Are you thinking of company setup in Dubai? Congratulations, you have selected one of the best business ecosystems in the domain for your novel endeavor. Dubai is more than simply a city of architectural marvels– it is one of the most productive grounds for new businesses. This is just one of the numerous things that mark the commercial capital of UAE the best place to live and work.

We have prepared this article with essential guidance about the process and documentation which is required. Take a good look at the below before you kick off the real process- the good news, however, is that on average, if you are prepared with all required documents, it takes less than 10 days to open your company in Dubai. So, let’s start!

Company Setup in Dubai 1

1. What you want to know

As you begin with the actual procedure of company formation in Dubai, here is what you should be aware of beforehand to mark things less complicated.


2. Economic zone and ownership

As quickly as you are ready to establish your company, you must first find out what business zone or ownership kind would best suit you. Dubai Economic Department has a list of over 2100 (business) activities you can select from. 

For determining upon the zone, you must be familiar that Dubai presents different types of economic zones for operating a business: Free Zone, Offshore, and Mainland, all of which deal different advantages depending on your business category and activities. Here are the two main zones that entrepreneurs use most usually in the Emirate:

  • Free Zone: Offering the extravagance of 100 percent foreign national ownership, Free Zones are Dubai’s way of attracting and inspiring foreign investment by making it stress-free to set up a business and easing down the immigration and labor procedures. There are around 45 Free Zones in the UAE, of which around 25 are in Dubai, each of which caters to precise categories of business. 
  • Mainland: If you wish to operate in Dubai mainland, you have to register with the Department of Economic Development (DED), which will then grant you a Dubai business license.
  • Types of licenses: Based upon the kind of business activity, you will be obligatory to first identify the category of license you want. Again, DED is accountable for the issuance of the license. Chiefly there are three kinds of licenses you can look at Commercial (for Limited Liabilities Company or LLCs) License, Industrial License, and Professional License.
  • Need for local sponsors: For opening any type of business in UAE under a DED license, you have to need a local sponsor, or an agent, or a partner. Though this is not compulsory, having local support can help you in several ways. So, do a little research and discover how your business will benefit from this addition, in case it is not an obligation for your kind of business.

Now that you distinguish about the background and requirements to initiate with the official process of registering your company, here’s how you go about to apply and get a business license in Dubai.


3. Getting your business registered

  1. Select the category of business: The primary step you have to be assured about is the type or category of business you have. In case you discover it problematic to define your business and cannot find your category in the official lists of the business activities as per DED, you can investigate directly at Department of Economic Development (DED).
  2. Find the right legal form: Antagonistic to what the name suggests, this is NOT a legal document or a form to be filled. The position and type of your business choose what the make-up of your stable will be and this depends on the Free Zone or the area of operation you select. You will have to check which business activities match which authorized forms. Use the same link as above for details.
  3. Choose a trading name: This is an imperative part of the whole setting-up-business cycle in Dubai. You are expected to choose a trading name that matches the type of services your company plans to offer. You then have to pay trade name reservation fees within 72 hours of receiving this voucher. 
  4. Minimum investment: Different businesses have different requirements; though, it is not obligatory in the majority of businesses to have an initial investment.
  5. Begin with initial approvals: At this point, you must get a kind of “no-objection” from DED and custom a number of channels for the same. You can visit one of the Service Centers or explore Happiness Lounge. 
  6. Prepare agreements and select premises: Based on the authorized form of your business, you might need to generate and sign a Memorandum of Association (MOA) or a Local Service Agent (LSA) / Corporate Agent agreement with local support (UAE national). Also, in this phase, you will have to finalize a physical address for your company.
  7. Submit documents and get a license: Before heading to the former step of the journey of registration of your business, make certain your type of business does not need any additional approvals. As soon as everything is done, you just have to submit all the necessary documents and process all the payments. You have to pay for your trade license within 30 days of receiving a payment voucher. In case of non-payment for six months, the transaction is spontaneously canceled.

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