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Opening a Business in Dubai

Opening a Business in Dubai

Updated on Monday 17th July 2017

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opening_business_in_dubai.jpgDubai is one of the largest cities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and an important business and economic center. Many foreign investors choose to open a business in Dubai because of the favorable economic conditions and the fact that the city encourages foreign direct investments.

When opening a business in Dubai, it is advisable to seek the help of a specialized professional. Business investments in Dubai should be carefully considered, especially when investing in important business sectors like imports and exports. Certain businesses will require special permits and licenses as well as approvals from the government ministries. 

The video below shows how to start a business in Dubai

Our law firm in Dubai works with qualified professionals and we can help you set up your new business.

Legal business forms in Dubai

Any business in Dubai must fall under one of the existing categories. Once this has been decided, the foreign investor must also choose the type of company that will be established and then a location for the new business. According to the types of services offered and the business fields, there are three main categories for businesses in Dubai:
- professional: management consultancy or public relations services, offered by a sole proprietor;
- commercial: businesses that operate in the import/export sector or trade other goods and services;
- industrial: manufacturing businesses, packaging services, goods processing and producing.
Because businesses can be engaged in one or more of these types of activities, entrepreneurs should be clear on the type of businesses they want to operate, in order to obtain all the necessary special permits and licenses for their business in Dubai.
The legal entities that can be formed in Dubai are:
- sole proprietorship (individual business),
- civil company,
- limited liability company,
- private joint stock company,
- public shareholding company,
- simple limited partnership,
- partnership,
- branch,
- subsidiary,
- representative office.
Any new business must also choose a trade name that must comply with the general trade name guidelines. The chosen name can be reserved for a fee and the certificate issued afterwards is valid for six month with the possibility of renewal three times, each time for another six months.
Our lawyers in Dubai can help you with detailed information about the existing business entities and their specific characteristics as well as with selecting and applying for a trade name.

Getting started in Dubai

Any new business in Dubai must be registered at the Department of Economic Development (DED). Businesses can be set up in one of the available economic free zones. Depending on the business type and the performed activities, entrepreneurs can receive various business incentives.
Entrepreneurs in Dubai must firstly obtain an initial approval certificate from the Dubai Government which is valid for six months. After submitting all the necessary documents, the usual time frame in which the business license is issued is one to seven days. Each company incorporated in Dubai will need to have a physical address. Entrepreneurs can rent a property and register it afterwards as they office.
According to the Dubai Company Law, foreign entrepreneurs in Dubai must find a local partner/sponsor who will hold the majority of the company. According to this shared ownership, an UAE national holds 51% of the company and the foreign investors holds the remaining 49%.
For more information about investing and opening a business in Dubai, please contact our Dubai law firm.


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