How to start your own management or business consultancy firm in Dubai


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Consulting is big business in Dubai. There are thousands of enterprises out here looking to gain a competitive edge, and those with the expertise to provide it are well-rewarded for their services.

Putting aside market demand, the best part about starting a consulting firm in Dubai is that it requires little in the way of goods, equipment, or overheads. If you already possess the knowledge to pass on, all you need is a business license and a good helping of drive and determination.

With the right help, obtaining a UAE business license can be fast, affordable, and straightforward. So, if you’re ready to go, you could start a consultancy firm in Dubai within days.

Benefits of starting a consulting business in Dubai

There are many potential benefits to starting out as a consultant in the UAE. As well as the lack of overheads mentioned above, there are also minimal startup costs. Aside from the cost of your license, there is little else to account for other than a computer and workspace.

There is also no formal qualification required to work as a consultant in the UAE. You will be expected to be experienced and knowledgeable in your field, but this could be due to years of working in the industry, or by holding a degree, or other relevant certification.

When setting up in Dubai, you’ll also find a large and demanding client base. You could either offer general management consulting services across the board or carve out a niche within a chosen sector or subsector – and there are plenty to choose from.

Steps to start your consulting business in Dubai

When you work with an expert UAE company formation agent, you can make your trade license application and start running your business in just four simple steps.

1. Set out your business activities

When starting a company in Dubai, the first step is to clearly define your business activities, as these will need to be stipulated on your license.

You may be required to specify the exact type of consulting that you intend to carry out, including the niche or sector if you know it. This could be legal consulting or auditing consulting, for example.

Any chosen activity must align with the official Department of Economic Development (DED) list. Your company setup agent will help ensure that this is always the case.

2. Choosing your company name

The next important step to take before making your application is to choose 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. 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 – for example, Dave Mann Consulting, rather than D Mann Consulting. You must also check that your chosen name is available to register.

3. Applying for your trade license

You can now apply for your trade license. When opting for a UAE mainland license, you can make your application online via the e-channel portal, or in-person at a service centre.

A company setup agent can once again manage every step of this process for you, liaising with all relevant authorities and ensuring your application is in check before filing.

In most cases, you will be asked to provide the following documents:

  • Copies of the passports for all the license parties (partners and managers)
  • A copy of residence visa and NOC (if applicable).
  • A copy of your visa (if applicable).


4. Applying for your visas

You’ll also need a residency visa to work in the UAE – as will your employees, should you have any.

Again, with the right guidance, the visa application process can be incredibly straightforward. Most company formation agents can help you with this step, as well as with your license application.

As the holder of a UAE business 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.

Cost of starting a consulting business in Dubai

Many factors will affect the price of your license. Your chosen niche, your jurisdiction, and the size of your company will all play a part.

As a guide, you should expect to pay somewhere in the region of AED 18,000 to AED 30,000 for a single owner license with visa eligibility. This will increase if you require more than one shareholder or additional staff visas.

The best way to get a comprehensive understanding of the costs involved in starting a consulting firm in Dubai is to get in touch with a company formation expert. After understanding your requirements, we can find the right package for you and provide a detailed quote.

Start your consulting company in Dubai with Set Hub.

If you’re armed with the right knowledge, setting up a consulting business 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 making an application 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 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, authorizations, work permits and visa applications required to trade in the UAE.