Register an onshore company with fewer restriction on business activities
The main benefit of having an onshore entity is that there are fewer restrictions on how business activities are undertaken, and there is no restriction on the location of the business premises provided it is located onshore (i.e. outside any of the free zones).
An LLC is required to have a UAE / Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) shareholder to hold at least 51% of the shares. Therefore, the maximum shareholding a foreign investor can have in an LLC is 49% or choose a Sole Establishment company formation to own 100% of shares.
Foreign investors can be further restricted (or require additional approvals) to carry out certain activities in the UAE (for example, oil and gas industry), as some activities are strictly reserved for UAE / GCC nationals (and, as such, require 100% local ownership). It is possible to enter into certain contractual arrangements to govern the relationship between the shareholders.
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