A business partnership is a legal agreement between two or more individuals that entitles each to shared ownership and management. With a business partner, you stand the advantage of running operations strategically and also fulfilling some of the government prerequisites. Due to the lack of information, beginner entrepreneurs make mistakes in forming a business partnership in Dubai.

The terms of your partnership can be personalised to your unique needs and can vary based on the type of your business, activities, and stakeholders. Some business activities in Dubai mainland require you to partner with a local to set up your business. It is indeed true that you will be able to get 100% foreign ownership for most activities in Dubai now, but you may be required to partner with a local or any individual in certain sectors for increased investment opportunities, legit pieces of information, and financial stability.

Types of Business Partnerships in Dubai

General partnership

All the partners involved share profits, losses, and the responsibility over all the business actions and debts.

Limited liability partnership

Similar to a general partnership, all the partners share the profits and losses but with “limited liability”, meaning that your responsibility is only limited to your investment in the company and not the actions of the company.

Local sponsorships

When you are a foreign business investor, a local partner can assist you with several aspects of the business. The local sponsor can also be a silent partner in certain cases.

Joint ventures

Commonly seen in the real estate sector, this partnership allows you to partner with two or more businesses over a single project.

Perks of Having a Local Business Partner in Dubai

Advantages of having a local business partner:

  • Better networking and connections when the person in question is well-known in the market
  • Less paperwork to complete

Advantages of partnering with corporations:

  • Improved time and asset management and a more transparent process
  • Corporate sponsors rarely meddle in the business processes
  • Planning for succession is not necessary
  • Fewer legal issues

Things to Acknowledge Before Forming a Business Partnership

Define Your Why?

Finding a business partner who is willing to share the same ideologies as you might be difficult but defining your company goals and requirements might help you find the right business partner.

Determine the Role of Your Business Partner

You might require a business partner for the sake of government procedures or to make your business operations run seamlessly. However, you do not want to partner with someone who comes your way. It is you who gets to decide the function, responsibilities, and have a say in huge decisions. Determine these parameters clearly before you partner with someone.

Structure Your Finances

Before you partner up with another individual, it is your responsibility to structure your profits, investments, and assets.

Set Up the Necessary Legal Agreements

When it comes to business it is always advisable to prepare your legal documents to partner with an individual. No matter how closely related you are with your business partner, you must draft a worst-case scenario notary too.

Business Structure

When you are establishing the business of your dreams, you must make sure the structure, activities, location, and other key factors of your business are determined by you and are not influenced later after the partnership.

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How to Find a Business Partner in Dubai

Finding a business partner can be hectic given the lack of reliable sources and connections. You can partner up with a local business consultant to find a business partner. But If you wish to do it by yourself here is your guide to do so:

  • Understand the needs and objectives of the company/ business as this helps you find a partner with similar aims who can help you expand or reach your company goals.
  • Networking events, trade shows, expos, etc may help you find the right partner. Consider visiting these often and communicating with various people there. 
  • Dubai’s free zones like the Meydan Free Zone, RAKEZ Free Zone, IFZA Free Zone, etc. are perfect for collaborating and finding partners who align with your business interests.
  • Build relationships with industry specialists, newbies, investors, or even friends from similar industries.

Also See: Free zone license in Dubai 

Finding a local partner can be advantageous due to the presence of an individual to represent you and your company locally. This eases the process of getting documents like a  trade license in Dubai.

Legal Aspects To Discuss With Your Partner

Ownership and Role Distribution

It is important to clearly define each partner’s role, responsibilities, and percentage within the company.

Monetary Assets

Before partnering, individuals must decide on financial factors such as salaries, profits, losses, and reinvestment for business growth.

Decision Making

It’s critical to specify each partner’s position, duties, and percentage share of the business.

Financial Functions

Banking is a significant aspect of business partnerships in Dubai. The partners have to make decisions about loans, signatures, and finances.


Differing viewpoints among stakeholders or partners could potentially lead to issues for your business. A strong contract is necessary for partners to handle the company’s affairs.

Exit or Death of a Partner

If one of the partners wants to leave, passes away, or retires, the partners have to decide on things like:

  • The outcome of his/her earnings or portion
  • Allowed potential gain to associated family members
  • After finalization, new partners’ onboarding
  • Retirement fund provision
  • Modifications to the document

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