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How to Start A Business in Dubai Without Money?

how to start a business in dubai without money

Starting a business in Dubai without money can be challenging, but it is possible if you are willing to put in the effort and do your research. Here, you’ll study the important steps to start out a business within the United Arab Emirates.

In this blog post, we will explore some tips on how to start a business in Dubai without money.

Choose the Right Business Idea: Choose a business idea that requires minimal investment, such as an online business, freelance work, or a service-based business. Identify a niche that has high demand but low competition.

Create a Business Plan: Create a detailed business plan that outlines your goals, target market, marketing strategy, and financial projections. This will help you identify any potential roadblocks and create a roadmap for success.

Utilize Free Resources: Take advantage of free resources such as business incubators, mentorship programs, and online courses. These resources can provide valuable guidance and support as you launch your business.

Network: Attend networking events and connect with other entrepreneurs and industry professionals. This can help you build relationships and gain valuable insights into the local business community.

Get Creative: Explore creative ways to finance your business, such as crowdfunding, bartering services, or seeking out investors or business partners who are willing to invest in your idea.

Take Advantage of Free Zones: Dubai has several free zones that offer tax exemptions and other incentives to entrepreneurs. Research these zones to see if they align with your business idea and can help you save money on startup costs.

List of Business you can start in Dubai without Money

Starting a business in Dubai without money can be challenging, as there are usually some initial costs involved. However, there are low-cost business ideas that you can consider, and you can also explore options for securing funding or partnerships. Here are some business ideas that may require minimal initial investment:

Freelancing or Consulting:

Offer your expertise in areas like web design, graphic design, content writing, social media management, or business consulting. You can start with just a computer and internet connection.

Online Retail:

Launch an e-commerce store selling niche products, dropshipping items, or digital products like e-books. Many online platforms have low startup costs.

Blogging or Vlogging:

If you’re knowledgeable about a specific topic or passionate about sharing your experiences, you can start a blog or YouTube channel. Monetize through ads, affiliate marketing, or sponsored content.

Tutoring or Coaching:

If you’re skilled in a particular subject or field, offer tutoring or coaching services online or in person. You can start by advertising your services through social media or local community groups.

Event Planning:

While you may need some capital for marketing and coordination, event planning can be started on a small scale, focusing on niche events or smaller clients.

Cleaning Services:

Offer residential or commercial cleaning services. You can start with basic cleaning supplies and expand as you grow.

Home-Based Catering:

If you have culinary skills, consider providing catering services from your home kitchen. Compliance with food safety regulations is crucial.

Personal Shopping or Styling:

If you have a knack for fashion, offer personal shopping or styling services to individuals or businesses looking to enhance their image.

Digital Marketing Services:

Leverage your knowledge of digital marketing to offer services such as social media management, SEO optimization, or pay-per-click advertising management.

Pet Services:

Offer pet sitting, dog walking, or pet grooming services. These services can be started with minimal investment in equipment and marketing.

Online Courses or Workshops:

Create and sell online courses or workshops on platforms like Udemy or Teachable. Share your expertise in areas like photography, coding, or language learning.


Start an e-commerce store without holding inventory by using dropshipping suppliers. You’ll need a website and marketing strategy.

Virtual Assistant Services:

Provide administrative and support services to businesses or entrepreneurs remotely. All you need is a computer and internet access.

Homemade Crafts:

If you have crafting skills, create handmade items like jewelry, candles, or artwork to sell online or at local markets.

Car Washing Services:

Offer mobile car washing and detailing services. You can start with basic equipment and expand your services over time.

How To Start A Business In Dubai, UAE?

Opening a company in Dubai involves several key steps to ensure a smooth formation process. Spider Business Consultancy experts can assist in simplifying the business account creation, handling paperwork, and addressing various issues on your behalf. Here are the essential steps to start a business in Dubai:

Here are the key steps to start a business in Dubai and the UAE:

1. Choose Business Activity

Selecting the kind of business activities you wish to engage in is the first stage in launching a business. There are many different business activities you can pick from as a new firm. You will have several options for your business operations in Dubai and the UAE, from expert and service-based firms to product sales. You must choose the kinds of business operations that you are competent at and can conduct for a profit. The next step is to carry out market research and develop a business plan.

2. Finalize the company structure

You must set the legal structure of your company at the initial stages of starting the business. Setting up the company structure will simplify most of the business decisions. You will need to finalize the company structure before you can apply for a trade license. You must be careful when deciding the company structure as it is a very important decision and will heavily impact the success of your business. Here are the structures you can choose for your company:

    1. Sole Proprietorships
    2. Partnerships
    3. Corporations
    4. Limited Liability Company (LLC)
    5. Free Zone Company
    6. Holding Company

3. Select a Name

It’s crucial to pick a name for your new company. You are solely responsible for this step. Being that this is the name a potential consumer would first encounter before doing business with you, you must be careful while selecting a name. When deciding on a name for your company, you must adhere to the local authority’s norms and regulations. Additionally, you must ensure that the name you select is distinctive in Dubai and the UAE and does not contain any foul language.

4. Select a Business Location

You can pick between two alternatives for the location of your firm. You have the option of establishing your business either on the mainland or in a free zone. Your firm will benefit in different ways depending on where it is located. You must decide which location and benefits are most advantageous for your firm.

5. Rent or Lease an Office Space

After that, you’ll need to rent an office space to use as your business’s headquarters. The location, size, price, and amenities that an office space offers are important elements to take into account. The amount of personnel and the assets you will need to maintain are other factors to take into account. You have the option of renting or leasing the office space. The option that provides the most value for your money must be selected.

