Over the past few decades, Dubai has transformed itself from a small trading village to one of the world’s most prestigious business hubs.
Entrepreneurs from every corner of the globe come to do business here. And with good reason. As well an extremely favourable tax environment which includes a zero percent rate on both personal and corporate income, Dubai also benefits from a strategic global location, a thriving economy and a supportive business environment.
The process of incorporating a company here is also both straightforward and affordable – yet another reason why so many international entrepreneurs choose Dubai as the ideal place to start their business.
Before you register your company in Dubai, you should first familiarise yourself with various licenses on offer.
The type of license required to run your business will depend on the types of activities you wish to carry out. In simple terms, a commercial license is required for trading, an industrial license is needed if you are planning to set up a manufacturing facility and a professional license is required if you are wanting to provide services including craftsmanship, arts and some types of consultancy.
Whatever license you require, it’s a good idea to work with an expert in UAE business formation when starting your company. As well as aligning your activities to the correct license, a business formation expert can also help with various other steps in the process, such as:
Choosing a company name
Having outlined your business activities, the next major step is to choose your company name. As well as deciding on a name that sticks in the memory and fits neatly with your brand, you’ll also have to abide by the UAE’s set of naming conventions. That’s why it can be practical to work with a company formation expert at this stage.
If you wish to name your company after yourself, you must include your full name, rather than initials or abbreviations. You must also avoid any offensive or blasphemous language. It’s also important to check that your chosen name is free to be registered.
Choosing a location
When setting up in Dubai, the first step in deciding where to locate your business – before you consider travel links, local amenities and the like – is to choose between a free zone or mainland setup.
Both offer considerable advantages. Mainland businesses can trade with the local market without the need to employ a service agent – something free zone businesses cannot. You are also able to take on government contracts when doing business from the mainland.
Free zones, however, offer many financial advantages such as exemption from certain taxes and the ability to repatriate your profits and capital.
The cost of registering your business in Dubai is usually around the same whether you opt for a free zone or mainland setup. The setup that is right for you will depend on many factors, including your company size and sector.
Making your license application
By this stage, you should be ready to make your license application. The process for doing so differs slightly depending on whether you are deciding to establish a free zone or mainland business.
If you opt for the mainland option, you can either apply directly to the Dubai Department of Economic Development, or work with a company formation expert who can make your application for you.
Should you wish to set up in a free zone, the first step is to find the right one for your business. There are many to choose from in Dubai, some that welcome all industries and others that align to certain sectors such as technology or healthcare.
Once you are sure of the free zone that’s right for you, you can either apply directly to the free zone authority or speak to an expert in company formation who can manage your entire application for you.
In both cases, the documents needed to register a company in Dubai include the following:
Applying for visas
With your license application complete, you can now apply for your UAE visa. As well as applying for your own visa, it’s also easy to apply for additional visas for your employees too.
The number of visas you can apply for will depend on the size of your business and whether you set up in the mainland or in a free zone.
As a UAE business owner, you are also able to sponsor your dependants for their visa applications too. This can include your children, spouse, parents and domestic staff such as a housekeeper.
Opening your corporate bank account
Opening a corporate bank account is not always easy here in the UAE and can require some guidance.
Working with an expert in Dubai company formation at this stage can make for a much smoother process.
AYS has strong relationships with many of the financial institutions that operate in the UAE – from Emirates NBD and Mashreq to RAK Bank and HSBC. We can advise not only on how to open a corporate bank account but also how to stay compliant with your obligations to make sure it remains open.
While the process for starting a business in Dubai can be said to be both simple and affordable, it does require a little prior knowledge of local licensing laws.
With this in mind, it may be hard to do on your own. Fortunately, AYS can help. If you are unaware of laws and regulations that surround starting a business, that does not have to be a hurdle. We can take care of that for you.
We assist our clientele efficiently with business licensing, registration, and related solutions. All we need from you is a little information about you and your business and a few documents. Then, you sit back and relax while we manage every step of your license and visa application for you, liaising with all relevant authorities and government bodies and keeping you updated along the way.
When you work with a company formation expert, you don’t just get our expertise, you get total peace of mind that your license application is in safe hands – helping to protect you from delays, confusing forms and mountains of paperwork.