Applications received after 11 am are submitted for processing the next business day and indicated timelines commence upon realization of payment.
All government costs incurred during the process of the company incorporation needs to be paid up prior to processing.
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.
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.
For Security approvals, the bank statements must illustrate capability to conduct business in the UAE.
If you are currently holding a UAE residence visa, please inform us at the time of set up otherwise this will cause delays in the process and the initial approval will not be issued.
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” cannot be used as a prefix to the company name. Furthermore, the words “gulf”, “group” (subject to DED approval), and Company (CO will be accepted) cannot be used.
Trade names should contain more than two letters.
In cases where the company being incorporated is a branch, the initial approval process should first be completed before reserving the trade name.
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.
The lease and Ejari certificate needs to be registered under the name as approved by DED by virtue of the Initial Trade Name Reservation Certificate.
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)
A sole establishment company cannot be a shareholder of, or form a subsidiary of its company in the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED). It will not also be possible for it to form a branch of, or a representative office of the parent company
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 Dubai DED to appear in their office with your original passport for security approval prior to the release of the Initial Approval.
Should there be an increase in the Share Capital requirement of the company, the annual nominee fees will increase accordingly. For every 100,000 AED increase, the sponsorship fee will increase by 5,000 AED.
If you require external approvals, an additional AED 3000 PRO fee will be charged on top of the government costs. Furthermore, this will also be applicable if an external approval will be required at the time of your license’s renewal.
For professional licenses, all shareholders will be required to submit a relevant degree (attested) together with their experience letter and CV.
A DTCM letter/request addressed to the Dubai Police will be required to obtain a certificate of good standing in setting up a tourism license.
If the Dubai 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 have Limited Liability as its legal status (LLC) except in cases where the business activities require an external approval which dictates that the activity must be an LLC status (i.e. National Media Council, Securities and Commodities Authority).
Any business activity that falls under the activity group of "Contracting and Building Works" requires the local sponsor to be exclusive to that company (meaning, it cannot sponsor another company within the same activity group).
Following receipt of the preliminary approval from the DED, the appropriate commercial rental agreements for proposed premises must be provided. Should the Lease Agreement and EJARI Certificate not be provided within 1 month of the initial approval, there is an additional PRO fee of AED 3,000.
You will be met with a CREATIVE ZONE senior government liaison officer who holds the Power of Attorney (POA) to sign in behalf of CREATIVE ZONE for the company incorporation. This Individual does not hold any interest in the Corporate entity
PRO Services paid upon sign up is for the company incorporation and does not include processing of immigration and labour file and visas.
You need to inform CREATIVE ZONE if you will be opening a branch of your company which CREATIVE ZONE or any of its UAE National sponsors/agents is a sponsor or agent to. Furthermore, the sponsorship/agent fees will need to be paid per branch which will be set up.
If you wish to make amendments to the structure/business activity once the process has already commenced, there is an additional PRO fee of AED 8,000.
External approvals may take longer than the usual timelines depending on the government a uthority involved and also depending on the nationality of the shareholder/s.
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.
If your business activity requires an external approval from any external government authorities (Dubai Municipality, KHDA, etc.), the external government authority may overturn the trade name approved by the Dubai Department of Economic Development and they will approve your second or third name option. In this case, the name amendment must be applied in DED and the appropriate fees must be paid.
In order to set up a company with Managing Office as its business activity, you’ll need to have at least 3 branches of the same company in the UAE.
Dubai Municipality will require companies who will become shareholders in a Construction/Contracting based company to have at least 3 building completion certificates to obtain their approval/NOC.
Applicable PRO fees starting from AED 3,500 will be applied per amendment following the release of the Trade License. The payment voucher amount may vary depending on the amendment made.
The Share Transfer or Share Purchase Agreement needs to first be executed and notarized before the addendum to the companies Memorandum of Association or Civil Works Agreement (whichever applicable) can be signed before the Notary.
A company with a Limited Liability Status cannot be amended to change the legal status to either a Civil Company or a Sole Establishment.
The template for the DED Memorandum of Association, Civil Agreement, and Local Service Agent Agreement are standard and approval by the CREATIVE ZONE lawyers. Should you wish to make any changes, you may draft your own agreement and send to CREATIVE ZONE for approval.
The Memorandum of Association is and should be in compliance to Law No. 2 of 2015 of the Commercial Companies Law of the UAE.
