Professional firms are those which consist of professionals and practitioners and practice non-commercial activities. In setting up a professional firm, 100% foreign ownership, sole proprietorships or civil companies are permitted. The firms, which are registered as professional companies or firms may only practice specific activities and not extend that to any commercial business. These activities include the following services:
- Legal practice and consultancy
- Auditing, Organizing and keeping accounting records and books
- Civil engineering and architecture consultancies.
- Managerial and economic consultancies and studies
- Technical services
- Medical and curative services
- Educational services
Procedures for licensing the practice of the work:
- Organizing the partnership agreement between the partners according to the applicable procedure
- Authentication of the agreement according to the law
- Applying to the Department of Economic Development for obtaining the license on the for specified for such purpose.
1. Firm (UAE OR GCC citizens) Establishing a sole proprietorship
The law permits the establishment of a sole proprietorship for the Unite Arab Emirates (UAE) nationals or nationals of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Since the procedure and conditions differ in every case, the following is a list of conditions applied to each case for establishing sole proprietorship.
The UAE national individual who wishes to practice a business activity may apply to the Department of Economic Development on the specified form for obtaining a license to practice the required activity with the following documents:
- Photocopy of passport
- No-objection letter from his employer (if he is an employee)
- No-objection letter from the concerned authority to practice that type of activity of which requires special approval.
In accordance with the Article 8 of the Unified Economic Agreement in respect of treating all nationals of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries as nationals of any member state without any discrimination in carrying out business activities in the fields of industry, agriculture, livestock, fisheries and contracting.
The natural person who wishes to practice retail or wholesale trade, according to this law must be residing in the UAE, must practice the required activity by himself and have a license to practice the activity in his country of origin. However, he may not open branches inside the country.
The documents required for GCC citizens
- Photocopy of valid passport
- No-objection letter from the concerned authority to practice that type of activity of which requires special approval
- Photocopy of the license issued to him from the concerned authority in his home country under which he practices the activity, if he is a merchant.
The documents required for foreign investors
- Photocopy of valid passport
- Photocopy of his local agent’s valid passport
- Photocopy of the agreement with the local agent
- No objection letter from the concerned authority to practice that type of activity (for the activities, which require special approvals).
The documents required for a company
It should submit a copy of the partnership deed duly authenticated by the Notary Public. In addition to the other supporting documents required for the license in accordance with the legal status of each company.
If the applicant is a branch of a GCC company, the following documents are required:
- Photocopy of the trade license issued to him by the concerned authority of the investor’s home country
- Photocopy of the partners’ valid passport
- Photocopy of the company’s Memorandum of Association in the country of origin.