6. Submit Business License Application

To operate your business lawfully in Dubai and the UAE, you must obtain a business license. A business license can be obtained through the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED). You can use the DED online portal to submit an application for a business license. You must complete the online application form and provide the necessary paperwork. You must make sure to provide accurate and updated information to avoid any complications that would make the process lengthy.

7. Prepare your Memorandum of Association

A Memorandum of Association to start a business comes with some complications. The memorandum of association should abide by the rules and regulations of the UAE government. So you must be very careful when drafting a Memorandum of Association. It is better to hire a third-party consultant like Company Setup Consultants to handle this for you. Company Setup Consultants can draft the Memorandum of Association for you.

8. Pay Fees and Receive The License

It will take some time for the authority to review and approve your application. After your application is accepted, you must pay the necessary fees. Following that, you can pick up your business license from DED and begin conducting business.

9. Open a Corporate Bank Account

You must own a corporate bank account in order to operate your business and handle the relevant business transactions in Dubai and the UAE. This bank account will be used for all types of financial transactions related to your business. You will be able to manage all those cross-border financial activities and expand your firm overseas.

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    How much does it cost to start a business in Dubai?

    The cost of setting up a business in Dubai depends on the business activity, visa eligibility, location – Free zone or Mainland. For example, license costs in Dubai can start from AED 2,000 and can be more than AED 20,000 depending on various factors and customer requirements.

    Generally to setup a business in Dubai Mainland, there are several government fees involved as shown in the table below:

    Number: Prerequisites: Authority: Payment Period:
    1 Initial Approval (Department of Economic Development) DED One-off payment
    2 Trade Name Approval DED One-off payment
    3 Attestation of Memorandum of Association (MOA) DED One-off payment
    4 Trade License Fees DED Recurring payment each year during trade license renewals.
    5 Trade Name Approval Sponsor Sponsor Fees (Note: Business Owners can obtain 100% ownership without a local sponsor for several Commercial business activities)

    Some additional costs that may incur if you are setting up your business in Dubai Mainland include:

        • Employee Visa
        • Immigration Card
        • Labor Card
        • Virtual Office
        • Estidama/Sustainability Contract
        • Serviced Office with Ejari

    There are several types of licenses available in Dubai Mainland such as Commercial Trade License, Professional Trade License, Industrial Trade License, E-commerce License, Tourism License and many more which follow a similar structure as mentioned above. However, may vary on a case-by-case basis.

    In contrast, setting up a business in Dubai Freezone is slightly different. Individuals can obtain 100% ownership without any local sponsor and trade freely across Freezones. Zero Visa Freezone License fee starts from as low as AED 5,750. Unlike Dubai Mainland, individuals often don’t require an Ejari in Freezone in most cases.

    Some of the costs involved in setting up a business in Dubai Freezones include:

        • Freezone Trade License fee which is paid to the respective jurisdiction
        • Some Business Activities may require proof of address hence, a shared or private office may be required
        • Other investor visa-related costs such as a medical checkup, clearance, Emirates ID, etc. may be required depending on the customer’s needs.

    Why start a business in Dubai?

    Starting a business in Dubai offers numerous advantages, making it a popular choice for entrepreneurs worldwide. Last year alone, over 20,000 new businesses launched in Dubai, with a significant portion being established by overseas entrepreneurs. Here are compelling reasons why entrepreneurs flock to Dubai for business:

    1. Low Tax Rates: Dubai and the UAE boast a favorable tax environment, with a 0% tax rate on both personal and corporate incomes. While a flat 5% VAT was introduced in January 2018, the absence of income tax provides a significant advantage for businesses.
    2. Vibrant Economy: The UAE is home to the second-largest economy in the Arab world, with a GDP of approximately AED 692 billion, trailing only Saudi Arabia. The economy is diverse, offering opportunities in various industries such as healthcare, hospitality, technology, and trade.
    3. Quality of Life: Dubai offers a great quality of life, ranking 23rd in the Best Countries Index. This places it just behind countries like Spain and Ireland and ahead of others like Portugal and Greece, making it an attractive location for both living and working.
    4. Startup Support: The Emirates provide ample support for startups through various incubators and funding initiatives designed to accelerate business growth. This support ecosystem enhances the chances of success for new businesses.
    5. Future Economic Growth: According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the UAE is expected to lead economic growth in the Arabian Gulf, projecting an increase of 2.5% this year. This growth surpasses that of the region’s largest economy, Saudi Arabia, which is forecasted to grow by 0.4%.

    How can I start a small business in Dubai?

    Entrepreneurs can follow the 5 step process as mentioned below to start their business in Dubai:

        • 1. Provide passport-sized photograph, passport copy, visa page and Emirates ID (if applicable)
        • 2. Specify 3 Trade names
        • 3. Deliver the documents to DED or other governing authorities in Freezones
        • 4. Provide a detailed Business Plan (applicable in some cases) and proof of address (if applicable)
        • 5. Get approved and start business operations immediately.

    Can foreigners start a business in Dubai?

    Yes, foreigners can start a business in Dubai and uae. Our consultants will take care of all the documentation requirements on their behalf. A Dubai Mainland License can be obtained within 24 hours even if the shareholders are not present in the UAE.

    Can I start my own business while employed in Dubai?

    Entrepreneurs can also start their business even when they are employed by obtaining a NOC (No Objection Certificate) from their employer according to the Labor Laws in UAE. If approved, they can setup their business within less than 24 hours.
    Individuals can receive a NOC with the following step by step process. Our expert consultants can also assist entrepreneurs in the process so that they can successfully open and operate their businesses.

      • 1. Submit a request for NOC
      • 2. Provide the necessary documents such as passport copies of the shareholders in the new company, Trade Name Reservation certificate, MOA, Bank guarantee as well as an undertaking letter from a local sponsor/partner of the new company
      • 3. Pay the required government and professional fees
      • 4. Get approved by DED

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