We use cookies for statistical purposes.

  • Unit OT 14-44, Central Park Offices, Dubai International Financial Centre
  • clients(at)dubai-lawyers.net
  • +971 56 979 4813

Shelf Company in Dubai

shelf company dubai

There are two ways to start doing business in Dubai: to open a new company or to buy a shelf or ready-made company. The shelf company is a business that has been registered for a few months or even a few years and has been left on a shelf to age.

 Quick Facts  
  Legal entities available for shelf company

– limited liability company,

– private or public partnership

Time required for purchasing the company

A few days

Types of features it includes (corporate bank account, VAT number, etc)

– bank account,

– tax number,

– legal address,

– trading name,

– Articles of Association

The advantages of a shelf company

– fast purchase & ownership transfer,

– rapid start of the activities,

– easy access to bank loans

Appointing new directors 


Capital increase allowed


Certificate of no commercial activities


Modify the objects of activity Yes
Participants in the purchase procedure Buyer (or representative) & seller
The cost of buying a shelf company   Depending on longevity of the shelf company & purchase fees 

How to choose the Dubai shelf company for purchase

There are two types of shelf companies that can be bought in Dubai. There are aged companies, which have been registered years ago and can be chosen by those interested in integrating the history of their existing business in the shelf company, and there are also recently-registered shelf companies.

Buying a shelf company will bring a set of benefits to the new owner, among which:

  1.  The company has all the elements it needs for the new owner to start doing business in Dubai in a very short period of time;
  2.  Given the fact that it has a history, it will be easy for the company to obtain access to credits or loans with banks;
  3.  Foreign investors can also enter public-private partnerships with various authorities in Dubai through a shelf company;
  4.   With a shelf company, a foreign entrepreneur can operate in mainland Dubai or in one of the free zones.

It is also important to notice that one can buy a shelf company in one of Dubai‘s free zones. When purchasing a ready-made company with the purpose of doing business in a Dubai free zone, specific licenses issued in the specific free zone must be considered.

Our company registration advisors in Dubai can offer more information on how to acquire a shelf company in a free zone. Plus, information about the purchase of a shelf company in UAE and company formation in Dubai can be offered by our team.

Here is an infographic with details on this topic:

How to buy a ready-made company in Dubai

Aside from starting a new company in Dubai, there is the possibility of buying a ready-made company. The purchase of a company in Dubai is very little time-consuming, it takes only 2 or 3 days and all you have to do is to sign a sales contract and pay the purchase price for the shares of the company before starting to use it.

However, it is important to know the business climate, the legal aspects, and the best-suited type of company you want to purchase. Before making your purchase, you will need to check the company’s economic background. To speed up the process, our local agents can help you. Moreover, you can contact us if interested in a shelf company in UAE.

How to verify a shelf company in Dubai

The list of shelf companies for sale in Dubai is quite extensive, which is why it is best to check the company to be purchased. There are various verifications that can be made when buying a shelf company in Dubai.

The company can be checked based on its name with the Dubai Companies Register. Even if there is no record of inconsistencies related to shelf companies reported to our local consultants, the verification of a ready-made company should imply a credit and financial history check.

Here is a video that explains more about the procedure of verifying and buying a shelf company in Dubai:

Changes that need to be made to a Dubai shelf company

Once a shelf company is purchased, the new owner must know that there are a few changes that need to be brought to it. The mandatory ones refer to the amendment of the Articles of Association with the names of the new shareholder(s) and directors. Then, the business owner can change the trade name of the business and even amend the company’s share capital in order to comply with the activities to be undertaken. It is also important to notice that the company will need to apply for the necessary business licenses. A Dubai shelf company can obtain a trading or industrial license.

All the changes need to be notified to the Trade Register in Dubai. You can rely on our Dubai company formation specialists for assistance with the changes which can be made when purchasing a ready-made company. Details about how to buy a shelf company in UAE can be discussed with our local specialists.

Ready-made company vs. new company in Dubai

There are both similarities and differences between new companies and shelf companies in Dubai. The main resemblance is related to the business forms under which both types of entities can be registered. The limited liability company is the most common type of shelf company available for sale in Dubai, as well as the most employed business type registered by foreign entrepreneurs.

When it comes to the differences, the ready-made company has the main advantage of being incorporated, however, the company can be personalized in accordance with the new owner’s requirements.

In terms of licensing, both types of companies will need to obtain new licenses, as the shelf company will usually not have a business license.

Our company registration representatives in Dubai can help you choose between buying a shelf company or incorporating a new business.

The advantages of purchasing a shelf company

The main advantage of buying a shelf company in Dubai is the possibility of starting your business quickly when time is an important matter for you. It gives you credibility and seniority due to its background, which is a mean of reassuring your clients. There are several types of companies you can choose from and make sure they fit your requirements. It requires less documentation when purchasing a ready-made company and our specialists in Dubai can provide you with all legal expertise and advice in that matter. An already-made company has its own legal address, a corporate bank account, a director that resides in Dubai and all necessary certificates and permissions.

Our company formation agents from Dubai can help you with your purchase and the selection of the business, its evaluation and they can provide you with all the necessary assistance in your negotiations. They will also support you with the process of business transfer of the ownership.

If you are interested in buying a company or starting a business in another country, such as opening a company in Austria, our agents who can put you in touch with our local partners.

FAQ on shelf companies in Dubai

Is it safe to buy ready-made companies in Dubai?

Yes, it is both safe and legal to purchase shelf companies in Dubai.

Is it hard to buy a shelf company in Dubai?

No, it is not. The procedure of buying a Dubai ready-made company takes a few days to complete.

How much does it cost to buy a Dubai shelf company?

The cost of a shelf company is influenced by the business form and its age, which is why the price range is quite extensive.

How long does it take to start operating under a shelf company in Dubai?

It can take a few days to start operating under a shelf company, considering the issuance of the business license.

If you are interested in acquiring a shelf company or setting up a new business in Dubai, please contact us for assistance.