AE Formations

Offshore Company Setup in Dubai, UAE | Register a Subsidiary Company in Dubai, UAE

The Essential Guide to Documents Required for Company Formation in the UAE

Establish a Branch office in Dubai, UAE | Trust and Foundation Registration Services in Dubai, UAE


Setting up a business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can be a promising venture due to its vibrant economy, strategic location, political stability, and progressive policies. However, the process involves a range of bureaucratic and legal procedures, including the preparation of several specific documents.  

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the documents required for company formation in the UAE, focusing on the variations based on licensors, activities, and shareholding. We’ll also provide tips for new entrepreneurs to help them compile documentation effectively. 

Documentation Vary Based on Licensor, Activities and Shareholding

Documents required for setting up a company in the UAE may vary depending on the licensor (the free zone, mainland, or offshore), the nature of the company’s activities, and its shareholding structure. For example, companies in the free zone area may require less documentation than those on the mainland due to the differences in the registration processes. 

Regarding company activities, a trading company may need different documents than a manufacturing or service company.  

The shareholding structure also impacts the type of documentation required. For instance, a sole proprietorship would require different documentation than a limited liability or public joint-stock company. A corporate shareholder has to produce different documents compared to an individual shareholder. 

But overall, these documents include documents to prove the shareholder’s identity and documents to locate the shareholder, among other things. 

Documentation for Individual Shareholders

For individual shareholders involved in the formation of a company in the UAE, the following documents are generally required: 

  1. Passport copy: Each shareholder needs to provide a copy of their valid passport. 
  2. Visa copy: A copy of their residence visa is needed if the shareholder resides in the UAE. Else this is not required. 
  3. Emirates ID: A copy of the Emirates ID is also required for UAE residents. But non-residents do not require this.  
  4. For non-UAE residents, additionally, address proof will be required .
  5. A No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the sponsor is typically necessary if the shareholder is employed in the UAE. But this requirement is slowly disappearing from many licensors. 

Documentation for Corporate Shareholders 

For corporate entities that wish to be shareholders in a UAE company, the document requirements are a bit more extensive:

  1. Certificate of Incorporation: A certified and attested copy of the Certificate of Incorporation of the parent company. 
  2. Memorandum and Articles of Association: A certified and attested copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the parent company. 
  3. Board Resolution: A resolution from the board of directors of the parent company expressing intent to establish a company in the UAE. 
  4. Power of Attorney: A document granting power of attorney to the individual representing the corporate shareholder in the UAE. 

Foreign companies looking to set up a business in the UAE must provide their documents attested by the UAE embassy in the respective country and by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in UAE: 

Further, these documents must be translated into Arabic if they are in a language other than English or Arabic.

Tips for New Entrepreneurs for Compiling Documentation

For new entrepreneurs, here are some tips to ensure that your documentation process goes smoothly: 

  1. Start early: Compiling all the necessary documents can take time, so start as early as possible.
  2. Check for updates: The regulatory landscape can change frequently, so always check for updated requirements. 
  3. Seek professional help: Consider hiring a business setup consultant familiar with the UAE’s business environment, and can guide you through the process. 
  4. Keep copies: Always keep copies of all your documents, as you may need to submit them at different stages. 
  5. Notarization and translation: Ensure all documents are correctly notarized and translated where necessary. Start this process early, as in some countries, and embassy attestation can take considerable time. 


While setting up a company in the UAE may seem complex due to the number of documents required, it becomes manageable when broken down step by step. Understanding the requirements, preparing in advance, and enlisting professional help can make the process seamless and efficient. Schedule a free consultation with our business set-up executive for a list of requirements specific to your line of business. 

Shopping Basket