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The What, Who, And Why Of 100% Ownership In UAE Explained

December 24, 2021

The UAE government has brought about a new dawn for the country’s business community by implementing the amendments made to CCL (Commercial Companies Law). 

On June 1, 2021, the Emirate government announced 100% Foreign Ownership of Businesses in UAE for expats. Along with this, the regulation of provisions for establishing commercial companies with limited liability structures has been revised. 

An LLC (Limited Liability Company) can now have a single or multiple shareholders!

What are the changes brought about by the laws?

Expat business owners were earlier only allowed to hold 49% of their company’s shares. The remaining 51% were usually owned by an Emirati sponsor or partner who compulsorily belongs to the UAE nation. 

An expat was allowed to have 100% ownership of their company in UAE only in few activities of the professional services sectors and certain free zones.

The amendments have now exempted expats from having a minimum percentage of ownership. This in turn allows them to establish companies without the need for any local partner.

Who can get 100% ownership of their businesses in the UAE?

The revised laws are applicable to 1061 out of 2300 total economic activities on the list provided by the Department Of Economic Development(DED).

More than half the business activities from various business sectors including trade and manufacturing qualify for 100% ownership of their business. 

When it comes to professional service activities, entrepreneurs continue to have the benefit of 100% Ownership of their business. However, they must have a local service agent and follow the sole establishment legal structure in place of the LLC. 

Why did the government revise laws and provide 100% ownership of the business?

By providing 100% ownership to expats the UAE government aims on creating a fertile legislative environment for company establishments. This step will improve the ease of doing business in the Emirates.

The government is preparing for the future by raising the readiness of the country’s economy, boosting investment and commercial opportunities. 

With rapid changes and developments taking place in the global economy, the Emirate aims to tune in by raising the competitiveness of the business environment in the company. This also acts as a huge push of attractiveness to expat investors.

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