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UAE Companies Registry

Quite often, entrepreneurs have questions about how to check any company from the UAE and whether there is a common UAE business registry. This may be necessary, for example, to check new partners. When registering a company in the UAE, some entrepreneurs would like to know if the company registry will be available for public access.

Companies in the United Arab Emirates can be registered in different emirates (there are seven emirates in total). Moreover, you can register a company both on the free zone territory and outside it.

UAE Register

There is no unified UAE company registry. Each emirate and each free zone have its own company registries and provide its own facilities for company checking. Some free zones do not provide any way to check companies at all. Information about companies can be obtained only by local authorities when submitting a formal request.

Some free zones may publish the company registry on their website and later remove it from public access. For example, the Hamriyah free zone company registry has been available for some time, but it is not possible to check the companies registered in this zone nowadays. The reverse situation, where the free zone does not initially publish its company registry but makes it public in the future, can also occur.

When searching for a company in any registry via the Internet, you need to consider that if a company is not found in this registry, this does not mean that it does not exist. Sometimes, websites may fail, and searching for a company in the registry may not produce results.

What do you need to know about UAE company registries?

Before starting cooperation with any company in the Emirates, you need to ensure that this company has a license and that the license is valid. This will reduce the risk that such a company will disappear after receiving your payment.

There are several methods for checking a company, and for your own safety, it would be ideal to use all of them:

  • Check the status of the company’s license through the UAE company registry, including through the sites listed later in this article.
  • Submit written requests to government departments to confirm that the company is listed on any UAE business registry.
  • Request the company to provide corporate documents and a business license.
  • Request the company to provide the Good Standing Certificate issued by the local registration authority.
  • It is worth asking the company to legalize its Good Standing Certificate and certify it in the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In addition, for greater security, you can also take the following steps:

  • Ask for letters of recommendation from partners and clients of the company.
  • Search the Internet for information about the company, its management, owners, and employees. It is also worth reading customer reviews.

The company will provide the necessary documents without objection if it plans to cooperate with you. In this case, you will not have to independently find out the company’s registration number in the UAE company registry and its license number. It will be enough to get a copy of the license from your partner.

If a potential partner company begins to resist your requests and does not share the requested information, this is already a reason to be wary. The company license does not contain any confidential information. It only lists the company name, registration number in the company registry, office address, license number, and the company manager’s name.

The business owners are listed in the company’s Memorandum of Association. It would also be helpful to request a copy of this document. If there are any future disputes with the company, you will already know the names of its owners against whom it will be possible to file a claim. If the company refuses to share a copy of the memorandum, citing confidentiality, you should request a list of its shareholders. It can be issued by the body registered the company. Such a document indicates the company’s shareholders and the number of shares owned by each shareholder. In addition, some free zones’ licenses contain business owners’ names.

If you do not have the license copy, but you know the company name and the body this company is registered in, then you can check the company status and its license in the following ways:

  • UAE local companies, i.e., companies registered outside the free zones, are registered with the Department of Economic Development of the relevant emirate. If, for example, a local company is registered in Dubai, you can check it on Dubai’s Department of Economic Development website. To do this, enter the company name in the field for searching in the registry of companies. In addition, you can check local companies in the UAE business registry on the Ministry of Economy website.
  • Usually, it is not possible to check free zone companies via the internet, although some free zones publish their company registry. If the company registry is unavailable, you can send a request to the free zone registration authority by e-mail. In it, you indicate the company name and request to confirm its presence in the company registry and the validity of its license. You can also personally visit the free zone administration to clarify information about the company.

If you are a representative of a large company that plans to sign an agreement that includes high-value transactions, it makes sense to request a Good Standing Certificate issued by the registration authority. Such a document is valid from 3 to 12 months and confirms that the company is in good economic condition. In addition to this certificate, it is also worth asking for a copy of the memorandum and license.

