The first step in registering the LLC is to reserve the trade name and obtain initial approval to proceed with an application to register the LLC. This is achieved by applying to the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development or the Dubai Department of Economic Development, as appropriate (collectively referred to in this article as the DED).
The following documents should be submitted to the DED as part of the initial process:
- trade name application form
- licence application form
- (if one or both shareholders are corporate entities) certificate of incorporation, memorandum and articles of association and board resolution approving the subscription in the LLC, together with a power of attorney authorising an individual to act on behalf of the corporate shareholder on the establishment of the LLC
- passport copies of any individual shareholders, proposed directors and general manager of the LLC.
The DED will then issue an initial approval. Further approvals may be required from other governmental authorities depending on the proposed activities of the LLC. Significantly however, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has recently issued a new law that aims to, amongst other things, organise the conducting of economic activities in the Emirate of Dubai and streamline the licensing process by facilitating coordination between the various government entities in Dubai. This new law, known as the “Law of the Organization of Economic Activities Practice in the Emirate of Dubai No. (13) of 2011” (the Licensing Law), provides that all Dubai based applications will be dealt with by the DED which will act as a window to the other applicable government departments. In addition, the DED will be responsible for classifying and regulating the types of economic activities which may be undertaken in Dubai. The introduction of the Licensing Law is likely to be viewed as a welcome development by many businesses wishing to establish a presence in Dubai. Previously applicants had to obtain a number of different approvals from various authorities before being able to conduct business - the Licensing Law seeks to offer a streamlined approach to this process. However, given its fairly recent introduction, the full effects and actual implementation of the Licensing Law remain to be seen.