5 Essential Steps to Start a Business in Dubai

start a business in Dubai

Starting a business anywhere in the world is no piece of cake. Fearful, even. Especially when it comes to areas like the United Arab Emirates, where every decision must be made at the right moment. Starting a company in Dubai often requires experience and expertise.

However, the investor-friendly government simplified the process a lot, making it a lot easier and newcomer-friendly.

Choose a local sponsor – UAE national.

For starters, you will have to get acquainted with the numerous facts associated with a business startup in Dubai in order to avoid the issues that occur during the launch of a profitable corporation in the UAE. To really use the potential of Dubai, then you require a locally registered LLC business.

This means that you will need to take in a UAE national who will have a 51% control  over your business. Having this so-called ‘local sponsor’ gives you the freedom to place your business anywhere in Dubai. For a startup, this represents a boon since it gives you an edge to select the best location that can suit your budget.

Handle the Jurisdiction

In the beginning, it’s crucial that you, as a business owner, understand all the jurisdictions available in the market. In Dubai, jurisdictions are separated into three classes. Which are:

  • Mainland.
  • Free Zones.
  • Offshore.

When it comes to Free Zones, there are currently 48 of those in Dubai. They are often incorporated into a particular jurisdiction and are governed by the respective authorities. Companies established here are entirely tax-exempt and with 100% ownership in the business. While on the mainland, you have to find a local sponsor. Regarding offshore corporations, they’re usually established in another jurisdiction with the parent corporation in another nation. In essence, offshore companies have no physical presence in such jurisdictions.

Hire a Consultant

start a business

Like in most other areas of life, when starting out a new venture, it’s a good idea to find a guide first. Someone who can provide advice or tips and share their experience with you. Organizations like Creation Business Consultants can provide you with expert restructuring advice and solutions that will secure and maintain control of your corporate presence in the UAE. They can help in the consolidation and streamlining of group entities to the improvement of corporate governance. Whenever planning to expand, particularly in an unknown area, it’s wise to find consulting services that are suited to your expansion plans or business model.


In many legal forms of the DED, you have to hire a manager to monitor operations and have him ready to be on board before you send your registration for approval. However, in other situations, you may not have the approval to hire him at all. For instance, some companies aren’t allowed to hire staff but can employ contractors. When it comes to free zones, each and every one of them has its own set of particular regulations dealing with the structure of the business.

Confirming your Visa requirements and eligibility

To start a business in Dubai, you will need a visa permit for you and your employees, in order to live there and run a business. Luckily, Visas are allowed for most of the businesses. Although, their number can vary according to numerous factors such as the size of the office, the purpose of the business, and the category of the investor and the employees. If you’re starting your first business here, you would definitely need to find a local sponsor to get you your visa permits. Besides your passport and other legal requirements, you will need a letter from your local sponsor that highlights their and your personal information, the purpose of the visa application, and other stuff before your processing.

Starting a business in UAD isn’t as hard as it seems at first. You only need to plan your steps and then bravely execute them carefully.