General Process of Closing a Company in UAE Mainland

Welcome to the module 11 of our course, where we talk about ways how to close, liquidate and wind up your company. Most entrepreneurs, especially in the beginning, live for the struggle of launching their businesses, sometimes forgetting that thinking about exit strategies is very important as well, and should be well-thought in advance.


Hi, today we will get into details of closing a business in the UAE and how to do it properly. To start with I would like mention that the process in mainland and freezones is a bit different and subject to change, therefore in this video we will cover the general process of closing a company in mainland.

Whenever you decided to close down the business, you must cancel your business license and all the permits associated with it.  Why it is so important you might ask. Well, because all UAE Registrars have late renewal penalty fees, and if you do not timely inform the authority, you will need to pay them off. Therefore, to avoid paying accumulated penalties, be sure to cancel your license upon business closure prior to license expiration date.

In cases when you are one of the shareholders of the company, make sure to fullfill all your liabilities towards other shareholders and 3rd parties related to your company. We recommend not to burn bridges behind and break off all ties with parties and partners, as you might decide to start up new endeavour again soon, and it’s obviously much easier task to do with those who already know you and had previous deals experience with you in the past, than to start over again and try to establish good relations with new partners, which is a time-consuming task.

What is the procedure of cancelling your business license?

Well, if we talk about mainland, for establishments and proprietorships the process is very simple. As step no. 1 you need to visit the relevant emirate Economic Department to apply for cancellation, as step no.2 you need to get necessary clearance letters from the following establishments: Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, Utility companies dealing with electricity, water, cooling, current office space leasing Landlord or real estate company.

However, if your mainland company has shares, for example an LLC or (Private/Public) Joint Stock Company, the process with lengthen due to requirements to liquidate shares, collect debts and pay the creditors, if any, prior to finalizing with Dubai Economic Department. For Private JSC you will need to get Ministry of Economy approval first, and for Public JSC you will need to get Securities and Commodities Authority's decision to cancel a public shareholding company.

So what is the step by step strategy to close down a main-land company?

Prepare and notarize the board resolution, first, that will be confirming company liquidation and appoint a liquidator-company. Then, ask the appointed liquidator company to issue an official letter with duty acceptance. Take this official letter and visit relevant emirate Economic Department to fill in a company cancellation form. Upon process completion, the relevant Economic Department will issue a liquidation certificate. Once you have the certificate, you will need to publish a liquidation notice in two federal local newspapers. Once the newspapers with your notices are issued, your debtors can submit their claims within 45 days since publication date.

To get the final company cancellation approval, you will need to submit a declaration letter from the liquidator confirming no objections from any other third party during 45 grace period. You will need to collect and submit all the required approvals of other related governmental establishments mentioned earlier. Among the most important is cancellation of company establishment card in the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization, and cancellation of all UAE resident visas in General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

Upon submission of all the above documents, the relevant Economic Department will determine the fees and give its final cancellation approval.

We also do recommend applying for certificate of deregistration after the process is finalized.

The process is much easier for Civil Companies. To close a Civil company you will need to fill in the company cancellation form in the DED. Cancel the company’s card in the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization. Cancel all the UAE resident visas in General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs. Then you will need to get the necessary approvals of relevant government bodies to cancel a license, prepare a partnership cancellation contract authenticated by the notary public and at the final stage to submit the mentioned set of documents. Upon process completion, we recommend to collect license cancellation certificate.

The easiest procedure is for Sole Proprietorship licenses, where to close a company you need to apply for company closure in relevant emirate economic department first, then get a no objection letter from Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization and General Directorate of  Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

If a company is established in another emirate and is being dissolved, but owns a branch company in another emirate, such branch will be dissolved as well. The necessary procedure of branch liquidation should be undertaken in such case with the Relevant Registrar where the branch is registered.

Remember, it is not that difficult as it may seem as UAE is a very dynamic country that implements modern technologies and allowing to execute the necessary procedures quite fast. You should also know that in case you will not have time to do it yourself, you can always hire someone do it for you, so that you do not spend time on it. What is important, is that at the time of visa cancellation, in case you as investor have a resident visa, you will need to come to the UAE to cancel it, so plan accordingly.


    If you want to know more about Dubai freezone company formation, feel free to get in touch with our professional consultant team and we would be delighted to assist you and help you to compare Dubai freezone company setup costs and help you to find that free zone, which would suit your business needs the most.


 Disclaimer: Business Boutique is not affiliated with any particular government or legal entity. Business Boutique does not give professional legal advice nor any other professional advice subject to a public office in the government. This article merely sets out a simple and basic idea as to the reasons of Dubai freezone company setup and Dubai free zone company formation cost. Business Boutique in no way holds nor imposes any official governmental or legal authority and the article herein is only to be taken as a guide. All further governmental or legal issues should be addressed to the corresponding authorities.

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