If you are looking forward to register a company in Abu Dhabi, you need to have a trade license regardless of the type of industry you are planning to operate. You should also get permissions from various authorities and government ministries.
The requirement to get approvals may vary based on the business category. For instance, financial services, food trading, health services and printing & publishing need more clearances when compared to the usual trading businesses.
There are three basic categories of licenses issued in Abu Dhabi. These are as follows
- Commercial License for the companies involved in any kind of trading activity.
- Industrial License for companies which engage in industrial activities like manufacturing.
- Professional License is for professionals, service providers, craftsmen and artisans.
1. Requirements for Business Licensing
- Manufacturing companies must get the license from the Ministry of Finance and Industry.
- Insurance companies and similar industries must get the approval of the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, UAE for the issuance of license.
- Licenses for banks and other financial organizations will be issued only after getting an approval from the UAE Central Bank.
- Medical and pharmaceutical companies must be approved by the UAE Health Ministry to be licensed.
- Oil and gas production companies get the approval from the government agencies based on the requirements.
- Generally, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI) manage the process related to company registration Abu Dhabi.
2. Requirements for Business Ownership
The UAE national should have a minimum of 51% shareholdings for company registration Abu Dhabi. In some cases it even requires higher ownership value. However, it is subject to change on certain permitted exceptions. The exception should be any one of the following conditions:
- The company is setup at any of the free zones in Abu Dhabi.
- 100% of local ownership if there are any legal requirements.
- In case of a foreign entity registers a representative or establish a branch office in UAE.
- When a company fully owned by Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) enters into partnership with any company fully owned by UAE nationals.
- 100% ownership for GCC nationals or entities is allowed in certain activities.
- Total foreign ownership is allowed for artisans and professionals. In instances where a professional license is applied for occupations like architect, artist and doctor etc., the foreign ownership can be 100%. But even in these cases they would require a local national as their service agent.
3. Company Registration Procedure in Abu Dhabi
If you want to execute company registration Abu Dhabi, you need to go through the following process:
- Decide who will be your local partner (Sponsor)
- Get a trade name and activity approval from Department of Economic Development (DED)
- Search an appropriate business location and make a tenancy contract.
- Make a Memorandum of Association (MOA) with your partner and submit it to DED
- Submit the MOA and the license application at DED along with the necessary legal documents and also tenancy agreement. There is a need to pay some charges and fees while submitting the application. The license will be issued in a week’s time after the license application is submitted along with the required documents.
- Once you have obtained the trade license, register for membership at the ADCCI. You have to submit all the legal documents in Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and it will take just one day to get the membership certificate.
HLB Hamt could prove to be a great help in this regard. As you have noted that there are a lot of procedures to be followed before you successfully set your business in the UAE. We have a highly qualified team of professionals who are adept in the procedures of registering any business. Our team will work with you from the starting of the process till you get a firm hold on the ground with your existence in the UAE. With our expertise you can be rest assured that the registration procedure for your company will be smooth and hassle free.