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Type Of Companies

General Partnership No minimum 100% UAE national N.A
Limited Partnership No minimum 51% UAE national 49% foreign UAE national
Joint Partnership Ventures No minimum UAE national / Foreigner N.A
Public Joint Stock Company AED 10 million minimum Majority UAE national Majority UAE national
Private Joint Stock Company AED 2 million minimum Majority UAE nationals Majority UAE nationals
Limited Liability Company AED 150,000 in other emirates and AED 300,000 in Dubai 51% UAE national 49% foreign UAE national or Foreigner
Civil Works company No minimum UAE national and Foreigner UAE national and Foreigner
Branch of foreign company No minimum Foreign company UAE national or Foreigner


The Commercial Companies Law provides for seven forms of Commercial Companies, all of which require at least 51% UAE national participation. They are as follows:

1.    General Partnership: This form of company is restricted solely to UAE nationals. All partners have joint and unlimited liability for the obligations of the company to the full extent of their personal wealth.

2.    Simple Limited Partnership: A Limited Partnership is the company formed by one or more general partners liable for the company's liabilities to the extent of all their assets, and one or more limited partners liable for the company's liabilities to the extent of their respective shares in the capital only.

3.    Joint Participation: In this form of company, two or more parties may enter into a joint venture agreeing to divide between themselves the profits and losses of one or more commercial enterprises. Third parties will generally have a right of recourse only against the partner with whom they entered into dealings. A Joint Participation Company may be established by the Contract of Joint Participation which regulates the rights and obligations of the partners and the distribution of profits and losses between them.

4.    Public Joint Stock Company: A Public Joint Stock Company requires a minimum of ten founder members for its incorporation. Capital requirement is a minimum of AED 10 million (about US$ 2.7 million) and negotiable shares must be offered for public subscription. The Chairman of the Board and a majority of Directors on Board must be UAE nationals.

5.    Private Joint Stock Company: There should be a minimum of three founder members for incorporating a Private Joint Stock Company. Capital requirement is a minimum of AED 2 million (about US$ 540,000) but shares may not be offered to the public. Generally, all other provisions which apply to Public Joint Stock Companies apply to Private Joint Stock Companies.

6.    Limited Liability Company: The Limited Liability Company (LLC) is expected to be the form of company that is most convenient for general commercial enterprises undertaken between local investors and foreign investors/companies. A Limited Liability Company is restricted to a minimum of two and a maximum of 50 shareholders (or portion holders) and is flexible in terms of management structure and allocation of profits. The minimum share capital is AED 150,000 (about US$ 40,000). The Dubai emirates requires minimum share capital of AED 300,000 (US$ about 80,000). At least 51% of the shares must be owned by UAE nationals. LLC may not engage in insurance or banking or investment of money on behalf of others. The names and holdings of all shareholders are a matter of public record. Provisions are in place for amalgamation, dissolution and liquidation of LLCs.

7.    Partnership Limited by Shares: A Partnership Limited by Shares is the company formed by general partners who are jointly liable to the extent of all their assets for the company's liabilities and participating partners who are liable to the extent of their shares in the capital. As far as the general partners are concerned, the company shall be considered a general partnership. The general partner shall be deemed a merchant even if he did not have such capacity of participating in the company. All the general partners must be nationals of the State.

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