Setting up a Foreign Branch office in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Foreign Branch Office

Foreign Branch Office

Setting up a branch office of a foreign company in Dubai is easy and an attractive prospect as it can be 100% foreign-owned, provided a local service agent (like PRO Partner Group) is appointed. A branch office, is an extension of a foreign parent company registered outside of the UAE, it is a fully-fledged business, permitted to perform contracts or conduct other activities as specified in its license. A foreign branch office may only be engaged in activities similar to those of its parent company.

Under Commercial Companies Act No 8 of 1984 and Ministerial Decision Number 69 of 1989, a branch office of a foreign company does not have a separate entity. It simply represents the parent company and carries on business under its name. The purpose of the branch office is to promote and market the products of the parent company enter into transactions and conclude agreements in the name of the parent company, and offer services to its customers. The branch company is not allowed to partake in any activities in which its parent companies are not allowed.

More Information about Foreign Branches:

  • Activities – as a branch office, you are entitled to undertake the commercial activities of your parent company, although some activities are restricted (for example Trading, you would be required to set up as an LLC).
  • Liability and tax – the branch office is not a separate legal entity, and therefore the foreign parent company is 100% liable for the actions of the branch and the revenue of the branch will be taxable (in the country where the relevant foreign parent is resident) as the income of the foreign parent.
  • Sponsor/National Service Agent – each foreign branch office requires a local sponsor. The local sponsor has no equity participation or liability to the business, nor can the person represent the branch office or participate in its management.
  • Bank Guarantee – As a foreign branch office, you will be required to deposit a refundable bank guarantee of AED50,000 for the duration of your licence and this cannot be withdrawn or used as working capital.

Advantages of PRO Partner Group being your National Service Agent:

  • As your service provider, we will use our experience to handle all the necessary paperwork to establish your business in a timely manner. This includes applying for visas, licenses, obtaining labour quotas, translation services and assisting with the opening of corporate bank accounts.
  • 100% Management Control.
  • 100% Financial Control.
  • 100% control of profits.
  • Fixed annual fee.
  • Simple 3 month exit strategy [no penalties].
  • Full Management Team on hand 24/7.
  • Suitable for entrepreneurs, SMEs and MNCs entering the UAE market.
  • Honest answers, transparent, reliability and realistic timelines enabling you to be fully informed at all times.


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