Start a vending machine business in Dubai, UAE [2022 Guide]


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For many, the pinnacle of entrepreneurship is passive income. With good reason. After all, who wouldn’t want to move away from the time for money model and launch a business that earns revenues while you sleep?

In reality, no income is truly passive. Launching a business takes hard work and determination. But that said, there are many business ideas that will generate sales largely on their own once you have done the groundwork. One great example is vending machines.

In this article, I explore the process of starting a vending machine company and the benefits of doing so out here in the UAE. We’ll cover:

  • Benefits of starting a vending machine business in Dubai, UAE
  • Steps to start a vending machine business in Dubai, UAE
  • Cost to start a vending machine business in Dubai, UAE
  • Things to consider when starting a vending machine business
  • Why start your company with Set Hub?

Benefits of starting a vending machine business in Dubai, UAE

Let’s start with a benefit I’ve already touched upon – passive income. Of course, running a vending machine company requires work. In the early days, lots of it. But once up and running you can get to the stage where your vending enterprise largely takes care of itself, barring the organisation of maintenance, restocking and marketing. This is particularly true if you manage to secure some prime locations throughout Dubai and the UAE.

Then there are the many benefits of starting a business here in Dubai. For one, you’ll benefit from the emirate’s 0% tax rate on both corporate and personal income, as well as a low and flat VAT rate of just 5%.

The UAE is also a fantastic location to import goods from every corner of the world for resale. At the heart of the Middle East with incredible land, sea and air links, it’s primed for trade with Europe, Asia, Africa and beyond.

Finally, the UAE offers an incredible ease of doing business, with minimal bureaucracy and barriers to market. Thanks to the country’s time-tested immigration, relocation and company formation processes, it’s easy to get set up out here with the right support.

Steps to start a vending machine business in Dubai, UAE

Here are the four steps to obtain your vending machine licence in Dubai, UAE.

Step 1 – Outline your business activities

Before embarking on the licence application process, you will first need to clearly define your intended business activities. This is to ensure that they correctly align with one of the 2,000 published by the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED). Set Hub will help you with this step to ensure you are correctly licensed and avoid any unnecessary delays.

Step 2 – Choose your trade name

Next, you will need to choose your company name. When making this decision in the UAE, there are a few conventions to keep in mind.

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 – Submit your licence application

At this stage, you can submit your licence application. For this type of business activity, you will require a mainland commercial licence. This application should be made directly to the DED. As well as your completed form, you will be required to provide supporting documents, including:

  • Proof of ID and address for directors and shareholders
  • Passport copies for shareholders and directors
  • Copy of trade name confirmation

Step 4 – Apply for your visa

To work and live in the UAE, you will require a residency visa. This process involves a medical, blood test, chest X-ray and biometric scanning. Once again, Set Hub can assist with the process, managing your application on your behalf.

As the holder of a UAE visa, you can also apply for visas for dependants such as partners, children, and domestic staff.

Cost to start a vending machine business in Dubai, UAE

A vending machine business licence costs around AED 23,000. There are other costs to consider on top of this, too. These include ground rent, visa applications and any additional permits that may be required to trade.

For a personalised and detailed quotation, get in touch with the team at Set Hub.

Things to consider when starting a vending machine business

When starting a vending machine business in the UAE, you’ll want to consider your niche. Usually this means stocking something unique or setting up in a location that is not yet covered by other machines. Both take considerable research.

If you are planning on stocking something that no one else is, you must first find out if there is a reason for that. Have you uncovered a market or is there just not enough demand? Equally, if you are planning to go into a new location, you need to ensure that it has enough footfall to support your machine and that any ground rent is not prohibitively high.

These considerations are important when taking on any location. Target high traffic areas such as workplaces, clinics, universities, airports, shopping malls and busy streets. But keep in mind that each will have their own rules and requirements regarding where and what you can vend.

Finally, consider your growth plan. Vending can be a great business to start slowly and expand but it will be much more achievable with some clear objectives in place.

Why start your company with Set Hub?

Whether you need help with free zone business setup in Dubai or LLC company formation in Dubai, Set Hub is your perfect partner.

We’re committed to helping you build a business that thrives. That’s why we’re on hand long after launch to assist with our wide range of support services and initiatives. After managing the entire setup process from inception to completion, our virtual office assistance, marketing and media support give you everything you need to grow.

So, whatever concerns may be holding you back from setting up your own company in the UAE, we’ve got it covered. Take that first step to greatness, and we’ll have your back – get in touch today on 800 SETHUB (738482) or email [email protected].