Key Difference Between a Branch and Subsidiary in Business Setup

Key Difference Between a Branch and Subsidiary in Business Setup

Published On:
July 7, 2022

Every organization and operating firm aspire to expand and access larger markets by establishing operations in international markets, such as going for company formation in Dubai. Due to globalization, it is common practice to grow to numerous international nations. However, before extending, you must consider how your business will maintain conformity in your key markets. Each market's rules are distinct from one another and differ. Even though you think the first step is establishing a trustworthy presence in your new market, we advise you to hold off. Processes, trade laws, and political and economic situations, differ. Therefore, using a local business setup service is usually recommended.

The greatest strategy is to test the waters, create a plan, research the market, and comprehend the major distinctions between the legal entities you choose to establish your firm and what it signifies. Once you've thought through how the business will function, hiring independent international contractors or using other global employment opportunities, you must choose whether to create a foreign branch or whether a subsidiary would better suit your needs.

Before making a choice that will affect your growth, you should consider the following important variables.

Key Difference Between a Branch and Subsidiary in Business Setup

Understanding the Difference

The branch and the subsidiary are two legal structures foreign firms use most frequently. Each has distinctive qualities, and the distinctions between a corporate branch and a subsidiary in Dubai may be crucial to the company's business strategy.


A subsidiary is a separate legal company with its parent company as its largest shareholder. A subsidiary business owner may create a subsidiary inside or outside of one of the free zones if a UAE citizen partner controls 51 percent of the business. This legal organization is required to obtain the necessary licenses and abide by Dubai's tax laws. In contrast to the situation with the branch, the foreign company will no longer be held responsible for the subsidiary's actions. The Dubai headquarters of the subsidiary will be where the managerial duties are performed.


A branch is the actual expansion of one business into other cities or countries. The original company's branch in Dubai is connected to it; it is not a separate legal entity. A branch in Dubai is not allowed to engage in several illegal activities, such as running food establishments or commercial agencies and is required to register with the Ministry of Economy. Additionally, due to the delicate nature of this corporate structure, it is limited to activities similar to those done by the parent company outside. The parent firm must select a representative in Dubai to handle its business affairs because it is responsible for the branch's commitments and liabilities.

Advantages of Branches and Subsidiary Business Setup in Dubai


  • Low-Cost and Time-Efficient Incorporation Process.
  • Tax advantages in free zones.
  • Simple Transfers of Shares.
  • Total and Unrestricted Control.


  • Flexible and independent company
  • Trustworthiness and simple collaborations.
  • Could be set up as an LLC (Limited Liability Company).
  • If registered with a different license, it is possible to conduct business domestically.

Cons of Establishing a Subsidiary or Branch Company in Dubai


  • High-cost
  • The primary shareholder (parent firm) is responsible for all operations and actions.
  • Penalties for violating municipal commercial and company procedures.


  • Revenue taxation.


In short, branches exist to increase consumer reach, while a subsidiary firm is the outcome of a company's more general imperial expansion plan. It is also crucial to remember that various regulations in other nations govern this. Get in touch with the top business setup company in Dubai if you'd like advice on starting a foreign branch or subsidiary in a new country or if you want to investigate your alternatives.



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