1.Determine Type of Business
This will determine the type of license you require. Types of licenses include commercial, professional, or industrial. Food trading, Jewellery trading, veterinary activities, and legal consulting are just some examples of
activities which need approval from other departments
The Department of Economic Development (DED) lists over 2,100 activities which the business owner can
choose from. You can contact DED if you need help. There are 45 free zones in the UAE. each with their own regulations and formalities
2. Determine Ownership
You need to first obtain a license and location in one of the many free zones of the UAE, if you prefer 100% ownership of your company.
Legal Consultancy Firm
Opening a legal consultancy firm can only be done as a branch of the company or as a stand-alone company.
Thus, a sole proprietor is not allowed to take up this activity and each free zone has its own restrictions regarding company structure. Business owners can fmd more information about this on the official website of
the respective freezone. You can visit the OED website for more information.
3. Choose a Trade Name
The name of the company should reflect the nature of the business. However, if it’s a branch of another company, there must be certain rules to follow when it comes to trade names.
4. Designate Share Capital
The Memorandum of Association of your proposed company decides the minimum share capital. Most often,
business owners don’t need to pay minimum capital while setting up the company.
5. Secure the Premises
Once you’ve settled all your forms and legal procedures, you can settle your office location. You can search for
offices based on cost, size, location, and other details.
6. Hire Employees
A company needs to have a manager to oversee operations and have him ready to be on board before your registration is approved. However, in some cases, you may not be allowed to hire staff. In this case, you may need to engage contractors.
7. Get Local Support
To obtain a license from OED, it is mandatory to have a local agent, partner or sponsor. Moreover, a local
contact can help take the business forward effectively in free zones
8. FAQs about Setting Up a Business in Dubai
Why should I set up a business in the UAE?
The United Arab Emirates is a prime business destination for a variety of sectors because it is located in the
Middle of Asia and beside Europe. UAE’s highly structured environment adheres to global practices and motivates entrepreneurs to invest in good business ideas. Moreover, operations involve lower taxes as well as offer complete capital repatriation with no currency restrictions. This type of financial freedom is rare in highly developed business environments, therefore entrepreneurs from around the world find abundant opportunities and potential in the UAE market.
What kind of business can I set up in the UAE?
ln the UAE. you can set up a mainland business or a business in a free zone or an offshore jurisdiction. For a business setup in mainland UAE, you require a local sponsor, who will own a part of your business. In a freezone company setup, you do not need a local sponsor, but can operate only within a limited geographical region. While an offshore business in the UAE will allow you to safeguard your wealth and assets, but you cannot trade in the UAE and will only get a certificate of incorporation and not a trade license
What are the different types of company structures in the UAE?
What business to start? And how to start a business? You also need to consider the different types of company structures before starting a business in the UAE. The region offers several structures suitable to a varied category of entrepreneurs.
These are as follows:
• Freezone Company I Free Zone Enterprises
• Mainland Business/ Onshore Structures
• Professional Services
• Branch Office/ Representative Office
• Offshore Company
How much will it take to set up a company in the UAE?
Company formation in the UAE could take a while if you do not have all the necessary paperwork and documentation that have been approved by different government agencies. With the right consultants to help you, you can establish your business in the UAE in just three days. Business license and registration can be done within three weeks However, if the business activity requires certification or attestation from any other judicial body, this can prolong the process. Company formation In UAE free zones can take anywhere between 3-10 days, whereas an offshore company formation can be establishe d within 48 hours, if you have the right resources at hand.
What are the categories of business set up in the UAE?
There are various categories of business setup in the UAE, every category has its own set of terms and conditions with regards to the investment of capital, incorporation procedures, number of shareholders, and more.
The seven categories are as follows:
• General Partnership Company
• Public Shareholding Company
• Private Shareholding Company
• Joint Venture Company
• Limited liability Company (LLC)
• Share Partnership Company