Tips For Business Setup in Dubai – Emirates Times

business setup in dubai
business setup in dubai

Business setup in Dubai is the best decision if you are considering starting a business abroad. As a famous junction of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Dubai boasts wealth and benefits for companies willing to thrive and connect to the world. 

Surviving the global pandemic and recession, the UAE economy has been set to go faster since 2011. The UAE economy is predicted to grow by 5.4 per cent and 4.2 per cent in 2022 and 2023. The growth opportunities in Dubai have attracted many entrepreneurs and investors to the city. Hence, the process is straightforward if you are looking for a Business setup in Dubai

What to Know Before Setting up a Business In Dubai

Before deciding on a company formation in Dubai, you must understand a few things. Let’s have a look at each tip. 

Economic Zone, Free Zones vs Offshore 

Before setting up, you must decide if you want to work from FreeZone or Offshore. About your availability and requirements, both options have their advantages and disadvantages.

Free Zone 

If you want complete business ownership, apply for a license and location in Dubai’s free zones. The government of Dubai introduced this concept to develop foreign interests and set up businesses in the city. 

Although, one of the essential elements of company formation in Dubai in the free zone is that you are not allowed to trade directly. With the UAE local market.

Presently 30 free zones are operating in Dubai, and each free zone is designed around an industry category that offers licenses to companies within those categories.


Offshore companies can be registered in a free zone and enjoy the same benefits. Offshore companies are allowed to have business outside the UAE but not inside. 

Types of Licence 

After deciding on a zone, you need to identify the type of license required. 

Commercial License

To set up a business in Dubai, you must obtain a commercial license for trading activities or buy and sell products. 

Industrial Licence 

This license is obtained for businesses that are engaged in manufacturing activities. This license covers industries like textile, metal manufacturing, and paper manufacturing.

Professional License

Professional license is provided to service providers, artisans, and artisans. Businesses applying for this license include beauty salons, medical, and repair services. 


No local sponsor is required when setting up a free zone like DMCC. 

Dubai Free-zone Company Setup Process 

Free zones are more famous when setting up a company in Dubai with foreign entrepreneurs. They offer 0% personal tax, low corporate tax, and 100% company ownership. 

Tips to start up your business in Freezone 

Find your Business activity

The first and foremost step for a business setup in Dubai is to distinguish the nature of your venture. Whether you are looking for a company set up in Dubai or a crypto business in the UAE, choose any from the 2100 business activities that fall into different industrial, professional, commercial, and tourism groups. You can also find all these activities listed on the DED website. 

Decide on a free zone 

The nature of your business can impact the free zone you select to set up; hence, it is advisable to set up nearby companies in the same sector.

Choose a company name

While setting up a company in Dubai, choose your business name according to the UAE’s strict naming conventions. Naming your business can be complicated, so consult an expert to help you follow the ways and get your name accepted.

Apply for initial approval 

You need to apply for the initial approval stating that Dubai has no objection to your business formation in Dubai and thereby apply for your license. You can opt for this procedure online, in person, or through a third party. 

Open a corporate bank account. 

Once you are approved and have received all the necessary documents, you can open a corporate bank account, including Citibank, HSBC, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Barclays, Commercial Bank of Dubai, and many more. 

Set up your office location 

All businesses in Dubai must have a physical address, and setting up your business in a free zone will help you to find your office space easily. 

Apply for final approval 

After preparing all the documents, location addresses, and legal formalities, you are ready for final approval. In some possibilities, you will need to apply for license approval from other authorities.

Finally, your business is ready to run after paying for the license through different payment mediums. 


Though appearing to be a lengthy procedure, business setup services in Dubai will only take a few weeks when entirely done. A business setup in Dubai is a profitable investment for your business in the long run.


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