Start A Business In Dubai: Step-By-Step Guide In 2022

Yodo Dubai

Yodo Dubai

Setting Up A Business In Dubai
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Are you thinking to start a business in Dubai? If you’re thinking then you’ll be happy that the process is quite simple and easy. Dubai is known as the famous trading hub of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) area. Despite the global breakdown of Covid-19, the UAE economy is boosting at a fast speed since 2011. This is the main reason that everyone wants to start a company in Dubai and make relationships with the world.

According to the researchers, the UAE economy will boost from 4.2% to 5.4% in the expected years. It is proven that Dubai is a place where you can start a business.

Dubai is more than a profitable ground for business formation. You made the right choice if you plan to start a business in Dubai.  But, the question is how to start a business in Dubai as a foreigner.

You can get the complete guide about starting a business in Dubai in 2022. We compiled the list from zero to high level that will help you in starting your business. In this guide, we convey to you the following beneficial topics.

Guide To Start A Business In Dubai

    1. Steps To Start Business Formation In Dubai
    2. What You Have To Do Before Starting A Trade In Dubai?
    3. Documents Required To Start Company In Dubai
    4. Cost Of Starting A Business In Dubai
    5. Benefits Of Forming A Company In Dubai

Business Formation

1. Steps To Start Business Formation In Dubai

Here are 7 steps to start a business in Dubai and get successful registration.

Step# 1: Find your Business Niche

Go to the Department of Economic Development (DED) site in Dubai where you get the full list of business categories. This is the first step in starting a business in Dubai. You can select from 21,00 businesses under the IT, Industrial, Professional, Commercial, and Travelling categories.

business niche

Step# 2: Choose a Company Name

Your company name will be a crucial element in all legal processes.  You must select the name that reflects your services. If you need help you can go to the consultations for deciding on the names.

On the other hand, while selecting the name there are some restrictions from UAE Naming Convention.

    • No OFFENSIVE language.
    • No POLITICAL group.
    • No MAFFIA name.

Choose a company name

Step# 3: Select the jurisdiction

Deciding the best jurisdiction is important. In step# 3, you have to decide the zone where you can operate your business. However, Dubai has 3 three zones-Mainland, Free Zone, and Offshore Zone.

Each of the zones is different from the others and has various rules and regulations for forming a business in Dubai. So, try to opt for the best zone which is according to your needs and your business type.

Select the jurisdiction

Step# 4: Set Up Your Office Location

Setting up a physical office is worthful as compared to online business. Your physical presence is more important for growth. If you have a physical address, then there is a chance to get high sales.

Set up your office location

Step# 5: Apply for Initial Approval

Now, you’ve to apply for the initial approval process. The Dubai government must have no issue regarding your startup in Dubai. However, you just need to fill out the simple form online or with any other third party.

Although, it is a legal framework for all dealings in profit or loss, and managing assets.

business initial approval

Step# 6: Open a Corporate Bank Account

After the approval, you are allowed to open a corporate bank account. It depends on you whether you choose local or international Dubai banks. There are many banks in Dubai like Citibank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, HSBC, and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

corporate bank account

Step# 7: Submit Documents and Get a License

For the final approval, you’ve to prepare all the documents, location, and other legal information. Shortly, you also need licensing approval. Once all the documents are ready, you need:

    • First Approval receipt and all the past submitted documents
    • The lease contract equipped by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA)
    • Correctly attested service agent contract.
    • Clearance from different government entities.

Finally, you’ve to pay for licenses from different approval methods.

And. Congratulations!

You can start your business in Dubai.

2. What Do You Have To Do Before Starting A Trade In Dubai?

Before starting any business in Dubai, you have to decide on your business operating zone whether you want to work in Free Zone or Offshore Zone.

Free Zone

Dubai Free Zone is for those who want to look for 100% ownership. This concept was built by the Dubai’s government owning to gain foreign interest in starting a business in Dubai.

It’s a particular economic area where businessmen can get 9% corporate taxation and 0% income tax. Although, there are some limitations to working in the free zone you are not allowed to work directly with UAE customers.

Moreover, there are 30 free zones in Dubai. Each zone is categorized by industry and permits licenses within that category. Like


Offshore businesses (corporate areas beyond one’s home nation) can also be enlisted in a free zone, and enjoy the same advantages.

However, offshore companies are not allowed to trade in Dubai. They’ve no conditions to deposit a minimum amount before incorporation. Only the difference they have “business operations”.

