Dubai Business setup is a strategic decision and knowing the finer details of starting a business in Dubai helps you to take proper decisions for your business registration in Dubai. This is a guide to “Dubai business setup” and the various methods available to someone looking for their “UAE business registration”.
[box type=”info” size=”medium” style=”rounded” border=”full” icon=”bookmark”]There are many factors that you need to consider before starting a business in Dubai. In our previous articles, we have already discussed the various options for Dubai business setup through its various Free Zones. Now, let us discuss the steps for business setup in Dubai mainland.[/box]
Though foreign investors generally prefer business formation in Dubai Free Zones, our experience proves that a good number of investors choose business setup in Dubai mainland area due to various reasons. If you are one of such investors, please continue reading this article. In case you are looking for business setup procedures for Free Zone business, please read our detailed article on Dubai Free Zone Company Formation. But if you wish to learn more about the difference between free zone and mainland businesses, please read the article on Dubai Free Zone Business Setup | FAQ.
Dubai Business Setup | UAE Business Registration Procedure.
If you are a foreign investor, starting a business in Dubai and the procedure for Dubai business setup can either be a tricky task or a smooth affair depending on the information that you have.
You can see a summary of the procedure for business registration in Dubai below. Other emirates in UAE also follow similar rules as Dubai business setup. We will try to cover them as separate topics on this blog.
1. Determine the group and type of business activity.
A business entity in Dubai that trade in a few items may need different business formation strategy as compared to a manufacturing facility. Opening a consultancy business and a supermarket are completely different projects. Determine all the related business activities that one can include within each business licence, subject to a of ten activities per licence. Fixing the activities is the first step in Dubai business setup.
2. Determine the proper legal form for your business.
Before starting a business in Dubai, consider the number of partners and their nationalities. This step is very critical as it decides the legal form of your company registration. In order to decide the legal form of your business entity, you need to consider your long-term business strategy, capital requirements, risk factor etc. You can refer our article “Dubai Company Formation Guide” for details on legal options, company structure etc. In addition to the Free Zones, limited liability company (LLC) is one of the very popular legal forms among foreign investors in Dubai.
3. Confirm all the requirements of the business licence.
While starting a business in Dubai, this step is of prime importance. The requirements include various fees such as licence fee, fee for memorandum of association, municipality charges, need of local partner etc. The website of Dubai Economic Department is a good source of information for this. Alternatively you can seek the help from a good business consultancy firm in Dubai to help you.
4. Determine the trade name of the business.
You need to give multiple choices for the name of your proposed business. In case your preferred choices are not available for your Dubai business setup, the Economic Department will allot the closest available name to you.
5. Submit an application to the Economic Department.
This application is for an initial approval and registering the trade name of the business entity. You can do this either by a personal visit to the department offices, its external branches or through the internet services.
Following are the documents required for first approval.
- Business registration and licensing application, as well as proof of reserved trade name of the business entity.
- To apply online for business registration, please visit the online portal for e-Application.
- To reserve a trade name go to online portal for trade name reservation.
- Photocopy of applicant’s passport (together with residence permit / visa details for non-GCC states nationals).
- Photocopy of applicant’s naturalization identification for UAE nationals only.
- No-objection letter from the applicant’s current sponsor for non GCC nationals (in case of UAE residents).
- Photocopy of the director’s passport, and no-objection letter from the director’s current sponsor (in case of UAE residents).
- Permission from the court to practice business, for applicants under 21 years.
- Approval issued by other Government authorities according to the type of activity.
Documents required after receiving the first approval.
- Initial Approval receipt.
- All documents submitted before to get the first Approval.
- Photocopy of office lease including the plot number.
- Appointment contract of Local Services Agent duly authenticated by the Notary Public in the Emirate for professional licences of non GCC nationals.
6. Lease business facilities.
After getting the first approval for Dubai business setup you can lease premises and contact the counter of the Planning Department of Dubai Municipality to verify that the premise is suitable for Dubai business setup. The authorities can confirm if the facilities are suitable for the proposed business activity.
7. Payment of fees.
Prepare all required documents and give the application to the economic department or one of its external branches for paying the required fees to get the actual licence.
8. Signboard approval.
Submit an application to one of the external branches of economic department for a signboard permit for a business trade name as required by the economic regulations.
If you are starting a business in Dubai but prefers 100% ownership on your business entity you can consider starting a business in Dubai Free Zones. You can read more about it in the article “Dubai Free Zone Company Formation“.
As usual we hope this article provides you some useful information for starting a business in Dubai. If you have any questions about procedures of business registration in Dubai or the requirements of Dubai Business Setup, please feel free to contact us. Meanwhile, if you wish to have an article on a related topic, please let us know.