Our PRO services for obtaining the trade license and for any amendments thereof, entails the use of the Board Resolution, Power of Attorney, Memorandum of Association, and Sale Transfer Agreement format which have been pre-approved by our lawyers and sponsors. Should you wish to utilize your own templates, CREATIVE ZONE will not take responsibility for any rejection from the government authorities and will not assist during the notary signing. CREATIVE ZONE can furnish drafts of the same upon request.
In case of setting up a branch of a foreign company with a real estate activity, the parent company should be existing and in operation for at least 5 years with the same nature of business (ie. Real Estate Brokerage, Real Estate Consultancy, etc.)
Should any of the parties fail to appear at the Notary within 30 minutes of the assigned time and re-scheduling will be required, a no show fee of AED 1,000 will be imposed.
No company specific power of attorneys can be executed until and unless the trade license is issued.
For the payment voucher, the licensing and employee accommodation allowance can be reduced if the shareholders/managers submit their EJARI Certificate (in their name) and the recent paid DEWA Bill.
Though you are leasing your office from a business centre, you will still need to pay for the market fees (5% of the lease) stated in the Payment Voucher from DED
If you are taking up a lease from a hotel or a shell & core office, you should first confirm with the landlord/real estate developer/real estate broker that an Ejari Certificate can be obtained for the premises.
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.
You will need to settle all of your outstanding traffic fines for you to be able to process your residence visa cancellation.
The Immigration card is not only 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 needs to be reflected 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 48 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.
A fee of AED 990 will be charged for any changes to be made towards the job offer letter and employment contract once it is generated
The company PO Box cannot be cancelled until and unless the trade license which it is attached to is also cancelled.
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 AED 1,000 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.
If within the last 6 months you have visited Kish, Queshm, or Iran, you will only be able to apply for a UAE Residency Visa 6 months after the date you left Kish or Iran.
Please note that visas issued on the company are exclusively for person/s working for that company. If a company is found to be selling visas and/or a visa holder is engaging in work for another company, the person/s in question are likely to face legal prosecution and deportation
If someone you’ve hired is found to be working without the residence visa process being completed, he/she will be deported and there will be a fine of AED 50,000 per employee and an AED 250,000 fine to the company by the UAE government
If you wish to include additional conditions to the standard labour contract, this should be mentioned beforehand so that it can be integrated to the Job Offer. The employer can include 5 more conditions to the standard Job Offer as long as these conditions are short, concise, submitted in writing, typed in English and Arabic, and all the conditions are in accordance with the UAE labour law. Kindly note that this will be subject to the approval of the Ministry of Labour.
It is the employer's responsibility to report absconders to the police or immigration authorities, otherwise the employer will be punished under modified labour laws in the UAE.
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. (applicable to old visas issues when bank guarantees were still imposed on Partners/Investors)
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.
Non-compliance of this will result to a fine of AED 10,000/- imposed by the Ministry of Labour and a block on your Labour File, which will deter you from applying for new employee quotas. Furthermore, the local sponsors are imposing an additional fine of AED 7,500/- for the inconvenience caused of getting their file blocked as this will mean that none of the the companies under their umbrella can apply for any entry visas, residence stamping, & cancellation.
Wages/Salary of the employee has to be paid through the WPS System at the end of the same month in which the employment visa is issued.
Newly hired employees should are not permitted to work until the initial approval (work permit) is obtained from Ministry Of Labour. A signed job offer that has been submitted is not a legal document to stand as proof that an employee has been permitted to work by Ministry Of Labour. As in cases of breach, the company who has allowed this person to work will have to pay AED50,000 for every employee working without a permit and will be imposed 20 black points.
Visas are not guaranteed and are subject to immigration approval for certain nationalities
The timelines for employees that are of Arab descent/born in Arab countries/ holding passports from Arab countries can be longer than the standard timelines and is dependent on the discretion of the government authorities.
Visa applications for women applicants applying for non-degree designations may be rejected and they may be asked for at least an attested high school diploma.
The sponsor has to be present in the UAE for the dependent’s entry and residence visas to be issued by Immigration.
If you are holding/applying for an employee visa, your visa position needs to be at least that of which requires an attested diploma or degree for you to be able to sponsor dependents
If you are inside the country with your dependents on a cancelled residence visa, you will be able to travel outside the UAE only after the completion of all of your dependents’ residence visa process
The validity of the lease/ejari submitted for dependents visa sponsorship should be at least 1 year.
You’ll need to complete your family’s residence visa stamping process prior to applying for the servant/ driver’s visa.
The sponsor needs to provide an approved or valid work permit application from the new sponsor/employer to be able to “freeze” the dependents’ residence visas at the time of changing sponsor/employers. Furthermore, the dependents’ visas need to be valid for at least 3 months to qualify for this service.
