UAE Company Formation

In the United Arab Emirates, there are 3 different types of companies to choose from: free zone company, mainland company and offshore company - more information about each type can be found in our FAQ section .

Every company in the UAE is authorized to engage in business activities listed on its business license. A standard company, by default, is licensed to carry out three to five business activities, however, if the company would plan to expand and engage in more/different types of activities than their business is initially allowed to, they would have to extend the business license. Not all activities can be combined in one trade license: in some cases, a new company might be required. This is applicable to both mainland and free economic zone companies. This principle differs from the practice in European countries, where an entity can be engaged in any set of business activities, as long as they are not prohibited by the law.

Nomad Law is a registered partner with various free zones in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah, therefore, as soon as we know the intended activities and budget, we will propose the most cost-efficient and suitable legal vehicle for the particular business model.

Starting A Business In The United Arab Emirates

There are several things one should be aware of before incorporating a UAE company. Knowing the intended activities of the customer allows us to choose the right type of company based on additional requirements which might be applicable:

Permission from the authorities might be required before a company can be established. For example, if you would like to set up a UAE company which will provide loans to other companies (as its main activity), you will need to obtain the authorization from the Central Bank. Activities like crowdfunding, investment management and certain professional services require non-objection certificates or additional licensing from respective supervisory authorities.

Relevant for crypto-related businesses: not all free zones can include activities involving virtual currencies into the business licenses they issue. Moreover, it is essential to determine if the anticipated business model is not subject to additional licensing or regulations (for example: virtual currently exchanges, ICO marketing, etc.). More information on limitations for crypto-related businesses in the UAE can be found in our FAQ section .

The planned activities might require the submission of an economic substance report . This could be applicable to holdings, IP companies, etc.

The planned activities might be related to other liabilities, for example, being registered in the Go AML system.

Applicable for mainland companies: certain activities might require having a local agent.

Procedures after the incorporation include, but are not limited to financial reporting, audits and shareholders’ meetings – all of which can be taken care of by employing Nomad Law’s corporate governance solutions. Different requirements are applicable to mainland, offshore companies and even vary between companies in different free zones, for example, certain free zones do not require financial statements to be submitted, while some are stricter on this matter. It is important to have a full understanding of long-term vision and regulations which will apply in order to choose the most suitable type of company.

Based in the UAE and employing the latest knowledge about different requirements for mainland, free zone and offshore companies, as well as the knowledge of international requirements for different types of businesses, Nomad Law will incorporate the most suitable type of company, obtain all relevant licenses and create a corporate governance system by which your companies will be properly directed and controlled.

Do not hesitate to contact us, describe your business model and we will suggest a solution.

Get started

Contact us at [email protected], by calling +971 56 591 0692 (UAE), +370 686 24426 (Lithuania/Europe) or drop us a message via our contact page. We will review your case and come back to you with potential solutions.

We look forward to speaking to you!

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Get started

Contact us at [email protected], by calling +971 56 591 0692 (UAE), +370 686 24426 (Lithuania/Europe) or drop us a message via our contact page. We will review your case and come back to you with potential solutions.

We look forward to speaking to you!

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United Arab Emirates

Nomad Advisory FZCO
Dubai Silicon Oasis, DDP
Building A2
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
+971 56 591 0692
[email protected]


UAB Nomad Law
J. Basanaviciaus str. 26
Vilnius, Lithuania
+370 686 24426
[email protected]

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