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How to Start a Business in Dubai in 2024!

Updated On: May 24, 2024

Dubai is now a business capital for foreign investors around the world’s business analytics as well! Investors’ basic need is to grow their money exponentially. Nevertheless, many processes were involved due to the complexity and some considerations involved. Many people want to know how to start their businesses in Dubai. 

In this article, we will discuss every step of how to start a business in Dubai!

So here are the steps of how to start a business in Dubai.

Business culture in the UAE

So, you want to start a business in the UAE? That may be a good idea. The local government is heartening investment and startups in many ways; therefore, this is an excellent time to get on board. The States is also comparatively easy for foreigners to do business in. It is easy to set up a corporation and coupled with the fact that the government nowadays offers long-term visas for assets, business in the UAE is booming.

Legal structures for businesses in the UAE

how to start a business in dubai
How to start a business in Dubai

If you plan on starting a business in the UAE, you must first consider the type of company you will procedure. Like any other country, the Emirates has many legal company structures. Below are a few of the most common and some of their supplies.

Sole Proprietorship

This type of company is 100% possessed by one individual. Because of this, that person has a complete switch over operations and profits. Although all people can create a sole proprietorship company, only UAE, besides GCC nationals, can have a commercial or manufacturing company.

Civil Company

Professionals such as doctors, auditors, and lawyers can open a civil company commercial in the UAE. An Emirati national must own 51% of the business.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

In an LLC, there is an obligation to be between two and 50 shareholders. As such, each one is accountable only for their percentage of shares. Additionally, profits and losses are divided between shareholders, rendering to their holdings. Again, 51% of shares must be owned by a UAE national. Also, an LCC with more than seven partners must appoint a board with at least three shareholders.

Foreign Company Branch

A foreign company may establish a branch in the UAE. In this case, the corporation is 100% owned by the parent company. However, any belongings must be imported by a local trading firm.

Free Zone Company

Businesses working in a Free Zone need two to five stakeholders. While there are many benefits besides incentives for setting up in the UAE Free Zones, you should know that these companies cannot skill directly with the UAE market. Therefore, there might be different necessities for setting up a business there. For example, twofour54 Abu Dhabi does not require any money. However, the Dubai Airport Free Zone requires a minimum share principal of AED 1,000, while a KIZAD LCC will need AED 150,000.


It is straightforward to set up a freelance business in the UAE. You must register in a Free Zone through an application form, CV, bank reference, and notarized Registry Documentation Code Form. You will also be able to apply intended for a visa.

How to start a business in the UAE as an expat?

how to start a business in dubai
How to start a business in Dubai

If you are looking to start a business in the UAE, you should know a few things. Below is some practical advice on receipt of set up.

Obtain a business visa in the UAE

If you are going to start an occupational in the UAE, you will need to get a visa to live and then work in the country. For entrepreneurs, there are two types. Equally, a five-year and a 10-year visa are available short of the need for sponsorship.

There are two choices for getting a five-year visa. Firstly, you must have links to an existing plan with a minimum capital of AED 500,000. Secondly, you must get approval from an accredited occupational incubator within the UAE.

The 10-year visa can be extra challenging to get. Again, there are two options. With the first, you must deposit at least AED 10 million in a civic investment. Alternatively, you could set up a company with at least AED 10 million in capital or invest AED 10 million in an existing company.

There are exceptions for people with unusual talents. For example, a 10-year visa may be granted to creative people with the approval of the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.

Registering your business in the UAE

If you are setting up a business in the UAE, you first need to choose a trading name. Start a conversation with your local Free Zone authority or the Department of Economic Development; they will be intelligent enough to tell you if your name is acceptable. UAE laws state that interchange names must not violate public morals, should not be previously registered, and must fulfill the business’ required activity besides legal status.

Once you have a name, you must apply for a business license. There are four types of transportation on the UAE mainland: commercial, professional, and industrial, as well as tourism.

If you work in a Free Zone, you will need to apply straight to the zone in question. This will depend on your business movement. For example, Abu Dhabi’s twofour54 deals mainly in creative industries such as graphic design, advertising, and app development. Dubai’s DMCC focuses on energy, commodities, gold and diamonds, construction, healthcare, and shipping.

Foreign companies are opening up a branch or secondary in the UAE.

How to start a business in Dubai
Business in Dubai

Legally, there is a significant alteration between a branch and a subsidiary of a foreign company. A subdivision is tied to the parent company, responsible for the branch’s actions. However, a subsidiary operates as a legally independent company. As such, a secondary will operate under a UAE business structure. However, it can also benefit from protection from double assessment and can operate in a Free Zone.

Like any additional business in the UAE, a branch or subsidiary must register through the Ministry of Economy. Similarly, you must provide certification such as a memorandum, articles of overtone, and power of attorney. Record-keeping for foreign branches or firms is the same for any other business in the UAE.

Administrating your business in the UAE

If you have a business in the UAE, you must keep thorough records of everything relating to your company. Of course, the most crucial part is keeping up-to-date accounting records in line with the UAE’s laws. Specifically, this comprises annual accounts, general ledgers, purchase day books, tax invoices, credit notes, debit notes, and VAT ledgers.

Together, these should display all business transactions and offer an accurate fiscal overview of the company. In addition, the accounts would be kept at the company’s head office for at least five years. After that, you can recollect digital copies.

However, there are about caveats. For instance, capital asset records, such as machinery and furniture, must be engaged for at least ten years. Similarly, real estate archives should be kept for at least 15 years. If you operate in a Free Zone – such as by way of the Dubai International Finance Center (DIFC) – you may also have supplementary requirements.


These are the main reasons why Dubai is a needed location for businesses. With its world-class infrastructure, business-friendly legislation, unchanging economy, and tax benefits, Dubai provides an excellent business situation for firms seeking to grow globally.

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