The Emirates Ministry of Economy has launched a register of family companies

The UAE Ministry of Economy (MoE) has announced four new cabinet resolutions in the family business sector. Resolution No. 109, dated 2023, involves the launch of a unified registry of family businesses in the country. The other three decrees - Nos. 106, 107 and 108 of 2023 - deal with the registration of a family company's articles of association on the ministry's website, the issuance and purchase of shares by these companies, among others.

The innovations are aimed at improving the management standards of family businesses, ensuring their sustainability and effective development. The new registry will be part of a comprehensive database managed by the MoE.

According to the MoE, the launch of the unified registry is an important step in developing the management of the family business sector and regulating registration procedures. It will include data on the registration of family businesses, the issuance and revocation of management certificates and the renewal of company status.

The registration procedure in the registry includes the following steps:

  1. Majority shareholders submit an application through the relevant authorities, which are available in each emirate.
  2. The compliance of the family company with the norms and requirements is checked, and all data and documents are transferred to the Ministry of Economy.
  3. The MoE Single Registry Department registers the family company and issues a certificate of registration.

Subsequently, the partners who own at least ¾ of the shares will be able to submit a request to cancel the registration of the family company, if they wish to do so.

As stated by UAE Minister of Economy Abdullah bin Touq Al Mari, family businesses contribute significantly to the development of the national economy. Such companies account for 90% of the country's entire private sector and contribute 40% of the Emirates' GDP. Therefore, they have an important role to play in achieving the national goal of doubling GDP. The head of the ministry stressed that the development of the family business sector in the UAE is being implemented in line with international best practices through the adoption of new legislation and innovative programmes. Among them is the Thabat programme, which aims to ensure sustainable growth of family companies over several generations, and encourage them to move into new sectors of the economy.

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