10 steps to incorporating a company in Abu Dhabi in 2024

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  • Pre-incorporation

    1. Prior to Abu Dhabi company incorporation, our Client i) settles Healy Consultants’ fees, ii) signs and returns our Client engagement letter and iii) provide us all the required due diligence documents. Healy Consultants drafts a detailed Abu Dhabi business setup engagement project plan, mapping out by week each step to engagement completion, optimising transparency, and setting Client expectations;
    2. Healy Consultants provides our Client detailed due diligence information about the 51% local shareholder. A detailed legal shareholders or agency agreement contract is signed between our Client and the UAE national, clearly defining roles and responsibilities;
  • Incorporation procedure

    1. Depending on the business activity, the exact legal corporate structure and license requirement is agreed and our Client supplies Healy Consultants at least 3 company trade name options to complete the Trade Name Application Form and submit this to the Department of Economic Development (DED) together with the details of the expected business plan for initial approval. Our Clients can check the availability of their preferred company trade names on this DED website and view guidelines to select the appropriate company name here;
    2. After securing the company name registration certificate and initial approval, Healy Consultants i) prepares company deeds of establishment and articles of association notarized by a notary public in the Abu Dhabi Courts. Our Client also supplies Healy Consultants with a lease agreement for their office premises which will require to be certified by the Municipality of Abu Dhabi. If this is not possible, Healy Consultants will supply virtual office lease agreement for 6 months until our Client finds their preferred business address;
    3. Healy Consultants assists our Client open a temporary UAE corporate bank account with their pr. Our Client deposits the paid up share capital of US$41,000 and supplies Healy Consultants with a certificate of deposit and bank statement;
    4. Healy Consultants then submits the license application form to the Abu Dhabi DED together with i) the M&AA ii) name approval certificate iii) the lease agreement iv) a certificate of paid up share capital. All foreign documents must be translated into Arabic by a Legal Translator, attested by the Ministry of Justice. Within three weeks, business license approval is received;
    5. Subsequently, Healy Consultants assists our Client register the company with the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce pays the Chamber of Commerce registration fee and notarises all company documents;
  • Post incorporation

    1. Healy Consultants will assist our Client convert the temporary bank account into a permanent multi-currency corporate account and secure internet banking;
    2. If required, Healy Consultants will obtain UAE work visas from the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the Department of Naturalization and Residence (DNRD) for our Client and their foreign employees to be stationed in Abu Dhabi;
    3. After Abu Dhabi company incorporation, Healy Consultants couriers a full company kit to our Client, including original corporate documents, unopened bank correspondence, and a Client feedback survey.
  • Optional steps

    1. Prior to investment process, Healy Consultants provides project development assistance, including preparing feasibility studies, conducting market surveys, preparing strategic business plans, and offering corporate governance support services;
    2. Prior to investment process, Healy Consultants arranges tailored orientation programmes, including arranging meetings with banks to facilitate Abu Dhabi investment, as well as viewings of office and residential properties in Abu Dhabi. Furthermore, some Clients request our assistance with setting up meetings with government authorities and ministries;
    3. Healy Consultants introduces Clients to corporate finance houses and individuals. Furthermore, Healy Consultants assists international entrepreneurs to raise finance by helping them list on global stock exchanges;
    4. Entrepreneurs relocating to the UAE to oversee their investments request Healy Consultants’ assistance, including:
      • Obtaining employment and residence visas for the investor, his family, and expatriate staff;
      • Providing assistance to buy residential property in the UAE;
      • Assistance with locating schools.
  • How to register a foreign branch or a representative office in Abu Dhabi

    1. To register a branch of a foreign company in the UAE, the incorporation documents of the mother company must be legalized in i) the UAE embassy in the country of its incorporation and then ii) by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the UAE;
    2. Parent company documents to be translated into Arabic include i) two years audited financial statements ii) a board of directors’ resolution authorizing opening of the branch iii) a power of attorney issued in favor of the general manager of the branch iii) parent company’s Memorandum of Association and certificate of incorporation;
    3. The branch or the representative office must i) sign an agency agreement with a UAE national and ii) sign a premises lease agreement;
    4. In order to incorporate, Healy Consultants submits a complete license application to the Ministry of Economy and Commerce comprising i) an agency agreement ii) name reservation certificate issued by the DED iii) lease agreement iv) copy of the passport of the office general manager v) a bank guarantee of US$13,700 in favour of the Ministry of Economy;
    5. The Ministry will forward the application to the Federal Foreign Companies Committee to obtain approval of the specific business activity of the branch or representative office. Thereafter, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce will issue the required ministerial license specifying the business activity to be practised by the foreign company;
    6. The branch or representative office will be i) entered in the Economic Department’s Commercial Register ii) entered in the Foreign Companies Register of the Ministry of Economy and Commerce and iii) registered with the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry;

    The national agent will not be liable for any of the obligations or liabilities of the foreign company’s branch operations. The role of the national agent is usually administrative only, e.g., obtaining and renewing business licences and visas.

Frequently asked questions

Contact us

For additional information on our incorporation services in Abu Dhabi, please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
client relationship officer - Chrissi
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