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  • Writer's pictureLokesh Joshi

How to start a business in Dubai

Updated: Apr 12, 2023



How to Start a Business in Dubai


How to start a business in Dubai is one question that may be lingering in the minds of many aspiring entrepreneurs. Dubai is a city of opportunities with a thriving entrepreneurial spirit, making it an attractive destination for startups.


Here are some steps to consider when starting a business in Dubai:


1) The first step to starting a business in Dubai is to determine the type of business entity you want to establish.


2) This could be a free zone company, non-free zone company, or branch of an existing foreign entity.


3) Each option offers different advantages and limitations, so it is important to research and choose the most suitable option for your business.


Freezone in Dubai is a popular choice for many entrepreneurs, as it allows 100% foreign ownership, exemption from taxes and customs duty, and simpler legal processes compared to other options.


Mainland in Dubai, on the other hand, allows for more flexibility in terms of business activities and location but requires a local sponsor or partner. There is a change in the rule recently and now mainland companies can also have 100% foreign ownership in certain sectors. Once you have decided on the type of business entity, the next step is to obtain all necessary licenses and permits.


4) The specific licenses required to depend on the type of business and its activities.


For example, a food-related business would need to obtain a food and hygiene certificate, while a consultancy firm may require a professional license.


5) It is also important to secure office space and settle on a suitable location.


We hope we have thrown some light on the answer of "how to start a business in Dubai" now lets go deep in this topic. we will learn about the difference between Dubai FreeZone and Mainland.


Dubai Freezone Company Setup


You will need to apply for a trade license from the Department of Economic Development (DED) or relevant free zone authority, register your company with the Commercial Registry, and obtain approvals from other government agencies depending on your business activity.


Another important step is to secure funding for your business. This could be done through personal savings, loans from banks or investors, or grants from government organizations. It is crucial to have a realistic and comprehensive business plan that outlines your financial projections, marketing strategies, and operational structure. Additionally, it is important to consider hiring a local PRO (Public Relations Officer) who can assist with navigating the legal and administrative requirements involved in setting up a business. Starting a business in Dubai can be an exciting journey filled with potential opportunities for growth and success.


List of Freezone companies in Dubai:


There are total of around 40 free zones in Dubai, each catering to specific industries or activities. From technology and media to healthcare and logistics, the options are vast.


However, some of the most popular free zones in Dubai include Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), Dubai Media City, and Dubai Internet City. Choosing the right type of business entity in Dubai is a critical decision that can impact your growth and profitability.


Mainland Company Setup


Mainland company setup in Dubai requires a different set of procedures as compared to setting up a Freezone company. Unlike a Freezone, mainland companies are not limited to specific industries or activities and allow for greater flexibility in terms of doing business.


However, setting up a Mainland company in Dubai comes with certain legal and administrative requirements. These include obtaining a trade license from the Department of Economic Development (DED), registering with the Commercial Registry, renting office space in an approved building or location, and obtaining necessary approvals from other government agencies based on the nature of your business.


Ultimately, whether you choose to set up a business in a Freezone or on the Mainland in Dubai, it is important to conduct thorough research and consult with experts to make an informed decision that aligns with your business goals and objectives. Overall, the process of starting a business in Dubai can be daunting, but with careful planning and research, it is possible to navigate the various requirements and ultimately establish a successful business in one of the most dynamic and thriving economies in the world.


How to start a business in dubai is a question that requires careful consideration and planning. If you are considering starting a business, Dubai may be the perfect place for you. With its favorable tax policies, strategic location and thriving economy, Dubai offers a plethora of opportunities for businesses to flourish.


You can watch this video to know more about how to start a business in Dubai




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