* Field is required *

Set Up Your Business In Dubai – Start Your Own Business Today

[rt_reading_time postfix="min read" postfix_singular="minute"]

1. Select the Industry

To establish a successful business in the UAE, it’s important to choose the right industry that suits your business goals. While there are ample opportunities for innovation and growth across various industries in the UAE, it’s recommended that you decide on the nature of your business first. Certain locations in Dubai and the UAE permit specific business activities only, so it’s important to choose a location that is suitable for your business. For example, Dubai Media City is ideal for media-related businesses, while Dubai International Financial Centre is best for finance-related services. However, certain free zones now permit general business activities too. Proximity to businesses in the same industry and transportation links should also be considered. The UAE government is focused on diversifying the economy beyond the oil sector, so new businesses that align with this vision will be supported.

2. Select the location

After determining your industry, the next important decision to make is whether to set up your business on the mainland or in a free zone. Choosing a free zone can offer significant benefits, including 0% corporate and personal tax, complete company ownership, full repatriation of capital and profits, no currency restrictions, and a 100% exemption from import and export taxes. However, if you want to trade with the local market in the UAE, you will need to collaborate with a mainland company and pay a fee.

On the other hand, launching your business on the mainland provides the advantage of trading directly with the local and international markets. However, if your business activity does not fall under professional services, you will need to work with a local partner who will hold 51% of your company’s shares. To address this, Virtuzone offers mainland businesses a Local Corporate Nominee Shareholder who will act as their local partner while allowing foreign business owners to maintain complete control over their mainland company’s operations and finances.

3. Choose your company name

To avoid violating the UAE’s naming regulations, it is important to ensure that your company name is legally acceptable. Offensive language and any names that reference religious, political, or sectarian groups such as Allah, Him, the FBI, or the Mafia are not permitted. If you choose to name your business after an individual, the person must be a partner or owner of the company and their full name must be used, without any abbreviations or initials.

4. Complete the necessary incorporation paperwork

After making crucial decisions on starting a business in Dubai, the next step is to deal with the necessary paperwork. To register your company name and activity, you need to submit an application along with shareholders’ passport copies to the relevant government authorities. Some free zones might require additional documents, like a business plan or NOC. Mainland companies must meet specific capital requirements as stated in a Memorandum of Association.

You can register your business activity and trade name by contacting the Department of Economic Development in your selected emirate and submitting the required paperwork. Once your application is processed, you will receive your company license.

However, navigating the paperwork at this stage can be challenging and tedious, requiring weeks to months to complete. Virtuzone’s expertise can be invaluable, particularly for those averse to fine details, making the money and time saved during this phase worth the investment.

5. Apply for a license

After your application has been processed, you will be issued your company license by the government. The required documents for incorporation are generally standard across all locations, including a completed application form and copies of shareholder passports. Some free zones may require additional documents such as a business plan.

6. Open a bank account

Once you receive your paperwork, you can proceed with opening a corporate bank account in the UAE. There are numerous banks available in the UAE, both local and international, such as Emirates NBD, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, and global names like HSBC, Citibank and Barclays. The bank selection will depend on your specific needs.

It usually takes two to four weeks to open a bank account in the UAE. The bank will require information about your business areas, expected currency volume, total deposits, revenue levels, and main customers and suppliers. Once you have received all the necessary documents from the government, you can approach your preferred bank to open a corporate bank account.

7. Apply for a visa

visa is the last requirement to fulfill. You can also apply for visas for your staff and dependents in many free zones, but the number of applications you can submit will vary depending on the free zone you choose.

It is advisable to seek professional guidance if you plan to obtain visas for your spouse, child, maid, or driver. This will ensure that it is possible to do so in your selected free zone and that you and your sponsored applicants meet all of the entry requirements.

Assuming that everything checks out, the process consists of four stages: entry permit, status adjustment, medical fitness test, Emirates ID registration, and visa stamping. Mainland companies can apply for an unlimited number of visas, while free zone companies will have certain restrictions that vary from one free zone to another.

With these eight steps successfully completed, you are now ready to commence your business in Dubai!