Setting up a business in Dubai

Where to Start Business in Dubai?

As we all know, Dubai is on its path to being a smart city. Setting up a business in Dubai is one of the best opportunities for British entrepreneurs to scale up their business. With a lucrative business market, top-notch infrastructure, world-class technological facilities, and a highly supportive government, it is super beneficial and easy to start a business in Dubai

Moreover, with the Dubai Expo 2020 on the run, the opportunities are even higher for budding and established UK entrepreneurs. If you are one of those willing to start a new business in Dubai, now is the time. Grab the golden opportunity, connect with a renowned business setup consultant in Dubai and begin the registration process. 

You’ll be surprised to know that the registration process to set up a business in Dubai is straightforward and won’t take much time. But, before we jump to that, you must know where you can set up your business UAE

Where Can You Set Up a Business in Dubai?

Dubai has three options for you to set up your business. Namely, Free Zone, Mainland Region, and Offshore. You can decide to set up your business Dubai in any one of the three regions as per your business goals, activities, and other requirements. 

1.) Free Zone

Also known as free trade zones, free zones are economic regions where you can trade goods and services at a preferential tax and customs rate. They were initially rolled out to increase the international business Dubai in the region by offering several benefits. There are currently 45 active free zones across the United Arab Emirates.

If you set up a business in one of the free zones, you can only trade within that particular region. You cannot conduct business outside the free zone unless you have prior permission from the respective free zone authorities. 

A few benefits of setting up a business in Dubai free zone are:

  1. 100% foreign ownership
  2. 100% repatriation of capital and profits earned
  3. Total exemption of corporate and personal income tax.
  4. You don’t have to pay import and export duties (However, you cannot import into mainland regions in UAE)
  5. Free regular training and networking events.

2.) Mainland Region

The Mainland region is basically located outside the free zones. It is also called an onshore region. If you set up business in Dubai mainland region, you have the advantage of conducting business anywhere in the UAE. You also get access to the local as well as international markets. Every company in the mainland region is under the supervision of the Department of Economic Development. The DED is the governing body responsible for looking after the registration process, authenticity, and providing the business licenses. Here’s why you should consider setting up a business in Dubai mainland region:

  1. You can do business anywhere in the country. 
  2. Get access to global markets without any restrictions.
  3. Set up a physical office anywhere in the UAE.
  4. Acquire as many visas as required on the basis of the size of your company.
  5. 100% repatriation of capital and profits.

3. Off-Shore Region

Often, people confuse offshore regions with free zones. However, they both are different. An offshore company is established in an entirely different jurisdiction while its parent company is in another country. Also, do not confuse it with a branch company since there is no requirement for a physical office. Moreover, they are not physically present in the country where they choose to be registered as an offshore company. A few benefits of an offshore business in Dubai are as follows:

  1. Full repatriation of capital and profits.
  2. Complete ownership of the company.
  3. Also, no requirement for a physical office within the country.
  4. Operate from anywhere in the world.
  5. No mandate to prepare a yearly audit.
  6. No minimum capital requirement.

How to Start a Business in Dubai?

Now that you know the three different types of business setup regions in Dubai, you must know how to set up a business Dubai.

Step 1. Select Business Activities

The first step is to decide the nature of your business and select the business activities you want to conduct based on nature. There are over 2000 business activities to choose from. Remember that you can only select up to 10 business activities on one license. Moreover, you must have a detailed business plan before opting for your business activities. 

Step 2. Legal Structure

Now, you must decide the legal structure of your business. Do you want your business to be a public or private partnership, a sole-proprietorship, or a branch of a GCC or international company? You also have the option to set up a Limited Liability company. 

Step 3. Select the Location

Once decided on the legal structure, you must choose where to set up your business Dubai? A mainland region, free zone, or an offshore region. Every region has its own advantages. You must weigh them and then decide the best one for you. A company formation expert can help you with this step. 

Step 4. Business Name Registration

Now, you must select a suitable legal name for your business. It should not consist of any foul words, abbreviations, or references to any religion. If you wish to name it after a person, make sure to use their full name. Once decided, register your final company name with DED and secure your trade name registration slip. 

Step 5. Physical Office

If you are willing to go for an offshore business setup, then you will not need a physical office in the UAE. However, if your choose to establish a business in Dubai mainland or a free zone, you need to rent an office space to execute your business activities. Ensure that the office space you rent complies with all the hygiene and dimensional measures listed by the government. Additionally, secure the property maps and register it with Ejari to get your tenancy contract and unique Ejari code. 

Step 6. Apply for Initial Approval

Once you have completed the above-given steps, you can apply for initial approval. Present all the required documents, including trade name registration slip, business plan, passport, visa, number of employees, official address property papers, and tenancy contract. The concerned authorities will inspect your documents and if all goes right, you get the green chit to set up your business UAE.

Step 7. Get Your Business License

The UAE government offers four main business licenses: tourism license, professional license, commercial license, and industrial license. You can choose to apply for any of these as per your business activities. Submit all the gathered documents and wait while the government officials thoroughly inspect them.

Ensure that you double-check all the documents before submission. If all is the right place, the authorities will issue your business license within 3 to 4 working days. Pay the required one-time license fee within 24 hours of receiving your license, and you’re all set to start a business in Dubai.

Set Up Your Business in Dubai with Shuraa

After reading the blog, you must have understood the difference between the three different zones where you can start a business in Dubai. Each zone has its own benefits, so you must weigh the pros and cons depending upon the nature of your business and then select the best suitable region for your business.

Furthermore, the business setup process is also straightforward; you can secure your business license in a matter of 3 to 4 days without any hassle. However, if you still have any confusion, you can reach out to business setup consultants at the UK branch of Shuraa Business Setup.

Our experts will walk you through the whole process, help you select the best location for your business and also acquire your license at a minimal cost. All you need to do is call us, and we will take care of the rest. 

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