Foreign investors can conduct business through a Limited Liability Company (LLC). LLCs are generally incorporated to carry on trading and other commercial activities, although may now be incorporated for some professional activities.
An LLC can be incorporated with a minimum of two and maximum of fifty shareholders, in many cases, not less than 51% percent of the company shares must be held by a UAE national.
An LLC must take a lease of suitable office premises from which to operate and be managed by a General Manager who must be or become a resident of the UAE. There is no minimum share capital for an LLC, but the capital must be adequate for the activities to be carried on e.g. some insurance-related activities command a higher share capital.
Given its limited liability status, an LLC is one of the most preferred corporate structures adopted by foreign investors and entrepreneurs wishing to establish a solid foothold in the region.
Some LLCs can now be 100% foreign-owned depending upon the activities to be carried on. In this instance, the General Manager must be a resident of the UAE prior to incorporation and will be responsible for maintaining the LLC’s labour and immigration accounts (which enable it to hire and provide visas for its people).
CBD can carry out licensing feasibility to determine the most up-to-date ownership requirements.