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Branch of a Foreign Company or Representative Office?

Foreign companies wanting to set up an extension of their company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) usually opt for a branch or representative office of a foreign company. These options enable the foreign company to retain 100% foreign ownership in the UAE. Note these offices are an addition to the foreign company, therefore it will remain liable for their activities.

Branch of a Foreign Company – Business Activity

A branch office can conduct in commercial activity in the UAE and can earn profits. It is licensed for the intents specified in its commercial license. It may only engage in activities similar to those conducted by the foreign company in its home jurisdiction.

Representative Office – Business Activity

A representative office is not permissible to earn profits within the UAE. The commercial activities it may conduct in the UAE is limited to marketing and promoting its foreign parent company products and services.

What is the Difference?

Branch and representative offices have similar aspects. Each run under the authority of a commercial registration and license in the name of the foreign company. Both are required to appoint a local services agent, who must be a UAE national or a corporate service provider.

Are you looking to enter into a new market? Can’t decide if a branch or a representative office is right for your business. Our business development advisors are waiting to speak to your today. For a free consultation email or call +971 4563 7302.

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