Interior Design Business Setup in Dubai


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The UAE is home to a wide array of booming industries. From technology and travel to healthcare and hospitality, there is always a new story of a sector in the ascendance. Essentially, if an industry is gaining ground on the global stage, you can be sure it’s making waves in the Emirates.

The interior design market is closely tied to the overall health of the economy. The UAE was hailed as the most competitive economy in the Middle East and North Africa region in 2022, as per the IMD World Competitiveness 2022 Report released this year.

Naturally, such a thriving industry is going to catch the eye of entrepreneurs from around the world. The good news for those looking to get involved is it’s incredibly easy and affordable to get started.

Why start an interior design company in the UAE?

The UAE is home to the largest design market in the Middle East with interiors taking up a considerable part of that.

The country was ranked 12th globally in the latest report, ahead of the world’s major economies such as Canada, Germany, China, Australia, Austria, the UK, South Korea, France, New Zealand, Japan, and others.   

The easy setup and incorporation process is another great reason to start your interior design company in the UAE. You will usually only require a professional services license to get started, along with any visas you may need.

There is also the option to become a freelance interior designer. As a freelance interior designer, you’ll require a freelance license or permit to trade.

Whichever setup you choose, the application process is not overly complex provided you go into it armed with the right information. That’s why it’s a good idea to work with a business setup expert who can manage the entire process for you, ensuring your application is both complete and correct.

If you are looking to get your company license in the UAE, free zone, or mainland, or even in Qatar and Saudi Arabia –  then our team can help.

How to start an interior design business in Dubai

If you’re looking to set up an interior design business, the first step is to choose a company name. Keep in mind when doing this that the UAE has a rather unusual set of naming conventions that you’ll need to adhere to. For example, your company name should not include any offensive or blasphemous language or make reference to known organizations and corporations. If you are going to include your personal name in your business name, it must be in full – no abbreviations or initials. You must also check that your chosen business name is available to be registered. A company formation expert can do this for you as part of the license application process.

With your company name decided upon and your activities chosen, you can now apply for your trade license. But first, you must decide whether you are going to opt for a free zone or a mainland setup. There are advantages to both options. Set up under the mainland and you are free to trade directly with the local marketplace and take on government contracts – something which can prove lucrative in this part of the world.

Opt for a free zone setup, and as well as from no tax on income, you’ll also benefit from a 100 percent exemption from customs tax. What’s more, unlike in many other countries, UAE free zone business owners also have full freedom to repatriate all invested capital and profits. There are also no foreign exchange controls or currency restrictions. 

Whichever setup you choose, a company formation expert can help you with this step, even going so far as to manage the entire application process on your behalf.

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 coloured photos
  • LOE
  • KYC
  • Application form
  • Proof of address
  • Business activity questionnaire

Should I start my own interior design business?

If you’ve got the requisite knowledge then what’s stopping you? It’s incredibly easy and affordable.

 While applying for your interior design license is not overly complex, 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 trade license application is complete at the time of submission and free from errors.

We are the team of Business Incorporation Zone, your best business setup advisor across the Gulf Region. If you are looking to open your company in Dubai, across the UAE, in KSA or Qatar, get a free zone license, or start a business in the mainland, then we can help. From visa applications to all the necessary admin tasks, we handle it all – leaving you free to get on with your business.