Dubai LLC

Department of Economic Development – Dubai (DED)

The Department of Economic Development (DED) is the government body entrusted to set and drive the economic agenda of the emirate of Dubai, UAE. The DED supports the structural transformation of Dubai into a diversified, innovative service-based economy that aims to improve the business environment and accelerate productivity growth.

CREATIVE ZONE works alongside DED to facilitate company formation in Dubai Mainland, providing comprehensive business setup services to meet all the required government formalities and document legalities. Setting up a DED company ensures that businesses are able to access the entire UAE marketplace to help increase brand visibility and business growth.

Benefits of Setting up in Dubai DED

  • Flexibility to do business in any part of the UAE with local and government authorities

  • No limit on the number of visas (depending on the size of the office space)

  • Office premises anywhere in mainland Dubai

  • Fewer nationality restrictions in ownership and visas compared to other jurisdictions

Under the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED), the main licensing options are:

1. The establishment of entities formed under the UAE Civil Code which are restricted to carrying out “non– commercial” or civic activities. The UAE Civil Code entities (may be an Individual Establishment or a Civil Works Company) include promotion of services, skills, and expertise of the individual(s) conducting the business, as well as other related practices that involve the use or investment of intellectual faculties.
2. Professional companies may be 100% foreign owned. However, it is necessary to appoint a “Local Service Agent” or “Local Sponsor.”
3. To comply with the provisions of UAE law, we propose that one of the local partners of CREATIVE ZONE will act as the Local Service Agent. The nominated Local Service Agent will not have any management authority or financial commitment and he will only act on your behalf to facilitate the trade license and visa processes necessary to complete your trade license. The Local Service Agent Appointment Contract shall regulate the relationship between the two parties.
4. Depending on the business activity, this can be an LLC (Limited Liability Company) if 51% ownership is given to a UAE National or Company. For the latter and in certain business activities, the shareholders of the UAE Company must meet the same criteria as the expat partner/s.
5. Existing companies can only invest in a new Civil Company if they reflect the same business activity as the parent company.
1. The establishment of a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Dubai in accordance with the Commercial Companies Law. This is the most widely used commercial entity for companies with foreign ownership wishing to conduct commercial activities and trade in the UAE.
2. Each of the partners shall only be liable to the extent of their share capital in the company upon incorporation as stated in the executed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
3. Under the UAE Companies Law, a minimum of 51% ownership must be held by a UAE National (Local Partner), and 49% ownership will be that of the foreign shareholder. However, the law permits the issuance of constitutional documents for an LLC to contain provisions designed to protect the interests of the foreign minority shareholder, including but not limited to the profits distribution, assets entitlement, appointment of directors/managers, powers of administration, and influence in decision making.
4. To comply with the provisions of the UAE Companies Law, we propose that CREATIVE ZONE General Trading or a CREATIVEZONE recommendedUAE national act as your “Local Partner”.
1. It is stipulated under the UAE Companies Law that 100% foreign ownership is allowed provided that a local service agent is appointed.
2. A Branch office is a legal extension of the parent company and is permitted to secure contracts and conduct business activities, which are similar to those of its parents’ company subject to the approval of the UAE Ministry of Economy.
3. A Representative office is established to promote the products and services of its parent company but may not carry out any trading activity or enter into commercial transactions and deals by itself. The number of employeesallowed under this company is limited to 4.


Day 1

Submit all requirements and make payment for sponsorship and/or PRO fees.

Day 2

CREATIVE ZONE will submit necessary documents to Dubai DED. Timeline and the Memorandum of Association /Local Service Agent Agreement /Civil Works Agreement (whichever is applicable) draft will be received by the client. *

Day 3

Trade name reservation certificate is obtained.
Note: The Dubai DED reserves the right to refuse or amend your company name even after approval.

Day 4

The application will be submitted for initial approval.

Day 8

Initial approval certificate is obtained.

Day 11

Submit Commercial Lease Agreement and Ejari Certificate to CREATIVE ZONE. **

Day 12

Client approves the final draft of the Memorandum of Association/ Local Service Agent Agreement and/or Civil Works Agreement.

Day 13

Once the client approves, an appointment with the Local Sponsor/ Local Service Agent at the Notary Public will be scheduled to sign the incorporation documents.

Note: A CREATIVE ZONE senior government liaison officer, who holds the Power of Attorney (POA) to sign in behalf of CREATIVE ZONE for the purposes of company incorporation, will meet you at the Notary Public. The latter does not hold any interest in the corporate entity.

Should any of the parties fail to appear at the Notary Public within 30 minutes of the assigned time, a re-scheduling will be required. A no-show fee of AED 1,050 will be imposed on the client.

Day 14

Upon confirmation that the lease is appropriate, the file is submitted to DED for the issuance of Payment Voucher. This will be the license fee of the company.

Day 16

Issuance of Payment Voucher.

Trade License is released once payment is made.

*The legal agreements have been approved by CREATIVE ZONE lawyers and cannot be amended. Should you wish to make any changes, you have to draft the agreement with your own lawyers and send it to CREATIVE ZONE for approval.

**Following receipt of the preliminary approval from DED, the appropriate commercial rental agreements for proposed premises must be provided. Should the Lease Agreement and Ejari Certificate not provided within 1 month of the initial approval, an additional PRO fee of AED 3,150 needs to be settled by the client.

Note: Certain business activities require additional approvals from the government agencies. Therefore, timelines may be extended up to 45 days (depending on which government authority) and an additional PRO fee of AED 3,150 will apply, excluding government fees.

The above timelines are based on our past experience. If your chosen business activity requires additional inspections and approvals, timelines will vary according to the government authority involved.

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