• A branch office is allowed to promote and market its services and products.
  • A branch office has to operate and function within the scope of operations underlined by the parent entity.
  • This permits the branch office to sign local sales contracts, raise invoice of local UAE customers and receive income from them.
  • While a representative office is 100% foreign owned.
  • It is not permitted to make direct sales within UAE.
  • This entity can engage in activities like promoting the parent company business and market research.

Unlike a branch a representative office cannot conduct business operation or market its services and products. In order to engage a branch office to conduct its business operation in UAE it should obtain license from the Ministry of Economy and Planning. The licensed company should not start their activities unless it is registered in the Ministries register of foreign companies.

A branch or a representative office are required to submit a bank guarantee of AED 50,000 (may differ from activity to activity) in favor of the authority for being a part of the license processing procedure. The license of the foreign company has to be renewed within two years after the expiry date and the fees due to the authority shall be deducted from the guarantee.

7 steps involved in establishing a branch office and a representative office

  1. The foreign entity must file an application for the issuance of a license with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. Along with the application, the entity must submit an Agency Agreement entered into with a 100% UAE-owned company or a UAE national.
  2. The Ministry of Economy and Commerce will then forward the application to the Economic Department to secure the local government’s approval.
  3. From the Economic Department, the application will be forwarded to the Federal Foreign Companies Committee for approval. At this stage, the application must bear a note from the Ministry of Economy and Commerce indicating the specific activity or activities the branch office will be permitted to undertake in the emirate.
  4. Once the approval of the Federal Foreign Companies Committee is obtained, the required Ministerial license will be issued by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. In the said license, the specific activity or activities to be engaged in by the foreign branch office is indicated.
  5. The branch office is then entered in the Commercial Register of the Economic Department. Here, the required license is issued.
  6. After the issuance of the required license from the Economic Department, the branch office is entered in the Ministry of Economy and Commerce’s Foreign Companies Register.
  7. Last stop is at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where the branch office is registered.


N R Doshi & Partners helps you take care of the entire process of establishing your branch and representative office. We would guide you with strategic inputs, help select local sponsors, assist to select locations suitable to your line of business, with your business plan, and also documentation formalities.

With us on board, you get combination of deep local knowledge and extensive experience which would enable us to precisely understand the specific need of your business. This would enable us to recommend you the best possible business solutions which would ensure your business is up and running with minimal challenges.

discuss your requirement with us?