ded branch licensing

Abu Dhabi has made continuous efforts to attract foreign direct investment and to support businesses in the Emirate. The government recently issued a resolution allowing all free zone registered companies in Abu Dhabi to apply for an additional branch licence from the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (‘DED’), without the need to have a second additional onshore office or premises.

The licence, often referred to as an ‘onshore’ licence, helps businesses carry out commercial activities more freely and take part in more tenders for government and semi-government entities.

When you apply for the DED onshore licence, the licensing fees by Abu Dhabi government are now waived for the first two years from the licence date. This provides you with access to more business at a significantly lower cost.

To help partners interested in applying for a branch licence, twofour54 has prepared this guide to explain the benefits and the process involved.

step-by-step guide

frequently asked questions

  • What is the DED Branch Licence?

    Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development is providing an onshore branch licence to all free zone registered companies, in addition to their existing licence without the need to have an additional office. As part of a government resolution issued in December 2018, the licensing fees by Abu Dhabi Government to obtain the DED onshore license are now waived for the first two years from the licence date.

  • What is the agreement?

    The agreement is between the Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (‘DED’). It allows firms licensed by the Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi to apply for a DED branch licence in addition to their existing free zone licence.

  • Why should I apply for the licence?

    An ‘onshore’ licence, as it is also known, helps firms more freely carry out their commercial activities as well as take part in more contracts and tenders for government and semi-government entities.
    This means you will have access to much more business and this can help your company grow.

  • Will I have to open an office outside twofour54?

    No, the benefit of this agreement is that you can obtain a branch licence without the need to have a second additional onshore office or premises.
    This means that you will continue operating at our thriving media ecosystem while also having the opportunity to operate onshore.

  • How do I apply for the licence?

    Firstly, inform our government affairs team at twofour54 that you would like to obtain a DED branch licence then you will need to submit the relevant documentation to the Department of Economic Development (DED), through twofour54’s team.
    The documents you will need are: Trade Name Application, Passport, Emirates ID, Family Book (UAE nationals only), Board Resolution- Notary Public, Power of Attorney (POA)- Notary Public, Memorandum and Article of Association (MOA and AOA) – MZA Certified, Business License – MZA Certified, Specimen Signature (notary public), Certificate of Incorporation (COI) – MZA Certified, and an undertaking letter.
    There are a series of requirements that you will need to meet, such as registering your entity with the Ministry of Economy and becoming a member of the Abu Dhabi Chamber. Our team is on hand to help; contact: government.affairs@twofour54.com. For a step-by-step guide to the process visit this link.

  • How much time does it take to obtain the licence?

    The precise length of time depends on the timeline for approving the various documents. However, if all the requirements are met, we estimate that the process will take about 3-4 weeks.

  • How much does it cost?

    The total amount will vary depending on the circumstances of your business. However, as part a recent government resolution, the licensing fees by Abu Dhabi entities are now waived for the first two years from the licence date, effective December 2018.

    Our Government Affairs department can advise you throughout the process and provide you with a cost estimate. You can contact them on government.affairs@twofour54.com.

  • How can twofour54 support my application?

    twofour54 is actively encouraging and supporting partners through the process to enable them to take advantage of this new commercial opportunity. Our government affairs department can advise you throughout the process. You can contact them via email government.affairs@twofour54.com.