How to Start a Business in Dubai?

Thinking of how to start a business in Dubai? Kiltons will help you set a business in Dubai, meeting all your requirements and the UAE law. Both economic and political stability plays a vital role in the overall progress of any region or country. Dubai has a very professional approach to banking systems and industrial relations. And the liberal policies adopted by the government are business-friendly. The advantage of being an open and free economy invite large scale investments to Dubai.

World-class infrastructure facilities in Dubai in the field of telecommunications, energy, aviation and transport help Dubai attain a special place in the minds of investors. Dubai’s stringent and proactive policymaking substantiate its flawless and abundant infrastructure development.

The cultural diversity of Dubai with a huge number of its expatriate population serves as a catalyst to Dubai’s growth.Setting up a company in Dubai is not at all time-consuming as many would think. Once the documentation and approvals are accomplished, the company registration can take place in a week. We, at Kiltons, guide you through the essential formalities and its successful fulfilment through optimal business set up services.

Here are the necessary formalities to set up a business in Dubai.

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Here are the necessary formalities to set up a business in Dubai.

  • Find your sponsor
    One of the major requirements to start mainland company in Dubai is finding a Sponsor. The sponsor must be a UAE national. The sponsor has a dual role of being your company’s service agent and at the same time sleeping partner.

    The investor needs to pay a yearly sponsor fee. The sponsor’s role or responsibility linked to your business should be defined and signed via an agreement.

    The Sponsor issues a “No Objection certificate” and this is mandatory for the investor to start the operations.
  • Memorandum of Association

    The next step is to formulate your company’s Memorandum of Association. The MOA is nothing but a list of operational guidelines that your company should follow. The company must strictly abide by these guidelines regarding:

    Company purpose

    Investment of capital


  • MOA notarization
    The Department of Economic Development (DED) should notarize the MOA. Once the MOA gets notarized you get the initial approval. You may avail the services of a consultant or a lawyer for MOA notarization.
  • Trade name registration
    Now you may find an appropriate Trade name for your company. The next step is to get your trade name registered under DED. The name should be distinctive and significant enough to get the approval. DED has the full right to discard your trade name if it has already been selected by another company.
  • Get your Office space
    An office space or registered address is compulsory for mainland company formation. Address of the Registered Agent can be provided for Offshore Company formation purposes.
  • Trade license application

    After filing the Trade License application, the DED issues the license based on your business endeavour. There are various types of trade licenses like Professional License, Industrial License, Commercial License and Tourism License.

  • Remit the license fee

    The license fee can be remitted at the Commercial Registration Department and DED after final submission of the documents.

    7 days or a week is sufficient enough to complete the entire company registration process.

    The instructions mentioned above give a very basic idea about how to set up your business in Dubai. If you are new to business set up or a new investor planning to invest in Dubai, it is advisable to entrust the company registration tasks to a reliable and experienced consultant. Kiltons Business Set up Services can save you precious time and energy in this regard. We undertake company registration, Accounting, Sponsor services and all other formalities with utmost sincerity and responsibility. Over the years we have served small, medium and large business establishments to secure a foothold in Dubai and UAE market.

    Any queries or doubts regarding Company formation, feel free to contact Kiltons business setup consultant ASAP.

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UAE has been a strong ground and has been supporting businesses to grow with so many additional benefits the government and the authorities are bringing in now and then. Let us now look into the different steps one has to follow to start a business in the UAE. 

  • Choose an Industry of your choice.

The growth that UAE witnessed over time opens up opportunities for many different industries to start their business. It will be ideal to do good research on what you are planning to start and how to go about it rather than taking a hasty decision. There are two regions in the UAE where you can commence your business; Mainland and Freezones. Each of these areas has certain business activities that are permitted. Certain freezones in Dubai only cater to a particular line of business such as Dubai Media City, this area has large media houses setting up businesses, and it can be out of place to have a finance-related business amongst them. A finance business will hold its fort if opened up at Dubai International Finance Center (DIFC), where global companies like Goldman Sachs International, Morgan Stanley, etc. 

Sector-specific zones help in the growth of the business, and there are other general areas in which businesses co-exist together. If your business is heavily invested in import and export, then it might require to have to take a look at the transport links.

  • Choose a location

After the type of industry and business opportunities are decided; the next step is to decide where to launch your businesses in the UAE. That is, the business has two options for setting up either on the Dubai mainland or in the free zone. Setting up a business in the free zone has its perks: 0% corporate and personal tax, 100% company ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits, No currency restrictions, and 

100% import and export tax exemption. But to have a direct connection with the local market of the UAE, then it will be ideal to start your business on the Dubai mainland

  • Choose your company name

It is not fitting to go ahead with a random name, and the business needs to follow up with some rules and regulations to decide on a name. The UAE government and authorities do not allow them to put blasphemous names, and it should not be that are referring to Allah or any other reference to Islamic words. If you are using the name of any person, the name chosen should not be of someone who is a partner or the owner of the company. It also has to be kept in mind that there should be no initials or abbreviations of the name.

  • Incorporation Paperwork

Once the decision on the name of your business venture is made, the next step will be to proceed with the relevant paperwork attached to it. The application for the proposed business name and copies of the passports of the shareholders have to be submitted to relevant government authorities in the UAE. To set up businesses in the freezones of the UAE there might be additional requirements such as a NOC from the sponsor allowing or permitting you to set up the business in the Dubai freezones. Certain freezones will also demand the submission of a business plan along with the licence application.

If you are planning to set up on the Mainland, then you need to meet some capital requirements that have to be mentioned in the Memorandum of Association, or MOA. 

  • Submission of Documents

The documents have to be submitted to the DED or Department of Economic Development of the Emirate that you have chosen to set up your business. The application for the name along with the copies of the shareholder's passports should be submitted there. The processes regarding registering the business will be on the respective Emirates websites, or you can take the help of a prominent business setup consultant like Kiltons. 

  • Apply for a licence

Once your application goes through, the authorities issue the registration papers of the business with the licence. The assistance of a good business setup consultant in the UAE will help in navigating through the paperwork as the process can be monotonous, and the chances of missing fine lines are comparatively higher. The money spent on business setup consultants in the UAE is worth time and money. And Kiltons, with years of experience they possess, are the rightful choice.

  • Open a Bank Account

UAE is home to many banking institutions, both national and international. Choose the bank of your choice and submit the documentation to open a corporate bank account. A corporate bank account is important for proceeding with business activity in the UAE, mainland or freezone, irrespective of the location. Choose the bank according to your business preference as a bank account is mandatory before you start your business activity in the UAE. 

The information the bank may ask for before opening the account is as follows:

  • Primary business areas
  • Total deposits
  • Revenue Levels
  • The volume of currency dealt
  • Main customers and suppliers,

It takes two to four weeks to process the documents and get you access to your corporate bank account.

  • Apply for Visa

Applying for a visa is the final step to complete your entire business setup process. The freezones not only allow you to put forth your application for the visa but also the visa application for staff and dependents. The number of visa applications allowed to your business will depend on the freezone that you plan to set up your business. 

The decision on the location of your business and the aspects of the visa that you are bound to get can be clear if you choose to avail of the service of a professional business setup consultant in the UAE. 

To obtain the visa, the applicant should have a green signal in the following:

  • Entry permit 
  • Status adjustment 
  • Medical fitness test
  • Emirates ID registration and visa stamping

These are the main steps that you need to follow to get your business setup licence or registration licence in the UAE.