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You may want to consider the United Arab Emirates - and especially Dubai - as a suitable place to register your business if you are seeking out the most promising locations in the world. 

It has a low bureaucracy level, a favorable location on the global stage, and, of course, low tax rates, which remain at zero for both individuals and entities.  

So, if you're looking to open a business in the UAE or get a residency visa for you and your family, the first step is to prepare proper documentation. It's best to understand what documents you'll need to provide at each phase of UAE business registration, as well as the costs involved.

What is the process for preparing business registration documents in the UAE?

We recommend that you retain the services of an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable about UAE legislation and will warn you of any possible pitfalls that may occur during the registration process. 

You can schedule a free consultation with our attorneys. Through our continued cooperation, you will not have to deal with paperwork or file applications to regulatory authorities on your own.

Our agency offers detailed legal consultations on business registration in UAE. Leave a request on our website and we will call you back within a day.

The United Arab Emirates offers a variety of options for company registration

The UAE offers foreign investors a wide range of choices and options in terms of registering a company, regardless of the type of business or geographic interest. It is possible to do business in one of the free economic zones in the UAE or on its mainland territory. You've got to weigh the pros and cons in terms of location, infrastructure, licenses, special requirements, registration procedures, and initial costs. You should also consider how many visas your employees and family will need to come to the UAE. It's important to remember offshore companies can't get residency visas.

Let's look at an approximate breakdown of documents required for company formation in the United Arab Emirates.

Documents required for registration of a local company in the UAE:

1) A color copy of the passport of each shareholder, director and local sponsor (passport - for an individual and a resolution declaring the intention to establish a local company in the UAE - for a legal entity);

2) High-resolution passport size photo;

3) Stamp of the last entry to the UAE (if any);

4) Proof of residence (utility bill, rental agreement, title deed);

Important: If the applicant is a legal entity of the UAE or another country, a legalized copy of the certificate of incorporation is required. 

Documents required to register a company in one of the UAE free economic zones:

If the founder is an individual:

1) Color copy of passports of all shareholders, directors/directors;

2) High-resolution passport size photo;

3) Stamp of the last entry to the UAE (if any);

4) Proof of residence (utility bill, rental agreement, title deed);

If the founder is a legal entity, they must also provide:

5) Articles of Association and Memorandum of Association of the company applying for registration;

6) The decision of the Board of Directors to register the company in the UAE (for legal entities);

It is important to take into account the fact that each of the UAE free economic zones is governed by its own rules, so the list of requested documents may vary.

Documents required for registration of a branch of a foreign company in the UAE:

1) Color copies of passports of the manager of the future branch and the directors of the parent company;

2) High-resolution passport size photo;

3) Stamp of the last entry into the UAE (if any);

4) Proof of residence (utility bill, lease agreement, title deed);

5) Documents for the lease of premises - the branch must have a physical address in the UAE;

The documents below must be legalized:

6) The parent company's memorandum of association;

7) Charter of the parent company;

8) Document confirming the decision of the board of directors of the parent company to open a branch in the UAE;

9) Certificate of registration of the parent company and its license;

The documents required for registration of an offshore company in the UAE: 

1) Color copy of the passport of the applicant/applicants, director;

2) High-resolution passport size photo;

3) Stamp of the last entry into the UAE (if any);

4) Proof of residence (utility bill, rental agreement, title deed);

5) Letter of recommendation from a bank (to confirm solvency);

6) Certificate of registration (for a legal entity);

7) Certificate of Good Standing of the company founder;

8) Memorandum and Articles of Association of the parent company;

9) A copy of the parent company's management decision to register an offshore company in the UAE and the appointment of a director.

Important! If you are planning to open an offshore company, you will need a reliable partner in the UAE, who will be a liaison between your company and the local authorities.

Obtaining a UAE Tax Residency Certificate

To obtain a tax residency certificate, individuals need to provide the following documents:

1) Color copy of passport, residency visa and ID card;

2) A certificate from the UAE Migration Service indicating the number of days spent in the country;

3) Rental agreement;

4) Income certificate and bank statement for the last 6 months.

5) A report from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs specifying the number of days the resident has stayed in the UAE

6)  Tax forms (if any) from the country in which the certificate is to be submitted.

The following documents must be submitted in order to obtain a tax residency certificate for companies:

1) A copy of the trade license;

2) Establishment contract certified by official authorities (if it is not a Sole Company);

3) A copy of passports, residence permits and ID cards of the owners/partners/directors of the company;

4) Certified copy of the audited financial report;

5) Bank statement for the last 6 months;

6) Certified copy of the rental contract;

7) The organizational structure of the company;

8) Tax forms of the country where the certificate will be applied for (if any).

