Business Setup

What are the Basic Steps to Start a Business in Dubai, UAE?

Steps to Start a Business in Dubai

Starting a new business in Dubai or anywhere around the world can be a risky venture. However, with the right preparation, it is achievable with minimum risk. Today we are going to look at how to start a business in Dubai.

It does not matter if it is a startup or just an offshore company. There are certain steps you need to follow to start a business in Dubai without any problems.

Dubai has become a hub for investors and entrepreneurs alike thanks to its lenient laws and tax policies. Some recent changes have made the UAE, and Dubai in particular, even more, attractive to entrepreneurs.

The ease of doing business has always played a huge part in developing a nation’s economy. And it is quite easy to start a new business setup in Dubai.

Dubai business setup

Steps to Establish Your Company in the UAE Mainland

In the UAE, the Department of Economic Development in Dubai is responsible for handling the procedures an entrepreneur needs to follow to establish his business. There will be several mentions of the Department of Economic Development, also known as DED for short, in the steps. Here are the steps you need to follow to start a business in Dubai:

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1. Determine Your Business Activity

Identify the specific nature of your business activity from the extensive list of over 2,000 economic activities in the UAE. This will determine the type of license needed for your company.

2. Choose Your Company’s Legal Structure

Select the appropriate legal structure based on your business needs and requirements. Options include sole establishment, branch of a GCC company, civil company, branch company, limited liability company, holding company, public joint stock company, representative office of a foreign company, and private joint stock company.

3. Register the Trade Name

Apply for a unique trade name for your company through the Department of Economic Development in the chosen emirate. The name should be distinct and not similar to any registered company.

4. Apply for Initial Approval

Obtain the initial approval from the UAE government, which indicates their acceptance of your business establishment. This approval is a prerequisite for obtaining the license and proceeding with further steps.

5. Create Memorandum of Association (MOA) or Local Service Agent Agreement (LSA)

Prepare the required documents depending on the legal form of your company. A Memorandum of Association (MOA) is necessary for certain legal structures, while a Local Service Agent Agreement (LSA) is required for a sole proprietorship.

6. Determine Your Business Location

Choose a suitable physical address for your business operations, ensuring compliance with the Department of Economic Development’s requirements and the zoning regulations of local municipalities. In Dubai, the tenancy contract must be registered through the Dubai Land Department’s Ejari portal.

7. Obtain Additional Government Approvals

Depending on your business activities, you may need to acquire approvals from specific government entities governing those activities.

8. Submit Required Documents

Prepare and submit the necessary documents, including the receipt of initial approval, attested lease contract, relevant Memorandum/s of Association, and approvals from other government entities if applicable.

9. Pay Fees and Collect License

Submit the required fees and collect your business license either from the economic department’s service centers or through their website.

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10. Register Your Company with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Complete the registration of your company with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the same emirate where it has been incorporated.

Steps to Establish Your Company in the UAE Free Zones

1. Determine the Nature of Your Business Activity

Identify the specific nature of your business activity, as UAE free zones offer different types of business licenses based on the nature of the business.

2. Determine Your Company’s Legal Structure

Choose the appropriate legal structure for your company, considering the requirements and regulations associated with each option. The available options include Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ LLC), Free Zone Company (FZ Co.), and Free Zone Establishment (FZE).

3. Register the Trade Name

Apply for a unique trade name for your company through the respective department of economic development. The trade name should be distinct and not similar to any existing registered companies.

4. Select Business Space and Location

Choose a suitable business space within one of the UAE free zones that aligns with the nature of your business activity.

5. Obtain the Initial Approval

Complete the necessary requirements and submit the required documents to obtain the initial approval for establishing your company. Some specific activities, such as tourism, travel, and health, may require additional approvals from relevant authorities.

6. Submit Required Documents

Prepare and submit the required documents, which commonly include a completed application form, business plan, passport copies of shareholders and appointed manager, reference letters, financial reports, and other relevant documents as specified.

7. Registration and Payment of Fees

Pay the required fees associated with the company registration process, including the company license issuance fee, which varies based on the type of license.

8. Collect Your Company License

Once the fees are paid, collect your company license, which grants you the legal authority to operate your business within the chosen free zone.

By following these steps, you can establish your company in the UAE free zones and commence your business activities within the designated area.

Required Documents to Start a Business in Dubai

Here is the final list of everything you need to start a business in Dubai:

  • Passport copies of all the partners
  • Trade name reservation certificate
  • Initial approval certificate
  • External approval certificates should the DED require any.
  • Tenancy contract
  • EJARI registration certificate
  • Trade license application
  • DED registration

Finally, as we said before, it is suggested that you take help from company setup professionals when you want to start a business in Dubai. They have done all these processes before and have the necessary connections.

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

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