Steps to Start Up a Business in UAE

  • Publish date: Saturday، 01 May 2021 Last update: Wednesday، 18 May 2022
Steps to Start Up a Business in UAE

Starting your own business is not easy, it has its ups and downs. It involves a lot planning, researching, decision making and many more other things. On another note, mentally it requires, patience, confidence and being optimistic with the right guidance and assistance you will be able to succeed in starting your own business.

The UAE is a magnet for investors and entrepreneurs as it does not only support investors but also its low tax policy is a win.

To start a business, follow these steps:

  • Select your business activity

When wanting to select a business activity make sure to do your research on the feasibility and profitability of the service your business will be offering.

  • Select the Jurisdiction

The Market in the UAE is divided into different economic zones; Mainland, Free Zone and Offshore and each zone has its own set of laws as well as they carter different business needs

  • Decide the company structure/legal form

This is an important step as it sets the tone and structure for dealing with profits and losses and how you should organize your resources and assets. It will help provide a layout for your company.

  • Get approval!

Then you will need approval of the trade name of your company from the department of Economic Development before moving forwards and starting the process of your company set up

  • Apply for the trade license

Once you have gotten your approval, you are then eligible to apply for the trade license and choose from the different categories such as: Commercial License, Professional License, Industrial License and Tourism License.

  • Register your company

After following up with all of the previous steps in this step you will need to get the approvals from relevant government authorities.

  • Find a local partner/sponsor

To start a business in UAE mainland, it is mandatory to find a local partner for your business. A local partner or local sponsor must be a UAE national only. As per the UAE commercial law, the local sponsor will hold 51% shares in your company. There are two types of sponsorships – local sponsorship and corporate sponsorship. Finding a trustworthy partner or sponsor can seem tiring, especially for a first-time entrepreneur. A business setup consultant can connect you with companies that offer corporate sponsorship where you will be given documented authority and 100% ownership of your business.

  • Get External Approvals

The Department of Economic Development may request additional approvals from other government or non-government agencies, depending on your business activity. For instance, some businesses may be asked to get approvals from the municipality, specific banks, embassies, etc.

  • Draft your MOA; Memorandum of Association

It is important to understand the complexities of a Memorandum of Association (MOA). Before drafting the MOA for your business, make sure to get expert advice. The MOA should be drafted in accordance with the UAE government’s mandates and must also take into consideration your business interests.

  • Rent an Office

Depending on your business needs, you can choose to rent an office unit or opt for a shared workspace in a business center. An office space can also determine the number of visas you can request for from the Department of Economic Development.

After getting the tenants contract and the ejari, you can now thrive with your business.

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