It is necessary to ask the company to legalize one of the three documents (memorandum, license, Good Standing Certificate) at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs puts a stamp on the documents, you can be sure they are valid and authentic. If you are outside the UAE, you can ask the company to further legalize the documents at the consulate or embassy of your country in the Emirates.

After going through all these steps, you can be sure that the company is appropriately registered, present in the UAE business registry, licensed, and has a prosperous economic condition. If the company meets all these requirements, you can take additional steps for its checking.

If there are many reviews about the company and many recommendations from its customers, this indicates a high level of trust in the company. It is also worth looking more closely for information about the company on the Internet. If it is involved in any fraudulent schemes, disputes, or illegal activities, then with a high degree of probability, information about this will appear on the web (in the news, blogs, or forums).

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How to check the electronic documents of a company registered in the UAE?

Many free zones are introducing electronic licenses or fully electronic documents. They sent electronic documents to customers by email. For an additional fee, clients can also receive copies certified by the registrar.

For the convenience of customers and counterparties, electronic documents have a link below, by clicking which you can also see a scan of the document. This is, for example, possible for company documents in SHAMS and DMCC free zones.

Checking the Dubai registry on the Dubai’s Department of Economic Development website

A local company can be checked not only through the UAE company registry of the Ministry of Economy. For example, you can use the following method for inspecting a local company registered in Dubai.

Dubai local companies are registered with DED (Department of Economic Development). You can check the registration of a local company in Dubai (and see some information about it) using the Dubai registry of companies at the link:

https://eservices.dubaided.gov.ae/Pages/Anon/TNSrch.aspx

To search for a company, you need to enter the company name in the form (or you can enter only part of the name). You can also enter the license number, and the system will display a list of found companies. You will be able to see the trade name numbers of the companies as well as the license numbers. Selecting a specific company can open information about its type, license validity period, phone numbers, and contact e-mail.

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Checking UAE business registry of the Abu Dhabi Emirate through the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry

You can check a local company from Abu Dhabi in the Abu Dhabi company registry on the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry website at:

https://digital.abudhabichamber.ae/portal/#/commercial-directory

By following the link, you need to click General Search. After that, you will see a form for entering search parameters. The search can be carried out not only by company name but also by phone number, fax, and e-mail. You can specify not the company’s full name but only separate words. This will find all those companies whose names contain these words. You can also specify the organizational and legal structure in the search form.

After selecting a company, you can open the page with all available information about it. Such information includes telephones, e-mail, website address, fax, address, mailbox, date of establishment, the date until which the company was extended, employees’ number, authorized capital volume, legal form type, and a list of activities.

Checking tax registration number in UAE company registry

There is a UAE company registry where you can check the tax registration number of the partner company. This number is used when reporting for VAT (Value Added Tax). You can check it at:

https://eservices.tax.gov.ae/en-us/trn-verify

In the TRN field, you need to specify the tax registration number. You also need to enter the code from the picture in the Enter Security Code field. If the tax registration number is entered correctly, the system will display the company name in Arabic and English.

To ensure correct VAT return filing and tax due properly recording, it is worth checking the tax number on the invoices received.

UAE company registry in Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC)

You can check companies registered in Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) using the local registry at:

https://www.difc.ae/public-register

For each company, the registry indicates

  •  company type (regulated or not regulated)
  •  company name
  • trade name
  • validity of the company registration
  • address of the company’s registered office
  • registration number
  • telephone numbers
  • type of legal form
  • date of creation
  •  validity of the license
  •  list of company members
  •  number of shares
  •  each member’s share
  •  authorized capital
  •  information on the permissions issued to the company for data processing.

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UAE business registry in Dubai Financial Services Authority

To provide financial services in DIFC or from its territory, a company needs to obtain a license from the Dubai Financial Services Authority. To provide ancillary services in DIFC or from its territory, a company needs to register with the Financial Services Authority.

As a risk-based regulator, the Financial Services Authority makes initial assessments to ensure that companies meet business standards adopted by this body.

