What is the difference between a Branch office and a Rep office in UAE?
A Representative office is a branch established by the parent company which is useful in promoting a foreign company and introducing their products to UAE companies. A Representative Office cannot export, import or sell in the UAE. A Representative Office may practice only promotional business for the products and services provided by the parent company. A Branch office on the other hand can conduct business in the UAE other than for just promotional purposes.
- Activities – A representative office does not engage in sales, services or any type of commercial activity but only promotes/markets the activities of its parent company, gathering information and soliciting orders and projects to be performed by the head office of the parent company. A Branch office , however can engage in commercial activities.
- Sponsor/National Service Agent – Similar to a Branch, each Representative office requires a local sponsor or National Service Agent (NSA). The NSA has no equity participation or liability to the business.
- Bank Guarantee – Also similar to a Branch, a Representative Office will require a refundable deposit bank guarantee of AED50,000 for the duration of your licence and this cannot be withdrawn or used as working capital.