The UAE Commercial Law provides foreign investors two options in relation to their expansion into the UAE. Each of these legal forms gives the company varying amounts of access to function in the local market.
The Foreign Branch Office and Representative Office legal forms, allow foreign companies to establish a presence in the UAE while retaining 100% ownership. The offices function as extensions of the parent company and have no separate legal identity. The parent company remains liable for all activities conducted under the branch / representative license.
Branch Office: A branch office permits the investor to set up a full-fledged business that is permitted to perform all activities similar to its parent company (depending on activities) as specified in the license at time of incorporation.
Representative Office: A representative office is strictly restricted to advertising and marketing of services and products that the parent company deals in. The office is not permitted to earn and engage in profit making activities.
The procedure is straightforward but incredibly detailed and the assistance of an expert in Business.