How To Obtain Full Ownership of a Company in Dubai

  • Publish date: Friday، 04 June 2021
How To Obtain Full Ownership of a Company in Dubai
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Dubai Economy has issued guidelines clarifying the procedures for full ownership for foreign investors that started from the beginning of June, in accordance with the Federal Decree-Law No. (26) of 2020 that amended some provisions of Federal Law No. (2) of 2015 regarding ownership of commercial companies.

Dubai Economy has started implementing the new decision on foreign ownership effective 1st June, 2021. Investors seeking full ownership can complete the procedures as required through the service channels of Dubai Economy or the ‘Invest in Dubai’ digital platform.

A total of 59 investors in Dubai have already taken advantage of the new decision.

The commercial activities in which full ownership was sought include:

  • General trade
  • Contracting
  • Jewellery 
  • Gold
  • Pearls
  • Luxury watches 
  • Goods
  • Cars and trucks trading.

In the industrial category, full ownership was sought in the:

  • Metals and construction,
  • Flooring,
  • Building materials,
  • Foods,
  • Water production and
  • Paints sectors.

A kindergarten, an elementary and middle school, and a hotel also sought 100 percent ownership.

As per the guidelines published by Dubai Economy on its website, 100 percent foreign ownership is available for more than 1,000 commercial and industrial activities, excluding economic activities with a strategic impact, which are in seven sectors only.

The full list of activities open for 100 percent foreign ownership can be viewed on:
https://ded.ae/DED_Files/ded_other/Full_Foreign_Ownership_Activities.pdf.

The status of existing business licenses, where full ownership of the activities is available, and that include an Emirati partner, remains unchanged as per the Memorandum of Association (MOA) and the partners’ decision. Dubai Economy clarified that a reduction of the percentage share of the Emirati partner from 51 percent or his /her withdrawal from the partnership is possible according to the legal procedures followed.

Full ownership does not bring any change to current procedures or requirements for licensing, except that it’s no longer mandatory to have an Emirati partner or specify a fixed quota ratio for him/her. The guidelines also state that no additional fees, guarantees or capital required for full foreign ownership.

Dubai Economy also explained that though it’s not possible to convert the legal form of a company from LLC (Limited Liability Company) to a Sole Proprietorship under a foreign name as per the existing law, the license can be transferred to a one-person company with limited liability. Full ownership does not apply to commercial agencies, as they are regulated by the Commercial Agencies Law. Branches of foreign companies do not require an Emirati agent.

To obtain a licence or amend the Memorandum of Association, investors can log in to ‘Invest in Dubai,’ the unified digital platform which offers the most competitive means to launching a business in Dubai. The platform provides a unique experience, enabling customers to complete licensing procedures fast and smooth and launch their business within a few minutes and without having to visit any service centre.

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