Important! Companies planning to obtain tax resident status in the UAE must exist for more than a year.

Obtaining a UAE resident visa

A residency visa in the UAE can be obtained in several ways. Establishing your own business is an excellent basis for obtaining a resident visa, for you and your family members, as well as employees of your company.

Documents required to apply for a UAE work visa:

1) Company documents: commercial license and immigration file.

From the applicant will be required:

1) Passport;

2) A passport-sized photo on a white background;

3) An Entry Permit Visa with Entry Stamp;

4) Certificate of medical examination (blood test + X-ray);

5) Application for an Emirates ID stamped by the Federal Authority For Identity and Citizenship.

Additional requirements for work visas include:

1) Employment Agreement;

2) A copy of an educational certificate (usually not required for managerial positions, as well as for sales and marketing professionals);

Important! The copy of the diploma should be notarized, with a notarized translation into English or Arabic, then legalized at the relevant ministry and then at the UAE Consulate.

If you buy a property in Dubai for 750,000 AED ($ 204, 195) or more you can get an investor visa for 3 years, and if you own property from 2 million AED ($ 544,514) - for 5 years.

Documents required for investor visa application:

1) Original certificate of title deed;

2) Original passport;

3) Personal account statement for the last 6 months in English;

4) High-resolution passport size photo;

5) Good Conduct Certificate from the Dubai Police for a 3-year visa;

6) Basic medical insurance.

In case the property is on a mortgage, you need to provide:

1. From the bank: NOC letter in Arabic, along with a mortgage application, which is required for a visa;

2. From the construction company: statement of payment + deed of transfer/certificate of completion;

3. ID card for nationals of Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan;

4. Marriage certificate certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dubai and translated into Arabic/English (if the share is in the spouse's name);

5. Power of Attorney, if the application will be made on behalf of the investor.

A resident visa can be issued to a student studying at a university in the UAE. A student visa is for those over 18 years of age and is issued for 1 year. 

Documents required to obtain a student residency visa in UAE:

1) An official letter of admission from the university;

2) Medical examination certificate;

3) A letter of sponsorship (the sponsor can be the university or a relative residing in the country);

4) Permission from the Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).

Residents of the UAE who hold a work permit or investor visa can sponsor their family members for a residency permit

Documents required for sponsorship visa:

1) Color copy of applicant's passport;

2) High-resolution passport size photo;

3) Legalized marriage certificate (when applying for a resident visa for one of the spouses);

4) Legalized birth certificate (when applying for a resident visa for children);

5) Color copy of sponsor's passport and Emirates ID;

6) Employment agreement or salary certificate;

7) Rental agreement or ownership documents (must be certified);

8) Bank statement for the last 3 months;

9) NOC from husband if a wife is sponsoring a resident visa for children;

10) A written letter certifying that your over-18-year-old daughter is not married.

Documents that require translation into English or Arabic and legalization by a consulate in the UAE

Due to the fact that the United Arab Emirates has not ratified the Hague Apostille Convention, the following documents must be legalized: 

1) Birth Certificate;

2) Diploma of specialized secondary and higher education;

3) Certificate of marriage, divorce, name change and some other documents;

4) Any documents for companies registered outside the UAE.

Documents required to open a personal/corporate account

For a successful account opening, it is necessary to properly prepare a package of documentation proving the origin of funds.

Required documents for opening a personal bank account:

1) A color copy of the passport;

2) Color copy of visa and Emirates ID card;

3) Employment agreement or salary certificate;

It's important to get a local SIM card when you arrive in the UAE, so your number will be registered with the bank.

Required documents for opening a corporate account:

1) Color copy of passport;

2) Color copy of UAE resident visa and Emirates ID;

3) Proof of residency (utility bill, phone bill, etc. no older than three months / rental agreement, etc.), with translation into English

4) Personal account statement for the last 6 months in English. If the signatory owns another company, providing a corporate bank statement for that company will greatly increase the chances of opening an account;

5) A brief business plan of the company, containing the business model, a description of the planned activities, indicating the main expected/current counterparties (clients/suppliers), if possible, from the UAE;

6) Detailed CV in English with a description of previous activities, indicating the companies in ownership (if any).


Cooperation with our consulting company significantly reduces the time of document processing for the UAE and simplifies the process of business registration. We undertake all possible preparation and submission of documents; all you need to do is to provide us with correct data and send us the requested documents. We serve as an intermediary between the client's documents and the authorities of the chosen jurisdiction, and perform all the necessary steps for business registration.

Our company guarantees complete legal security and legality of all services, a transparent payment structure, and online real-time tracking of your order status. Get in touch today!