Dubai is an incredibly unique city with amazing sights of wonder and supportive business environments. Every year thousands of people from all over the world flock to Dubai to chase their dream of pursuing a business career in this city of innovation. The brilliant tax setup, world-class infrastructure, strategic location, and an easily accessible and diversified market are some of the many reasons why overseas entrepreneurs choose to open a company in Dubai.
Apparently, business formation in Dubai is not that difficult if you follow the right direction. So, if you are curious to know how to start a business in Dubai, here’s a detailed guide for your aid.
Advantages of Company Registration in Dubai
- Allowance of capital and profit repatriation
- Lenient labor laws
- Cost-effective labor forces
- Exemption from taxes
- Virtual as well as physical office facilities
- Exclusion from customs liabilities
- Access to a vast and diverse economy
- Home to many startup incubators and funding initiatives
Procedure to open company in Dubai
The administrative aspects of Dubai may seem a little daunting, but you can easily complete all the steps with the right support by your side.
Choosing an activity
There are plenty of opportunities in various industries for investors to explore. Choosing a business activity will give you a steer to move ahead with the business incorporation process. While many locations permit specific business activities, some authorities allow you to have multiple business activities listed under a single license.
Deciding a company’s legal structure
Now you need to decide on the company’s legal structure. The best part is that UAE now allows 100 % foreign ownership even in the Mainland region which accommodates more than 2000 company activities.
Registering a company name
Registering a name for the company is the next important step. The UAE has some strict naming conventions, hence, you have to make sure the name conforms to the rules. For example, avoid any names that include offensive language or references to any religion or political group. Similarly, if you choose an individual’s name as your company name, then it must be their full name, rather than the initials or abbreviations.
Following these naming conventions can avoid delays and rejections in the registration process. Seeking assistance from a business setup expert can help you save a lot of time and effort. UAE Expansion experts will run your proposed names past the rules and check if they are acceptable as per the norms.
Deciding on a company location
The right location determines a lot about your venture. There are several commercial locations in Dubai and each of them varies in terms of corporate regulations, taxes, infrastructure, resource availability, exposure to diverse economies, etc.
Determine whether you want to launch your business project in the Mainland region or any of the Free zones in Dubai. The mainland setup will allow you to trade directly with the local market in the UAE, which is not the case in a free zone. On the other hand, you can enjoy full ownership of your business irrespective of the industry you operate in. Although Mainland also allows full ownership, for some activities you might have to work with a local partner who will hold 51% of your company’s shares.
Drafting an LSA and MoA
Mainland setup mandates foreign investors to hire a local service agent who will assist them in getting all the required licenses and mandatory approvals. Though they would have no right to interfere in any of your business activities or decisions. Besides, they will help in maintaining the statutory and operational control of the business without holding any stakes in the company.
To open a company in Dubai, you will have to draft and submit a Memorandum of Association, the document detailing the structure and business model of the company, to the relevant authorities. The applicant must however make sure that the MOA is duly signed by all the partners associated with the company.
Applying for a license
If you are planning to register your company in the Mainland, then you must apply to the DED (Department of Economic Development) for your business license. On the other hand, if you want to register under a Free zone, then your license will be issued by the respective free zone authorities.
Finalize the incorporation paperwork
To complete the paperwork, you will be required to submit your trade name registration certificate and initial approval form, along with copies of shareholders’ passports to the authorities. Some jurisdictions may ask for additional documentation such as a business plan or an NOC from the current sponsor that confirms their consent for you to set up a business in the UAE.
The paperwork might be the most exhausting of all the steps, but then again it won’t be too challenging if undertaken with expert help. UAE Expansion, your business set-up partner will explain to you all the paperwork that is required for the process and even help you complete it without any errors.
Open a bank account
Once your paperwork is done, you will have all the necessary documents and permits to open your corporate bank account. You will need a business account to trade successfully in Dubai. Emirates NBD, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank the Commercial Bank of Dubai, HSBC, Citibank, and Barclays are some of the popular options you can choose for your business account setup.
Your business set-up partner UAE Expansion will help you choose the most suitable option for your business setup in Dubai.
Process your visas
Proceeding to the final step of the company formation process, applying for visas. Dubai authorities allow you to put in applications for multiple visas including yourself, your staff, and dependants. The visa quota will depend on the jurisdiction you choose to register in. The process will be as follows – issuing an entry permit, status adjustment, medical fitness test, Emirates ID registration, and finally visa stamping.
It is recommended to seek expert advice from UAE Expansion before choosing a location, activity, name or license for your company. Once all your steps are completed, you are good to go and do business.
Eligible Structures for Registration in Dubai
- Free Zone Establishments/Companies
- LLCs (Limited Liability Companies)
- Branch offices
- Representative offices
- Partnership firms
- Civil companies
- Offshore companies
Types of licenses available for Dubai Company Formation
Apart from deciding on a legal structure and location, you also need to identify the type of license that suits your business operation. For example,
- Commercial license – For trading activities including buying and selling of goods, import & export, sales, logistics, travel & tourism, general stores, real estate, etc.
- Industrial license – For manufacturing activities such as converting raw materials and resources into final products, either manually or mechanically.
- Professional license – For professional service-providing activities such as medical services, beauty salons, consultancy, repair services, etc.
Get in touch with UAE Expansion to find the right type of license for your business.
Make it Easy with UAE Expansion
Company formation in Dubai is now made simple. Thanks to the accommodating conditions of the Emirates that allows newbie investors and entrepreneurs to open a company in Dubai without any hefty obstacles and trials.
Additionally, with the right experienced support, you can complete the process in just over one week. The proficient team of UAE Expansion will steer you through all the steps of company formation and liaison with the government authorities for the required authorizations and permissions