Setting Up Branch of a Local Company in Dubai – United Arab Emirates

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What is a Branch of a Local Company

A branch of a local company is defined as a separate office or branch of an existing company already licensed in the UAE but outside the Free Zones. This is an expansion of the local business into the free zone for the purpose of doing business within the free zone. The process of acquiring office space, warehouse space is almost identical acquiring an initial business location. The existing trade license must be amended to include the new business location. There are specific zoning rules so it is important that the business owner verifies the proposed business activities are authorized within the regulations. In most instances, a call to the Planning Department of the Department of Economic Development can establish legality. Once approved by the Free Zone Authority, the branch has the same authority for business activities as the parent company is permitted by the existing license. Because the Free Zones are basically self-regulating as far as businesses are concerned the Mainland UAE licenses and authorization do not apply automatically. The new local branch must be licensed by the Free Zone authority where it plans to locate.

Specific Requirements for setting up a branch of a local company

Most of the requirements for setting up a local branch of an existing company are similar to formation of other business types. There are some subtle differences a prospective branch owner/manager should be aware of. Since the original business is licensed and operating in the UAE outside any Free Zone, the basic ownership requirements have been met. Among these requirements is the 51% ownership by a UAE National. Having this requirement already satisfied makes the formation of a local branch more certain, but documentation of ownership may still be required.

Individual Shareholder

Following is a list of required documents for an individual shareholder:
• Proof of a Physical address for the business
• Certificate of Registration for the existing company
• A lease agreement for the physical address specifying the leased space meets minimum requirements
• Memorandum of Association or Article of Association for the original local business
• Initial approval of activities from the prospective Free Zone Authority
• Trade name registration documents
• Copies of the Manager’s Passport and C.V. (resume) as well as proof of a University Degree
• Since this is an individual shareholder the shareholder must provide a copy of his passport
• There are no capital requirements for a branch of a local company


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Corporate Shareholders

Following documents are required for Corporate Shareholders:
• The Main business’s company profile
• Proof of Address of the business
• A lease agreement specifying area meeting the minimum requirement and serving as proof of a physical address for the proposed branch
• A Chamber of Commerce certificate for the main business
• A Certificate of Registration or Trade License for the main business
• A board resolution from the main business board of directors expressing intent to establish a branch
• A notarized (by the UAE notary public) Article of Association for the existing main business -or
• A notarized (by the UAE notary public) Memorandum of Association
• Initial approval for activities from the Free Zone Authority where the branch will operate
• Trade name registration documents
• A completed Personal Information Sheet for each shareholder
• Copies of the Manager’s passport, C.V. (resume) and proof of a university degree
• There are no capital requirements for a branch of a local company

How Push Digits Will Help You

This list of required documents will look intimidating but Push Digits can help remove the intimidation factor and make the process as painless as possible. We will do the research to ensure your new location lies within a zone authorized for your business activities. We will make sure all the documents are ready for submission and all the local regulations are met. We have the skills and experience as well as the local connections to get your Local Branch up and running quickly and smoothly. After your business is operating we will be here to provide a myriad of additional services to make your business life easier.

After your business or branch is operating we offer continued services such as accounting and financial services; financial projections; internal audits; preparation for external audits and a host of other valuable business services. We push the digits for you, leaving you time for your business and more time for your personal life. Push Digits initially provided Bookkeeping and Accounting services to businesses. That is still our core business. We offer “lower priced, high quality” solutions that meet our clients’ specific needs without adding fees for unneeded services.


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