How to go about setting up a business in UAE

Despite of the culture barriers marring your perception about the Middle East, the region of UAE offers the ideal cosmopolitan environment for foreign businessman. Comprising of Seven Emirates, the country offers a great atmosphere to be a successful start-up business, given a great variety of businesses with high potential markets, especially in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.

However, one must have strong knowledge about the regulations, nature of the business dynamics and of course, the legal requirement and systems before setting up a business in Dubai. Several important tips are given below:

  • Obtaining a license: To obtain a license, you have a choice of over 2100 activities and over two dozen jurisdictions, with each jurisdiction offering different bundles or packages of physical space for office, types of visas and activity. Usually, LLC or Local Licensed Company is the best way to initiate the start-up process.


  • Type of ownership: The first option is for you to select a Local UAE National to be partners (Kafeel) in your business which means giving him 51% ownership. However, this gives access to better locations and smoothing out any issues occurring in the business at any time. The other type is to consider a company formation in UAE in Free Zones which are located in all seven States/ Emirates where you could have 100% ownership, quick process in starting up and no duty customs boundary.


  • Right city, Right Location & Right Product: The most important factor for any business is having the right location in the right market in the right city. Also having the right product if you’re a shop.


  • Costs: Determining the rental costs of the office space which you need to acquire and having a lease contract placed is usually the way to go about having the business set-up in UAE, even in Free Zones.


  • Understanding Visa Eligibility in your business; this is completely dependent on the physical office space available in your business location and the type of activity in which your business is involved.


  • Getting a business consultant onboard; that is to have an advisory support to guide you through the start-up process and gaining end to end support service to have a strong platform for your start-up.


Following these few basic minimal tips can ensure a sound establishment for your start-up in UAE, so make sure that you follow them.