Dubai is a well-positioned pro-business hub that is ideal for companies looking for new opportunities to further their growth. It is also very connected and seamlessly brings technology, processes, and people together to build an active foundation for all industries.
Before you begin the process of setting your business in Dubai, it will help to confirm if you meet all the set requirements. It will also help if you equip yourself with the necessary knowledge of their business culture and how to interact with the people.
Business Setup Company in Dubai
If you want to set up a foreign company in Dubai, you can set up your operations as a registered company, representative office, or branch. Alternatively, you can hire a commercial agent to sell your products in their market or export them.
The Dubai free zone is a specific self-regulated area set up to catalyze economic activity. Free zones are governed by their own set of rules and regulations. There are about 30 free zones in Dubai, categorized under the industry they operate. Company owners in these zones enjoy 0% taxation benefits and can enjoy full ownership of their businesses. The downside to this is that you cannot enjoy open trade with the UAE local market.
The Commercial Company Laws contain the foreign ownership restrictions of companies on the mainland. This law requires that Dubai nationals or companies hold 51% of the company. Under this law, foreign investors can establish specific businesses or offshore companies, including branch offices for foreign companies, joint-stock companies, unincorporated joint ventures, and limited liability companies.
There are four licenses types you may need to set up a business in Dubai:
- Sponsorship, where you have a Dubai citizen sponsoring your business by owning 51% of total company shares.
- Industrial license for manufacturing companies i.e., companies that transform raw materials and metal into usable products.
- Professional license for businesses focused on services such as medical consulting, hair services, craftmanship, and repairs.
- Commercial license for trading businesses such as sales, imports and exports, real estate, and general stores.
To set up a company in the Dubai Free Zone, you will need to follow the following processes:
Decide on your business type
First, you need to determine the nature of your business so you can apply for the right business license. There are currently over 2100 activities that fall in different industrial groups for one to choose from. The DED website offers a conclusive list to help you choose right.
Choose a free zone
Now that you have a business license, you can choose from the 30 free zones available in Dubai. Most businessmen find it more reasonable to set up businesses closest to a zone with similar sectors.
Choosing a business name
When it comes to business name choices in Dubai, you have to be very careful not to use any names that could be deemed offensive. The UAE government is very strict on social morals and religion. Also, no mention of political pledges is allowed and any personal name you choose has to have proof that it belongs to one of the company partners. You will not be allowed to use plain abbreviations or initials.
An entrepreneur seeking to set up a business in Dubai needs to ensure that the DED has no objections to this intention. You will need to apply for initial approval before operating a business in Dubai. You can do this in person, online, or through a legal entity.
The documents required for this process include:
- A feasible project study
- Licensing forms
- Business registration forms
- Identification documents such as ID or passport
- Visa or resident permits
- Articles of association
Open a business bank account in Dubai
Choose an office location
All businesses that operate in Dubai must have physical addresses. Finding one in the free zone is quite easy. If you are not sure where to start, there are local real estate advisors who can point you in the right direction.
Get your final approval
It’s not enough to have the first approval. You will need to have your final documents evaluated before setting up your business and officially launching your operations. Some businesses require that you get multiple licenses from different stakeholders and these will also need approval.
When you are ready for the last approval submission, ensure you bring:
- All approvals from government institutions
- A lease contract from the Real Estate Regulatory Agency
- All initially submitted documents as well as the initial approval forms
A service agent contract for the 100% owned business and involving a local service agent.
Once you have the above documents verified and you pay for the final license, you should be able to start operating your company in Dubai.
Business Consulting Dubai
Business consulting is a huge sector globally. This industry is equally big in Dubai, especially since plenty of businesses need help setting up their companies in the UAE.
Essentially, business consulting companies are professional advisors whose job is to help a business streamline its operations in a specific area or achieve its goal. Below are a few areas that the various business consulting companies can help out with.
- Improve the efficiency of businesses
- Come up with a business plan.
- Facilitate your learning of how the business systems and processes work in Dubai
- Advice you on the practicality of your business structure
Note that some business consulting companies specialize in specific areas, while others may offer more general services. If you wish to set up a consulting business in Dubai, you might want to specialize in key interests as people love paying for quality services over quantity. Better so, have partners who specialize in different corporate aspects to help you attract more customers as a one-stop-shop.
Business Consulting Companies in Dubai
For one looking to set up a company in Dubai, there are several business consulting companies, and you can easily access their services even if you are not based in the UAE. This is essential because you can have them walk you through the process needed to open a business in the available regions.
Several business aspects that consulting companies in Dubai can help you go over include:
- The requirements and audits that are necessary for your business to be compliant
- Company risk and personal liability
- Account and bookkeeping
- The desire for investors in the future or at the present
- Capital needed to invest in the business and allowed shares allocation
- Office space and real estate links
- The nature of your business
- Applying for licenses and approvals
- Finding the right free zone
There are so many advantages of working with consulting companies in Dubai. Besides knowing all the business laws, they also know the costs and the best jurisdiction to set up your business.
On the contrary, if you choose to work alone, the process can take longer since you will have to find all the information on your own, plus try to have access to all government bodies responsible for different licenses.
Best Business Solution Company Dubai
To do this, here it is important to note that due to the business ripeness of the region and the free zones that attract many business owners, several business consultants advertise their services in Dubai. However, you will want to ensure that you have the right partners helping you set up in the region. e some useful guidelines:
Choose a professional team and pay attention to their track records
Companies such as KPMG, Flying Colors, and Pro Business Setup have had a great track record among the most trustable consulting and business solution companies in Dubai. Some could be out of your budget range, but most offer a workable payment plan while offering quality solutions.
Check their goals and KPIs
Key performance indicators will help you know where you are doing it right and areas that need improvements. When it comes to goals, Dubai is a region visited by different cultures, and although the government can do as much to protect its citizens from unwarranted political exposure, you also need to ensure you work with consultants who match your goals.
Pay attention to the location
As initially stated, different Dubai free zones are known for the sectors they harbor. Therefore, it will make no sense to find a consultant in a different zone from where your business interest lies.
Consulting companies with strategic government links
Since many licenses are allocated by the government, you will want a business solution company that has access to government services in the most convenient yet legal way. From Real Estate Regulatory Authority to the Department of Economic Development, you will come in contact with different government bodies that will need to approve your company documents.
Setting up a business in Dubai will be as easy as the information and resources you have. The importance of having the right business solutions partner cannot be emphasized enough. It is also important to pay attention to the region’s culture and government requirements to ensure you remain on the right side of the process. And check the Business EXPO 2020 (open a new window)