Only a few countries in the world can be compared to the United Arab Emirates when it comes to the abundance and variety of successful businesses that have been thriving in the country for the last decades.
Dubai takes a lot of pride in being a friendly and welcoming home to businesses of all kinds, industries, and sizes. A lot of gulf countries are following the steps of UAE by making their countries more welcoming to different companies to diversify their economies, trying to avoid being entirely dependent on the oil industry.
So, what’s different about starting a business in the UAE or Dubai from the rest of the world?
It could be easy to point out the current trend about starting new businesses in UAE or Dubai, investing in such companies, or developing branches of already existing businesses there as well. A lot of this activity takes place in the UAE’s and Dubai’s free zones, which benefit from numerous advantages for starting a business there.
However, there can also be a lot of advantages for starting a business on the mainland in UAE(meaning outside of the Free zone). At Dufinco, our team of expert consultants’ cares about helping our clients make the right choices, and we understand that starting a business in the free zone might not be the right choice for everyone. Therefore, we take our time studying the specific business and the nature of its operations to determine its best possible location.
Here is a quick guide outlining the process of starting a business in the UAE or Dubai mainland.
1. Choosing your business type and name
The business activity can be commercial (trading), professional, or industrial. There are different types of companies, like joint liability companies, limited liability companies, and others to be chosen. The company type determines a lot of aspects of its legal presence. Therefore it’s essential to get it right from the start. As for the trade name, there is a set of rules and requirements by the Department of Economic Development for what it can and can’t contain. For example, it has to abide by rules and tradition of the UAE society, it must be original and not violating any copyrights, and it must not include any reference to religion or governmental organizations.
2. Registering a business with DED
The Department of Economic Development is the governmental agency that is responsible for overseeing and carrying out the registration of businesses in the UAE or Dubai mainland. It was found in March of 1992, and it aims to facilitate and regulate the process of business registration in UAE and Dubai.
Any foreign investor or business owner must first get approvals from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs before starting the process of obtaining a license from DED.
3. Obtaining a license from DED
Before starting a business, it’s necessary to obtain a Dubai Business License. There are several steps and fees associated with obtaining this license, like initial approval, name approval, memorandum of agreement, and legal translation. Each of these steps has prices that are paid once to obtain your license. Depending on the specific business activities carried out, there may also be required to obtain approvals from other governmental bodies, like the Ministry of Interior.
When you renew your business license every year, there are yearly fees like license fees, market fees, foreign name charges (doesn’t apply to Arabic names), and PO box. Dufinco supports its clients through all these steps and provides a complete idea of what the fees are and how to go through each stage successfully.
4. Choosing your business location
There are many great real estate options for businesses in the UAE and Dubai, which will suit any business size and industry. Having a physical address is essential to get the business license, so the business’s physical address must be provided to DED for approval.
5. Getting a chamber membership
This is the final step necessary to take before starting a business activity. It’s required to obtain a membership with the Chamber of Commerce corresponding to the emirate that where the business will operate in. As the Chamber of Commerce is a separate entity from DED, there are different steps needed to take to obtain the membership.
The DED is a beneficial and cooperative governmental body, and they provide a lot of guidance and flexibility in the process if their rules and requirements are followed. Although it may seem like a simple enough process, registering a business and finalizing a registration with the DED is not an easy task at times. The steps we mentioned above are only offering an overview of what can be an intricate process depending on your business type and activity. Therefore, it’s helpful to count with a group of dedicated experts. They have extensive experience of carrying out these procedures and will ensure that it goes as smoothly and as quickly as possible, this is what we can offer here at Dufinco.
Our team of experts has demonstrated experience in company formation, and we are dedicated to providing you with the best solution customized for your needs.