Foreign Branch Incorporation in the UAE

28Feb, 24

Foreign Branch Incorporation in the UAE

The UAE as a popular business destination has traditionally wowed visitors from all over the world. A growth rate of 231 times has been reported since the country's independence in 1971. The establishment of branch/representative offices of a large number of entities has resulted from the upgrading of economic policies and regulations. This office serves as an extension of the parent company's operations in other countries in the UAE. While the branch office can advertise, promote, and carry out all of the activities covered by the primary license, UAE regulations require it to have its own license. The difference between a branch and a representative office is that the former can produce profits, but the latter can only carry out the parent company's marketing efforts and hence cannot execute business operations and make revenues. In this blog you will get a detailed information on Foreign Branch Incorporation.

How to open a Branch of a Foreign Company in Dubai, UAE?

Step-by-Step Guide

If you want to start a business in Dubai or the rest of the UAE, you have a few alternatives. The most typical option is to apply for a DED license and open a mainland business. This option allows you to open a business anywhere in the UAE and trade freely.

The free zone business is another popular alternative. To trade directly with the UAE market, you'll need a local agent, but you'll have a 100 percent customs tax exemption, no currency limits, and the ability to repatriate your cash and earnings. Another alternative is to open a foreign branch office if you currently have a firm overseas and want to expand into Dubai.

The branch office serves as an extension of your current business. While branches are free to trade in the UAE, they are limited to carrying out the same operations as the parent firm.

They are a popular choice among international entrepreneurs since they can be 100% foreign-owned, profit from the UAE's 0% tax rate, and allow you to get your foot in the door without having to start from scratch.

Difference between a Branch and a Representative Office

Representative offices and branch offices are sometimes mistaken. While there are some parallels, there are also some significant distinctions. Most significantly, branch offices in the UAE are allowed to operate and profit, but representative offices must outsource all work to their parent.

While a foreign branch is not a different legal entity from the parent firm, it must nevertheless apply for a trading license in the UAE.

What Steps do I need to take in order to start a Foreign Branch in Dubai?

The entire overseas branch set-up process consists of only five basic steps, as considerations like picking a company name and selecting business activities are not required.

Appoint a National Service Agent.

Choosing a National Service Agent is the first step (NSA). Operating a foreign-owned branch in the UAE necessitates this. The agency then takes care of the trade name registration and application for you.

It's critical to emphasize that you always retain complete ownership of the branch. The NSA owns no stock in the company and has no influence on management or decision-making.

Submit an Application for your License.

This will be handled by your service representative. It entails the Ministry of Economy (MoE) giving clearance letters and the Dubai Department of Economic Development issuing a trading license (DED).

The nature of your firm, head office address, share capital arrangements, and the name of the general manager designated to oversee the branch office should all be included in your application.

Office space once your license has been approved, you'll need to find a place to work in the UAE. The lease should subsequently be presented to the Ministry of the Environment.

Apply for a Visa

To work in the UAE, you'll need a resident visa in addition to your corporate services license. Biometric scanning, a blood test, a medical test, and a chest x-ray are all part of the visa application process.

You can also sponsor others for their visas if you have a corporate services license. A spouse, parent, or kid, as well as a domestic worker such as a housekeeper, could fall into this category.

Business Bank Account

Finally, in order to trade in the UAE, you'll need a business bank account. Unfortunately, it is not always easy for non-GCC nationals to obtain banking services, therefore partnering with a local specialist is a smart choice at this point.

Dhanguard can assist you with all of the aforementioned stages by acting as your agent and handling your license, visa, and bank account applications.

Setting up a Branch Office in Dubai is Expensive.

The entire cost of establishing a foreign branch in the UAE will be determined by where you set up shop and the nature of your business. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should budget between AED 30,000 and AED 50,000.

Contact the Dhanguard team for a detailed and personalized quote.

Read more :-How Can You Get a Company Easily Registered at Low Cost in UAE?

Establish Foreign Branch

Hopefully, this article has demonstrated that, with the correct expertise, establishing a foreign branch in Dubai does not have to be difficult.

However, it does necessitate some prior knowledge of the procedure. Furthermore, it's worth noting that the application process is only simple if your license application is full and error-free at the time of submission.

When forming a new business in the UAE, it's a good idea to deal with a company formation specialist like Dhanguard to guarantee that this is the case.


We are a group of company registration experts who are dedicated to realizing the ambitions of aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Dhanguard can help you open corporate bank accounts and advise you on the best financial institution for your unique needs in addition to processing your license application.

We also provide visa and immigration services, and can take care of all government formalities, approvals, work permits, and visa applications needed to do business in the UAE.

In brief, our professionals can form your company on your behalf, file your license and visa applications, and handle all of the necessary paperwork, leaving you free to focus on running your business. Connect with Dhanguard if you need any assistance.