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ABU DHABI LLC IMPORTANT INFORMATION



Department of Economic Development (DED) License


Important Notes:


  • Applications received after 11 am are submitted for processing the next business day and indicated timelines commence upon realization of payment.
  • During periods in and around Ramadan, days of mourning, Eid and other National and Religious Holidays the indicated timelines are likely to become subject to delays.
  • The minimum age of shareholders is 21 years old.
  • All procedures, timelines and costs are valid at the time of going to print, however may become subject to change without notice.
  • CREATIVE ZONE will merely advise the possible business activity but the final decision will be left to the client.
  • Should you wish to bring in your own local sponsor/local service agents, the relevant government fees must be paid upfront and will not be advanced by CREATIVE ZONE.
  • The ownership percentage must be a whole number.
  • The Initial Name Reservation Certificate will only be valid for 6 months and must be renewed repeatedly until the trade license is released. Cost is 1,200 AED.
  • PRO fees paid at the time of incorporation does not include any actual government costs.
  • For Security approvals, the bank statements must illustrate capability to conduct business in the UAE.
  • The company name cannot be of a country. Family names should not be used as a trade name unless it includes the first name.
  • The business activity should be reflected in the trade name as a suffix.
  • The word “international” is not allowed to start the company name and the word “gulf” cannot be used
  • The Initial Approval Certificate will only be valid for 6 months upon date of approval. However, you have to provide the lease agreement and EJARI certificate within a month (30 days) of the release of Initial approval as delays will affect the ability of the local sponsor to open new companies.
  • If the shareholder does not hold UAE residency, he/she will have to submit a copy of the most recent entry stamp to the UAE (within 6 months)
  • For Professional licenses, some sectors/activities are restricted to ownership of UAE nationals.
  • There may be additional fees for additional business activities added on the same license.
  • Free zone and offshore companies within the UAE may own 49% of a commercial license.
  • Entry stamps of shareholders must be within the last six months.
  • DED will accept a lease agreement from any free zone authority if that free zone will issue a No Objection Certificate. Each free zone has the discretion to approve tenancy to a DED license.
  • To ensure that your Lease/Tenancy Contract will be accepted by the DED, please furnish us a copy of your affection plan for approval before entering into a contract.
  • If you are of Arab descent (except UAE and GCC Nationals), you may be requested by the Abu Dhabi DED to appear in their office with your original passport for security approval prior to the release of the Initial Approval.
  • If you require external approvals, an additional AED 3000 PRO fee will be charged on top of the government costs.
  • If the Abu Dhabi government owns your office lease/warehouse, please ensure that your Landlord is current in paying the Land Department taxes. If payments are not up to date, it can cause delays in obtaining approval from the Planning Department, which is essential in obtaining your payment voucher.
  • General Trading licenses cannot lease a warehouse as a primary business location.
  • Consultancy licenses cannot be an LLC.
  • If your lease agreement is in a Business Centre, your presence may be requested in the Abu Dhabi DED office prior to payment voucher release (applicable to license renewal). Kindly ensure that the release date of your payment voucher will reflect your Initial Approval number and expiry date.
  • PRO Services paid upon sign up is for the company incorporation and does not include processing of immigration and labour file and visas.
  • If you wish to make amendments to the structure/business activity once the process has already commenced, additional fees apply.
  • Any external approvals may take longer than the usual timelines in cases where the nationality of the applicants.
  • External approvals are based on the discretion of the government authority and the role of CREATIVE ZONE is to ensure that the correct requirements are filed. Thereafter, CREATIVE ZONE will follow up on a regular basis but will have no influence on the granting of approvals.
  • Applicable PRO fee of 5,500 AED will be applied for any amendment following the release of the Trade License. Payment Voucher amount may vary depending on the amendment made.
  • All government fees (such as for Name Reservation, Initial Approval, MOA) paid to obtain the Trade License will be charged at actual. Receipts will be provided.
  • Change of status (in/out stamp) would need to be carried out prior to proceeding for your Emirates ID Card and Medical.
  • If you are in the UAE on a Tourist Visa, you will have to exit (airport to airport transfer) to complete your Change of Status.
  • The Immigration card is used for purposes of obtaining the visa but will also be required for Etisalat or Du Connection.
  • In order to open the company labour file, you must apply for a company PO Box which will reflect on your trade license.
  • With regards to the introduction to the bank representative by CREATIVE ZONE, this is an introductory service only and CREATIVE ZONE aren’t involved in the process beyond the introduction. After the introduction it is for the client to liaise with the bank representative directly and satisfy the requirements of the bank in order to successfully have their account opened. In order to keep your company bank account active, you will need to visit your bank annually with your original renewed trade license and present it to the bank for sighting, this must be carried out on or before the expiry date of your current Trade License.
  • If the company is partially or wholly owned by another corporate entity and has been incorporated for more than one year at the time of the DED set-up, an attested updated Certificate of Incumbency or Certificate of Good Standing will be required.
