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How to Find a Local Sponsor in Dubai, UAE?

Looking for a local sponsor in Dubai is a crucial intermediary for the foreign investor and the UAE government. They essentially sponsor foreign business, enabling it to conduct business in the UAE lawfully. The sponsor usually holds a share of the business or acts as a guarantee, though the exact terms of the arrangement may change.

What is Local Sponsor in Dubai, UAE?

Local sponsor in Dubai, the UAE is a system that requires international investors to form a partnership with a UAE native who owns the majority of a company(typically 51%). This assures compliance with UAE commercial regulations, improves communication between foreign investors and the government, and provides vital insights into industry trends, cultural nuances, and established business practices. This is especially useful for international entrepreneurs unfamiliar with the UAE’s commercial scene.

Why Do You Need a Local Sponsor in Dubai?

The local sponsor is a comprehensive link between your foreign business and the UAE’s economic ecosystem, ensuring your success. Here are some points discussed below which help you to get an idea to find the sponsor for your business –

  • Compliance – They act as a bridge between foreign investors and the UAE government, ensuring adherence to regulations and navigating the legalities of establishing and operating a business in the UAE. This may save you work and time, allowing you to focus on your core business operations.
  • Local Knowledge – Sponsors offer valuable insights into the local market, guiding trends, consumer preferences, cultural nuances, and best practices for conducting business in the UAE. This local knowledge aids in developing a successful business strategy and avoiding potential pitfalls.
  • Relationship Building – Local sponsors can connect businesses with potential clients, partners, and authorities, enhancing brand awareness, securing deals, and navigating the business landscape. They can also act as trusted consultants, offering guidance as well as encouragement as the firm expands.

How to Find a Local Sponsor in Dubai, UAE?

Local Sponsor in UAE

Selecting the ideal local sponsor is essential to your company’s success. Here are some options to think about –

  • Business Setup Consultants – Firms specialize in connecting foreign investors with reputable local sponsors. They handle the legal paperwork and negotiations, streamlining the process.
  • Free Zones – Consider establishing your business in a free zone like the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA). There is no need for a local sponsor because these zones allow 100% foreign ownership.
  • Networking – Attend industry events, connect with UAE business communities, and leverage your network to find potential sponsors.
  • Online Resources – Explore online platforms that connect foreign businesses with local sponsors. Before signing any contracts, complete your homework and take reasonable precautions.

Types of Local Sponsors in Dubai

There are three types of local sponsors in Dubai –

  • Corporate Local Sponsor – Established UAE companies can act as sponsors, offering expertise and potentially facilitating access to resources.
  • Individual Local Sponsor – UAE nationals can act as individual sponsors. This option requires careful selection, ensuring alignment of vision and goals.
  • Local Service Agent (LSA) as a Sponsor – LSAs are professional service firms licensed by the Department of Economic Development (DED). They act as sponsors for a fee, providing basic sponsorship services but limited involvement in the business.

How to Change a Local Sponsor in Dubai?

If you decide to change your local sponsor, here’s a general roadmap –

  1. Discuss with your current sponsor – Open communication is key. Discuss the reasons for the change and explore possibilities of mutual agreement.
  2. Involve other stockholders – Make sure that everyone agrees with the choice and the procedure if there are more shareholders.
  3. Prepare the documents – Gather necessary documents like the company license, Memorandum of Association (MoA), and sponsor agreement.
  4. Approach the court – If an agreement cannot be reached amicably, legal recourse through the Dubai Courts may be necessary.
  5. Find a new local sponsor – Once the existing sponsorship is terminated, identify a new sponsor following the methods mentioned earlier.

Local Sponsor Fee in Dubai

The Local Sponsor Fee in Dubai is not fixed and depends on several factors –

  • Sponsor Type – Individual sponsors typically charge less than corporate sponsors.
  • Business Activity – Sponsors may charge higher fees for businesses in lucrative sectors.
  • Profit-Sharing Agreement – Fees may vary depending on the profit-sharing structure between the sponsor and the foreign investor.

It’s important to negotiate the fee clearly and have a written agreement outlining the roles, responsibilities, and profit-sharing arrangements.

Does Your Business Need a Local Sponsor in the UAE?

In most cases, yes. Unless your business qualifies for specific exemptions or operates in a free zone, a local sponsor is a mandatory requirement for mainland businesses in the UAE.

Starting a successful business in Dubai or anywhere in the UAE necessitates meticulous planning and adherence to local restrictions. Through comprehension of the complexities involved in local sponsorships and adherence to the guidelines furnished in this piece, one can effectively traverse the procedure and establish their enterprise for prosperity in the cutthroat UAE marketplace.

Also Read: How To Get A License To Do Import-Export Business In Dubai


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