On the other hand, unlike working in a free zone you need a sponsor. It will limit your ownership to 49%.

Types of License

After verifying the zones, the next you have to decide what type of license you want. However, you may have 3 types of working licenses in Dubai from the  Department of Economic Development (DED).

1. Commercial License

If you want to start a trading activity in Dubai, and buy, or sale of goods, then you need a commercial license. It covers the business that includes export & import, buying & sell logistics, tourism & travel, and real estate.

2. Industrial License

If you are a manufacturer-manually or automatically of natural materials, then this type of license is for you. It includes textile, metal, and paper manufacturing.

3. Professional License

For those who are service providers like craftsmen, artisans, and shoemakers, then a professional license is best for starting a business in Dubai.  It includes the services like beauty salons, repair services, and medical services.


Keep in mind that you don’t need any local sponsor in the case of the free zone. It is the main reason why everyone opts for free zone because it ables you to get 100% foreign ownership. It is done having no UAE national as a sponsor or partner.

Business Idea

Before stepping into the forming of a business in Dubai, you must have a unique, clear, refined, and solid business idea. On the other hand, one thing should keep in your mind is that vague business ideas are not worthful.

Business Type

Determining the business niche in which you expert, is another thing to do before setting up in Dubai. For example, if you are an expert in marketing or sales, don’t go with content writing or development. Because the best skill makes your earning more efficient.

Market Research

Is next step after examining the business type is to make a comprehensive market research. In simple words, you have to identify your targetted audience. This will help you to penetrate Dubai’s business market.

Comprehensive Business Plan

Now, the main step is to strategize your business plans or funds. You can also get loans from others if you’ve got a clear plan. Once you established your business plan, investors will automatically give you funds, so that you can start your business in Dubai.

Requirements In Dubai

There are some important key points that every business owner keeps in mind:

    • Non-copyrighted name
    • No conflicting activity or name
    • No vulgar or offensive words


If you are fresh, then it is impossible that you to start a business in Dubai. This will only be done when you get a consultation from a forming business in Dubai. These experts will be responsible for marketing or sales, license, and any other paperwork. So try to get the best specialists to get started with a company in Dubai.

Virtual or Physical Office

Undoubtedly, the online business gives efficient profit in Dubai as well globally. So, a business owner must decide the business store from where he wants to operate its store. You can get a workplace on “Ejari” ( my rent in Arabic) in Dubai by signing a contract.

3. Documents Required To Start Company In Dubai

Anyhow, whether you utilize a company formation mechanism or offer your application instantly to the DED, you must have the following documents:

    • Investor Passport copy.
    • Local sponsor Passport copy (if required).
    • No Objection Certificate (NOC).
    • Shareholder(s) Emirates ID copy.
    • DED application form.
    • An authenticated Memorandum of Association by a public notary.
    • An attested residence contract for the office premises (if any).

4. Cost Of Starting A Business In Dubai

I think after reading the process you are thinking about the cost to start a business in Dubai.

Don’t overthink!

It is not as expensive as you are thinking.

The cost of business registration in Dubai varies from AED 12,000 to 30,000. However, the cost depends on the industry’s kind and its services.

Further, an investor visa charges between AED 4,000 to AED 5,500, and relying on the type of workers you hire, their fee is between AED 5,000 and AED 7,000 per visa.

Note: These are search-based registration fees. Don’t rely on it. These may vary with time and your business type.

5. Benefits Of Forming A Company In Dubai

In the above-mentioned, Dubai is the top choice for investing in it. Have you ever thought that why people are taking interest in Dubai for investing? There are many benefits to organizing a company in Dubai, some are under:

Quick Setup

The procedure of creating a business is fast and precise. In about 90 minutes, you can verify your company with the Department of Economic Development (DED). The standard time is between four and five days. Nevertheless, additional issues may slow down the whole process, including government certificates and verifications.

Range of Business Activities

Select from 2,000 DED-allowed economic niches to create your business.

Tax Benefits

Businesses in the United Arab Emirates are excused from spending any taxes – pay or corporate.

100% Foreign Ownership

Standard Foreign Direct Investment rules limit foreign company investment to 49% of the trade. On the other hand, the local partner is allowed to have 51% of the ownership. In the UAE, foreign business proprietors can own 100% of their company operating a combination of corporate systems.

Wrap Up

Although, it looks like a long process to start a business in Dubai. But, it is a procedure for weeks. After this, you can start your company in UAE.

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