If you are an expatriate willing to start your own business in Dubai, then you must understand the regulatory environment of the country. Globally renowned as a trading hub of the Middle East, Dubai has always offered a wealth of benefits for new businesses and projects looking to succeed and connect to the rest of the world.
Setting up a company may seem like a tough job, but not an impossible one. The process is quite straightforward, but there are some things to be aware of though. Hence, through this article, we will go through all the legal formalities and requirements one has to fulfill in order to set up their business successfully in Dubai, UAE.
Things to do before starting a company in Dubai
- Find a business idea that you want to launch
- Research the market and identify your opponents
- Check if your idea is feasible in the market
- Find an appropriate location and space as per your business requirements
- Invest in marketing materials like business cards, websites, and other tools
- Hire a robust and reliable workforce
- Market your business effectively among the diverse customers
Licenses for business setup in Dubai
Apart from deciding on a location, you also need to determine the type of license you would need to run your company. The Department of Economic Development (DED) issues business licenses in UAE on the basis of business activities selected by the respective companies.
1. Commercial license
Investors who want to set up a business and perform trading activities must secure a commercial license in Dubai. This license also covers additional activities like buying and selling goods, import & export, sales, logistics, travel & tourism, general stores, and real estate as well.
2. Professional license
Individuals or firms that are service providers such as medical services, beauty salons, repair services, artisans, or craftsmen can apply for a professional license in Dubai.
3. Industrial license
Entrepreneurs who want to carry out manufacturing activities and transform natural materials and resources into final products through manual or mechanical means can acquire an industrial license in Dubai.
Speak with the professional agents of UAE Expansion for further details about various licenses available to start your own business in Dubai.
Steps to start your own business in UAE
The technological, logistical, and financial aspects of business growth in Dubai seem overly complex. However, the company formation can be made simple and manageable by following a few steps –
Finalize a business idea and activity
There are many industries and business sectors in Dubai that one would like to explore. However, many locations and zones cater to specific business activities. For example, Dubai Media City is dedicated to businesses operating media-related activities.
Similarly, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) accommodates financial services companies. Therefore, one should always be careful while choosing a location for its business and ensure that the desired activity is permitted in the selected zone.
Thus, there are numerous thriving sectors in the UAE, and one must make a final decision only after considering all the essential factors associated with the business operation.
Choose the legal structure and name of the company
The selection of a suitable company name is a big responsibility when starting a company in Dubai. Without it, the company cannot apply for a license, and neither can it operate legally in the market. Nevertheless, the business owner must also ensure to conform to the UAE’s strict naming conventions while choosing a name. Some of these rules are as given –
- Do not include any offensive language that is forbidden.
- Avoid names that refer to Allah, or any other religious, sectarian, or political groups.
- If choosing to name after an individual, make sure to use their full name, and the said individual must be a partner or owner of the company.
In addition, the investor must also choose a legal form of company that they want to register in Dubai. The most common types of business structures are –
- Sole Proprietorship
- Limited Liability Company
- Free Zone Establishment/ Free Zone Company
- Representative Office
- Partnership firm
- Civil Company
Additionally, there might be many other forms of companies in Dubai that UAE Expansion business experts will explain to you.
Complete the incorporation paperwork
At this stage of the company formation process, the investor has to deal with necessary incorporation paperwork that includes the submission of license applications and supportive documents. The documentation process may include –
- License application form
- Copy of passport and entry permit/UAE visa
- Emirates ID of the local partner
- MOA and AOA of the company
- Feasibility study of the project
- Certificate of Incorporation/Certificate of Incumbency (for corporate shareholders)
- Board Resolution
In some cases, the applicant may also need to present a NOC (Non-Objection Certificate) from their current sponsor confirming their consent for the applicant’s business setup in Dubai. Further, this step will include retrieving necessary approvals and permissions for relevant departments and officials.
Receive your license
Once you have submitted your application and secured the mandatory approvals, the authorities will review your application and verify the submitted documents. After reviewing, they will further process your request and issue your license accordingly. Upon receiving the license, the business owner can get started with their company activities.
Open a corporate account
Once you register your company name and get hold of your business license, you can now easily open a bank account for all of your company dealings. The United Arab Emirates is home to many local and international banks, including HSBC, Citi Bank, Barclays, Commercial Bank of Dubai, and many more. You can pick one that meets your specific requirements.
The company formation specialists at UAE Expansion will help you find the right institution to manage your business finances and also process the business account setup on your behalf.
Process the required visas
The last and final step to start your own business in Dubai is to process your Dubai visas. The authorities allow business owners to apply for residence visas as well as for those of their workers, staff, and dependents. The number of visa applications you can make will depend on the location you choose to set up in.
Therefore, it is best to seek expert advice in this matter and ensure you obtain all the required visas in compliance with the UAE immigration law.
Profitable business ideas to start in Dubai
Given the Emirate’s rapidly growing economy, businesses have a lot of potential to thrive and succeed, irrespective of their size and structure. Below given are a few business ideas that have the scope of attaining success in Dubai –
- Salon Business
- Electronics shop
- Bakery business
- Consultancy service
- Tutoring/Digital Learning
- Cleaning service
- Web development/Website building
- Social Media Marketing
- Recruitment agency/HR consultancy service
- Travel agency
- Food delivery /Catering business
- Event management
- Mobile application/Software development
- Handyman services
- Freelance services
- Graphic Designing/Interior Designing
- Boutique and cosmetics store
- Jewelry store
Start your own business in Dubai with UAE Expansion
With a flourishing business landscape and lucrative incentives, you can easily set up your enterprise in Dubai. However, you will need proper planning and the right course of action to execute the plan. A corporate business setup partner like UAE Expansion will make it easy for you.
UAE Expansion has been operating in Dubai for over two decades. Hence, their professionals are well aware of all government regulations and corporate policies and also have enough experience in registering thousands of companies across the UAE. Thus, they can assure a successful start of your new venture.