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6 Step to set up a business in Dubai / UAE 2019

May 21, 2019

Dubai is becoming one of the most popular destination for experts to start their business due to numerous reasons such as, its liberal culture, Dubai airport free zones, which has benefits such as exemption from import and export duties and many more. Dubai has grabbed a lot of attention of investors throughout the globe after showing economic stability to the foreign market.

Dubai is really fantastic for doing business.
Following are advantages of this city and Emirate for starting a business are widely known :
• Political stability
• Favourable geographical location, convenient for trading and other business
• Low costs of labour and energy resources
• The easy and simple procedure for incorporation of companies
• Fast developing economy
• Tax-free business environment
• Developed infrastructure
• The official policy aimed at business development
• Safety and comfort for work and life

Starting a business set up in Dubai is not as difficult as it seems to be in UAE.

Congratulations, you have chosen one of the best business ecosystems in the world for your new endeavour. Dubai is more than mere a city of architectural marvels– it is one of the most fertile grounds for businesses. And as for starting up a business here, there’s no question that there’s a lot of potentials to be tapped here in Dubai. So, if you are eager to set up your own enterprise, this article will help explain what you need to know and do to get your company registered and off the ground.

1) Selecting Business type
2) Having a Free zone Company/Mainland (LLC)
3) Select a local Sponsor/ Partner
4) Share capital
5) Choosing a license category
6) Visa requirement

Selecting Business type

To start a business or sells products or services freely throughout the UAE you must decide this thing

• Sole proprietorships or partnerships
• Limited liability company
• Branch offices
• Free zone companies
• Joint venture
• Private shareholding
• Public shareholding

Having a Free zone Company/Mainland (LLC)


Nowadays UAE National is mandatory in all mainland licenses either as a Local Partner or a Local Service Agent. (LSA) Commercial License LLC Structure

In commercial License, 51% shares are held by a UAE National & 49% shares go to the expat Partner. In professional license 100% shares are held by expat partner and one UAE National is appointed as a Local Service Agent (LSA).

There is no limitation of visas on the mainland license, An E-quota (electronic quota) is issued to every company in the mainland by Ministry of Labour which shows their visas eligibility & it can be increased if the company requires more staff.

A mainland license does require standard government approvals per license. E.g. DED (Department of Economic Development), DM(Dubai Municipality), Ministry of Labour (MOL), Department for Naturalization and Residency affairs of Ministry of interiors or Immigration (MOI).

Free zone

Establishing a business entity in one of the numerous UAE Free Trade Zones (FTZs) can be an attractive option for foreign investors and businesses. All seven Emirates already have or are developing, such as economic zones.

The major advantages of operating in a free zone are:
• 100 % foreign ownership of the enterprise
• 100 % import and export tax exemptions
• 100 % repatriation of capital and profits
• No corporate tax for 15 years, renewable for an additional 15 years
• No personal income taxes
• Less burdensome documentation
• Assistance with employee recruitment, and additional support services such as sponsorship and housing.

Select a local Sponsor/ Partner

Local services agent (LSA) and nominee shareholders (sleeping partners) in mainland companies with foreign investment. Branch of foreign companies and civil companies with foreign investments needs to have a local service agent appointed to comply with the regulations. These agent do not have any share in the firm also are not normally involved in the operations of the company and are paid a lump sum fee

Share capital

The share capital is the amount of money each shareholder or founder of a company contributes with when setting up a company. Most types of company in Dubai will require a minimum number of shareholders who will divide the amounts they put in for creating the company into shares. There are several class of shares the founders of companies in Dubai can have
• Ordinary shares
• Preference shares

Choosing a license category

Foreign investor can set up several types of companies in Dubai depending on their business objective. Before deciding on the type of company they must select the category of business license as the Dubai Department of Economic Development regulates three types of business licenses
• Commercial license
• Industrial license
• Professional license


• 130 Day Tourist Visa
• Multi-Entry Long-Term Visa for 90 days
• Multi-Entry Short-Term Visa for 30 days
• 96 Hour Transit Visa
• 90 Day Visit Visa

Procedure for Dubai Business Visa

• First and Last page of your Passport
• Coloured photos as per the specified size of 4.3 cms X 5.5 cms
• Financial documents such as income tax returns, Form 16, investment proofs in case of bank deposits and so on.
• NOC’s for students and ladies and marriage certificates in case of traveling couples.
• Confirmed airline ticket of the passenger.

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