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Starting a business in the UAE - Roadmap

June 26, 2021
Amal Eeckhout
uae business roadmap

If you are interested in starting a business in the UAE, then this is the best time to do so. Dubai and the UAE have been growing rapidly for years with ambitious projects that have made the country extremely attractive to the rest of the world.

Starting a business in the UAE - Roadmap for success in Dubai

The IMF has revised its predictions for the economic growth of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2021 from 3.1% to 4%. As such, the UAE is doing much better than expected. This prognosis also reflects the fact that the UAE is energetically undertaking their vaccination policy to eliminate the negative effects of the Corona crisis.

The UAE's ambitious business market and its growth expectations, are inviting people to take advantage of the opportunity to establish a business in Dubai today. This year's figures and the impressive expansion in recent years, have resulted in more and more businesses discovering this country.

Starting a business in the UAE = Business opportunities for success

If you have any intentions of leveraging your business opportunities in Dubai as well, now is definitely a good time. The more time you wait, the more saturated the market will be and the more competition you will face.

If you would like to start a business in the UAE and take advantage of the favorable tax environment, contact Emifast. We know exactly how to launch your business in the UAE or in Dubai. We will assist you with the permits, banking issues and building up your network.

The benefits of starting a business in the UAE

Starting a business in the UAE is not that hard and can be quite fast. This is especially true in the free zones. You can also launch an onshore or an offshore business, but among foreign entrepreneurs, the free zones are in demand. The reasons are:

  • You do not have to pay corporate tax or personal income tax.
  • The company is entirely owned by you.
  • You have no currency restrictions.
  • You are fully exempt from import and export taxes.
  • You have 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
  • The UAE has a stable political and economical environment.
  • Doing business in English is not a hassle at all.
  • You can hire well-educated, local employees.
uae roadmap

Starting a business in the UAE's free zones: a roadmap for success

Though starting your own business in the UAE can be fairly straightforward, there is a bit of work to be done. You will be dealing with administrative aspects, as well as technical and financial dealings. We are experienced with assisting entrepreneurs who started a business in the UAE and Dubai. As a result, we know the most effective way of handling the process and avoid pitfalls.

Below, we provide a brief overview of the steps you need to undertake in order to be successful in the UAE.

1. Choose the activity you want to establish your business with

Depending on your business activity, you will be able to determine in which free trade zone you can establish. In some free zones you will only be able to start a business if you focus on transport, media or medical activities. If you are launching an import and export business, it is wise to choose a free zone that is located near an airport or seaport.

By determining your business activities, you are well prepared for the opportunities available in UAE's free zones. You don't have to completely commit at this point when it comes to your business plans, because you can conduct multiple business activities with one trade permit. This will provide opportunities for expansion and future growth.  

2. Choose the name for your company

You may not be aware of it, but picking the name of your company in the UAE is an important matter. Names related to religion or politics are prohibited, as are names that are considered offensive. If you are naming your company after an individual, you must use that person's full name and they have to be your business partner or (co-)owner. In addition, your business name should not resemble any already existing business names.

You will be saving a lot of time and money if you complete these steps properly at once. We can guide you through this process to ensure you get approval from the Licensing Section of the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED).

3. Make sure your paperwork for starting a business is in order

Starting a business in the UAE or Dubai also means a considerable amount of paperwork. There are numerous requirements that you need to comply with. It is no more troublesome than in the Netherlands, Belgium or any other European country, provided you know what the rules and regulations are. These regulations can also vary from one free zone to the other. For example, for one free zone you might need a 'Certificate of No Objection', whereas for other zones a business plan will suffice.

We highly recommend you to hire a Dubai Business Expert who knows exactly about the administrative and legal side to start a business in the UAE. It can save you a lot of disappointment, time and money

We recommend hiring a Dubai Business Expert who knows about the exact administrative and legislative side of starting a business in the UAE. It may save you a lot of disappointment, time, and money if you hire the services of an experienced professional.

4. Obtain your business license

Once your application for a business license has been completed by the authorities, we will notify you as to when you can collect the license. This will allow you to proceed to the next step: to open a bank account for your business.

5. Obtain a visa for your partner or employees

Once you have received your business license, you can apply for a visa for your partner and your employees. The regulations for a visa can vary from one free trade zone to the other. In most cases you can get a visa for your partner, your child(ren), a chauffeur and a maid. However, they have to meet the eligibility criteria for the United Arab Emirates.

6. Opening a bank account for your company in the UAE

With the business license and visa you have received, you are ready to open your business bank account. In the UAE, you can choose from a wide range of banks, such as Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Barclays, Citibank and many more. You can hire us to arrange an appointment for you with several of these banks so you can choose the right one for your business account.

Contact Emifast - Your Dubai Business Expert

In a nutshell, the above describes the roadmap that you need to follow in order to start a business in Dubai. This process can be completed swiftly if you do all things right at once. Complications can arise, however, if anything is not done entirely according to the rules of UAE. These complications can result in delays and frustrations, which neither of the parties involved in the process would be happy with. To avoid this, turn to Emifast.

We have vast experiences with the authorities you will face if you are looking to open a business in the UAE. Also, our network includes the right people to make it easier for you to get things properly arranged.

Schedule a time to discuss your ideas of starting a business in the UAE today. We will provide you with the information you need to set up your business in the UAE fast and smoothly!