This article was updated on June 13th, 2023
This article was updated on June 13th, 2023
This article has been researched and written by Carolyn Cairns and the team at Creation Business Consultants and has not used AI in generating this article.
Top tips and considerations to help you create a new business or expand your operations in the UAE.
Running a business the right way sounds extremely satisfying. Throw in a downturn in the economy, living, and working in sunnier climates with lower Value Added Tax (VAT) rates. The experts at Creation Business Consultants have put together this comprehensive guide to provide the best tips to successfully establish or expand your business in Dubai.
There are many benefits to setting up a new business. The benefits of entrepreneurship in Dubai include:
First things first: Before you decide to quit your day job and to follow your entrepreneurial dreams, there are a few things to consider for starting a company in Dubai.
Every good business venture requires some degree of research. Before you jump into your plans, be sure to check to see if someone is already doing the proposed business. Be sure to find out who your competition is. Identify if there is an opportunity in the market, and whether or not you can find a unique niche or a better approach to solving a problem.
Once you have researched your idea and the state of the market, it’s essential you create a sound business plan. A business plan can help guide you in the right direction. Not to mention a sound business plan will be required by the licensing authorities and banks.
Starting a business in Dubai can be expensive, therefore, it’s important to have a set budget for the company incorporation and licensing, employment, marketing, advertising, and miscellaneous fees. While there will always be costs, planning for known costs will allow you to set aside a slush fund for the unexpected.
There are many variables involved when deciding on the right company structure for your Dubai company. Foreign entities wanting to perform a business in the UAE can establish a permanent presence by seeking the help of a registered corporate service provider.
A foreign entity may be licensed by:
Certain industries and business areas may require you to trade within a particular free zone. For example, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is predominantly used for business activities related to financial services.
When starting your business, you must consider the present and the future growth. Business owners are often confused with the visa entitlement and their availability. As a shareholder, you may be eligible for an investor visa. A General Manager of a new company often requires a UAE residency visa as part of the post company setup process.
In order to complete a company set-up in Dubai, a business address needs to be attached to the trade license. Even if you do not require office space, your business must fulfil this company setup requirement.
A Dubai onshore license will require a lease agreement to have a certified Ejari attached. In general, most free zones provide flexi desks, smart desks, shared offices, permanent smart offices, and warehouses etc.
The amount of time it will take you to set up or expand your operations to Dubai will vary based on the following factors:
The answer to this question depends on where the new company will be incorporated. Most free zone companies can be set up remotely by the shareholder(s) signing the required free zone authorisation forms. However, Dubai mainland companies require shareholder(s) to sign the company Memorandum of Association. However, with a bespoke Power of Attorney this can authorise a person to act on your behalf to complete the company set-up from start to finish saving you the time and expense of travelling to the UAE.
Documentation requirements will vary depending on where the company is incorporated (i.e., mainland and free zone), and the company set-up structure and type. The requirements will be different for a wholly owned subsidiary, branch, and representative offices. Documentation will also vary according to the company shareholding. For example, if the company is being held by individual(s) and/or corporate shareholders. In most cases, the minimum documentation requirements from the shareholder(s) are a valid passport copy and proof of residential address.
Once your Dubai company set-up is complete you will be eligible to apply for a corporate bank account. Creation Business Consultants has partnered with the largest and most reputable UAE banking institutions in the region. In the convenience of Creation offices, our team will support you with all corporate banking facilities. We will make introductions to the top banking relationship managers, arrange the banking meetings on your behalf, and advise on the documentation required to onboard your corporate account and banking facilities in the quickest possible time.
Yes, this applies to both free zone and mainland companies. To complete your trade license, you must provide an office lease agreement/Ejari certificate. Mainland business centers are now offering co-working facilities with affordable office leases. Most free zones enable a minimum office facility rental, such as a virtual office or flexi desk. The fees for a virtual office or flexi desk will vary according to free zones and are typically included in the free zone licensing and government fees.
Yes, once the company set-up is finalised, the next step for your business consultant is to advise on the requirements needed to start the visa process.
The requirements for UAE residency visas will vary according to the following persons:
When planning to set up your business, it is important that you partner with professional business consultants to ensure that you avoid common pitfalls and mistakes.
Common mistakes include:
At Creation Business Consultants, we provide a wide range of corporate services to support UAE and GCC market entry. From company set-up with Corporate Sponsor & Nominee to establishing business operations, we’re here to help you get started off on the right path to success. Some of our main services include but are not limited to market research and intelligence, pre-set-up consulting, company set-up services, local sponsor/corporate nominee arrangements, post business set-up support, accounting, treasury, taxation, VAT, reporting, banking support, HR, and payroll.