A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a flexible form of enterprise that blends elements of partnership and corporate structures. An LLC must have between 2-50 shareholders, each of whom is liable only to the extent of his or her share in the capital of the company. With the exception of public shareholding company, an LLC can be changed to any other legal form.

Activities

  • LLCs can practice any industrial, commercial, professional or tourism activity. Some professional activities are excluded as per DED’s business regulations and other require approvals of authorities that regulate these activities.

Owner(s):

  • At least 51% of LLCs must be owned by UAE Nationals, and can be owed by GCC nationals by up to 100%. In this case, the capital can be distributed in a different ratio as per the Memorandum of Association.
  • An LLC can be owned by partners of any nationality in accordance with DED business regulations. A corporate body can buy shares of an LLC.

Check this table for more details about LLC ownership rules and requirements according to owners’ nationalities:

First Party Second Party Ownership Rule Requirements
UAE National UAE National Any ownership percentage
UAE National GCC National Any ownership percentage
UAE National Foreign Partner At least 51% must be owned by the UAE national
UAE National UAE national owned company Any ownership percentage Corporate body based in UAE
UAE National UAE national owned company Any ownership percentage Corporate body based in GCC
UAE National UAE national owned company At least 51% must be owned by the UAE national Corporate body based in a foreign country
UAE National GCC national owned company Any ownership percentage Corporate body based in UAE
UAE National GCC national owned company Any ownership percentage Corporate body based in GCC
UAE National GCC national owned company Any ownership percentage Corporate body based in a foreign country
UAE National Foreign Company At least 51% must be owned by the UAE national Corporate body based in UAE or GCC
UAE National Company owned by a foreign partner and a UAE national who owns less than 68% At least 51% must be owned by the UAE national Corporate body based in UAE or GCC
UAE national Company owned by a foreign partner and a UAE national who owns less than 68% Any ownership percentage Corporate body based in UAE

Manager(s):

  • LLCs must appoint between 1-11 managers for the business. The managers may be selected from the partners. Unless the Memorandum of Association states otherwise, the manager has full powers of administration. Within the scope of his or her powers, the manager’s actions and commitments are binding to the business.
  • The company must send a notice of termination to the concerned authority within a maximum period of 30 days from the date of the termination and appoint another manager during that period.
  • LLCs must appoint a UAE-accredited auditor.
  • The auditor must notify DED in case of resignation. The General Assembly must also notify DED in case the auditor was dismissed.

Capital:

  • The capital shouldn’t be specified but mentioned in the Memorandum of Association.
  • Shares of an LLC cannot be offered to the public. The company may not resort to public subscription to establish or increase its capital or secure loans, and it may not issue any negotiable stocks or shares.

Trade Name:

  • A limited liability company shall have a name derived from its activity or from the name of one or more partners.
  • The term “with limited liability” shall be annexed to the company’s name.

Branch(es)

  • An LLC can have more than one branch. Each may undertake one or all of the activities included in the main business license.

Assignment of License:

  • The limited liability company branches can be sold and waived to any party or company. The owner can also change its legal form according to DED procedures.