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How to Setup a Services Company in UAE Mainland – Things to Know

There is 100% Expatriate Ownership made available in Mainland Companies as per the Commercial Companies Law amendments. So, there is no requirement for a UAE National holding 51% shares to register a mainland company. Also,  for the Services Company License in UAE there is no requirement for a Local Service Agent.

UAE is a major business hub where the new company formation is seeing linear growth over the years. Despite the downturn from the pandemic and other global factors, UAE remains a top choice for a new company set up by many investors globally.

The services sector makes up a significant presence in the mainland of UAE. There is a strong demand for a services company in UAE. Accordingly, UAE has a growing business opportunity and availability of a wide target audience for the companies to test their service solutions.

Setup a Services Company in UAE Mainland

To set up a services company in UAE the investor must follow certain steps. Setting up a services company requires a UAE Citizen or a UAE Corporate as the Local Service Agent. Presently, the foreign investor will have 100% ownership of the company.

The Local Service Agent will act as liaising agent for all administrative related tasks with the Department of Economic Development (DED) for the company registration, visa processing, and any related activities.

Service Company in UAE

They will be having no power in the operations or share capital of the company. However, the investor must pay the Local Service Agent fee annually during the renewal of the Professional Business License.

There will be a side agreement with the Local Service Agent on the payment terms and other conditions. The Service License is for the individual or a group of shareholders under a company name to legally conduct the desired business activity.

The Department of Economic Development (DED) of the respective emirates is the issuing authority for service licenses for a company in the mainland of UAE.

Wide Range of Business Activities

Service Companies in UAE can be registered by foreign investors for a wide range of business activities that fall under the service sector. Professional Business License is one of the most sought-after business license categories in the services sector.

Under the business license, investors can open consultancies and companies across a wide range of business activities ranging from engineering to information technology to architecture, and more.

The mainland services company will have a virtual license valid for 1 year that must be renewed yearly. The investor can take an office space by preparing a lease agreement with any commercial space owners or business centers in the mainland of UAE to start operations from the office.

Service License in UAE

For applying UAE residence visa for the investor and sponsor employees the company must apply for the establishment card. Then proceed with applying for the residence visa and bank account.

Documents Required

  • Investor passport copy and photograph (white background, dark color shirt/dress)
  • Company incorporation form for the professional license from the DED of the respective emirate
  • Educational Certificate and previous work experience documents for review. (AURION will assist you with the document attestation from the Embassy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • Shareholder Agreement if there is more than one partner (AURION will assist you in preparing it)

What are the deliverables after setting up the services company in the mainland of UAE?

Following are the deliverable documents from the Department of Economic Development upon registering the services companies.

  • Professional License from DED for legally operating the services company
  • Lease contract for the office space as per requirements
  • Memorandum of Association and Article of Association for the company from DED
  • Returning of Educational documents, license fee receipts, and other submitted documents for review
  • Any other special clearances or documents required (if any)

Types of Local Agents in UAE for opening a Services Company

There are two major types of Local Agents in UAE for opening a services company, that are:

1. UAE Citizen as Local Service Agent

To set up a service company on the mainland there has to be a UAE National as the Local Service Agent. They will assist in the administrative process, visa application, and getting government clearance for the company.

They will have zero ownership in the company and will have provided only for the administrative tasks. There is a yearly fee payable to the Local Service Agent to continue the service and renew the company yearly.

In the case of a UAE National as a local service agent, there is always a provision to change the local service agent in case of any dispute or unexpected situations.

2. UAE National Owned Company as Local Service Agent

Having a UAE National owned company as a Local Service Agent is the other option for investors owning a company under the professional license.

It adds up to the security and trust of having a corporate as the local service agent. Also, there would be zero involvement in the companies working and operations by the Corporate Company.

Personal disinterest or related circumstances will be avoided by getting a Corporate Local Service Agent for the investor.

Setup Services Companies in UAE

Hence, in a nutshell for setting up a service company in UAE, the investor has to get a local service agent for processing the services business license from the DED.

There is a host of business benefits for the investor from setting up a services company in the mainland of UAE. From getting government contracts to working with other mainland companies and expanding into the local UAE market, it is a perfect option for services companies.

To know more about the Services Company Setup in UAE Mainland, connect with our expert team right away!

Contact Us: Aurion Business Consultants

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