A Guide to Company Formation in Abu Dhabi - GCC Solutions News
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A Guide to Company Formation in Abu Dhabi

If you are efficaciously running a business and looking to enlarge into Abu Dhabi, be conscious that you can’t just attain and flinch doing business. You want to officially start a company and acquire a Trade License and the principles are likely to be very dissimilar in Abu Dhabi than what you are utilized in other jurisdictions.

Onshore or Free zone?

Firstly, you want to choose if you are setting up on the mainland or in a free zone. The category of business activities and recognizing who your customers are and where they are positioned will aid to regulate this.

What legal structure?

You will want to select an appropriate legal structure for your necessities, such as Representative Office, Foreign Branch Office or Limited Liability Company (LLC).

Understand the setup costs and the ongoing fees

It’s significant to comprehend the one-off costs involved in establishing a company, which will comprise lawful translations, lawyer fees, company signposts, company stamps, registrations with several government departments, and amalgamation fees, as well as trade license fees, lawful fees, and buildings. Once you have your job license, it is essential to restart the trade license per annum and there are numerous costs associated with this depending on the structure that you have chosen for.

Find a local partner

Establishing onshore you are obligatory to involve with a local partner in approximately way either as a National Service Agent or a fully-fledged stockholder generally known as a local partner or sponsor.  Understand the hazards, the economic commitment and what you essentially need from the association with your local partner – i.e. an actively engross partner or a nominee partner.

What approvals will be required?

Sure activities will want numerous approvals from precise government departments connected to that industry. For example, if you are launching a training company it will be essential to have your attributed courses evaluated, you will be obligatory to have a devoted training capability and appropriately qualified and knowledgeable staff. These will all necessity to be approved at the flinch of the incorporation procedure. If you are in friendliness working with food and beverage, then enterprise and layout of your kitchen will essential to be approved and note, if you are inadequate to help non-muslim products, like pork or alcohol, then additional licenses essential to be obtained. For companies wanting to labor with the National Oil & Gas companies, the Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC) approval is a must!

Source premises

All trade licenses need a premise and this must be applicable to the activity that you need to engage in. It is usually compulsory to pay for a year’s lease in advance.  It is also required to have it fitted out erstwhile to an inspection by the authorities during the incorporation development.

What about your legal documents?

It’s valued engaging a locally-based firm to either draft or at smallest review your company documents. They will be accustomed to the local laws and principles, as well as convinced terms and words that are recognized by the Notary Public.

You will need to identify a locally-based auditing firm

It is a prerequisite for Foreign Branch Offices and Representative Offices to assign a local auditing company to demeanor a twelve-monthly audit of their Abu Dhabi-based entity. A letter approving the engagement will be vital during the company set up. It is compulsory for these types of companies to have a yearly audit in order to be able to reintroduce the trade license each year.

Opening a bank account

There are dual options – an international brand or a local bank. Whichever you select, you will need to sign the application forms in an individual at the bank. Be definite to check out the fees and have all of the compulsory documents ready to protect time. Opening a shared bank account can take a few days, from time to time even a week or two.

Visas for staff

As soon as you have successfully gotten your Trade License, its needed to register the company in Immigration and the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE) so that you can then put on for visas and Emirates ID cards for your staff.  All and sundry working in Abu Dhabi is essential to have a visa, Emirates ID card, and health insurance.


As soon as we have all of the documents ready to twitch the incorporation, an LLC can be set up in roughly three to four weeks (if no special approvals are required) and a Foreign Branch Office or a Representative Office will take a little longer – about four weeks to get the Trade License and then there is a dated of 30 days in which to lodge a bank assurance and comprehensive the registration process with the Ministry of Economy.