The most popular and advantageous package of starting business in UAE.
By law, an LLC must have a majority of its shares owned by a UAE National For an expatriate then, an LLC company is actually a "joint-venture" between the UAE National and the expatriate partner(s). The expatriate may act as the company manager and run its day-to-day affairs. Shareholders are not entitled to any of the profits of the company unless the company's directors decide to pay dividends to shareholders. The company's liability is limited to the capital value of the company (which by law is required to be a minimum of USD 81,750 or AED 300,000).
Analogous to a Sole-Trader or Partnership company in other countries, a Professional License allows the applicant(s) to create a company partnership provided that the partner(s) can demonstrate their formal professional qualifications as suitable to hold the professional license. These licenses are restricted to certain types of highly-skilled trades. There is no requirement for a UAE national to be a "Partner" on this license although a UAE National must be appointed as an "agent" to assist with administration, visas and so on. In many ways the "agent" acts as the non-stock holding sponsor of the company.
Foreign (Non-UAE) companies can establish a Branch Office (sometimes referred to as a "Representative Office") in the UAE where the share holding is 100% owned by the foreign company, subject to approval by the Government. The foreign company must be of good standing and have a trade history of at least 2 years. The Branch Office will generally conduct business on behalf of the parent company within the UAE. The licensed activities will generally match with business activities of the parent (foreign) company. A UAE National must be appointed as an "agent" to assist with administration, visas and so on.