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Complete Guide to Setting Up a Business in UAE


Are you looking to start your own business? Then there’s no better place than UAE to start your entrepreneurial journey. Businesses are blooming a lot in the UAE and there is a land of opportunities out there at Expo City Dubai.

But wait, do you have a couple of questions about how to register your business in the UAE? This article is just for you. 

Here are six easy steps to set up your business in the UAE:

Step 1: Know your business model

Young entrepreneurs who are coming to UAE as aspiring entrepreneurs need to understand their business model. UAE allows 100% foreign-owned businesses in a variety of sectors. Young entrepreneurs need to do thorough research on the feasibility and profitability of the activity they would like to establish a business around.

Step 2: Find out the Jurisdiction

UAE is divided into different economic zones – It provides 50+ free zones, mainland options across all the emirates and then there are offshore. If terms like free zones, mainland, and offshore seem confusing to you in deciding what to choose from. Don’t worry, here is a little simplified version for you:

Free zones allow you to be 100% owner and the mainland allows you to register the company with a local Emirati and then offshore if you want to do business anywhere internationally but maybe not in UAE. Find out which jurisdictions suit you the best.

Step 3: Get your paperwork done

Now, it is paperwork time. Decide the legal form for your company – LLC, Sole Establishment, FZC. You cannot apply for your business license unless you have decided on the Company’s legal form. Your trade name and business activity would have to be approved at this stage. Once you have these approvals, you can apply for a trade/ business license. 

Step 4: Get a business license

Once the application is submitted, the appropriate authority will go through it and will approve it. Once the application is approved, your business license is issued. The business license makes your business legit in UAE and allows you to sign the contracts, and protect your business name, and also you can market your business online or offline wherever you want.

But wait, how are you going to get paid for your products and services without a business account? You can open a business bank account with a valid residence visa.

How do you get your residence visa? That brings us to the next step.

Step 5: Apply for a residence visa

To apply for your residence visa, you have to go through a process that involves the following:

Apply for a residence visa online and then apply for an entry permit then go to the next step go through a medical test, and afterwards register for the Emirates identity.

Once this process is done, your status can be changed from tourist to resident, and only then with a business license on one hand and residence visa on another hand, you can open your business account. This leads to the next and final step.

Step 6: Open a Business Bank Account

Approach the bank of your choice and submit documents such as your CV, corporate documents, and a little bit more information about your potential customers or your suppliers. Once your business bank account is opened, well done, now you can run your business legitimately in the UAE.

With these steps, setting up a business in the UAE is cost and time-effective. There are more distinguished reasons to set up a business in UAE such as high net-worth individuals, access to the Middle East location, profit repatriation, and most importantly low tax regime with no income tax, no corporation tax, only VAT. To conclude, the UAE may probably be the best place to kick in your wholesome entrepreneurial journey.

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