Procedures To Be Fulfilled By A Foreigner To Start A Business In Dubai


Knowing about the procedures to be fulfilled by foreigners/ expats for Company formation in Dubai will be beneficial for newbies. Read this blog post to understand the complete procedure to be fulfilled by a foreigner to start a business in Dubai.

A confident and persistent entrepreneur can reap a fortune in Dubai. Consequently, there are numerous rags to riches stories floating around the city. The fertile business atmosphere has been conducive to growth. Policies formulated by the UAE government envisages better support to both well-established and debutant business persons.

starting business in dubai

Knowing about the procedures to be fulfilled by foreigners/ expats for Company formation in Dubai will be beneficial for newbies. The lack of awareness has been impeding the smooth setting up and functioning of businesses. Besides, support and guidance from a professional business setup service in Dubai is an ideal option.

You may establish a company at the jurisdiction of your choice, viz. Mainland, Freezone, or Offshore company in Dubai. Each of the jurisdictions has its pros and cons. The decision concerning the type of company can depend on your selection based on the type of business you intend to commence.

Types of Companies in Dubai



As said above, there are three types of companies. Mainland, Freezone, and Offshore. Let us see each one in detail.

Mainland Company in Dubai

A company in the Mainland jurisdiction extends limitless business options. Limited Liability Company (LLC) is the most common type of business entity in Mainland jurisdiction. It is mandatory to have a local Emirati as a sponsor for setting up an LLC. The sponsor will hold 51% of shares in the company and the expat can have 49% of shares. You must find a reliable and dependable sponsor for the company. There are three types of trade licenses in Dubai issued for this type of company. Professional, commercial, and industrial licenses, depending on the type of entity you are establishing.

Freezone Company in Dubai

There are approximately 40 Free Zones in the UAE. The Freezone jurisdiction must be chosen according to the type of business entity you are planning. The regulations and policies will defer according to the Freezone. A Freezone company offers 100% ownership to ex-pats. Therefore, there is no need to search for a reliable local sponsor. However, the market possibilities must be researched before deciding the same for your business. Alternatively, you can seek support from business setup services in Dubai for expert opinion, guidance, and processing.

Offshore Company in Dubai

The advantages offered by Offshore Company attract many investors. An Offshore company in Dubai can get overseas investments for the development of the company. Additionally, such a company has tax exemptions and policies that are helpful for growth. The two Offshore regions in the UAE are Jebel Ali and Ras Al Khaimah. Foreign nationals can own it 100% and it doesn't require a physical office space.

The Procedure to Start a Business in Dubai



A foreigner has to meet the specific requirements if he or she wants to set up a business in Dubai. The procedures and processes that have to be fulfilled by the ex-pat are elaborated in the succeeding paragraphs.

1. Get an Investor Visa

Obtaining an investor visa/ business visa is the first step for access to the business sector in the UAE. In addition to enabling you to set up a business in Dubai or any other region in the UAE, the business visa has several advantages too. It allows undertaking multiple travels in and out of the country and the possibility to offer visas up to 03 employees for your organization. You have to apply through the Golden Visa website.
However, the individual applying for a business/ investor visa must have prior experience in the business field. Alternatively, s/he should be a prominent member of a business firm. The business plans have to be presented to the authority. The authorities will approve the visa only after a detailed examination of the application for confirming eligibility.

2. Confirmation about the Business

The type of business you are planning to set up, location, the jurisdiction of the business, trade name have to be finalized before venturing out formalities including applying for a business license in Dubai. It may be noted that the trade name must meet the specified standards. Otherwise, the competent authority will reject the name and will ask you to resubmit the application.

It is advisable to finalize the jurisdiction, i.e. Mainland, Freezone, and Offshore, based on the type of business you intend. The license also will depend on the type and jurisdiction of the business. It will be better if you obtain a general trading license in Dubai in case you are thinking of multiple products across the UAE. The general trading license will permit you to trade up to 10 items across the country.

The license request has to be processed in the stipulated format. It will necessitate approvals from different departments and ministries. All the documents including passport copies of the ex-pats, local service agreement, and other requisite certificates have to be submitted for issuance of trade license.

3. Corporate Bank Account

Opening a corporate bank account in the UAE will be the best option for businesses located in the country. The banks offer additional options including multi-currency transactions for corporate accounts. Nonetheless, you need to submit all the documents indicating the business approvals from authorities for opening a bank account.

4. Registration of Your Business in the UAE

You need to submit all the documents about your business including approval documents, copies of trade license, bank account documents, identity proofs of owner and shareholders, data about the capital, and employee info to the governmental authority for registration of your entity. Registration ensures that your business firm is included in the records of the authority legally, which is a prerequisite for legal aspects. Incorporation of your business will mean that you are ready to commence full-fledged operations according to the type of license you have gained.

The Tail Piece:



Establishing a business entity in Dubai or any other region in the UAE can be the game-changer for you. Even though you are an expert in the field with immense experience, support from professional business setup services can be rewarding in several ways. Choose a reputed business setup service in Dubai prudently to guide and support you through the otherwise arduous journey.


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