Setting up a Business in Dubai

Business Setup in Dubai

Dubai with its significant transformation from a local trading community to one of the most lucrative business markets, offers wonderful business surroundings to several investors around the world. Its progress, strategic location, enticing operative conditions and economic development continue to make it stand high on the list of the most preferred destinations for business expansion or setups.

A number of companies choose to establish a business in Dubai because of its easy access to a huge number of consumers and its strategic location which makes Dubai a perfect gateway that connects East and West to facilitate international trade.

Setting a business in Dubai or expanding an existing business is a comparatively straightforward and hassle-free process. You just need to have a clear vision of how you wish to make the most of your new business setup in Dubai. The rest will be taken care of by us. At, Aon Management Consultants, we are a team of leading business setup consultants in Dubai that specializes in all forms of company setup procedures. Having highly qualified professionals on board, we offer end-to-end business setup services that involve serving you with well researched information on setup procedures, informing you about the legal formalities, helping you outline the establishment plan, get the applications processed and even helping you recruit workforce for your new business setup in Dubai. Our transparency in terms of execution procedures, overall costs and timelines is such that you get accurate knowledge for the best decision making.

Types of Companies in Dubai

Dubai, the second largest of the seven Emirates, welcomes companies and businesses from all over the world to set up a station in Dubai. Here are some of the prominent forms of companies that can be established here.

Joint Partnership

A Joint Partnership is considered to be one of the best and easiest forms of companies to establish in Dubai. In this a minimum of 51% of the business must be owned by a UAE national (or as known as the Local Sponsor). While there is no minimum capital requirement for establishment of a Joint Partnership company, it offers unrivalled access to wider UAE economy and the foreign equity partnership does not exceed 49%. Also, in such company type, the profits and losses can be shared at a ratio different from the shared capital.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

A LLC can be established by a minimum of two and a maximum of fifty shareholders whose liability is limited to the value of their share in the company’s capital. The minimum capital required to setup LLC is 300,000 dirham in Dubai. The company  must  have  51%  participation  from  a  UAE  national  (the Local Sponsor) while the  rest 49%  can  remain with the investor. Moreover, either the UAE national or the foreign partner must operate as an active member in managing the operations of the organization. Furthermore, as per the Companies Law, LLC may engage into any kind of business except insurance, banking and investment of money for others.

Free Zone Company

This is yet another popular type encouraged in Dubai. Companies set up in a free zone have the leverage of conducting all kinds of businesses such as trading, service and industrial activities. Unlike LLC or a partnership company where ownership is shared, free zone allows business set up in Dubai with 100% foreign ownership.

Offshore Company

Dubai is one of the well-known nations in the world for establishing an offshore company. This type of company refers to conducting business operations outside the geographical boundaries of its native nation. Dubai offers a business friendly environment, state-of-art infrastructure and simple registration process for offshore companies.

Step by Step Procedure to set up a business in Dubai

To setup a company in Dubai, you must following the below mentioned procedure:-

Step 1 – Choose a business activity

There are about 2000 business activities that can be undertaken in Dubai according to the Department of Economic Development (DED). Select a business activity you wish to undertake.

Step 2 – Select a legal form

There are a number of legal forms of company structures in Dubai, each of which is governed by different ownership rules and regulations. Select a legal form in accordance to your business activities.

Step 3 – Choose a trade name

The next step is to decide a legal name for your business. It is important to note that strict rules have been defined by DED for selecting the name, failing to comply is subject to hefty fines.

Step 4 – Apply for Initial Approval Certificate

An Initial Approval Certificate is a no objection document issued by the Government of Dubai. Once you receive an IAC, you can proceed further with the setup process.

Step 5 – Prepare Memorandum of Association (MoA)

Depending upon your business type, you need to get a Memorandum of Association (MoA) prepared from a legal firm. It should also be duly signed by all the partners of the firm.

Step 6 – Decide on a business location

All companies in Dubai must have a physical location. Bear in mind your business activities before finalizing a location.

tep 7 – Get licensing approved

Many business forms require special licensing approvals. Select a license that matches your business activity and get an approval from the authorized department.

Step 8 – Obtain other legal documents

Apart from the trade licenses, you must also obtain a Certificate of Incorporation, Share Certificates and Tenancy Agreement.

Step 9 – Recruit Human Resource

Workforce is one of the most important requirements of a company to operate. Depending upon your business type, select and recruit human resources to carry out your business activities.

Documents needed to set up a company in Dubai

Here is a list of documents you will require for company incorporation in Dubai.

A copy of Passport (visa page copy, if applicable)

Residential address proof (e.g. utility bill copy, etc)

Business plan summary (if applicable)

Copies of parent company documents to be notarized and attested, in case applying as a branch or a subsidiary

No Objection Certificate from the sponsor, in case holding a valid UAE visa

Certain business activities may have additional requirements such as third party approvals from regulating authorities, etc.

In addition to the above mentioned documents, you may asked be to furnish other documents by DED as well depending on the type of business you plan to set up in Dubai.

Free Zone and Offshore Places for Setup in Dubai

Dubai Airport Free Zone

Dubai Auto Zone

Dubai Biotechnology & Research Park

Dubai Flower Centre

Dubai Gold and Diamond Park

Dubai Healthcare City

Dubai International Financial Centre

Dubai Internet City

Dubai Knowledge Village

Dubai Logistics City

Dubai Maritime City

Dubai Media City

Dubai Multi Commodity Centre

Dubai Outsource Zone

Dubai Silicon Oasis

Dubai Studio City

Dubai Sports City


International Humanitarian City

International Media Production Zone

Jebel Ali Free Zone

Techno Park

JLT Free Zone

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