What Is a Certificate of Incorporation In UAE & Why It Is Important?

Incorporation File In UAE

Getting a certificate of incorporation is the primary prerequisite for businesses in the UAE. This document provides legal recognition and protection for the smooth functioning of a business in the UAE. The certificate improves the trust-building of businesses among clients and investors, helping them to expand successfully. The certificate is required to start a business and conduct operations in the UAE.

In this article, we discuss the importance, due process, and benefits of obtaining the certificate of incorporation in the UAE. The business setup experts at Now Consultant help you easily obtain the certificate of incorporation as per your business requirements. We help you in every aspect in compliance with the regulations of relevant authorities to mitigate the risk of penalties and successfully register your business in the UAE.

What Is a Certificate of Incorporation?

The certificate of incorporation is an important document when starting a business in the UAE. It confirms the company’s legal existence and registration under UAE laws. Issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED) or the relevant Free Zone Authority, this document verifies the company’s or corporation’s establishment in the UAE.

sample certificate of incorporation in UAE

For the business setup in the mainland jurisdiction of the UAE, this certificate is provided by the DED, and in the Free Zone jurisdiction, the Free Zone Authority issues the certificate of incorporation.

The Certificate of Incorporation in the UAE includes important components and details such as:

  • Company name
  • Registration number
  • Date of incorporation
  • Registered office address
  • Type of company
  • Nature of business
  • Share capital
  • Details of directors and shareholders
  • Duration of the company
  • Governing authority’s stamp and signature

Importance Of Certificate of Incorporation:

For businesses in the UAE, obtaining a Certificate of Incorporation is not merely a formality but a mandatory legal document. It gives companies the legal authority to conduct business transactions, open corporate bank accounts, lease office space, and obtain visas for directors, shareholders, and employees. Additionally, it allows them to enter into contracts and agreements with other entities.

The Certificate of Incorporation safeguards company directors and shareholders by ensuring they are not personally responsible for the company’s debts or legal matters. This separation between personal and corporate liability is a key principle of corporate law, promoting entrepreneurship and investment.

A Certificate of Incorporation significantly builds up a business’s credibility, making it more appealing to potential clients, investors, and partners. It serves as proof of your company’s legitimacy and adherence to the UAE’s strict regulatory standards. The government mandates this certificate to confirm that the particular businesses operate legally, safeguarding the economy from fraudulent activities.

How To Obtain a Certificate Of Incorporation In UAE:

The following is the step-by-step process to get  a certificate of incorporation in the UAE:

Step #1: Partner with Trade License Zone

The first step to obtaining a certificate of incorporation in the UAE is to partner with a Trade License Zone. Our expert team at Now Consultant assists you in partnering with Trade License Zone in the UAE.

Step #2: Select a Business Structure And Jurisdiction

In the second step, you need to decide on the type of business you want to start, like a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a branch office. Then, choose whether to operate in a Free Zone or on the mainland jurisdiction.

Step #3:  Choose Business Activities

In this step, you decide on your business’s main activities. This choice is important because certain activities are specific to certain jurisdictions or need special approvals and licenses. With over 2,000 activities to choose from, select among the best suitable for your business. If you fail to choose, you may face heavy fines and penalties.

Step #4: Select a Company Name

Select a unique company name that meets the UAE’s naming rules. Avoid the names already in use or that breach UAE naming guidelines. Before reserving your company name with the DED or the relevant Free Zone Authority, check its availability on the DED’s website.

Step #5: Get Initial Approvals

After selecting a suitable unique name, you need to get initial approvals from the DED or the Free Zone authority, depending on your business activity and jurisdiction. Here, you may require some additional approvals from the Chamber of Commerce or specific industry regulators as per your business-chosen activities.

Step #6: Rent Office Space

After successful approval, you need to select a suitable location for your business that meets all regulatory and size requirements. It can be a physical office, retail space, or warehouse.

Step #7: Apply For a Trade License

After receiving your initial approvals, proceed to apply for a trade license from either the DED or your chosen Free Zone authority by submitting the required documents. The documentation includes your company’s Memorandum of Association, rental agreement, initial approvals, and trade name registration.

Step #8: Pay the Licensing And Registration fees

Once you have obtained all required approvals, you will receive information regarding the licensing and registration fees. You need to pay the fee as soon as possible to avoid delays in receiving your certificate of incorporation.

Step #9: Obtain the Certificate of Incorporation

Once the relevant authority verifies all documents and receives the fees, they will issue the certificate of incorporation, officially establishing your company’s existence.

Step 10: Open a Corporate Bank Account

Once you have the certificate of incorporation, you can proceed to banks in the UAE to open a corporate bank account, allowing you to start trading and managing the financial activities of your business.

Benefits of Certificate of Incorporation In UAE:

The following are the benefits of a certificate of incorporation in the UAE:

Legal protection

This certificate provides the legal protection to both the company’s owners and shareholders.  Incorporating a business creates a separate legal entity. This helps protect owners’ personal assets during legal disputes.

Trust Building

A certificate of incorporation builds the trust of businesses running in the UAE. In that way, the business can easily attract clients, investors, and partners.

Tax Advantages

Having a certificate of incorporation, businesses in the UAE enjoy several tax advantages and incentives, such as exemptions from corporate income tax, withholding tax, and value-added tax.

Avail Banking Services

This certificate is mandatory to open a bank account in the UAE, as the bank account is used for important business operations and financial dealings.


A certificate of incorporation allows businesses to operate in various regions, offering flexibility and an opportunity to expand without legal barriers.

What Is The Difference Between Certificate of Incorporation & Trade License ?

Trade licenses in Dubai form the legal foundation of any company. Starting a business in the UAE requires careful attention to compliance and legal considerations. The certificate of incorporation is evidence that the company is incorporated under a jurisdiction defined by the UAE government. 

The certificate of incorporation comes first, and then the company can apply for a trade license. Thus, this certificate legitimizes the company’s chosen legal structure, while a trade license is an additional, mandatory document that validates the type of business you are running.

How Can We Help You?

Every start-up business in the UAE must first obtain a certificate of incorporation from the relevant authorities. The business setup experts at Now Consultant help you resolve the complexities and meet all the challenges in obtaining the certificate.

Our expert team makes your journey easier. With years of experience in the UAE’s business landscape, we offer valuable insights and guidance at every step of getting the certificate of incorporation. We provide comprehensive services from initial approvals to trade license applications, office space, visa applications, and more. We help you save time, money, and effort in the process of compliance with the regulations of relevant authorities in the UAE.

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