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All You Need to Know about Establishing Representative Offices in the UAE

by Business-Setup.ae


Posted on 28-April-2019



A representative office is a company that is created by the parent company in a different location. The purpose of the representative office is to carry out the non-transactional and marketing activities of the parent company in the foreign location. Representative offices are easier to establish and manage than branch offices as they do not form a part of the business’s core.

What is a branch office?

The branch office is usually larger than the parent office and is placed in a different location to perform the activities of the parent office. The branch office has departments such as HR, Marketing and Accounting.

How to establish a branch office in the UAE?

Now that we have understood the differences between a branch office and a representative office, we can take a look at how you can go about establishing a branch office in the UAE:

  1. Identify your local agent

Firstly, you will have to identify all the local agents in your area. This applies to the establishment of both branch and representative offices. The local agent has to be a UAE national or a company that is completely owned by UAE nationals.

  1. Choose and reserve a name

Next, you will have to submit an application to the Department of Economic Development in order to reserve a name for your office.

  1. Apply to the Ministry of Economy

You will have to submit all the details of your company, including a share capital, the location, and details of the head office, the nature of your business, the name of the company’s general manager in the UAE, along with any other important document to the Ministry of Economy.

  1. Get your license from the Department of Economic Development

Once all the relevant documents have been submitted and evaluated, your office will be approved by the Ministry of Economy. Here, you will have to submit another set of documents to the Department of Economic Development. Once the second set of documents has been verified, you will receive your license with a one-year validity.

  1. Participate in all the administrative tasks

When you obtain the license, you will have to finish the administrative tasks such as filing an application with copies of the lease agreement of your office, and the commercial license that you obtain from DED.

  1. Apply to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The last step is to become a member of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Setting up a branch office in a different location is definitely a step forward in broadening your business horizons; doing this will help you reach out to a variety of markets all over the world.