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A 7-Step Complete Guide to Establishing Your Company in Dubai

establish a company in Dubai

Who said starting a business in Dubai is hard? Whether you live in Dubai or emigrated from some other country to make your dream come true in Dubai, starting a company will have its challenges.

Nothing comes easy in life. But if you have a guide with you, even the hardest challenge and the mightiest of storms can easily be defeated.

Starting a business in an unknown country takes a lot of patience and guts. If you have already planned for setting a business in Dubai, the good news is that we have developed this 7-step guide that will help you to start a business in Dubai and scale your business on a global scale.

Before we give you the steps on how to establish a company in Dubai, let’s answer some basic questions first.

Can a foreigner own a business in Dubai?

Dubai welcomes foreign entrepreneurs with arms wide open. If you are serious about starting a business in Dubai, it won’t take more than a week to get started.

Here are few points to ponder before you initiate a business in Dubai:

  • Type of Business: What business are you trying to establish? A commercial, professional, or industrial enterprise. The next step is to get a license for your business.
  • Ownership: If you plan to start the business in the mainland, then 51% will be for UAE nationals and 49% will be given to the expat. The business must have a minimum of 2 shareholders and a maximum of 50. If you want a 100% ownership of the company, you must opt for a location in the free trade zones of UAE.
  • Business name: When you select the business name, it must represent the nature of the business.
  • Local agent: It is mandatory to start a business with a local agent. This will serve as excellent support for foreign nationals in all aspects.

What kind of business should I start in UAE?

There is numerous type of profitable businesses that you can start in Dubai. Here is a list of hottest companies that are generating many opportunities for anyone who aspires to do business in Dubai.

Related Read: Incredible Business Ideas in Dubai

Steps on how to Establish a Company in Dubai

  1. Choose your business wisely

The nature of your business will decide where and how to establish a company in Dubai. For instance, some free zones will only allow a specific type of activity, such as medical, media, and transport. While for some projects like import and export, you need to initiate your business near an airport or port.

The final decision will take some preparation so that you can eliminate the extra options and focus on just one. At the start, you might begin with one type of business, but there is no need to pigeon-hole your business; you can start multiple businesses listed under a trade license.

  1. A Company Name

When it’s time to name your company, Dubai has some restrictions that need to be followed. For instance, you cannot use any offensive or forbidden language. Any names that include ALLAH or any religious figures that also include political figures, mafia are strictly forbidden.

If you plan to name your business after a person, then the person must be your partner or owner, and their full name must be used – no initials or abbreviations.

A business expert can help you with the naming conventions for your organization. This will help you to save much time as these experts know and understand the local market pretty well.

  1. The Paperwork

You must complete an application for your company that includes copies of shareholders’ passports and send it to relevant government authorities.

Some of the free zones will demand additional documentation such as a business plan and no-objection certificate (NOC), which is a letter from the sponsor confirming that you are allowed to do business in UAE.

While the steps might be overwhelming, it should not take too much of your time. Ask your business partner – the local person to deal with the paperwork as they’ll know more about the paperwork.

  1. License your Business

One of the most natural steps is to get your application approved by the government. Obtaining a license is easy; just fill out a form and a person will contact you from the government agency.

  1. A Bank Account

Once you have all the documents in hand, you must open a bank account. In UAE, there are various banks, both international and local, including Emirates NBD, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and even Commercial Bank of Dubai. You can either approach the bank yourself or ask your partner to do so.

  1. Process your Visa

This step is for expat people who moved to Dubai for business, for Dubai residents skip this step.

Many of the free zones allow you to put applications for staff. For instance, if you are willing to get a visa for your spouse, maid, or even a driver, then you should consult expert advice and ensure that you can get the visa in your free zone.

Secondly, you must ensure that you and anyone who you are willing to sponsor must meet the entry criteria for the visa.

  1. Create a website

The last and the essential step in establishing a company in Dubai is to make a website or a mobile app to sell your service/product. If you don’t have a clue on how to create a website, we can help you take care of that.

Our passionate web designers and developers take ideas and turn them into reality before the deadline. Yeah, I know that sounds cheesy, but this is something you cannot run away from. To put it, whether you need a website or a mobile app, we make it happen for you.

Yousuf Rafi
Yousuf Rafi
A Caffeine dependent non-mainstream person trying to elevate small talk to medium talk. I know I will win, not immediately but definitely. I do most of the talking in my head. However, for other things, I prefer writing blogs.

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