8 Simple Steps to Form a Company in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is one of the fastest-growing business destinations in the MENA region and a great place to set up a new company. The emirate heavily supports entrepreneurs and welcomes all local and foreign investors seeking to form a new company in Abu Dhabi. Foreign investors have several company formation avenues to pursue when launching a new company in the UAE. For onshore (Mainland) company formation, the company must tie-up with either a UAE Local Partner or a UAE National Agent. The process of establishing a new company in Abu Dhabi is relatively easy and straightforward. Here are 8 simple steps to form a company in Abu Dhabi.

  1. Determine the Business Activity and Legal Structure
    • Depending on the business activity, the exact legal corporate structure and license requirements are determined.
  2. Register the Company Trade Name:
    • Complete the Trade Name Application form providing at least 3 company trade names options.
    • Submit the application to the Department of Economic Development (DED) along with the proposed business plan for initial approval.
  3. Prepare Memorandum or Articles of Association:
    • After getting the company name registration certificate and initial approval, you need to prepare company deeds of establishment and get Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association notarised by a notary public in the Abu Dhabi Courts.
  4. Establish Business Location:
    • Choose a preferred business location and get a lease agreement for office premises. This needs to be certified by the Municipality of Abu Dhabi. You can also get virtual office lease agreement until you find a suitable business location.
  5. Open a Corporate Bank Account:
    • Open a UAE corporate bank account after depositing the paid-up share capital. You will then be issued a certificate of deposit and bank statement.
  6. Apply for Business Licence:
    • Submit the Licence Application form to the Abu Dhabi DED along with:
      • MOA and AOA
      • Name Approval Certificate
      • Lease Agreement
      • Certificate of paid-up share capital
    • Once the application is submitted, it takes 3 weeks to receive business licence approval.
  7. Register the Company:
    • The next step is to register the company with the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce by paying the registration fee and notarising all company documents.
  8. Obtain Visas:
    • Obtain UAE work visas for the foreign investor and the foreign employees to be stationed in Abu Dhabi. These can be procured from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and the Department of Naturalization and Residence (DNRD).


Abu Dhabi has no capital gains or personal income taxes. So, establishing a company in Abu Dhabi is a reliable, controlled, and strategic business option. If you are a foreign investor, looking to form a company in Abu Dhabi, we recommend you take advice from experienced business consultants like Setup in Abu Dhabi.

Our team of company formation experts will take care of everything, including selecting the most appropriate jurisdiction for your business, banking solutions, assistance in finding suitable business premises, legal support, funding options, and much more. We help you complete all the necessary documentation and meet Government requirements. Please contact us at info@setupinabudhabi.ae to speak to one of our company formation advisors today.

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