How to Open a Branch Office in Dubai, UAE: Step by Step Guide

Establishing a branch office in Dubai serves as a strategic means for foreign investors to extend their business presence in the UAE. Entrepreneurs with established companies or a significant brand value in other nations actively pursue the opportunity to open a branch office in Dubai.

  • 100% Foreign Ownership
  • Easy Business Setup
  • Rent Office Anywhere in UAE
  • Low Administrative Cost
Start your Branch Office in Dubai, UAE - Smart Zones UAE

Given the prominent role of globalization in the business landscape, entrepreneurs worldwide acknowledge the significance of establishing an international presence. The expansion of your business into multiple countries can greatly enhance your access to pivotal markets. Dubai, in particular, stands out as a thriving market driven by technology, offering optimal commercial opportunities.

Why Start Your Branch Office in Dubai, UAE?

Establishing a branch office in Dubai enables foreign businesses to establish a legal presence in the United Arab Emirates. Unlike a local limited liability company, a branch office can be established with 100% ownership from a country other than the United Arab Emirates, and it holds the same legal status as its parent company. Additionally, it conducts business under the name of the parent company.

Branch offices function as fully operational enterprises, conducting transactions and engaging in activities specified in their license. While foreign companies can open fully owned branches in the Emirate, they are required to enlist an Emirati national as a "Service Agent."

Available Licenses for Branches in Dubai, UAE

In the licensing process for a branch office, similar types of licenses, accessible to other local companies, can also be acquired following the establishment of a branch in Dubai. These licenses include:

  • General Trading License: Allows for various types of trading activities.
  • Industrial License: Permits engagement in various industrial activities.
  • Commercial License: Enables the branch to sell various goods and services.
  • Other licenses issued by free zone authorities based on their specific areas of interest.
Advantages of Establishing a Branch Office Company in Dubai - Smart Zones UAE

Benefits of Establishing a Branch Office in Dubai, UAE

Establishing a new branch company in Dubai presents numerous business advantages, as the city offers a wealth of opportunities for investors.

  • 100% Foreign Ownership: The branch office is viewed not as a distinct legal entity but as an extension of the parent company. Consequently, you can enjoy 100% ownership in the branch office and engage in the same business activities as the parent company.
  • Rent an Office Anywhere in UAE: Establish the branch office anywhere in Dubai based on the business requirements. Opt for cost-effective office space in Dubai Mainland to minimize administrative expenses. For those not needing a central location, affordable offices are available throughout the UAE.
  • Trade-in Mainland of UAE: Establishing a branch office in Dubai mainland allows active trading in the local markets of the UAE without the necessity of a local distributor or agent.
  • Tax Benefits: UAE's Zero Corporate and Income Tax environment allows companies to maximize benefits. Setting up a Branch Office in Dubai enables leveraging the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and achieving tax savings in the home country.
  • Audit Report Requirement: Setting up a Branch Office facilitates the legal tracking of all transactions between the branch and the parent company, especially for large companies with frequent financial transactions.
  • Low Administrative Cost: The overall cost of opening a new branch is lower than establishing a new company in multiple countries. In the UAE, branch offices are not required to maintain audit reports, and obtaining a small office in Dubai helps in keeping administrative costs low.
  • Cost-Effective Route to New Markets: Establishing a Branch Office offers an efficient way to enter new markets with lower running costs compared to setting up an entirely new company.

Business Structure and Planning in Dubai, UAE

Choosing the right business structure is vital when launching a firm in Dubai. Options include:

  • 1. Free Zone Company: A free zone company provides foreign ownership, and simplified registration processes, ideal for global operations.
  • 2. Mainland Company: Mainland companies adhere to UAE laws and regulations and are suitable for businesses targeting the domestic market.
  • 3. Offshore Company: Offshore companies are Practical for commercial companies registered abroad wishing to operate outside their primary countries.

Consider factors like your business services, target market, and long-term goals when selecting a structure, and consult legal and business experts for guidance.

Steps to Launch a Branch Office in Dubai, UAE

Establishing a Branch Office in Dubai involves several steps:

Embark on the journey of opening a business in Dubai by partnering with Smart Zones® UAE. Our adept company formation specialists will guide you through the business license application and setup process, liaising with relevant government and municipal authorities on your behalf.

Every branch office is required to appoint a Local Service Agent (LSA) who will act as an intermediary between the branch office, the UAE government, and other relevant authorities. This is a mandatory step in compliance with the regulations set forth for obtaining the business license necessary for conducting operations in the UAE.

Foreign companies seeking to establish a branch office in Dubai must initiate the process by applying for initial approval from the UAE Ministry of Economy (MOE). Only the appointed LSA is authorized to file this application on behalf of both the branch office and the parent company. Smart Zones® UAE's specialists are available to assist with the required documents and legal formalities for a seamless application process. For expert advice and insights, contact our office.