Companies carrying out the following business activities are required to register with the Dubai Financial Services Authority:

  • registered auditors
  • specially designated types of non-financial business and professional activity.

Specially designated types of non-financial business and professional activity are businesses and professional activities of persons and entities not approved by the Dubai Financial Services Authority and engaged in the following activities in DIFC or from DIFC:

  • dealers of precious stones and metals
  • real estate developers or agents
  • dealers of any goods with a price equal to or greater than USD 15,000
  • notary and law offices
  • auditing, accounting, and bankruptcy companies
  • family offices
  • companies providing customers with the following services:
    • acting as legal entity creation agent
    • acting as a company director (or engaging another person to act as a director) or secretary, a partner in a partnership, or acting in a similar position with other legal entities
    • providing a registered office, correspondent or administrative address for a company, partnership, or any other legal entity
    • acting as a professional shareholder (or engaging any other person to act as a professional shareholder) for another person or entity.

You can check relevant companies in the UAE company registry of the Dubai Financial Services Authority at:

http://www.dfsa.ae/Public-Register/Firm

In the search field, you can enter the company’s full name or part of it. After pressing the SEARCH button, a list of suitable companies will be displayed. When you select a company, a tab with information about this company will appear.

This information contains the following details:

  • company trade name
  • jurisdiction of company registration
  • company number with the Dubai Financial Services Authority
  • address
  • phone number
  • fax
  •  license issue date
  •  financial services that the company can provide
  •  restrictions on the company activities.

In addition, the registry provides a list of persons approved by the Dubai Financial Services Authority and their positions.

Registry of UAE companies registered in Ajman free zone

UAE business registry in Ajman free zone allows you to check the validity of the company license at:

https://www.afz.ae/about-us/profile

Next, you need to enter either the company license number or its name. After that, the system will provide information about the validity of the license.

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UAE business registry in DMCC free zone

The UAE business registry of DMCC free zone companies publishes the data only of those companies that have given their consent in advance. Thus, not all companies can be found on the free zone website.

Searching this company register is available at:

https://www.dmcc.ae/business-search?directory=1

Next, you will need to enter the company name. In addition, you can use the advanced search by clicking the corresponding button. Such a search allows you to find out which companies, for example, are registered in a particular building, or you can sort companies by the type of activity. You can also view a list of all companies whose names begin with a specific letter. For each company, you can view such information as its address, business hours, telephone, website, and e-mail.

UAE company registry in twofour54 free zone

UAE company registry in twofour54 Free Zone allows you to check companies at:

https://www.twofour54.com/en/twofour54-community/partners/

On the website, you can select a business sector or enter the company name, after that, a list of sorted companies will be displayed. For each company, you can see its address, website, and description provided by the company owner.

UAE business registry of companies registered in JAFZA, Techno Park and DAZ free zones

There is a UAE company registry that allows you to check companies registered in JAFZA (Jebel Ali), Techno Park, and DAZ free zones at:

http://eservices.dubaitrade.ae/clientdirectory/clientsSearch.do

After clicking the link, you need to select the required free zone. Select Company Name in the Search For field to search by company name. In the Keyword(s) field, you need to enter the company name or its part. After that, you need to click the Search button. When choosing a company, you will be able to view the following data: company name, address, contact name, phone number, fax, mailbox, website, e-mail, description of the activity type, and country of origin.

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UAE company registry in Shams free zone

UAE company registry in Shams Free Zone allows you to check the company at:

https://www.shams.ae/license/verification

To check if a company is registered in this zone, you need to specify the company name or license number, after that the system will return the result.

Dubai Internet City free zone business registry

UAE business registry in Dubai Internet City free zone allows you to check the company at:

http://www.dic.ae/business-partners/

To search, you can select any type of activity, an office building, or enter the company name. A list of sorted companies will be shown. When choosing a company, you can see the office building where it is located and its type of activity.

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