How to Start a Business in Dubai

Business in Dubai

Dubai is one of the best destinations for starting a modern business. It’s a city in the center of a vibrant and affluent market and it has laws and regulations that are created to help business owners. Many business people from all over the world are trying to set up shop in Dubai right now and they plan to remain there for the years to come.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with the regulations and to prepare the funding needed for the setup process beforehand. That way, it will go smoother and you’ll be able to start in full gear.

What will your business do?

Before you can start the setup process, you need to figure out what your business will do in rather clear terms. There are a few reasons for this and the most important one is that there are activities that are legal in the West and that aren’t in the UAE. If the company you want to start plans to do something illegal, there’s no point of going through the process.

At the same time, when you know what kind of business you want, you’ll be better organized when it comes to setting it up and creating a system to drive the company forward.

Registering a name

In the UAE and everywhere else, you need to brand your company right away and help the customers and clients figure out what they can expect from it. The first step towards doing that is deciding on a name and legally protecting it.

The institution that does that is called the Department of Economic Development (DED). The process is usually quick – it lasts a couple of days and there’s a fee for registering your name that depends on the industry you’re working in.

Corporate structure

Choosing a company structure is one of the most important business decisions you can make. It will determine how your business is being taxed, how it can be sued and how the profits will be shared amongst its owners and founders. Making this call in a way that maximizes profit can make or break your business.

Since the laws may be different in the UAE, it’s best to hire experts on company setup in Dubai. They will help you maximize your profits and protect your assets from a potential lawsuit or business bankruptcy.

Renting a space

It’s not allowed to have a remote company in Dubai. If you want to set up a business there and get into that market, you’ll need to actually have a business address in Dubai where you can be reached or at least get mail sent to.

One thing you can do is rent out an office in Dubai. This will usually require a long-term contract. That may sometimes mean that you’ll end up paying for the office you don’t use, even after your company has gone bust. Real Estate Regulation Authority (RERA) is the governmental organization that provides licenses for setting up a venue.


This refers to the Memorandum of Association and Local Service Agent agreements. The first is to decide on the obligations and the limitations that the shareholders might have within the company. LSA determines the role of an agent and fulfills the compliances with the local regulations.

These are legal documents that need to be drafted by a legal advisor that needs to be familiar with the legal system in the UAE. The courts and other legal entities work only in Arabic and there are a lot of issues that might come up from legal interpretations. Hiring an Arabic translator for this part is also essential.

There are a lot of reasons to move your business to Dubai. It’s an exciting market and there’s a lot of ways in which the UAE government helps business owners. The setup process for such a company might take a few months and require professional help.