Initiating a business venture in Dubai or any other global location is a significant and consequential decision. The process encompasses several components, including strategic planning, conceptualization, thorough research, budget allocation, meticulous organization, and critical decision-making, among other essential elements. New entrepreneurs sometimes need direction and support in the process of choosing the appropriate trade licence for their company endeavours.
UAE is often regarded as a highly sought-after location for both investors and entrepreneurs. In addition to being conducive to investment, the country’s favourable tax regulations and streamlined business processes have contributed to its consolidation as a prominent commercial center within the Middle Eastern region. The government has implemented a set of policies and laws that are designed to provide preferential treatment and incentives to entrepreneurs and company owners.
How to Open a Company in Dubai – The Formation Process
Despite the relative ease of establishing a company in Dubai. The professionals at GFLO Consultancy have the expertise to facilitate the process of establishing a corporate bank account as well. Furthermore, the administrative tasks and related matters will be managed by them on your behalf.
Key steps to start a business
- Choose a business activity
- Choose the jurisdiction.
- The completion of the business structure and determination of the legal form is necessary.
- Obtain official authorization for the designation and scope of operations of your organization.
- Proceed with the application for your trade license.
- Proceed with the registration of your company.
- Obtain the necessary external approvals.
- Ensure that you have adequately prepared your Memorandum of Association.
- Lease an office space.
- Get the tenancy agreement and ejari registration.
- Obtain the preliminary permission
- Get your trading license.
Select a business activity
When considering a business activity for your entrepreneurial endeavor, it is important to take into account the feasibility of the selected activity within the context of the UAE market. Prior to establishing a business entity in Dubai, it is important to do comprehensive study into the viability and potential profitability of the intended venture. Determining the optimal timing for commencing a business venture in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), warrants careful consideration.
2. Select the jurisdiction
The market in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is segmented into several economic zones, including the Mainland, Free Zone, and Offshore. These economic zones are often referred to as jurisdictions. Every jurisdiction has a distinct collection of rules and regulations that apply to the establishment of businesses. Moreover, they accommodate diverse company requirements. The choice of jurisdiction for a company is contingent upon the specific needs and activities of the business.
3. Finalise the company structure/legal form
The selection of the appropriate legal structure for a company has significant importance in the process of initiating a business venture inside the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The establishment of a framework for managing profits and losses, as well as the allocation of resources and assets, serves to provide a foundation for guiding organizational operations. It is vital to make a decision about the legal form or structure of one’s organization at the outset of the planning process. This will facilitate the establishment of a framework for your organization. The application for a business license necessitates the prior determination of the legal structure of one’s organization. UAE offers many legal forms or company structures for business registration:
- Holding company
- Free zone company branch
- Foreign company branch
- GCC company branch
- Local company branch
- Civil company
- Sole establishment
- Limited liability company (LLC)
4. Get approval for your company name and activity
In order to proceed with the establishment of your business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it is necessary to get approval from the Department of Economic Development (DED) for your chosen trade name. During this step, the approval process encompasses not only the company name but also the chosen business activity. After obtaining the necessary permissions, it will be necessary to proceed with the submission of paperwork in order to initiate the application for a trading license in the United Arab Emirates and commence the process of establishing a business in Dubai.
5. Apply for your trade license
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers a range of trade licenses, sometimes referred to as business licenses, which may be categorized into four distinct forms:
- Tourism License
- Industrial License
- Professional License
- Commercial License
Entrepreneurs intending to establish a company on the UAE mainland are eligible to apply for any of the aforementioned trade licenses. The licensing framework inside the United Arab Emirates (UAE) free zones exhibits distinct characteristics and is contingent upon the specific economic activity chosen by a firm.
6. Register your company
The procedure of company registration and licensing occurs concurrently. Nevertheless, the whole procedure of paperwork and permissions undergoes many phases. During this stage, it is essential to get the necessary authorizations from relevant governmental entities, as stipulated by the Department of Economic Development. The necessary documentation varies depending on the kind of firm and its specific activities.
7. Get your external approvals
The Department of Economic Development (DED) may need supplementary authorizations from various governmental or non-governmental entities, depending upon the nature of your company operations. For example, some enterprises may be required to get authorizations from the local government, designated financial institutions, diplomatic missions, and other relevant entities.
8. Prepare your Memorandum of Association
A comprehensive comprehension of the intricacies associated with a Memorandum of Association (MoA) is crucial in starting a business venture in Dubai. Hence, it is important to seek professional guidance prior to formulating the MoA. The MoA need to be drafted in alignment with the regulatory requirements set out by the UAE government. Before starting a business venture in Dubai, it is important to thoroughly assess your business interests.
9. Rent an office
Depending on the specific requirements of your enterprise, you have the option to either lease an individual office space or alternatively, choose a communal workplace inside a commercial facility. The allocation of visas from the Department of Economic Development (DED) might be influenced by the size of the office space.
10. Get the tenancy contact & ejari
When embarking on the establishment of a company in Dubai, it is advisable to get an ejari. The tenancy contract serves as the formal agreement between the tenant and the real estate agent, outlining the terms and conditions for renting an office unit or shared workplace. The online system known as Ejari is under the jurisdiction of the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA). Additionally, it promotes equity and openness amongst all parties engaged in the rental agreement. In addition, it is necessary to provide your tenancy contract along with many more papers in order to start the activation process for your Ejari account. The Ejari system has significant importance as it serves as a prerequisite for obtaining or renewing visas for both family members and/or workers.
11. Get the initial approval
Prior to obtaining a business license for the establishment of a firm in Dubai, it is necessary to get the preliminary endorsement from the Department of Economic Development (DED). The granting of this clearance signifies that the government of the United Arab Emirates does not express any objection to the initiation of a commercial venture within its jurisdiction. In the event that the permission is not granted, progression to further stages within the application procedure will be impeded.
12. Collect your trade license
In order to get a commercial license in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it is necessary to provide the following documentation:
- NOC for partners (if any)
- Passport copies of partners
- Ejari registration certificate
- Tenancy contract
- External approvals (if any)
- Initial approval certificate
- Trade name reservation certificate
- Relevant government forms
- Trade license application
- Memorandum of Association (MoA)
- Other requirements by the DED (if any)
Finally, it is imperative that all of these documents be duly presented to the Department of Economic Development, accompanied by the requisite government fees.
If you need help opening a company in the UAE, please contact GFLO Consultancy for detailed advice.