29 May, 2024

How to Start Business in Dubai, UAE?

start business in dubai

Starting a company in Dubai, or anywhere in the world, is a big decision. It involves careful planning, research, budgeting, setting up, and making key decisions. For new entrepreneurs, it’s especially important to get guidance on choosing the right trade license for your business. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to start a business in Dubai, UAE.

The UAE is a popular spot for investors and entrepreneurs. It offers a friendly environment for investors, with low taxes and easy business processes, making it a major business hub in the Middle East. The government also has supportive rules and regulations that encourage business owners.

how to start business in dubai

How to Start  Business in Dubai – The Formation Process

Setting up a business in Dubai is relatively straightforward. Experts at RadiantBiz Business Setup in Dubai services, can simplify the process by handling paperwork and other issues on your behalf.

Key Steps to Start a Business in Dubai

Select a Business Activity

Choose a business activity that suits the UAE market. Research its feasibility and profitability before starting your business in Dubai.

Select the Jurisdiction

Decide between Mainland, Free Zone, or Offshore jurisdictions. Each has its own laws and caters to different business needs.

Finalize the Company Structure/Legal Form

Choose your company’s legal form, such as an LLC, sole establishment, or branch office. This decision affects how you handle profits, losses, and resources.

Get Approval for Your Company Name and Activity

Obtain approval for your company name and business activity from the Department of Economic Development (DED). This is necessary before applying for your trade license.

Apply for Your Trade License

Choose from Commercial, Professional, Industrial, or Tourism licenses. The type of license depends on your business activity and jurisdiction.

Register Your Company

Registration and licensing happen simultaneously. Ensure you get all required approvals from relevant government authorities.

Find a Local Agent (if required)

While it’s no longer mandatory to have a local partner, finding a trustworthy local agent can be facilitated by business setup consultants who offer corporate sponsorship.

Get Your External Approvals

Depending on your business activity, you might need approvals from other agencies like the municipality or specific banks.

Prepare Your Memorandum of Association (MoA)

Draft your MoA according to UAE mandates. Seek expert advice to ensure it aligns with both legal requirements and your business interests.

Rent an Office

Choose between renting an office unit or a shared workspace. The office space you select can affect the number of visas you can request from DED.

Get the Tenancy Contract & Ejari

Sign a tenancy contract and register it with Ejari, the online system governed by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA). This is required for visa purposes.

Get the Initial Approval

Obtain initial approval from DED, indicating the UAE government’s acceptance of your business setup. This is a prerequisite for proceeding further.

Collect Your Trade License

Submit the following to the DED along with the necessary fees:

  • MoA
  • Trade license application
  • Relevant government forms
  • Trade name reservation certificate
  • Initial approval certificate
  • External approvals (if any)
  • Tenancy contract
  • Ejari registration certificate
  • Passport copies of partners
  • NOC for partners (if any)
  • Any other requirements by the DED

Once all documents are submitted and approved, you will receive your trade license in Dubai , allowing you to officially start your business in Dubai.

starting business in dubai

Documents Required to Start a Business in Dubai

Before you can officially start your business operations in Dubai, you need to register your company and obtain the necessary approvals. Here are the essential documents you will need to have:

documents required to start business in dubai

General Documents Required for Starting a Business in Dubai:

  1. Passport Copies of All Stakeholders: Passports must have at least six months of validity.
  2. Memorandum of Association (MoA): This document outlines the structure and purpose of the company.
  3. Office Tenancy Contract (Ejari): A valid lease agreement for your business premises.
  4. Trade Name Approval/Initial Approval: Approval for the name under which your business will operate.

Additional Approvals Based on Business Activity

Depending on your business activity, you may need additional approvals from various ministries and authorities:

Ministry/Authority Business Activities Covered
Ministry of Interior General transport, driving schools, fire equipment, alarm and safety systems, used-car dealers, used auto-parts, car rental.
Ministry of Justice Legal activities and legal consultancy.
Local Municipal Department Architectural and engineering affairs.
Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) Telecommunication activities.
Executive Council Travel and tourism, general services, charter trading, ship and maritime agencies, car clubs, charter air transport, foreign company branches.
Ministry of Economy Insurance activities and insurance consultancy.
Local Health Departments Health-related activities.
Supreme Petroleum Council Onshore and offshore gas and oil-field services, onshore and offshore oil drilling operations.

Ensure you check the specific requirements for your business activity to obtain all necessary approvals.

Benefits of Starting Business in Dubai

Here are some benefits of starting your business in Dubai from India:

Low Taxation Policies

Dubai offers favorable tax policies, meaning business owners don’t have to worry about personal and corporate taxes on profits. Additionally, Dubai’s VAT rates are among the lowest in the world, helping you maximize your earnings without losing money to high taxes.

