Foreign companies may engage in a commercial agency arrangement which is defined as any arrangement whereby a foreign company is represented by a UAE agent to distribute, sell, offer, or provide goods or services within the UAE for a commission or profit. The agent must either be a person holding UAE nationality or a company that is 100% owned by UAE nationals. The agent must be registered with the Ministry of Economy. Unless otherwise agreed in writing between a foreign company and its commercial agent, an agent is entitled to receive a commission on the sale of products in his or her designated Emirate, irrespective of whether such sales are made by or through the agent.

All businesses require a license, and licensing procedures vary from Emirate to Emirate. Specific information is available through the following Chambers of Commerce & Industry:


Further information is available on the UAE Ministry of Economy website and through each Emirate’s Department of Economic Development.