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An Overview Of Business Setup in Dubai – 2023

If you are looking for a vital business hub to set up your new company, Dubai is the right place for you. Starting a business services in Dubai has many benefits that include tax, savings, good governance, superior infrastructure, premium lifestyle, and constantly developing opportunities. 

Certainly! Here’s an overview of the business setup process in Dubai:

1. Determine the Business Activity: First, determine the nature of your business activity, as this will dictate which type of license you need. Dubai offers three types: commercial, professional, and industrial licenses.

2. Determine the Legal Form: Next, decide on the legal form of your business. You can choose between an LLC (Limited Liability Company), a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a branch of a foreign company, depending on your requirements.

3. Choose a Company Name: Selecting a unique and appropriate name for your business is crucial. Make sure to comply with the naming regulations set by the Department of Economic Development (DED).

4. Prepare Required Documents: Gather the necessary documents for the business license application, which typically include your passport and visa copies, No Objection Certificate (NOC) if sponsored by an employer, and a memorandum of association (MOA) for LLC companies.

5. Find a Local Partner or Sponsor: For certain business types, you may require a local partner or sponsor who will own at least 51% of the shares. This is typically the case for mainland companies, while free zones offer 100% ownership to foreign investors.

6. Choose a Business Location: Determine whether you want to set up your business in mainland Dubai or a free zone. Each option has its own advantages, so evaluate factors like cost, infrastructure, market access, and ownership rules before deciding.

7. Obtain Approvals and Permits: Submit your application to the relevant authorities, such as the DED for mainland companies or the specific free zone authority for free zone companies. Obtain any additional approvals or permits required for your specific business activity.

8. Office Space and Sponsorships: Secure suitable office space or a flexi-desk (shared office) in Dubai. Depending on the license type, you may need to provide tenancy agreements or pay a deposit. Free zones may also require you to rent an office within their jurisdiction.

9. Register for Taxes and Employees: Register for the necessary taxes, such as VAT, with the Federal Tax Authority (FTA). Additionally, if you plan to hire employees, you must comply with the employment laws and register them with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE).

10. Obtain Business License: After completing all the previous steps, you will be issued a business license allowing you to legally operate in Dubai. Ensure you understand the terms and conditions attached to your license.

Remember, this is just a general overview, and the requirements may differ depending on the specific circumstances and regulations at the time of your setup. It’s always wise to consult with a business setup consultant or a legal professional to guide you through the process and ensure compliance with all necessary regulations.

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