How to get a corporate service license in Dubai, UAE


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Thousands of businesses set up in the UAE every year, on top of thousands more that renew their licenses to trade in this incredible global location. With many business owners originating from overseas, most organisations make use of corporate service companies to smooth the transition into a new jurisdiction.

Such companies offer a range of services, from document translation and notarisation to assistance with business licensing and visa applications. With such a steady flow of businesses out here, those who can offer these services are always in demand.

And if you’re interested in setting up a corporate services company in the UAE, there’s more good news. With the assistance of a local expert such as Set Hub, you could be up and running and ready to trade in matter of days.

Services offered by corporate service providers in Dubai, UAE

Services offered tend to differ between providers. Where some may only provide a few basic services such as document attestation or corporate sponsorship, others provide much more. These include:

  • Accounting and bookkeeping
  • Bank account opening
  • Company formation
  • Corporate governance
  • EJARI services
  • Mail handling
  • Visa assistance


Steps to become a corporate service provider in Dubai

When you partner with Set Hub, the company formation process is both fast and straightforward. We can assist you with all of the steps below, helping you choose and register your company name and assisting you with your visa and license applications.

1. Choosing your company name

The first step is to choose a name for your corporate services business.

When choosing a company name out here in the UAE, you must abide by a strict set of 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.

2. Making your license application

The next step is the most complex and will differ slightly depending on whether you decide to set up in the mainland or in a UAE free zone.

Mainland companies are licensed by the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) to operate both within and without the UAE. In comparison, free zone businesses cannot trade with the local UAE market without the help of a local service agent.

Unlike free zone companies, mainland businesses are required to take on physical premises in most cases. A recent change in the law now allows for 100% foreign ownership in most cases, however, this must be approved by the relevant industry body.

To incorporate a mainland company, you must apply to the DED. When making your application, 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


3. Making your visa applications
As well as your corporate services license, you will also need a residency visa to work in the UAE. The visa application process consists of several steps including biometric scanning, a blood test, medical and a chest x-ray.

As the holder of a corporate services license, you can also sponsor others for their visas too. This could be a spouse, parent or child, or a domestic worker such as a housekeeper.

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.

4. Opening a corporate bank account

Finally, you will need a corporate bank account to trade in the UAE. It is not always easy for non-GCC citizens to secure banking services, so once again it is a good idea to partner with a local expert at this stage.

Set Hub can handle all this application for you, advising on suitable financial institutions and liaising with relevant authorities on your behalf.

Corporate service provider license costs in Dubai, UAE

Setting up a corporate services company brings few overheads. You should expect to pay in the region of AED 10,000 – AED 20,000 for your corporate services license. Other costs outside this are really just those you would expect such as office or coworking space costs, staff, advertising, and so on. Talk to Set Hub for a detailed breakdown of the costs of starting your business.

Are you ready to start your corporate services company in Dubai?

Hopefully, this guide has made clear that if you’re armed with the right knowledge, setting up a corporate services company in the Dubai mainland 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 ensure that this is the case, it’s a good idea to work with a company formation specialist such as Set Hubwhen 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 visa 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.