ABOUT THE UAE
The UAE has a complex legal system that is influenced by elements of Islamic Sharia law, civil law, and common law. The country’s laws and legislation are intended to offer investors and entrepreneurs a stable and business-friendly environment.
Commercial, labour, corporate tax, VAT, intellectual property, and real estate regulations are all covered under the legal framework. The UAE’s legal system is evolving to suit the changing requirements of its varied and dynamic community, with a commitment to maintaining justice and promoting social harmony.
Disclaimer: Despite our efforts to provide the most up-to-date regulations, the laws mentioned above may not reflect the latest revisions, as they are subject to frequent changes.
Below are the UAE corporate laws and legislations that serve as the legal framework that governs various aspects of business incorporation, operations, compliance, and governance in the UAE.
LIST OF THE UAE CORPORATE LAWS & LEGISLATIONS
BUSINESS & COMPANY LAWS
The legal framework for regulating corporations in the UAE has developed dramatically in recent years by worldwide best practices and support economic progress. The following laws are significant legislative achievements. These laws provide a robust foundation for various business structures, offering flexibility for entrepreneurs and investors.
The law on family enterprises is critical to strengthen family businesses to guarantee the continuity of their gains and offer stable foundations. It gives them legislative assistance and a regulatory framework, allowing them to successfully pass on businesses from generation to generation.
The UAE Federal Decree Law No. 32 of 2021 on Commercial Companies applies to any economic entity on the mainland that engages in any commercial, financial, industrial, agricultural, real estate, or other type of economic activity.
The Commercial Registry Federal Decree-Law No. 37 of 2021 intends to make the Economic Register a comprehensive reference for economic operations in the UAE, assisting investors and firms in developing their businesses based on recorded, integrated, and correct information.
The new Federal Law No. 6 of 2018 on Arbitration in the UAE replaces articles 203-218 of the Civil Procedures Law No. 11 of 1992. It applies to UAE arbitrations, international commercial arbitrations outside the U.S. by choice, and disputes governed by UAE law unless expressly prohibited.
Commercial Transactions Laws constitute an essential part of regulating the conduct of commercial operations and transactions inside the UAE. The business transaction legal system is principally formed by Federal Decree-Law No. 50 of 2022 Issuing the Commercial Transactions Law, often known as the UAE Commercial Transactions Law. This legislation applies to a wide range of business operations, such as contracts, sales, commercial papers, and negotiable instruments. It provides the fundamental ideas and norms that firms must follow when conducting various transactions.
The legislation is a significant legislation achievement in the UAE and is part of a larger series of changes aimed at ensuring that the UAE maintains its position as a leading market for Islamic finance by providing a legal framework that supports businesses and stimulates investment.
The commercial agencies law is expected to provide more support and comfort to foreign investors in the UAE by giving them more flexibility, such as the ability to choose a familiar international dispute resolution forum, easily terminate any commercial agency agreements, and even register as commercial agents if they meet the requirements stipulated in the Law.
The New Agency Law allows multinational corporations, even if they are not controlled by a UAE person, to exercise commercial agency for the items they possess provided the Minister recommends it and the business is within the restrictions established by the Minister.
The UAE’s Financial Crimes Laws, particularly Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorist Financing legislation, are critical for ensuring financial integrity. These rules require corporations to follow tight guidelines to avoid money laundering, terrorist funding, and support for unlawful groups, confirming the country’s commitment to global security.
This federal decree law is an important pillar in combatting money laundering and terrorism funding, as well as improving the efficiency of the UAE’s legal and institutional structures.
EMPLOYMENT & LABOR LAWS
Labor laws in the UAE are a pillar of the country’s dedication to worker welfare and fair employment practices. These regulations, notably Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 UAE Labour Law, safeguard employees’ rights by addressing issues like working hours, salary, leave benefits, and occupational safety. Employment contracts, non-discrimination rules, and dispute resolution processes are all part of this legislation, which ensure that employees are treated fairly and that problems are resolved effectively, fostering economic stability and social well-being.
The United Arab Emirates announced the new Labour Law on November 16, 2021, repealing the Federal Labour Law No. 8 of 1980. The New Labour Law made substantial modifications to the country’s current employment system.
TAXATION AND FISCAL LAWS
The Corporate Tax Law came into effect for entities with fiscal years beginning on or after 1 June 2023, provides the legislative foundation for the establishment and execution of the Corporate Tax in the UAE.
The Corporate Tax Law, which came into effect for entities with fiscal years beginning on or after 1 June 2023, provides the legislative foundation for the establishment and execution of the Corporate Tax in the UAE.
VAT is a tax levied on the purchase or use of goods and services. At the point of sale, a 5% VAT is imposed. Businesses collect and remit taxes on behalf of the government. The VAT regulations of the UAE, namely Federal Decree-Law No. 8 of 2017 on Value Added Tax, imposed a 5% tax on goods and services. This initiative is intended to stimulate the economy and support public services.
In 2018, the UAE introduced a 5% Value Added Tax (VAT). Businesses must register if their UAE-based taxable supplies exceed AED 375,000 annually or if a non-UAE-based business makes taxable supplies with no other UAE taxpayer.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY & RIGHTS
The UAE’s Intellectual Property Laws include strict copyright and trademark rules. Federal Decree-Law No. 38 of 2021 on Copyrights and Neighbouring Rights provides copyright protection for literary and creative creations. Trademarks are administered by Federal Decree-Law No. 36 of 2021 on trademarks, which protects distinguishing symbols and trademarks while encouraging innovation and creativity.
This Law seeks to safeguard writers and creators of intellectual works in a variety of fields. The new Law’s provisions provide an environment for creators, inventors, and authors of intellectual works in creative disciplines, enhancing the UAE’s position as a global destination for creativity, innovation, and talent.
The Law aims to provide integrated trademark protection as well as new mechanisms that improve the effectiveness and efficiency of government operations, resulting in a faster adoption of emerging concepts and innovative methods and a more competitive trademark and intellectual property system.