ABU DHABI

Abu Dhabi is the largest city of UAE, and the largest emirate. It holds with pride, the position as a capital with a population of 1.5 million as per 2014 reports. It is ruled by the Al Nahyan family and covers a vast desert area of 67,340 kilometers. Earlier, the emirate relied on revenues from fishing and pearling and those in the hinterland relied on camel herding and date plantations. Abu Dhabi became highly modernised and influential state after His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan came into power.

 

Some of the country’s power houses like federal government offices and the Emiri family live here. With its fast paced growth of urbanization and development, and its population’s higher income, it has become an advanced metro. It contributes greatly to the economy and holds on to its high standard of living, it was noted to be the 68th most expensive place to be at, in the world.

Abu Dhabi Mainland Incorporation

Setting up a company in Abu Dhabi Mainland:

 

  • Step 1:  Identify the business activity
  • Step 2:  Determine the Legal form
  • Step 3: Trade name registration
  • Step 4: Application to get initial approval
  • Step 5: Authority approvals
  • Step 6: Obtain License

 

 

Identifying the Business Activity:

 

It is essential to identify the business activity in order to begin the procedures of obtaining a license. Each business comprises different requirements in terms of location and other favorable conditions. Each of these requirements are met with different fee structures based on the activities, specifications and mainland guidelines.  Abu Dhabi has adopted the International Standard Industrial Classification of all business activities to standardize and monitor economic operations.

 

Determining the Legal Form:

 

Different business operations in Abu Dhabi might have requirements for different legal forms, where laws and conditions would vary according to the nature of the business.

 

Trade Name registration:

 

A suitable and distinct Trade Name must be chosen to suit the nature of the business and distinguish it from other operations.

 

Initial Approval:

 

This is a certificate giving a green go to the investor to start the procedures for obtaining a business license and get relevant authority approvals to operate in the country.

 

To begin the initial approval process, the following documents are required:

 

  • Approval of trade name.
  • Approval of the Department of Naturalization and Residence for foreign investors.
  • Valid passport copies
  • Valid Emirates ID copies
  • Payment of fees
  • Initial approval certificate.

 

Authority Approvals:

 

After you are issued the initial approval certificate, you will be required to approach relevant authorities for approvals based on the nature of your business activities. Government and other private entities also allow you to follow up on your application online. Some of these entities are:

 

  • Supreme Petroleum Council
  • Abu Dhabi Environment Health and Safety Center
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Waste Management Center
  • Abu Dhabi Municipality – Public Health Division – Abu Dhabi
  • Department of Transport
  • Abu Dhabi Municipality – Public Health Division - Al Ain
  • General Authority of Youth & Sports Welfare
  • Abu Dhabi Municipality – Public Health Division – Western Region
  • Abu Dhabi Chamber
  • Abu Dhabi Sewerage Service Company
  • General Directorate of Civil Defense
  • Abu Dhabi Center for Technical and Vocational Education and Training

 

 

Obtaining Commercial License:

 

Obtaining a commercial license depends on the legal form of facility for your current business. Below is a list of legal forms:

 

  1. Establishment

    • Owned by one person only
    • Can be licensed to practice commercial, agricultural, occupational and professional business activities
    • If not a UAE citizen, must be represented by a local service agent

      The activities must have one of the legal forms:

      a) Limited liability Company (L.L.C.)
      b) General Partnership.
      c) Commandite Company.
      d) Private Joint -Stock Company.
      e) Public Joint Stock Company.

  2. Company

    • Practices same activities of main facility
    • Require license from Department of Economic Development

      The activities must have one of the legal forms:

      a) Branch of a local sole proprietorship establishment (from Abu Dhabi)
      b) Branch of a sole proprietorship establishment (from another Emirate)
      c) Branch of a local company (from Abu Dhabi)
      d) Branch of a local company (from another Emirate).
      e) Branch of a foreign company.
      f) Branch of a GCC company.
      g) Branch of a GCC company (with a foreign investor).
      h) Branch of a local company (free zone).
      i) Branch of a foreign company (free zone).

  3. Branch

    • Practices same activities of main facility
    • Require license from Department of Economic Development

      The activities must have one of the legal forms:

      a) Branch of a local sole proprietorship establishment (from Abu Dhabi)
      b) Branch of a sole proprietorship establishment (from another Emirate)
      c) Branch of a local company (from Abu Dhabi)
      d) Branch of a local company (from another Emirate).
      e) Branch of a foreign company.
      f) Branch of a GCC company.
      g) Branch of a GCC company (with a foreign investor).
      h) Branch of a local company (free zone).
      i) Branch of a foreign company (free zone).

  4. Cooperative society

    • Independent group of persons cooperating sharing common goal
    • Collective ownership of project