Closing or Selling Your Business In Dubai
There are several reasons to leave a business; it might be failing, it might have run out of funds, or you might find that a better opportunity lies elsewhere and you need to retrieve your invested capital. For each of these reasons for exiting a business, there are different official procedures that must be followed.
If the business is to be sold, the trade licence will need to be amended in order to reflect the changes in ownership. On the other hand, if the business is being closed altogether, all of the assets must be liquidated and any debts must be cleared before the trade licence can be cancelled. If you are planning on cancelling a trade licence, remember that you will need NOCs from several different government ministries before starting the cancellation process at the Department of Economic Development.
Selling Your Business
If you plan on selling your business outright, the first step is to determine its value. Although you may have a good idea of the worth of your company’s assets and capital, it is a good idea to hire a chartered accountant or auditor to determine its value in the market. The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry maintains a list of auditors and chartered accountants and organises the Auditors Business Group. These consultants will determine the worth of your assets as well as your average cash flow and revenue. They will then determine the demand for such a business in today’s market.
Once the terms of the sale have been agreed upon by the owner and buyer, the official process can begin. The first step is to obtain an initial approval from the Department of Economic Development. As well as bringing the original licence, the application for the new licence and the passport of the purchaser, you may also need special approvals from a different government ministry. The required approvals will be the same as those needed for the original licence.
After obtaining the initial approval from the DED, both the buyer and seller need to create an official contract at the notary public in Dubai Courts. You cannot receive a final approval from the Department of Economic Development without the court-notarised contract.
The notary public contract then needs to be submitted to the Department of Economic Development along with all of the previously submitted documents. Only then will the business’s licence be amended to show the new ownership.
Rather than selling the whole of the business, it is possible to sell shares of the business. This process is similar to selling a business in that it requires an amendment to the trade licence. On top of the procedures and documents outlined above, the Department of Economic Development also requires written approval from each of the business’s partners.
Here's some great links to hep you out:
Licence Cancellation – Department of Economic Development
Sale of Business – Department of Economic Development
Businesses for Sale in Dubai – BusinessesForSale.com
Valuating Your Business – All Business
List of Chartered Accountants – indexuae.com
Documents and Procedure for Sale of Business – Department of Economic Development
Notary Public – Dubai Courts
Adding a Partner (Selling Shares) – Department of Economic Development
Licence Amendment – Department of Economic Development
Source: Dubai Government Official Portal www.dubai.ae
Last updated on EW 14.5.12