How to Start a Small Business in Dubai? All Things to Know

start a small business in Dubai

Dubai is turning into the perfect destination for entrepreneurs to start their businesses. The economy of Dubai is growing at an exponential rate, and startup business activities are also growing along with it.

Additionally, The Dubai government is also introducing new rules and regulations and adjusting the existing ones to facilitate the process of starting a new business. So, if you are planning on starting your own company in Dubai, now is a perfect time.

Any startup business in Dubai has huge potential for growth. You will be able to start your own small-scale business very easily in Dubai and Enjoy the profit in no time. Setting up your own company in Dubai is straightforward, but there are some rules and regulations you must follow. I

if you have experience in starting a new company, it should be easier for you. However, if this is your first time setting up a business, you may feel a little confused. But you don’t need to worry because Company Setup is here to help.

How to Start a Small Business in Dubai

If you are an entrepreneur looking to start small business, Dubai is the perfect destination. You can easily set up a small-scale business in Dubai without much of a hassle. But there are a few steps you must follow before how to start small business in Dubai.

Here are the steps to start a small business in Dubai:

1. Determine Your Business Activities

Decide on the specific activities you plan to carry out in your business and ensure they align with the permitted activities for your chosen license application. Seek the guidance of a company formation expert to ensure compliance.

2. Choose a Company Name for Small Business

Select a company name that adheres to the UAE’s naming conventions, avoiding offensive language, well-known organizations’ names, and excessive abbreviations. Check the availability of your chosen name for registration.

3. Choose a Setup – Free zone or Mainland

Decide whether you want to establish your business in a free zone or on the mainland based on the nature of your business. Consider the advantages and benefits offered by each option and consult with a company formation expert for guidance.

4. Apply for Your Business License

Submit your license application to the relevant authority, either the Department of Economic Development (DED) or the governing authority of the chosen free zone. Provide the required details and documentation, such as completed application forms, passport copies, and photos. Engaging a company formation agent can simplify the process.

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5. Apply for Visas:

Apply for visas for yourself and your employees if needed. Work with a company formation expert to navigate the visa application process, which includes sponsoring dependents and complying with regulations based on the company’s size and setup.

Read Also: How to Get Trade License in Dubai

6. Open a Corporate Bank Account

Due to stringent regulations, opening a corporate bank account in the UAE can be challenging for overseas entrepreneurs. Seek assistance from a company formation expert who can connect you with suitable local or international banks that cater to your specific needs.

Required Paperwork for Starting a Small Business in the UAE

To start a small business in the UAE, you will need to complete several paperwork requirements, including:

Descriptive business plan document: Prepare a comprehensive business plan outlining your company’s goals, objectives, strategies, and financial projections.

Duly filled application form: Complete the required application form provided by the relevant authorities for business registration.

MoA (Memorandum of Association) and LSA (Local Service Agent) agreements: Prepare and submit the MoA, which outlines the company’s structure and activities, and the LSA agreement, if applicable, which designates a local service agent for mainland businesses.

Payment receipt of trade name registration: Provide proof of payment for registering your desired trade name with the relevant authorities.

Passport copies of shareholders: Submit copies of the passports of all shareholders involved in the company, if applicable.

NOC (No Objection Certificate) from service agent: Obtain a NOC from your local service agent, if required, which confirms their agreement to represent your business in the UAE.

Valid Tenancy Contract: Provide a copy of the tenancy contract for your business premises, demonstrating that you have a legal place of operation.

Ensure that all documents are duly filled, signed, and notarized, and follow any additional requirements specified by the authorities or your business setup advisor. It is advisable to seek professional assistance from a company formation expert to ensure accurate completion of paperwork and compliance with legal procedures.

How much does it cost to start a small business in Dubai?

The cost of starting a small business in Dubai can vary depending on several factors such as the type of business activity, location, office space, licensing fees, visa costs, and other operational expenses. On average, the cost can range from AED 20,000 to AED 100,000 or more.

How much money required to start a small business in UAE?

To start a small business in Dubai and the UAE, you can get a trading license for as low as AED 20,000. To be on the safe side, budget between AED 20,000 and AED 30,000. Just keep in mind, if you need extra perks or privileges, the cost of your small business license in Dubai may go up.

Can I open a small business in Dubai?

In many cases, you can indeed open a small business in Dubai. However, there might be specific requirements based on your business type, your nationality, and where you pay taxes. Sometimes, you may need a local sponsor who owns 51% of the business.

How can I start a small business from home in Dubai?

Starting a small business from home in Dubai is achievable through these steps:

  1. Prepare a Business Plan: Create a clear business plan outlining your goals and strategies.
  2. Complete Application Form: Fill out the required application form.
  3. Document Agreements: Prepare MoA and LSA agreements.
  4. Register Trade Name: Provide payment receipt for trade name registration.
  5. Shareholder Passports: Include passport copies of company shareholders (if applicable).
  6. Obtain NOC: Secure a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your service agent.
  7. Valid Tenancy Contract: Present a valid tenancy contract for your home-based business.
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How to Start a Business in Dubai, UAE?

Starting a small business in the UAE is straightforward:

  • Define Business Activity
  • Choose Legal Structure
  • Register Trade Name
  • Select Location
  • Get Initial Approval
  • Register and Pay

What kind of Small Scale Business to Start in UAE?

Here are some great business ideas for Dubai in 2023:

  1. IT Solutions
  2. Manufacturing
  3. E-commerce
  4. Logistics
  5. Digital Printing
  6. Digital Marketing
  7. Tourism Services
  8. Consultancy Services

Benefits of Starting a Small-Scale Business in Dubai

Dubai is the ideal destination for entrepreneurs to start their businesses. You can start a small-scale business in Dubai and capitalize on all the opportunities to make a profitable return.

Read Also: What are the Most Successful Small Businesses in the UAE?

Here are the benefits of starting a small-scale business in Dubai:

#1. Quick Setup

You can very easily set up your business in Dubai. Dubai prides itself on the facilities it provides for the entrepreneur, which will allow you to quickly set up your business and start your business activities. You will face the minimum hassle of acquiring a business license.

#2. A Wide Range of Business Activities

From professional and service-based businesses to product sales, you will have a wide range of choices for your business activity. You will get to choose the activity that compliments your skillsets.

#3. 100% Ownership

If you choose to start your business in the free zone, you can have 100% ownership over your business. However, you will need a local sponsor if you want to start your business on the mainland.

#4. Low Investment Requirement

As a small-scale business in Dubai, you will need a smaller upfront investment to start your business activities. So, the startup process should be quick for your company

#5 Tax Benefits

There are no personal taxes in Dubai. So, you and your employees can retain 100% of your income from the company. Additionally, you will not need to pay corporate tax if the annual income of your company doesn’t exceed AED 375,000.

How can We help to Start a Small Business in Dubai?

Starting a small business in Dubai or anywhere in the United Arab Emirates is a manageable process that involves addressing key challenges. These include selecting a suitable business name, identifying your niche, defining your business activities, and applying for necessary licenses and business bank accounts. Fortunately, Company Setup Consultants is readily available to help transform your small business ideas into reality. To learn more, feel free to contact us for further guidance and support.

If you want to start a small-scale business in Dubai but you do not know where to get started, then you are in the right place. This is because Company Setup Consultants has helped numerous entrepreneurs from all over the world start various businesses in the UAE. Contact us today and hit the ground running.

To Speak with our Experienced Business Consultants for further information and assistance, call us at +971582595164. Send a WhatsApp Message for Chat Query on +971 582595164 or email us at

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