  • If you have overstayed your 30-day grace period, you may be issued an “Exit Pass” by immigration and you will not be able to do your Change of Status in country and you will have to exit (airport to airport transfer) to complete the Change of Status. This is based on the discretion of the immigration officer. You will be asked to pay your overstay fines by Immigration upon exiting.
  • Should you be outside the country when the visa is issued, and are not from one of the 46 countries that are granted a visa on arrival, and are entering the UAE on your new entry visa, which will constitute your change of status, please be sure to your airline prior to travelling, as many airlines will need to see a copy of your entry visa prior to travel in order to verify the same and then upload a copy of the visa onto their system, and provide you with an ‘OK to Board’. The same would apply if you are inside the country when the visa is issued, and plan to exit the country with your visa in hand, and then re-enter the UAE by air.
  • Furthermore when you are entering the country on your new entry visa, please ensure you carry out your eye scan at the airport on arrival, and ensure the immigration official stamps the entry visa as well as your passport. Do NOT enter on your e-gate card.
  • Once you complete your change of status you will NOT be able to travel outside of the UAE until your passport has been stamped with your residency visa.
  • Once change of status is done, you have 60 calendar days to complete the residence visa stamping process as well as the labour card and contract application, otherwise, there will be a fine of 1,000 AED per month imposed by the Ministry of Labour. The client will bear any fines related to delays without fault of CREATIVE ZONE.
  • The Visa process for certain nationalities may be longer than the timelines indicated above.
  • The original passport (and emirates id for UAE residents) will be required at the time of signing at the Notary Public.
  • For cancelled Partner visas, your presence will be required in order to obtain the deposit.
  • To obtain visas for employees, you will first have to apply for a Labour File. You cannot obtain approval for Labour File unless you already have a DEWA Bill for your office lease.
  • Visas are not guaranteed and are subject to immigration approval for certain nationalities
  • Only employees between 19 years of age to 65 years old can obtain visas.
  • If you fail your medical exam, it will not be the responsibility of CREATIVE ZONE to assist in your subsequent medical exams. The government may require at least 3 more exams. Should you wish for us to assist, additional fees will apply.
  • For maids who are Sri Lankan or Indonesian, a pre-medical will be required from their country of residence and attested by the UAE Embassy
  • If you previously had an Emirates ID Card but no longer have the original you will have to visit the Emirates ID Card Authority in Al Barsha or Rashidiya to obtain an ID number certificate prior to proceeding with your Emirates ID Card renewal.
  • The CREATIVE ZONE package (Support Services and company registration) is valid for one year starting from the commencement date on the Trade License and both must be renewed annually.
  • If you require a Supplementary Agreement with our sponsor, a standard format is provided and if you require amendments, you may prepare a separate Agreement as you deem necessary but without our assistance.
  • Sponsorship fee is paid annually at the time of renewal.
  • Once license is released, a company may apply to become a member of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Cost is Approximately AED 4,000. Commercial Licenses are automatically part of the Chamber of Commerce, you just have to bring your license to the Chamber and they will print out your membership.
  • If a UAE company (free zone or not) is already registered as a branch in the UAE, it is not permitted to be a shareholder in a local company.
  • The GCC National can only be either, (1) a sole shareholder, or (2) partnered up with another GCC National. Once they bring in a non-GCC national (ie. a UK national, or a Jordanian) into the ownership, it will automatically require a Local Service Agent.
  • For professional licenses, no company or entity can be a shareholder. Once an entity is involved, it has to turn into a Limited Liability Company
  • To obtain a partner visa on the company, minimum share Capital contribution on the Memorandum of Association must not be less than 48,000 AED
  • For professional licenses, DED requires the degree of the owner/manager to be related to the business activity. Otherwise, it is DED’s prerogative to deny an application if they feel that the qualifications do not fit the activity.
  • CREATIVE ZONE will undertake the drafting of the necessary incorporation documents such as the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), Local Service Agent Agreement (LSAA), and Civil Works Agreement (CWA) as required by Abu Dhabi DED. Should you wish to prepare your own agreement, kindly note that the charges will apply and you will be responsible for verifying that such document is valid against the UAE Laws as well as accepted by the Notary Public at the time of signing.
  • If you wish to open a subsidiary, or have partial ownership by another company, all the parent company shareholders will need to be present in the Notary Public during the Memorandum signing unless an attested Power of Attorney is executed.
  • If a Civil Company Is established as a Sole Establishment, only one manager is allowed.
  • The nationalities from the following countries should be inside the UAE on a visit or tourist visa to apply for Security Approval: Libya, Tunisia, Afghanistan, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Sudan, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Morocco.
  • The nationalities from the following countries should be inside the UAE on a residency visa to apply for Security Approval - Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Somali, Yemen