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A holding company is a separate entity where assets are held. This can offer directors some liability protection. These types of companies do not typically engage in any business activities.

Holding companies can be formed onshore or in Dubai free zones. Each option has different requirements. There are many benefits of opening a holding company in the UAE.

Business protection

Due to your holding company having limited liability protection and being a separate legal entity, you gain more protection. Limited liability means that a director is separate from the company.

Business support

In the UAE, you can benefit from government support. There are a range of incentives for investors, such as low tax rates and business opportunities and protection.

You can choose from many business structures in the UAE. We can offer advice if you’re unsure which one is right for you.

Tax rates

The tax you can be charged through a holding company depends on where it’s set up. For example, companies on the UAE mainland are charged a small percentage of corporation tax. Companies established in a Dubai freezone will benefit from 0% corporate tax.

You will also benefit from the following.

  • Access to UAE banking
  • Great location
  • Strong business structures
  • Flexibility and freedom

Requirements for opening a holding company in UAE

We can assist you with setting up a holding company in the UAE. We aim to make the process as simple as possible so that you can continue working on your business.

  • Holding companies must have a management board to create policies for subsidiaries and supervise activities.
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Notary and private notary assistance dubai uae

Types of holding companies in UAE

You can choose an onshore or free zone company when creating a holding company. There are various requirements depending on the business type you select.

Although the UAE mainland offers 100% ownership, some foreign investors starting onshore holding companies require a local sponsor to own at least 51% of the company. We can act as a local sponsor for your company, representing you when required. As a local sponsor, we are not involved in any financial transactions or business decisions.

In contrast, foreign investors setting up a holding company in a free zone can benefit from 100% foreign ownership. There are a range of free zones to choose from in the UAE.


The requirements for company formation in Dubai vary based on the business structure that you choose to use. There are many business structures to consider, each with its own benefits.

  • Free Zone set up
  • Financial Zone set up
  • ADGM – Abu Dhabi Global Market
  • DIFC – Dubai International Financial Centre
  • LLC – Limited Liability Company
  • Branch Office
  • Representative Office
  • Professional Services/Civil Company

Generally, you will be required to provide evidence of identification, company information (structure, location and trade license), company bank account details and more. If you’re not sure about the specific requirements for your company structure, get in touch with our experts, we’re more than happy to assist you.

Although the UAE provides 100% foreign ownership for most activities, a few still require the need for a corporate nominee or local sponsor in the UAE. Our local sponsorship services allow business owners to set up a company with a local service agent. These sponsorship agents have no civil liability or legal interest in the company and are simply there as a representative of the company. The business owner maintains 100% control.

  • GCC Market Entry
  • Company formation
  • Nominee Services
  • Corporate Structuring
  • Visa Services
  • PRO Services Dubai

Yes – we can support you through the whole process of company formation in Dubai. Our Dubai visa services cover various visa types such as residency visas, visit visas, golden, mission, employment and more.

The cost starts from as little as AED 1,500 and varies based on the type of visa. Get in touch with us for a bespoke quote for your requirements.

Yes, a holding company in the UAE has many benefits, such as business protection, support and low tax rates.

The process of registering a holding company will vary depending on the location and business type you choose. Once we’ve discussed your options, we’ll let you know about the process in more detail.

  • Select and check the business name
  • Gather and submit articles of association
  • Obtain the necessary licences for your business
  • Meet with members to create bylaws
  • Select a board of directors who will manage the business and its stock

Every business is different, so the costs to establish one varies. Once we’ve established your business requirements, we’ll chat with you about the costs involved. There are many benefits to having a holding company in the UAE.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduced a new bankruptcy and insolvency law called the “UAE Federal Decree-Law No. 9 of 2016 on Bankruptcy” (referred to as the UAE Bankruptcy Law). This law introduced a formal legal framework for bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings in the UAE. It aimed to provide a more structured process for distressed companies to reorganize, restructure, or liquidate their operations while protecting the rights of creditors and stakeholders.

How we can help

There are many things to consider regarding company formation in the UAE. Our corporate specialists can support you with:

  • Visa services in the UAE
  • PRO Services Dubai, Abu Dhabi and across the UAE
  • Payroll in the UAE
  • Support with holding companies in the UAE

Our outstanding reputation allows us to work closely with financial institutions and government officials within the UAE. We can support you through the process of obtaining the correct licenses, business incorporation and restructuring. Get in touch with us today for an efficient experience of all company formation services.

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