Starting a Business in UAE in 2022 [The Best Online Guide]

Categorized as Business

Starting a business in UAE can be a hassle if you don’t have the proper guidance and knowledge about it.

starting a business in UAE

UAE is becoming the business hub or MENA region for all the companies you want to start in Africa, Asia, and the middle east region.

The UAE government has an evident vision for business growth, and thus, they are planning to make it an enterprising society.

What makes UAE region a business Hub?

Many new entrepreneurs have this concern about starting a new business with many economic and social benefits.

Why start a business in UAE?

If we tell them to start their business in the UAE region, their next query will be why we should begin in the UAE? What are the benefits?

10 Benefits of starting a business in the MENA region

So let’s quickly ponder upon some fantastic benefits of starting your business in the MENA region:

  1. Advantageous geographical location
  2. Supportive Government
  3. Liberal Policies
  4. Tax Benefits
  5. Strategic Business Location
  6. Diverse Economy
  7. Great Culture
  8. Access to the international market
  9. Easy Business Expansion
  10. Easy Business Setup Process

Easy step-by-step instructions: How To Setup Business in UAE?

When someone plans to set up a company or business in this fantastic location, learn about setting up a company after knowing the various benefits.

New entrepreneurs may find this process a bit complicated, but with the proper approach and right steps, it will become smooth for you to set up a business-

Step 1: Decide The Business Activity

UAE island is full of entrepreneurs and new businesses; it may seem daunting initially but before starting a business, be sure about the type of business activity you want to run here.

Research well about the business type that you can do well in UAE.

There are a few business activities that you cannot do in Dubai.

starting a business in UAE

Measure the loss and gain you can get by starting a business in UAE, issuance of which business license can be easy, and how things will work for a specific business plan, etc.

Remember to obtain some additional documents and additional permission that you will need for starting all the following businesses:

  • Jewelry trade
  • Food trading
  • Legal consultancy
  • Veterinary operations, etc.

Step 2: Make a Business Plan

After finalizing the business activity design, your next step will be to complete the business plan.

Make such an actionable business plan that adheres to the UAE guidelines.

Prepare a simple and easy-going document and not something hefty.

Make a steadfast plan that will cover your:

  1. Business concept
  2. Target market
  3. Business capital
  4. Business goals and vision
  5. A great marketing strategy.

Step 3: Decide about the Financial Resource

Starting a business venture or a company requires a lot of capital; therefore, you need to decide on the financial resource.

What will be your financial plan? You will finance it all by yourself or need outside help, or if in the future you will need help in expanding this venture or adding some resources to it.

Make sure to plan it because you may fail in your business if you lack capital.

Step 4: Choose the Right Business Location

UAE divides itself into three central business locations.

Each zone plays a vital role in setting up a new business because each location allows different business activity types with different rules and policies.

3 Types of Business Zones in UAE

  1. Mainland UAE – Doing business here requires a local partner or sponsor who is a UAE resident.
  2. Freezone – If you are a foreign entity, then a free zone is best for you because it has a simple process and doesn’t require any local partner or sponsor. Not only this, but you will also get 100 percent ownership of your business. There are 45 free zones in UAE.
  3. Offshore – It is only suitable for those who want to operate the business from outside UAE. Companies operating in this business zone don’t get the active license but just the certificate. n

Step 4: Legal Structure

Depending on your business location and activity, your legal structure may vary.

For example, if you want to open a UAE consultancy firm, you can open it as a branch or independent business company.

Every free zone has different requirements for legal documents for various businesses.

You can view them on the official website in detail.

Step 6: Decide Trade Name For Starting A Business in UAE

Once you have a business plan, decide your business’s official name after following specific rules and norms.

UAE has strict naming conventions.

The business or trade name plays a vital role in every area of your business.

Choose your title very carefully.

The trade name should deliver the nature of your business.

Read the trade name rules on the DED website.

Step 7: Issuance Trade License

It is a crucial step for starting a business in UAE.

You cannot operate your business in the UAE region without having an appropriate trade license for your business.

Depending on your free zone business’s nature, apply for a relevant trade license by submitting essential and relevant documents.

You will have to renew the trade license every year.

Submit the following documents for starting a business in UAE

  • DED’s letter with approval of company name
  • Shareholder’s details (Copy of their passport, visa)
  • DED’s letter of support for company setup
  • Application form filled and signed by company legal representatives
  • Tenancy agreement

Step 8: Find a local UAE partner

After you get the approval and your business setup location is mainland, search for a reliable and trustworthy local partner for starting a business in UAE.

According to UAE laws, local partners will hold 51% shares of your company.

Take the help of some business setup consultant to find a local sponsor for starting a business in UAE.

Step 9: Get External Approvals

DED asks for external approval from some other government and non-government partners, depending on your business type.

For example – some businesses may require approval from the municipality, banks, etc.

Step 10: Open A Bank Account in UAE

After all the approvals, the next and vital step will be to open a UAE corporate bank account.

UAE has many banks local and international like Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, etc.

Approach any bank of your choice, or you can get help from a business setup consultant regarding opening your bank account for starting a business in UAE.

List of documents required for opening a Corporate Bank Account in UAE

You will require the following documents for the Corporate Bank Account opening:

  1. Trade License
  2. Memorandum of Association,
  3. company incorporation documents
  4. Company Ownership documents like Share Certificate
  5. Passport copies for all shareholders and authorized signatories
  6. Business experience in years, the inflow of funds, and planned activities

Step 11: Process Your Visa Application

The final and last step for company formation in UAE is to apply for a visa.

UAE free zones will allow you to apply for a family visa as well, but it will depend upon the free zone you will choose.

Some of the free zones in the UAE may also allow you to apply for a visa for your spouse, kids, maids, employees, etc.


Company formation in UAE is not an easy process because of the long process and paperwork.

But with the right guidance and assistance, the process becomes hassle-free.

Take the help of expert business setup consultants for starting a business in the UAE. They will help you with the smooth and quick process of starting a business in the UAE.

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