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Branch Office of a Foreign Company


Under Commercial Companies Act Number 8 of 1984 and Ministerial Decision Number 69 of 1989, a branch office of a foreign company does not have a separate entity. It merely represents the parent company and carries on business under its name. Usually, a branch office may 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.

With the exception of foreign companies licensed to operate from the free zone in the UAE, a foreign company may carry on its main activity or business in the UAE or establish an office or branch after a license is issued by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. The license specifies the object or objects which the company is permitted to carry on. For the license to be granted the company must appoint a UAE national or a corporate body, the partners or shareholders of which are all UAE nationals, as agent of the company (a term which, under the Commercial Companies Act, does not include commercial agency). The duties of such agent to the company and third parties are limited to rendering the service necessary to the company without undertaking financial liability in respect of the business or activity of the company in the UAE or abroad; the agent is not entitled to claim any rights or authority in the business of the company. His rights in consideration of his services are determined by agreement.

The applications to set up a branch in the UAE must contain the trade name, legal form, address of headquarters of the foreign company and the country where it carries its activities, nature of activity intended to be exercised in the UAE, name of national agent (if the agent is a legal entity, then its legal form), capital, names of partners, their nationality, and addresses. The following documents are required:

• Certificates of registration of the foreign company;

• Resolution adopted by the authorized body in the parent company to set up a branch in the UAE;

• Power of attorney for the company’s representative who submits the application;

• Original copy of the articles of association of the parent company, legalized by the competent authorities;

• Balance sheet of the parent company for the last two fiscal years and auditor’s report; and

• Notarized copy of agreement between the parent company and the agent.

 

Municipality Controlled Activities

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