Population Growth

Dubai fast-growing economy and population make it an ideal location for new businesses and entrepreneurs. The city attracts foreign and Indian investors, ensuring a steady stream of potential clients for your business.

Investment Security

Laws maintained by RERA, DED, and DLD are fair and supportive for new investors, with no hidden costs or charges. You can confidently set up your company in the Emirates, knowing your investment is secure.

Hassle-Free Visa Management

Applying for business visas for family members, shareholders, and employees is straightforward. Once your business license is approved, a few mandatory visas are also granted, simplifying the process.

Ready to Start Business in Dubai? 

Contact us at RadiantBiz Business Setup Consultants in Dubai, #1 Free Trade Zone and a global hub for commodities trading. We will support you through every step, from drafting documents and managing submissions to handling translations. We also assist with setting up Business bank accounts, obtaining necessary approvals from authorities, and providing general advice and consultancy. Reach out to us today to see how we can help you!

FAQ : Start Business in Dubai


How much money is required to start a business in Dubai?

The investment amount for starting a business can vary depending on the business type, location, and sponsor’s approval. Generally, you should plan to invest anywhere from AED 50,000 to AED 300,000 or more.

Can I start a small business in Dubai?

Starting a small business in Dubai and the UAE can be affordable. You can get a trading license for as low as AED 20,000. To be safe, budget between AED 20,000 and AED 30,000. Keep in mind that if you need additional perks or privileges, the cost of your business license may increase.

What are the Cheapest Free Zones in the UAE?

International Free Zone Authority (IFZA)

Located in Dubai’s Silicon Oasis, IFZA is a competitive free zone offering attractive benefits for businesses.

Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone (RAKEZ)

RAKEZ is a popular choice for businesses due to its favorable conditions and supportive environment.

Ajman Media City

Ajman Media City provides excellent opportunities for media-related businesses looking to establish themselves in the UAE.

Sharjah Media City Free Zone (SHAMS)

SHAMS is a dynamic free zone in Sharjah, ideal for media and creative businesses.

Can a foreigner start a company in Dubai?

Yes, Dubai welcomes foreign investors and business owners. The emirate has numerous company formation experts and setup agents to guide foreign entrepreneurs through the licensing, visa, and business incorporation processes.

How can I start my own company in Dubai?

Steps to Establish Your Company in the UAE Mainland:
1. Identify the Nature of Your Business Activity.
2. Determine Your Company’s Legal Structure.
3. Register the Trade Name.
4. Apply for Initial Approval.
5. Create LSA or MOA.
6. Choose Your Business Location.
7. Apply for Additional Government Approvals.

 Can you own 100% of a company in Dubai?

Yes, Dubai Economy allows full ownership for foreign investors under the Federal Decree-Law No. 26 of 2020, which amended provisions of Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 on Commercial Companies.

Is Dubai good for starting a business?

Yes, Dubai has a stable economy built on commerce, tourism, real estate, and financial services. It is a hub for international trade and business, offering economic resilience even during global financial instability.

Can Indians open a company in Dubai?

Yes, Indian citizens can own 100% of a company in Dubai’s free zones. Recent legal changes also permit 100% foreign ownership in certain mainland sectors.

Is it necessary to be physically present in Dubai to start a business?

No, it is not necessary to be physically present in Dubai to start a business. However, certain procedures might require a visit, and establishing a physical presence can be beneficial.

Can I do small business in Dubai?

Yes, you can start a small business in Dubai with a trading license costing between AED 20,000 and AED 30,000. However, additional perks or privileges may increase the cost.

What business can I start with AED 50,000 in Dubai?

E-commerce Store:
The rise of online shopping makes e-commerce a lucrative option. With AED 50,000, you can set up a professional online store, invest in initial product inventory, and cover marketing expenses.

Can I move to Dubai if I start a business?

Yes, after establishing your company, you can apply for an investor visa. Once approved, you can relocate to Dubai and manage your business while enjoying residency benefits.

Which city in Dubai is best for business?

Best Places to Start a New Business in Dubai Mainland:
– Business Bay
– Deira
– Sheikh Zayed Road
– Dubai Internet City (DIC)
– Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA)
– Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)

How much money do I need to start a business in the UAE?

Businesses typically need to allocate between AED 50,000 to AED 300,000 or more. For example, a service-based company may require a minimum investment of AED 18,500.

Which business is best in Dubai?

Top 10 Profitable Business Ideas in Dubai:
1. Construction Industry
2. E-Commerce and Online Business
3. Tourism Industry
4. Real Estate Sector
5. Healthcare Sector
6. Professional Maintenance Services
7. Consultancy Services
8. Beauty and Personal Care Industry