Upon approval of the application filing by the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED), the Ministry of Economy grants an initial approval certificate. The Ministry then forwards the application to the local government authority for consent, subsequently issuing the initial approval certificate once the DED returns it. This certificate allows a foreign company to establish branch offices in the UAE.

In addition to the Ministry of Economy's approval, foreign companies must seek approvals from the UAE Federal Foreign Companies Committee (FFCC). The Ministry of Economy forwards the application and initial approvals certificate to the FFCC for further consideration. The FFCC issues a permit letter of approval to both the Ministry of Economy and the Department of Economic Development. Seek assistance from Smart Zones® UAE for expert guidance through this comprehensive process.

Foreign companies looking to open branch offices in Dubai receive trade licenses from the Department of Economic Development. After obtaining necessary approvals from the Ministry of Economy and FFCC, you can proceed to apply for your business license from the DED. Ensure accuracy and avoid delays by partnering with Smart Zones® UAE

Upon successful application and issuance of the business license, register your Dubai branch office with the Ministry of Economic Companies Register and the Dubai Chamber to complete the establishment process.

Complete the process by opening your corporate bank account for your Dubai Business with Smart Zones® UAE. This final step paves the way for the successful opening of your Business.

Remember that the process may vary depending on your chosen jurisdiction and business activities. Consulting legal and business experts familiar with Dubai's business setup landscape is highly recommended.

Operating since 2013, Smart Zones® UAE provides on-going support to obtain Business Services License in Dubai, UAE including Businesses.

Looking for a seamless business setup experience? Trust Smart Zones® Dubai to pave the way.

Documents Required to Start a Branch Office in Dubai, UAE

To initiate the establishment of your Branch Office in Dubai, UAE, the following documents are required:

  • Completed application forms for the registration of the branch office.
  • Certificate of reservation for the trade name.
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA) of the parent company.
  • Copy of the Certificate of Incorporation of the parent company.
  • Passport copies of the Company’s Director.
  • No-objection letter from the parent company.
  • Power of attorney for the director of the Branch Office.
  • Board resolution of the Parent Company authorizing the opening of a Branch Office in Dubai, UAE.

Submitting incorrect documents can lead to immediate rejection. Our consultants at Smart Zones® UAE ensure you have the right documents, avoiding any complications in the process.

Cost of Establishing a Branch Office in Dubai

The expenses associated with establishing a branch office in Dubai may vary, influenced by various factors. On average, the initial investment for inaugurating a branch office is approximately AED 100,000, inclusive of a refundable startup payment amounting to AED 50,000. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that these expenses are subject to modification in accordance with the laws and regulations of the UAE. It is recommended to stay informed about the latest requirements and guidelines in order to accurately assess the cost of setting up a branch office in Dubai.

For a precise quotation, reach out to Smart Zones® UAE to obtain an updated estimate tailored to your specific requirements. This ensures that you are securing the most competitive rate for the services essential to your business.

Asked Questions (FAQs)

Establishing a branch office in Dubai allows foreign businesses to legally operate in the UAE with 100% ownership, enjoying the same legal status as the parent company. This facilitates seamless business activities under the parent company's name, offering access to thriving markets and technology-driven opportunities in Dubai.

Branch offices in Dubai can acquire various licenses, including General Trading License for trading activities, Industrial License for industrial activities, Commercial License for selling goods and services, and other specialized licenses based on free zone authorities' specific areas of interest.

Establishing a branch office in Dubai offers advantages such as 100% foreign ownership, flexibility in choosing office locations, active trading in the UAE mainland, tax benefits in a zero corporate and income tax environment, legal tracking of transactions, and lower administrative costs compared to setting up a new company.

Options include Free Zone Company for global operations, Mainland Company adhering to UAE laws for domestic market focus, and Offshore Company for commercial entities registered abroad operating outside their primary countries. Choosing the right structure depends on factors like business services, target market, and long-term goals.

The process involves partnering with Smart Zones® UAE, engaging a Local Service Agent, submitting an application to the Ministry of Economy, obtaining consent, securing approvals from the Federal Foreign Companies Committee, applying for a trade license, registering with commercial authorities, and opening a corporate bank account with assistance from Smart Zones® UAE.

Necessary documents include completed application forms, certificate of reservation for the trade name, Memorandum and Articles of Association of the parent company, Certificate of Incorporation of the parent company, passport copies of the company's director, no-objection letter from the parent company, power of attorney, and board resolution authorizing the branch office opening.

The average initial investment for opening a branch office is around AED 100,000, inclusive of a refundable startup payment of AED 50,000. However, costs may vary, and it's advisable to contact Smart Zones® UAE for an updated estimate tailored to specific business requirements.

Get in Touch

Want to know more, talk to Smart Zones® Dubai advisory team they will be happy to help. Ready to invest in your future?

    error: Content is protected !!