Basic corporate laws for business in Dubai

Commercial Law, otherwise known as Business Law, is the set of laws which governs commercial dealings in a jurisdiction. There are many law firms in the UAE that specialize in providing advice related to corporate law.

The UAE promotes commerce and business in order to contribute to a competitive and prosperous economy. As such, corporate laws of the UAE are in-line with the vision of country’s leadership and is equal to international standards. According to some corporate lawyers in Dubai, the current commercial environment of the UAE is ideal for start-ups as well as established businesses. Financial free zones like Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) are initiatives taken by the UAE government to boost business activities in UAE. Many law firms in Dubai specializing in corporate law are based around the DIFC. Similarly, the corporate law firms in Abu Dhabi are also becoming actively engaged in activities in the Abu Dhabi based financial free zone Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

For people who wish to start a new business in the UAE, there are numerous regulations pertaining to economy, trade, and investment. According to lawyers in Abu Dhabi, the UAE government is constantly working on upgrading several major areas of legislation.

The basic requirements for all business activities in UAE are:

  1. Commercial licenses covering all kinds of trading activity
  2. Professional licenses covering services, professions, artisans, craftsmen
  3. Industrial licenses for establishing industrial or manufacturing activity

The commercial licenses are usually issued by the Department of Economic Development of each concerned Emirate. It needs to be kept in mind that licenses for certain types of businesses may need special approval from concerned ministries and/or other authorities like Central Bank of UAE, Ministry of Economy and Commerce, Finance Ministry and Industry, Ministry of Health, among others.

According to the new Commercial Companies Law of UAE, i.e. Federal Law No. 2 of 2015, the general categories of business organization in UAE are:

  • General Partnership company
  • Joint venture company
  • Public Joint Stock company
  • Private Joint Stock company
  • Limited liability company
  • Partnerships (permitted only to UAE nationals)


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