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How can expats start a business in Dubai?

Dubai has emerged as the prime and perfect destination for expats looking to open their businesses. It is because it is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world along with offering advantages such as tax exemption, long-term visas, excellent infrastructure, drawing most ex-pats over here.  These entire benefits offer unparalleled prospect to expand further coupled with the potential to earn extremely well, thereby attracting more ex-pats over here.

Starting a business in Dubai as a foreigner?

As a foreigner, starting a business in Dubai can be complex as there are certain restrictions for foreign investments and also there are quite a lot of approvals, rules, and regulations that need to be complied. 

So, if you are an expat business investor interested in setting up and commencing a business in Dubai, then following these steps will present you a better idea on what to expect.

  • Select the nature of your business

It is very important to know the type of business activity you want to start. For this, you must undertake thorough research on the profitability and viability of the business you intend to start in the Dubai Market.

  • Company Registration

Company registration in Dubai has several things associated that as an expat you need to consider in advance. There are three main types of company registration in Dubai namely, Dubai Mainland, Free Zone and Offshore Company Registration. Based on the type of business activity and business requirements you can make the decision.

  • Legal Business Structure

Before starting a company, decide on the type of business structure you need. There are majorly four main types of business structures in Dubai from which you need to choose.

  • Sole proprietorship
  • General partnership
  • Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)
  • Corporation 

A Dubai free zone company offers expat investors to have 100% ownership of the company. Similarly, a Dubai mainland company offers 100% ownership for professional businesses, but a trading company limits expats to own up to 49% of the company, while the other 51% is owned by a Dubai local. 

  • Choosing a name for your company

Choose a name for your company or trade and ensure that the selected name by you is available to register. Also, keep in mind that you do not use any kind of non-acceptable and offensive language. 

Your trade name will need to get approval from the Department of Economic Development (DED) before you begin the set-up process of your company. Likewise, your selected business activity will also go through approval by the DED. 

Once you receive both these approvals, you will have to submit documents to apply for your trade licence.

  • Memorandum of Association (MoA) or Local Service Agent Agreement (LSA)

Depending on the legal form of a business, a completed and signed MoA or an LSA of the business is required. 

  • Acquiring your trade or business licence 

There are four trade or businesses licence types in Dubai that you can choose from:

  • Commercial Licence 
  • Professional Licence 
  • Industrial Licence 
  • Tourism Licence 

Depending upon the nature of your business activity and area selected, you need to apply for any of these trade licences. While Dubai Mainland IT companies must obtain a licence by submitting the documents to the Trade Register in Dubai, free zone companies must register with the free zone authority. The licencing structure varies and is dependent on the business activity your company decides to undertake.

  • Office space

It is compulsory to have an office space to set up your business in Dubai. This is to verify the legality of your company, permitting the authorities to perform inspections, oversee operations and to validate that immigration laws are being followed. In case, of rented office premises arrange your tenancy contract (Ejari) as soon as possible. 

  • Added Government approvals

In certain cases, you might require added approvals from the government or non-government entities depending on your business activity.

  • Initial Approval

Before getting your business licence, you are required to get the initial approval from DED which indicates that the government does not object you from starting a business in Dubai. 

Following are the documents required: 

  • Completed application form
  • Business plan
  • Copy of existing trade licence or registration certificate 
  • Passport copies of the company’s shareholders and the appointed Manager or Director 
  • Specimen signature of the company’s shareholders and the appointed Manager or Director 
  • Audited fiscal reports for corporate entity of the last two years
  • NOC from the current sponsor
  • Unit title deed
  • Letter of Intent
  • Registry Identification Code Form (RIC) for Manager or Director (Original and notarized)

To be noted, the documents required to register your company in Dubai will vary depending on the kind of business activity, legal entity, nature of shareholder, and the area in which you set up. 

  • Company Registration

Once you get the initial approval, then you need to pay registration fees and licence fees. 

  • Trade Licence

To get your trade licence, you will have to submit the following documents:

  • Initial approval receipt and all the previously submitted documents
  • Duly filled trade licence application
  • Copy of the lease contract 
  • EJARI registration certificate
  • Duly attested MoA
  • Approvals from other government entities concerned (if required)
  • Duly attested service agent contract for companies that are 100% owned by foreigners or non-nationals)
  • Copies of passport of partners
  • NOC for partners (if any)
  • Share capital information (if any)
  • Other requirements by the DED (if any)

All these should be submitted to the DED along with the necessary government fees.

  • Collect the business licence

After completing the above steps, the expat can collect the business licence from service centres of the economic departments or through their websites. And finally, after this one can start a business in Dubai. 

Need of a Business Consultant in UAE

UAE is perceived by the World Bank as world’s eleventh simplest spot to do business in 2019. This is a consequence of the straightforwardness with which business can be setup and mirrors the UAE’s wise frameworks improvements. The judicious initiative of the country has focused on simplicity of setting up to draw in businesses, businesspeople and assets.

Shuraa, one of the Big 4 consultancies expresses that the Middle East district’s straightforward and least requesting charge frameworks are an essential explanation fascination of unfamiliar interest into the locale. To oblige this interest, the UAE economy brags almost 40 sorts business setup models. Almost 30 of them are in a free zone territory which allows full or lion’s share unfamiliar speculation. The future speculator is spoilt for decision. Picking the correct business setup model is critical to establishing a fruitful endeavor and this is best embraced by depending on the direction of an accomplished expert.

Why Need a Consultant

With a free business setup expert, speculators can focus on their center capabilities of obtaining and setting up smooth business activities. Contingent upon the idea of the business movement, business setup specialists can be unprejudiced while recommending the advantages of each extraordinary UAE business permitting system. A key component is the rundown of exercises allowed on every business permit type for different ethnicities. While GCC nationals are allowed to hold all groupings of professional and business tasks, there are a couple of special cases for other people.

Crafted by the advisor starts even before the permit process is started with an achievability concentrate on the proposed business to be set up. An away from of the market, rivalry and patterns alongside projections of income and cost offer the speculator the correct viewpoint on the venture, anticipated returns, equal the initial investment timetables and other important information.

Let your business set up be hassle free

Starting a business in Dubai as a foreigner is undeniably a daunting and tedious task and requires proper expertise and guidance. At Shuraa Business Setup, we save you from all the hassles and inconvenience that you need to go through. Our experienced and dedicated team is always ready to bring your dream of opening your company in Dubai into a vision. In short, we focus on taking care of everything for you, while we leave you to focus on taking care of your business!

Contact Shuraa now! To book a free consultation with Shuraa’s company formation specialist, call +971 44081900 or WhatsApp to +971 50 777 5554 or drop an email at info@shuraa.com



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