UAE: 100% foreign ownership in UAE enterprises from June 1, 2021

Foreigners opening a company in the United Arab Emirates will no longer need an Emirati shareholder or agent, as per the changes in the UAE’s Commercial Companies Law that will go into effect on June 1, state news agency WAM reported on Wednesday.

“The amended Commercial Companies Law aims at boosting the country’s competitive edge and is a part of UAE government efforts to facilitate doing business,” Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri was quoted as saying.

The UAE government has recently adopted an amendment to the Commercial Companies Law allowing 100% foreign ownership of companies.

While the changes have been largely welcomed as a positive step forward, it has left question marks over the numerous free zones operating within the country, which were previously the default position for foreign companies looking to trade in the country with the offer of 100 percent foreign ownership

The UAE announced the law allowing 100% foreign ownership of companies last year – one of its several steps aimed at attracting investment and foreigners into the Gulf state, which was badly hurt by the coronavirus crisis.

A previous foreign investment law in 2018 allowed foreigners to own up to 100% of some businesses, and foreigners could already own up to 100% of those registered in designated business parks known as “free zones”.

– Input from WAM

This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, or other professional advice. Please refer to your advisors for specific advice.

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