How to Name your Company in the UAE?

It is quite obvious that the very first thing everyone starts thinking about, when planning their own business, is a company name. And it makes perfect sense, because the name will become a starting point for all corporate identity materials you will be working on moving forward. We will not teach you how to choose or create the name in this video, as this is almost an intimate process. Instead, we will discuss all administrative aspects related to the company name.




Have you ever noticed that all company names in the United Arab Emirates end with the following suffixes “FZE, FZC, FZ LLC, L.L.C, Limited, Ltd.? Or often there are even extra words added to the name that you initially proposed.


We do not want you to be surprised, once you receive your corporate documents and see that your company is X FZ LLC instead of just X, as you proposed it before. All suffixes you come across most of the time allow you to determine, which legal type this company belongs to.


FZE, FZC and FZ LLC stand for free zone companies.


FZE is an abbreviation for a free zone establishment, while FZC is a free zone company and FZ LLC is a free zone limited liability company. If this is an establishment, it means a company has one single owner. Should there be two or more business owners, it will be then FZC or FZ LLC.


Suffix L.L.C you come across, when you are dealing with a mainland/local company in the U.A.E. Additionally, there is a practice to add a few more words to your proposed company name, that would describe the exact activity of the company. Say, if I am in event management and I want my local company to have a name “X”, it will be called X Event Management L.L.C. The reason why there is an extra description added to the proposed company name is that registration authority takes precautionary measures and in such way insures that companies practice declared business activities. To put it in very simple words, if you come as X Event Management L.L.C. to me and try selling me air conditioners, it will already become very suspicious to me, why you are then called Event Management. So this is exactly why company names in mainland are more descriptive, as this helps to eradicate bad practices.  


At the same time, certain free zones also use a LLC suffix for their free zone member-companies. Sharjah Media City free zone is one of them. Nevertheless, LLC suffix for free zone companies is rather an exception than a rule.


And finally suffixes “Limited” and “Ltd.” are most of the time common for offshore companies, incorporated in the UAE. Although there are certain exceptions. For example, in Masdar free zone companies end with the word “Limited” as well.  Therefore, although there is a high chance that X Limited would be an offshore, it could be a free zone company too.


Let’s sum it up. Regardless of the name you choose for your company, there will be a specific suffix added to the name. This suffix corresponds to the legal form of your company.


Now that you know how your company’s final legal name will look, let’s see how you choose and reserve this name.


First and foremost, you need to come up with three or more names up front. When you approach a registration authority, they will ask you for several of them, as quite often certain names you propose can be already taken and relevant authority should have an option to pick another proposed name from the list you supply.


You should be also wary of company name restrictions. Not all words, names and characters can be used in company names.


General restrictions can be summarized as follows:


1) countries and cities cannot be mentioned in company names;

2) words, such as Assurance, Bank, Banking, Financial, Government, Insurance, Royal, Trust and a number of others are not allowed;

3) any words that contradict future business activity of the company;

4) any abbreviations use of which cannot be justified;

5) any words that may deem inappropriate.


In general, various authorities have different degree of flexibility with respect to proposed names. Therefore, we recommend to request a list of restricted names from that particular registration authority, where you want to establish a future company.


However, in some cases, you as entrepreneur need to use a word, which might be restricted. For example, you have a holding company with offices worldwide and all these companies have a specific word in their names, which is restricted by a specific registration authority in the UAE. Here is where operating name comes into play. If you look close at all licenses in the UAE, there is a line, which refers to the operating name as opposed to the legal name of the company. Please bear in mind that not all registration authorities in the UAE offer today an option to have the operating name. Still it is possible from time to time based on the approval from the relevant registration authority and upon providing respective justification.


Let’s pretend you have already come up with three names, submitted them to a respective registration authority for approval and received a positive reply in connection with the name “X”. Now that you know that your company can have the name “X”, you want to ensure that no one will come and take this name, while you are still registering your company. This is why company name shall be reserved first. There is no tailor-made solution, how you do it, because the process varies from one registration authority to another. However, there are two main aspects: company name reservation is done for a certain period of time (from 2 weeks to 1-2 months) and this service is either free with a limited number of free zone authorities or there is a certain fee associated with the same, which can be from a hundred dirhams to almost a thousand (which is from 30 to almost 273 US dollars).


Once the name is reserved, you start the company registration process.


In case you need to change the name of the company in the future, you can also do so.

I think now we have covered all major aspects related to company name and you know now, that before you start company registration process, you need to approach the relevant registration authority first, request lists of restricted names; then come up with several name options for your company and reserve the name, which is available, so that no one else can take it.


My suggestion is, just get a blank piece of paper and think of three company names that you would be comfortable with. This way you are a step closer towards your new company.


We at the same time invite you to continue this business journey and we will see you in the next video, where we will talk about business licenses.


    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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