You will not be able to proceed for an in-country change of status if the maid/servant/driver is here in the UAE on a tourist visa. They will need to make an airport to airport transfer to do their change of status.
The Ministry of Labour may at times require supporting documents (ie. Contracts, Invoices, etc.) to justify the requirement for additional quotas. Furthermore, they can also request for an office inspection for the same. Please ensure that there will be employees with valid UAE residence visa/work permits under the company’s sponsorship present in the office during the scheduled inspection.
Companies with less than 20 employees shall be given only 5 quotas for mission visa applications by default. Additional quotas may be requested by submitting supplementary documents (ie. Contracts, Invoices, Projects, etc.) but will be subject to the Ministry’s discretion to approve or reject the request.
For positions, which does not require degrees, if the employee did not complete 6 months with the company, the employee will get an automatic 1 year ban. However, If the employee completes 6 months, there will be no ban applicable.
Only employees between 19 years of age to 65 years old can obtain visas.
Immigration will require the investor/partner to present a 3-month stamped company bank account statement if you apply for your investor/partner visa three months following the company incorporation. Similarly, a 6-month stamped company bank account statement will be required if you are applying 6 months post company incorporation.
Immigration will only grant a maximum of 2 partner visas under the company.
You’ll need to have a managerial position in your visa for you to be able to enter into a GCC country with an ‘on arrival’ visa.
Once an employee’s labour card is cancelled, you will only have 30 days to complete your immigration/visa cancellation otherwise a fine of AED 25 per day will be imposed for non-completion of the cancellation process.
If your license is issued from Trakhees, it is mandatory that all employees apply for a Labour Card through Trakhees.
Should you wish for us to assist you with placing a ban for an employee for whose visa is going to be cancelled, there is an additional PRO cost of AED 2500.
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.
Employees of companies that are involved in food handling (ie. Restaurants, Fruits and Vegetable Trading, etc.) will need to undergo a regular Hepatitis vaccine (schedule will be indicated in the Vaccination Card provided by DHA) and apply for an Occupational Health Card.
It is now mandatory for any visa applicant (Investor/Partner/Employee/Dependent) to have a medical insurance in place. Immigration now requires a Certificate of Health Insurance/Insurance Card to be submitted before the residence visa stamping application can be submitted.
Please note that you will be required to have an office for your employees as the Ministry of Labour will do random inspections on the offices you have registered during the incorporation. Failure to do so will result to a huge fine imposed by the Ministry and your company and your sponsor/CREATIVE ZONE's file being blocked in the Labour system. Furthermore, CREATIVE ZONE will also fine you for AED 50,000 for the inconvenience.
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 your normal passport with the UAE Residence visa has ran out of pages or is expired, you will not be permitted to enter the UAE on a temporary passport. You’ll need to wait until your new, normal passport is issued and then travel with both.
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 a residence visa is cancelled after it’s expiry date, an outpass will be issued and a confirmed ticket departing within 5 days after the cancellation to the applicant’s home country will be required.
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 Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Cost is AED 1750. 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
If you are holding an investor/partner visa and an amendment is executed to transfer your shares to a corporate entity, you will have to cancel your residency visa and apply for an employment visa, unless you can provide documentation illustrating that you are the ultimate beneficiary of the parent company.
The Dubai government will have certain compliance requirements depending on your business activity. DED and the responsible government authority may conduct random inspections in your establishment. On occasion, the inspector may note compliance issues which will need to be addressed. Please make sure to adhere to it as they will impose a penalty for non-compliance.
To obtain a partner visa on the company, minimum share Capital contribution on the Memorandum of Association must not be less than AED 48,000.
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 Dubai 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 minimum required shareholding present during the General Assembly for it to be considered a Quorum is 75%.
If you are a Schengen National and have exhausted the 90 day visit period granted by immigration, you need to exit and be out of the country for at least 90 days before you can re-enter the UAE with a tourist visa.
The following nationalities and individuals born in the same country have to undergo a Security Approval in Dubai DED and as such are restricted from applying for General Trading license: Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Sudan, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Morocco, Afghanistan, St Kitts and Nevis, Algeria, and Nigeria.
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.
If you are from any of the following countries - Syrian, Tunisian or Lebanese, you need to be in the UAE when applying for your entry visa.
Processing of applications for nationalities such as but not limited to Egyptian, Syrian, Lebanese, Tunisian, Sudanese, South African, Kenyan, Moroccan, Algerian, Nigerian, Iranian, Iraqi, can take longer than the standard timeline as they are subject to Immigration Security Approval.