Business set up in the UAE as a foreigner may seem like a strenuous task, but the process is not as complicated as you may think. With the right legal procedures, setting up can be done in a week as long as you follow the steps correctly and keep an eye out for minor details.
That being said, setting up a business in this region may require some local and expert knowledge so we went ahead and simplified the process for you. Read on to find out some of the most crucial steps in starting a business in the UAE.
Ultimately, the process can be simplified into three important steps:
- Getting licensed
- Applying for a visa
- Opening a bank account
Acquiring a license will depend on what type of business you want to set up. The different types of licenses include commercial, industrial, and professional fields and The Department of Economic Development (DED) has a list of over 2,100 activities any business owner can choose from.
One of the main tasks of setting up is getting your trade name approved. Usually, you are required to have at least three different names in case your first or second choice are unavailable. The name of your company should reflect the nature of your business, so do keep that in mind when brainstorming possible options.
The next step is to determine the ownership of the business. In the UAE, you are given the option to either own 49% of your business or claim 100% ownership. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to both, so weighing out your options will depend on which benefits you deem more useful. For instance, office rent for mainland companies is much cheaper than free-zone companies, while residency visas are given for a longer period for the latter. If your business needs well-established infrastructure, your best bet is setting up as a free-zone company as you will be functioning in an industry-specific zone more appropriate to your company’s needs.
The Visa Process
The other main aspect of setting up in the UAE is acquiring a business visa. Anyone with entrepreneurial experience is eligible to apply for a business visa, however, if you are a foreign owner, there are some things you need to fulfil like being willing to relocate to the UAE, ensuring that you are a major shareholder in the company, and having a substantial business plan, to name a few.
Usual visa procedures are divided into two: acquiring the visa quota and visa processing. We’ve listed down below the requirements that you will need for each of the procedure.
- Trade License
- Passport of the investor
- Establishment Card
- Inspection Approval
Visa Application Requirements
- Passport Copy of Investor
- Visa Copy (Visit Visa or Cancelled Visa)
- Employment Contract (Green/Original)
- Emirates ID
- Medical Test Results
- Visa Stamping
Opening a Bank Account
Successfully handling your business’ financial transactions will not be possible if you don’t set up a bank account. Albeit the last step, it is pretty much the cherry on top when it comes to fully operating your business. To ensure that your bank application process runs smoothly, we suggest that you prepare the full and exact documents consisting of all the relevant information needed. Doing this will significantly avoid any delays, further simplifying your business set-up process.
Ultimately, setting up a business in Dubai is quite simple if you know the ins and outs of what to do. This is where we come into play; our consultancy services will handle all the complicated processes for you, and we will ensure that you feel at ease every step of the way.