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brocThe legislation related to commercial companies covers the formation of branches and representative offices of foreign companies operating in the UAE, better defined Branch or Representative Office of Foreign Companies - BROC, decreeing that these entities can be 100% foreign-owned, with the only constraint and obligation to appoint a representative (locale agent and/or sponsor), called LOCAL AGENTS IN UAE - SPONSOR.

The local agent in UAE and/or sponsor in UAE, also known as "sponsor", must not work in corporate activity but only intervene for issuing visas, work booklets and other administrative tasks, receiving a fixed income or percentage calculated on profits and/or the turnover of the head-quarters.

In each case referring to the Government of Dubai, the useful steps for the formation of a subsidiary or a representative office in Dubai, are to:

  • Apply for a license to the Ministry of Economy and Trade, accompanying the request by the agreement signed with the local agent and/or sponsor, with a UAE citizen or a company where the staff is 100% UAE.
  • Before the license is issued, the Authority in charge must:
  • Forward the request to the Department of Economic Development in order to obtain the approval of the Government of Dubai.
  • Forward the request to receive compliance (indicating the activities that the branch or representative office intends to work on in the United Arab Emirates – UAE) to the Authority in charge.

Only after completion of the above points, the Ministry responsible will issue the working license in the UAE request indicating the activity that the foreign company will be able to work on through the branch or representative office established therein.

Note that:

  • The branch or representative office shall be entered in the Commercial Register of the Department of Economic Development.
  • The branch or representative office shall be entered in the Register of Enterprises of the Ministry of Foreign Economy and Trade.
  • The branch or representative office will be members of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Dubai.

Generally the procedure to establish a branch or representative office in the United Arab Emirates in Dubai and/or Abu Dhabi is quite laborious and time consuming, however, you can decrease time and simplifies procedures by opening branches or representative offices in the Government of Dubai.

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