+971 508014003 info@bsb.legal
Mon - Fri 09:00-17:00

Your Guide to Corporate Structuring!

When it comes to setting up and growing a business in the vibrant and business-friendly environment of Dubai, understanding corporate structuring is paramount. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or an established company looking to expand, this guide will unravel the intricacies of corporate structuring in the UAE.

man with wooden cubes

Why Corporate Structuring Matters

Setting up your business in the UAE requires a careful examination of corporate structures. The right structure not only ensures legal compliance but also influences taxation, ownership, and operational flexibility. Let’s dive into the types of corporate structures recognized by the UAE authorities.

1. Limited Liability Company (LLC)

An LLC offers shareholders limited liability, meaning their assets are protected. To establish one, you’ll need sponsorship from a UAE citizen or wholly-owned UAE corporate entity. While there’s no minimum capital requirement, having around AED 100,000 is advisable. LLCs must have a physical office space, maintain at least one Director/Manager, and a legal reserve of 10% of profits.

2. Branch Office

A branch office is an extension of the parent company, not a separate entity. It can be set up in both mainland and free zones across Dubai. This structure facilitates expansion while maintaining a connection to the parent company’s operations.

3. Joint Stock Company (JSC)

A JSC divides capital into negotiable shares, and there are two types: Private JSC and Public JSC. A minimum of 2 and a maximum of 15 member directors are required, with a majority being UAE nationals. Public JSCs have a minimum share capital of AED 10,000,000, while private JSCs require AED 2,000,000.

4. Free Zone Companies

Operating in designated Free Zones, these companies enjoy specific regulations related to customs, taxation, and ownership. Two kinds of companies can be established in Free Zones: Free Zone Companies and Free Zone Establishments.

rag dolls on red circle

5. Dual License Branch Office

This option allows a branch office of a Free Zone company to operate in Dubai’s mainland area without appointing a local sponsor. It’s a cost-effective solution for expanding your business.

6. Trade Representative Office

A Trade Representative Office is an extension of its parent company, suitable for limited functions like information collection and acting as a marketing or administrative center.

Mainland vs. Free Zone Company

Choosing between a mainland company and a Free Zone company is crucial. Mainland companies can operate across the UAE market but require a UAE national shareholder to own 51% of the company’s shares. In contrast, Free Zone companies allow 100% foreign ownership but have limitations on conducting business outside their specific Free Zone.

Corporate Restructuring

Corporate structuring doesn’t stop at the initial setup. Companies often engage in corporate restructuring to enhance performance. It can involve mergers, acquisitions, legal structure changes, or divestments. Organizational restructuring optimizes the business model, while financial restructuring focuses on capital and debt management.

Navigating the legal intricacies of corporate structuring in Dubai requires expertise. Consult lawyers in Dubai who specialize in corporate law. They provide valuable insights into regulations, and compliance, and can assist in drafting necessary documentation.

Whether you’re starting small or dreaming big, Dubai’s business landscape offers numerous opportunities, and the right corporate structure is your key to success.

For more help on corporate structuring and legal matters in Dubai, reach out to experienced lawyers in Dubai.