Advice & Guidance

Starting Your Own Business UAE | Advice & guidance on choosing the appropriate jurisdiction [25+] and license [2,100+]

Starting your own business UAE: 000’s of possibilities, basis of choice, doing it yourself, cost of making mistake

Starting your own business UAE: Varal fee US$ 550

Starting your own business UAE: Thousands of possibilities

There are thousands of possibilities to choose from!

All activities in the United Arab Emirates [UAE] are licensed. Whether manufacturing, finance, trading, marketing, consultancy or restaurants. In some countries only manufacturing is licensed. In others there is a threshold below which business are encouraged. But not so in the UAE.

Please invest 2 minutes of your time to watch the starting your own business UAE video below. It spells out how you can benefit. Or if you prefer to read, then feel free to skip the video and go straight to the text below:

UAE has 7 Emirates or States. Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain, Sharjah, Ajman.

Each Emirate has its own policies of licensing. The categories allowed are different. As is the cost. And you can register both local companies in each Emirate or a company in one of their free zones.

For example, just the Department of Economic Development in Dubai itself offers 2,000+ activity licenses for the registration of Dubai local companies.

Each of the 7 emirates have their own local company registration departments. In addition to their own free zones. For example, Dubai had 18 free zones at last count. The UAE has around 30 free zones. Most of the free zones specialize in some industry or type for activity.

What should you choose? How will you know what will best meet your objectives of licensing, cost and location? Each jurisdiction also has its own requirements of Know Your Client [KYC] documents for registration and the time it takes to complete the registration.

What is it worth to you to make the right choice? How much time would you need to investigate all the possibilities and then come to conclusion? And if you don’t get it right, you will need to unwind your incorporation.

Starting Your Own Business UAE | Advice And Guidance

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Starting your own business UAE: Basis of making a choice

First, of course, your objective needs to be clear.

Looking at the choices and multiple possibilities you will need to look at the following carefully for each of the jurisdictions before making your decision:

  • Total cost of registration
  • Renewal cost of company and visas
  • Time taken for registration
  • Activity license offered
  • Distance from where your customers or suppliers are
  • KYC asked for
  • Responsiveness of jurisdiction
  • Any special offers for office or desk space

If you want to do it yourself

Of course there are people who do the registration themselves. Those who want to save paying the registration fees of a company registration firm.

They already have a firm idea of where they want to register their firm and have lots of time to go there to get the job done.

That’s what is required if you want to do it on your own.

UAE is 80,000+ sq kms and the 7 Emirates are located all around. So you may need to visit the different free zones and registration authorities to get a rough idea of where you want to be and what activity you want to sign up for.

Internet search will give you a general idea. But you know that web sites are not updated daily. And information is often out of date.

Sometimes even seasoned professionals need to call up their jurisdiction contacts to get the most current information.

What would it cost you to do it on your own?

How much time, effort, training, money and errors are required to develop a competent company registration professional to advise you? 6 months? A year?

What is that worth to you?

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Starting your own business UAE: Cost of not getting it right

What happens if you make a choice which is not optimal?

UAE has zero company, income or wealth taxes. Its revenues are dependent on company registration fees, and fees for other services including visas. So compared to other countries, company registration fees are larger and require annual renewal.

All visas are linked to a company. And activities are linked to specific company types.

So if you make a choice that you regret or business expectations render your registration unsuitable, you have to close your company and start a new one.

Costs of closing a company are considerable. As are the costs of transferring your visas from one company to another.

Do you really want to risk that?


Starting your own business UAE: Take the advice and guidance of a company registration consultant

Your company registration agent will give you a comprehensive comparison. Maybe 4 alternatives to meet your objectives.

You won’t have to spend time in hotels waiting to find out which jurisdiction is suitable. Or spend time in queues to get information. Or pay for taxis to travel to the different Emirates.

You can do all this from your country, while sitting at home or in your office. Just use your emails or make a call.

Starting Your Own Business UAE | Advice And Guidance

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Advice & Guidance was last modified: February 14th, 2016 by Ramapati Singhania

Ramapati Singhania

He strives for excellence in all he does and brings out the best in his people through guidance, a strong vision and support. He is exceptionally open-minded, flexible, dependable, understanding and straightforward in all words and actions and encourages personal as well as professional growth.

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