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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 1 month and must be renewed repeatedly until the trade license is released. Cost is AED 100.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • If you wish to make amendments to the structure/business activity once the process has already commenced, additional fees apply.
  • 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 AED 5,500 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.
  • 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 is not 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 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 without our assistance.
  • Sponsorship fee is paid annually at the time of renewal.
  • Commercial licenses are automatically part of the Chamber of Commerce, however to obtain a certificate, you have to visit the Chamber and request for the certificate. A fee of AED250 is applicable.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.