How to start a car wash company in Dubai, UAE


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Dubai is the ideal location to start a car wash business. Of the estimated 20 million cars in the Gulf, around a fifth of them are in the UAE. And the Emirates’ desert location means they are in constant need of a clean and polish.

Add to this the high disposable income of many UAE residents, and you have the makings of a great business. That’s before you even consider the country’s 0% personal and corporate tax rate, its welcoming business environment, and its straightforward company setup process.

It’s so easy to do business here that, with the right support, you could be up and running in just five simple steps. Before we look into the formation process, here are a few things to keep in mind when starting a car wash business in Dubai, UAE.

Things to remember when starting a car wash business

The key consideration when setting up a car wash business is location. You’ll need to find an easily accessible spot with plenty of passing traffic. You’ll also need to allow for plenty of space so as not to cause issues with vehicles queuing into the street.

As well as location, you’ll also need to familiarise yourself with the regulations of your chosen jurisdiction, as different regions will require different permits.

Finally, you’ll need to decide on your license type. That is, whether you set up with a mainland license or a free zone license.

If you decide on a Dubai mainland business setup, you’re free to trade directly with the UAE without the services of a third party.

However, company setup in a Dubai free zone is usually the most cost-effective approach. And, if you’re really looking for the most affordable free zone setup, it’s a good idea to look outside Dubai.

Free zones such as Fujairah Creative City, for example, offer benefits including a quick and easy incorporation process, ongoing business support and financial incentives such as tax exemptions and zero currency restrictions.

As free zones are self-regulated, setting up here can also help you avoid applying for multiple permits and approvals.

How to start a car wash business in Dubai in five simple steps

Step 1: Choosing your company name

Once you’ve decided where you are going to set up, your first administrative task is to decide on a company name. There are a few key things to keep in mind at this stage – many that would not apply anywhere else in the world.

Be aware that you must abide by a strict set of naming conventions. 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.

Your company setup agent will check that your chosen name is available before registering it for you.

Step 2: Applying for your license

With this decision taken care of, you can apply for your trade license.

You can set up on the mainland by making your application to the Dubai Department of Development (DED) or local equivalent in another emirate.

Alternatively, if you wish to set up in a free zone, you can make your application directly or work with a local company formation expert who can manage your application for you.

Step 3: Making your visa applications

To start a car wash business in the UAE, you will require a visa. Again, with the right guidance, the visa application process can be incredibly straightforward.

As the holder of a UAE business license, you can 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.

Step 4: Opening your corporate bank account
You will also require a corporate bank account to do business in the UAE.

Before making your application, you should first familiarise yourself with several financial institutions to find one that is best suited to your business needs and most likely to offer you corporate banking services. You company setup agent can help you with this process.
Keep in mind that:

  • You must have a UAE business license to open a corporate bank account.
  • Some banks require shareholders to have a residency visa.
  • Most accounts require a minimum balance of anywhere between AED 10,000 and AED 150,000.

If your application is successful, your account is usually opened within two to four weeks.

What documents are required to start a car wash company?

Limited documentation is required to start a business and apply for a visa in the UAE. In both cases, you will be required to submit completed application forms, passport copies, and passport photographs.

When applying for your business license, you may be asked to provide information about your company, and in some cases, a business plan.

When applying for a visa, you will usually need to show proof of your employment/earnings or your shareholding in a UAE business.

Your company setup agent can manage both your trade license and visa applications to ensure all is in order, preventing delays and complications.

Are you ready to start your car wash business in Dubai, UAE?

Hopefully, this guide has made clear that if you’re armed with the right knowledge, setting up a car wash company in Dubai doesn’t have to be overly complicated.

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 company formation specialist such as Set Hub when establishing a new company in the UAE.

Start your car wash business in Dubai with Set Hub

We are a team of company registration professionals in Dubai 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. Get in touch today to see how we can help set up your car wash company in Dubai.