Company Registration in the UAE


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If you’re researching the process of registering a company in Dubai, UAE, you’re sure to have come across the many benefits of doing so.

The UAE’s attractive tax regime is often near the top of the list. The country remains one of the few to levy 0% on both corporate and personal incomes.

You will likely have also heard of the nation’s free zones. Spread right across the Emirates, free zones allow international entrepreneurs to start 100%-owned businesses and benefit from further tax exemptions and the ability to repatriate all capital and profits.

A benefit of starting a business in the UAE that is often overlooked, however, is the simple formation process. When you work with a company setup expert, you can start a business here in a matter of days with minimal effort on your part.

Below are some considerations before you begin the process, along with a step-by-step guide from start to finish.


How can I register a company in the UAE

There are a few key decisions to make before registering a company in Dubai, UAE. The first is to decide where you will set up.

There are two common options, you can trade from a free zone or the mainland.

There are advantages to both. Free zones such as Fujairah Creative City offer benefits like quick and easy incorporation process, ongoing business support, and financial incentives including tax exemptions and zero currency restrictions.

Mainland businesses meanwhile can trade directly with the UAE market and take on government contracts.

It is always a good idea to consult with a company formation expert at this stage. A specialist in the field can advise on the right setup for your specific needs.

You’ll also need to familiarise yourself with the license types on offer in the UAE. This is dictated by your chosen business activities.

If your business activities fall into the category of industrial or manufacturing then you will require an industrial license. If you are in the commercial sector – i.e. the buying and selling of goods – then you will require a commercial license. Similarly, those offering professional services will require a professional license.

That’s why, before starting the process of company formation, you should clearly outline the activities you wish to undertake. Activities must be chosen from a published list.

Finally, you’ll need to set time aside to choose a company name. As well as choosing a catchy name that suits your business, you’ll also need to abide by the UAE’s company naming conventions.

In short, you should avoid any offensive or blasphemous language. Avoid names of well-known organisations, and avoid abbreviations if naming your company after yourself – i.e. Dave Mann Consulting, rather than D Mann Consulting. You must also check that your chosen name is available to register.

With these decisions made you can apply for your trade license. You’ll also need to apply for a visa to work in the UAE.


Making your applications

When undertaken with the help of an expert, applying for formal documents such as visas and business licenses is a straightforward process.

If you are setting up in the mainland you should make you application to the relevant body such as the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED). If you are setting up in a free zone then you apply directly to the managing authority. In both cases, a company formation expert can manage this process for you.

Whether making your application yourself, or through a company formation agent, you are usually only required to provide a few details and some basic documentation, including:

  • Completed application form
  • Passport copy of the proposed owner or owners
  • Two colour passport size photos.

Now for your visa application. Again, with the right guidance, this is a simple process, if a little more involved.

As part of the application you will be required to submit biometric scans as well as undergo a medical, blood test and chest x-ray.

You can also sponsor others for their visas, be they employees or dependants such as your spouse, parent or child.

The maximum number of visas you can apply for will depend on the size of your company, your chosen setup and, for dependant visas, your personal earnings.


How much does it cost to register a company in Dubai, UAE?

Calculating UAE company registration cost is not easy without knowing the variables involved. There are many factors that will make a difference, including your license type, the number of people you employ, the size of your premises and more.

The best way to get an idea of the total UAE company registration cost would be to discuss your requirements with a company formation expert, or to look to a free zone.

Free zones such as Fujairah Creative City offer many affordable license packages with no paid-up share capital requirement, no annual audit and an easy incorporation process. There is also no need to be present in the UAE to establish your new company.

A license package in Fujairah Creative City, inclusive of one visa application and use of the free zone’s co-working facility costs just AED 24,775.


Are you ready to register your company in Dubai, UAE?

If you’re armed with the right knowledge, setting up a business in the UAE doesn’t have to be overly complex.

That being said, it does require a level of prior knowledge of the process. What’s more, it is important to note that the application process is only straightforward if your license application is complete at the time of submission and free from errors.

To help you to ensure that this is the case, it’s a good idea to work with a Dubai company formation specialist such as Set Hub when establishing a new company in the UAE.

We are a team of company registration professionals who are passionate about bringing the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs to life.

As well as handling your license application, Set Hub can also assist with the opening of corporate bank accounts and advise on the most appropriate financial institution to suit your specific needs.

We also offer visa and immigration services and can handle all government formalities, permissions, work permits and visas applications that are required to trade in the UAE.

In short, our experts can establish your company on your behalf, make your license and visa applications, and take care of all the necessary admin – leaving you free to get on with running your business.