Starting a business in Dubai, UAE, or anywhere around the world is a crucial decision. It involves planning, conceptualizing, research, budgeting, set-up, and decision-making among other things. It also requires guidance and assistance on selecting the proper trade license for your business, especially if you’re a replacement entrepreneur. Here, you’ll study the important steps to start out a business within the United Arab Emirates.
Even though there are many other emirates in the UAE that investors can choose from, dubai stands out because no other place offers the kind of incentives and economic environment that dubai does. With the government and economic agencies providing unique investment opportunities it is a dream location for investors. The diverse population and strong economic position make it a perfect market for a variety of products and services. business setup in dubai is a quick and easy process which anyone can do. This article will highlight some of the main things you need to do to get things going.
- Choose The Firms’ Name
When you start setting up your business you also need to consider whether you want to open up operations in the free zone area of the mainland area. In either case, you will need to submit your preferred names to the DMCC department to get approval. Applicants need to forward a list of 3 of their preferred names, in case their first priority name is not available they will go with the second, or third.
- Documents For Pre-Approval
The documents include:
- Know Your Client (KYC) Form
- Letter of no objection from sponsors
- Passport and/or Emirate ID if the person is a local national
- Evidence of a permanent residential address
- Business plan
- Consultants appointment letter in the case that a consultant is managing these responsibilities
- If a consultant is managing these tasks they need to show a power of attorney letter
- Submit the registration charges of AED 1000
These documents are required for all members of the firm whether it is a shareholder, manager, director or legal representative
- Registration Documents
After the initial pre-approval stage is complete applicants need to submit additional documents for each person involved in the business. Documents required include:
- Specimen signature form signed in the presence of a DMCC member service executive or notarized in the applicants home country
- A review of the applicant’s passport by a DMCC member executive or it can be notarized in the applicants home country
- A shareholders resolution which must have been generated from the DMCC portal and signed in the presence of a DMCC member service executive or notarized in a UAE embassy
- Memorandum and articles of association, which have been notarized in the applicants home country of signed in the presence of a DMCC executive member
- Undertaking letter which ensures compliance with the DMCC requirements. Normally generated through the DMCC portal and uploaded after it is signed
- 3rd party approvals from relevant authorities where it is necessary
- Payment of charges
After these documents are completed and submitted the DMCC issues a ‘provisional approval’ and a ‘bank letter’.
These are all the forms and legal procedures that you need to undergo in order to setup a business in Dubai. Once all of this is out of the way you can go ahead and start looking for a location for your business. Whether you are looking for a place in the free zones or in the mainland.
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:
|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 Licensefee 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.
Feel free to contact us at +971 558654072 for more information.
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 setup their business even when they are in their home country. 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