Legal Glossary

Offer Letter

A letter from a company to a potential employee setting out the key terms of the proposed employment. An Offer Letter usually includes details on the position, salary, bonuses (if any), annual leave, any ESOP offer, and confidentiality/intellectual property matters.


Has different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. In the UAE, “Offshore” refers to a location outside the UAE. “Offshore” can mean either another country or carrying on business outside the UAE from within a Free Zone which permits such international activities.

Offshore Free Zone Company

A company registered in a Free Zone in the UAE which carries on business outside of the UAE only. In some circumstances, an Offshore Free Zone Company may own real estate in the UAE or shares in some UAE-incorporated companies.


In the UAE, “Onshore” refers to the parts of the UAE which are outside the Free Zones.

Onshore Company

A company incorporated in the UAE but not in one of the Free Zones.


A contractual right (but not an obligation) to buy or sell an asset at a specified price on a specified date. On ScaleUp, the particular type of option being referred to is the right to buy Ordinary Shares (unless otherwise indicated). Options may be used as part of an incentive scheme (for example, an Employee Share Option Plan).

Ordinary Share

The basic form of a share in the company’s capital and the most common. Ordinary shares have voting and economic rights (i.e. the right to receive dividends). Ordinary shares are often held by founders, employees and angel investors. Preference shares have additional rights and priority ahead of ordinary shares.