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Charting New Horizons: The Art of Establishing a Dubai Branch Office

Expanding business horizons in the UAE: Discover the strategic advantages and step-by-step process of setting up a branch office in Dubai.

Unlocking Opportunities: Branch Office Setup in Dubai

Dubai’s allure as a business hub extends to foreign investors looking to expand their global footprint. Establishing a branch office in Dubai not only offers numerous advantages but also leverages the city’s strategic geographic location.

Why Establish a Branch in Dubai?

A branch office in Dubai provides a legal presence in the UAE. Unlike local limited liability companies, a branch can be wholly owned by a foreign entity and operates under the parent company’s name. Key features include:

  • Full functionality as a business entity.
  • Ability to conduct transactions and other activities as per the license.
  • Requirement to appoint an Emirati national as a “Service Agent” for foreign companies establishing branches in Dubai.

Types of Foreign Branch Offices in Dubai

Branch offices in Dubai fall into two categories: those in Dubai Mainland and those in free zones. The key distinctions include:

  • Free zone branch offices require registration and licensing from the relevant free zone authority.
  • Free zone branches must operate exclusively within the free zone where they are registered.

How to Open a Branch Office in Dubai?

The process of establishing a branch office in Dubai, UAE involves several key steps:

  1. Submit an Application: Begin by submitting an application to the Ministry of Economy. Ensure that a service agent agreement, with a UAE national, is provided.

  2. Obtain Ministry of Economy Consent: The Ministry of Economy will issue an agreement upon approval by the Department of Economic Development (DED). This agreement is then forwarded to the local government body for consent.

  3. Secure Approval from UAE Federal Foreign Companies Committee: The Federal Foreign Companies Committee reviews the application from the Dubai economics department, considering the company’s proposed business activity.

  4. Receive a License from the Ministry of Economy: Once approved by the relevant authorities, the Ministry of Economy will issue a ministerial license specifying the approved business activities.

  5. Acquire Your Business License: This stage involves the registration of the foreign company’s branch in Dubai. The local Economic Department oversees this process, issuing the Business License.

  6. Register with Commercial Authorities: With all necessary documents and licenses in hand, the branch office can register with regional authorities. This includes registration with the Ministry of Economic Companies Register and the Dubai Chamber.

Cost of Setting Up a Branch Office in Dubai

The cost of establishing a branch office in Dubai varies depending on multiple factors. As of the present regulations, the cost stands at AED 100,000, which includes a refundable AED 50,000 startup payment. Note that costs may change in accordance with UAE laws and regulations.

Expand your business horizons strategically by setting up a branch office in Dubai, leveraging the city’s dynamic economy and strategic location in the heart of the UAE.

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