Management Consultancy Licence Dubai: Costs & Requirements


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There comes a time in the life of most businesses when external assistance is required in the form of management consultancy. Seeking out skills and guidance this way gives organisations instant access to the experts without the large ongoing cost of a new hire.

Such is the appetite for this kind of guidance that the global management consultancy industry is valued at over USD 130tr. In this article, I look at the key considerations to keep in mind if you wish to join this vast and growing sector, including:

  • Benefits of starting a management consultancy in Dubai
  • Steps to start a management consultancy in Dubai
  • Cost to start a management consultancy business in Dubai, UAE
  • Things to consider when starting a management consultancy

 Benefits of starting a management consultancy in Dubai

There are many incredible benefits to starting a management consultancy out here in Dubai, UAE. For one, there is the sheer size of the potential market.

The UAE management consultancy industry in the Gulf region is worth an estimated USD 2.7bn with the UAE accounting for over USD 500m of that figure. Given the fact that Dubai is home to hundreds of thousands of businesses with thousands more launching every year, this figure can be expected to increase.

With no formal requirements to start a management consultancy business in the UAE, it is also a quick and relatively low cost operation to get off the ground.

You will, of course, be expected to demonstrate expertise in your chosen field whether through industry-specific qualifications or experience. But other than that, all that’s required is a UAE business licence and the determination to make your business a success.

Then there are the benefits of starting any type of business here in Dubai, starting with the tax environment. The personal and corporate tax rate still stands at 0% while VAT remains low at 5%. Free zone businesses also benefit from zero currency restrictions, capital and profit repatriation and 100% foreign ownership in all cases.

Steps to start a management consultancy in Dubai

Before embarking on the UAE company formation process, you should first speak to the expert team at Set Hub. After an initial discussion to get to know your needs and objectives, we’ll advise on the best way forward, guiding you through the following process.

Step 1: Select your business activity
The first step in most UAE trade licence applications is to outline your business activities. This will be a straightforward process when starting a management consultancy business, you will need to select the relevant consultancy activity as listed by the Department of Economic Development (DED).

It is important, however, that if you wish to undertake any other activity, that you list it on your application. Failure to do so may lead to fines or licence revocation.

Step 2: Choose your trade name
The next step is to choose your trade name. It is a good idea to submit a few with your application just in case your first preference is already registered by another business.

Keep in mind during this process that you may not choose any names that could be considered blasphemous or offensive. You will also need to use your full name rather than an abbreviation if naming your company after yourself.

Step 3: Apply for your management consultancy licence
With these steps out of the way, you can now apply for your UAE trade licence. If setting up in the mainland, you should submit your application to the DED. If you are starting a free zone business then you can apply directly to the free zone’s managing authority.

In either case, you will need to submit your application along with the following documents:

  • Passport copies for directors and shareholders
  • Bank reference letter
  • Copy of business plan

Step 4: Apply for your visa
You will also need a visa to work and live freely within the UAE. Set Hub can help with this step, too. The process involves an application along with a medical fitness test, chest X-ray and blood test.

Once you are the holder of a UAE residency visa, you can sponsor dependants for their visas, too. Dependants can include your spouse, children, parents and domestic staff such as a housekeeper.

Step 5: Open a corporate bank account
Finally, to make and receive payments in the UAE, you will need a corporate bank account. As this can be a complex process, it’s once again best to work with Set Hub throughout this stage. We can help you prepare your application and advise on the institution most suited to your requirements.

Cost to start a management consultancy business in Dubai, UAE

The cost to start a management consultancy in Dubai is AED 12,500. However, as with any business, there are other costs to consider. These include visa costs, rent for a premises if required, staff costs and other overheads.

If you’d like a detailed breakdown of the costs involved, get in touch with Set Hub for a personalised quote.

Things to consider when starting a management consultancy

One of the main considerations when starting any business is need. While there is a large demand for consultancy firms in Dubai, you want to be sure that you are filling a need that few others are.

This could be because you are significantly more skilled or experienced than the competition or that you are working in an under-supplied niche.

You will also need to think about how you are going to find and reach your target audience. There are many businesses in the UAE vying for attention, so consider what will make yours stand out.

Why start your company with Set Hub?

As well as assisting with consultancy license applications, Set Hub are on hand to assist with industrial, professional, ecommerce, commercial and general trading licenses. In fact, whatever your query regarding business setup in Dubai, we can help.

We understand that while the UAE’s company formation process has been designed with simplicity in mind, it can seem daunting to new applicants. That’s why we always take the time to understand what you need before tailoring our services to your requirements.

Our expert team can take care of everything – license and visa applications and all necessary admin – so you can focus on your business.