareholding Company
  • Private Shareholding Company
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Share Partnership Company

Some Other Type of Companies

  • Free Zone Company
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Branch & Representative Offices

Advantages of Setting up a New Business as a Free Zone

Here are the following benefits:

  • Absolute company ownership
  • Complete repatriation of profits
  • Freedom from customs duties
  • Independent rules and regulations
  • Freedom from corporate and income tax


  • There is a restriction regarding corporate operations that it must be conducted within the geographic limitations of their designated zones.
  • Business activities with mainland clients must be done through distributors or agents.
  • With the local government, dealings, tenders, contracts must be accompanied by a mainland DED license.

Company Formation outside of Special Zones

Businesses may be structured as any of the following entities in mainland company formation:

  • Limited Liability Company
  • Foreign Branch Office
  • Representative Office

For starting a business as any of these entities, an investor must be partner with a local entity who can stand as a Sponsor for LLC companies or a National Service Agent for Representative or Foreign Branch Offices.


Here are the following steps that need to be followed in order to meet the legal requirements of all concerned authorities.

  • Proposed company name and company registration application is submitted with the Department of Economic Development (DED).
  • In Department of Economic Development (DED) notarize the company‚Äôs Memorandum of Association
  • Company documents are required to be filed with the Department for Economic Development (DED).
  • Obtain trade license.
  • With the ministry of Labor, apply for establishment card.
  • Register native workers with the Ministry of Labor.
  • For Pension and Social Security, register native workers with the General Authority.

In Abu Dhabi the basic requirement is one of the following licenses:

  • Commercial licenses covering each kind of trading activity.
  • For establishing industrial or manufacturing activity, industrial licenses.
  • Covering professions, services, craftsmen and artisans, professional licenses.


In Abu Dhabi for all established companies, there is a general requirement of fifty-one per cent participation by UAE nationals except in case:

  • Where law requires local ownership of 100%
  • Where 100% foreign ownership is permitted In Free Trade Zones
  • Activities open to 100% AGCC ownership
  • Wholly owned AGCC companies enter into partnership with UAE nationals
  • Foreign companies registering branches or a representative office in Dubai.
  • In case of professional or artisan companies where foreign ownership of 100% is permitted.


Under the law, there are legal requirements in terms of shareholders, directors, minimum capital, and incorporation procedures. It further lays down provisions governing conversion, merger, and dissolution of companies.

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