Low cost business setup UAE: 2022 Guide


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The UAE is famous around the world for big business, big money and big ambition. But the businesses driving this bustling metropolis are not always as large as you might think.

Sure, there are plenty of multinational conglomerates with bases out here, but the local economy is largely underpinned by small and medium-sized enterprises. In fact, according to the Dubai Chamber, SMEs account for over 90% over total companies in the Emirates, employing 86% of the private sector workforce.

Many of these businesses are startups, bootstrapped and launched on the smallest of budgets. Because even the largest of enterprises start small. So, if you’re looking to trade out here and you’re working with a limited budget, fear not. With the right support low cost business setup in UAE is easy to achieve.

Low cost business setup in the UAE

There are many reasons why the UAE is a great base for low cost business setup. A major one is the incredibly affordable company formation and licensing process.

At Set Hub, our low cost UAE business setup packages start from just AED 5,750.

When you set up with Set Hub, you’ll benefit from: 

  • Choose from over 1,500 business activities.
  • Get up to 20 visas under 1 license.
  • Access to a co-working space and meeting room.
  • Dedicated Dubai landline number with virtual phone answering service.
  • Get 100% ownership of your business.
  • No tax or annual audit required.

Benefits of starting a business in Dubai

Aside from the fast, affordable and professional service that you will receive when you start up with Set Hub, there are many more incredible reasons to do business in Dubai.

Located in the heart of the Middle East, the meeting point of the vast markets of East and West, Dubai is the ideal base for global trade. This is only exacerbated by a time zone that overlaps with most major business hubs, and the fact that a third of the world’s population are located within just four hours flight time.

When you set up in a UAE free zone, the advantages continue. Free zone companies benefit from zero currency restrictions, 100% customs tax exemption, plus capital and profit repatriation. Many free zones also offer coworking and office facilities as well as a wide range of business support services.

Steps to start a low cost business in the UAE

When you work with the experts at Set Hub, low cost business setup in UAE can be both quick and easy. After a quick consultation, your dedicated contact will guide you through the following five-step process.

Step 1: Your business activities

The first step is an important one as it will dictate the most suitable license and location for your UAE business. Here, you must clearly outline your business activities and ensure that they align with one or more of the thousands of potential activities published by the Department of Economic Development (DED).

Step 2: Your company name

The next step is to choose a name for your new UAE company. There are a few things to keep in mind when naming a business in this part of the world. Here you must abide by a strict, yet easy to follow, 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.

Step 3: Your business license

Now we get to the most important step of all, and that’s applying for your UAE trade license.

With the help of the team at Set Hub, this is a fast and straightforward process. If you are setting up in the mainland, you should make your application to the DED or local Municipality. When setting up in a free zone, you should apply to the relevant governing authority.

We can help you find a low cost free zone license in UAE and match you with the most appropriate package to suit your business needs.

Documents required to start a business in Dubai:

Whether setting up in the mainland or in a free zone, 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

Step 4: Your visa

You’ll also need a visa to be able to work in the UAE. The visa application process – for you and your employees – is particular, yet straightforward. Again, Set Hub can help you with this step.

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.

Step 5: Your corporate bank account

The final step in the process is setting up your corporate bank account. Unfortunately, the UAE’s strict money laundering regulations can make it difficult for overseas entrepreneurs to access corporate banking facilities. Working with an expert in the field makes for a much smoother process.

Set Hub has great links to both local and international banks and can easily put you in touch with the one best suited to your needs – even arranging face to face meetings if necessary.

Starting your business with Set Hub

That’s all there is to it. As you can see, if you’re armed with the right knowledge, low cost business setup in Dubai and 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 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, 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.