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Business Startup in Dubai, UAE: A Step-by-Step Guide

Business Startup in Dubai

Business Startup in Dubai, UAE: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Did you know last year, in 2023, more than 30,000 business startups in Dubai were set up? These were registered under the Dubai Chamber of Commerce. Last year, in 2022, this number was around 21,000. The main reason for Business Start-up Dubai was that it is business-friendly, global-minded, and has no taxation in Dubai.  

Sometimes, starting a Business in Dubai can be confusing. In this blog, Shuraa Business Setup will help you set up a business in Dubai. We will explain the steps and documents required and the benefits of a business start-up in UAE.  

Why to start a business in Dubai?

A business startup in Dubai is a great choice. Dubai is known for its lively city, strong economy, and elite location. It provides excellent infrastructure, modern facilities, and a business-friendly environment.  

You also get tax advantages and full foreign ownership in many free zones. Therefore, the Dubai government supports innovation and entrepreneurship. It makes it an ideal place for Business startups in the UAE.  

Benefits of Business Startup in Dubai

Business startups in Dubai offer numerous benefits, making it an attractive destination for entrepreneurs. Here are some of the main benefits: 

  • Dubai offers a tax-friendly environment for most businesses with no personal or corporate income taxes. Making it financially attractive for companies.  
  • Dubai is a central hub connecting Europe, Asia, and Africa, facilitating easy access to a vast market. 
  • The city boasts advanced infrastructure. It includes modern transport systems, state-of-the-art telecommunications, and high-quality utilities. 
  • Many free zones in Dubai offer benefits such as 100% foreign ownership. No import or export duties, and full repatriation of profits and capital. 
  • The government of Dubai provides a supportive regulatory framework. It has smoothened the business setup process to encourage entrepreneurship. 
  • Dubai’s economy is diverse. Its strong sectors are tourism, real estate, finance, logistics, and technology. It offers various opportunities for different industries. 
  • Dubai has a well-developed legal system that protects business interests and intellectual property. It guarantees a safe environment for businesses. 
  • Dubai attracts a highly skilled and multicultural workforce worldwide. It provides businesses access to top talent. 
  • The presence of numerous banks, financial institutions, and investors in Dubai provides many business opportunities. 

How many types of business set up in Dubai?

Dubai has three types of Business Setups: mainland, free zone, and offshore. Each Zone offers unique features and benefits for different business requirements.  

Free Zone

Registering a free zone company in Dubai offers numerous benefits. It includes corporate tax exemptions and exemptions from certain mainland regulations. Free zones are highly favourable business environments which allow companies to operate from designated areas. It also provides 100% foreign ownership. 

These setups are particularly beneficial for international companies targeting specific industries. It seeks tax efficiencies or requires a strategic location. Dubai's free zones play an important role for international businesses. It provides regulatory benefits and specialised infrastructure, especially for various industries. 


Mainland companies in the UAE can trade freely across the country. It can also lease or own property in mainland areas. This setup is perfect for businesses that want to connect directly with the UAE market. The mainland provides products and services to local consumers. 

These companies also benefit from the ability to bid for government contracts. It provides different business opportunities and growth potential. 


Registering a Dubai Offshore Company offers businesses an attractive option for prioritising international trade and safeguarding assets. Without the need to follow to local corporate taxes and regulations. These companies are ideal for operations outside the UAE. 

What is the process of Business Startup in Dubai?

Business startup in Dubai is a relatively easy task to follow. Below are the steps to help you set up your business in the UAE. 

Step 1: Choose a business activity

The first step is to choose a business activity, which is an important step. The chosen activity will help you select the license type you will require. Selecting a business activity that results in the business goals helps the entrepreneur to work regularly and operationally. 

Do you need any help selecting the right business activity? Our Shuraa Experts are here to help. Contact us today for expert guidance and support in choosing and licensing your business activity. We're here to help you make informed decisions for business startups in Dubai for success. 

Step 2: Select a type of business setup

There are three economic zones in the UAE: the mainland, The Free Zone, and The Offshore. These zones are also known as jurisdictions. Each jurisdiction has its own set of laws and regulations for business setup.  

It also handles different business needs. Selecting a jurisdiction depends totally on the business which is also important for your business activity.   

Step 3: Choose the legal structure 

Choosing the right legal structure for your Startup in Dubai is important. This structure helps you manage your financial aspects, such as profits, losses, and assets and resources. This step should be part of your overall business formation planning process.  

Once you have chosen a legal form, you can apply for a business license in the UAE. Here are various legal structures available to register your business: 

  • Sole Establishment 
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) 
  • Holding Company 
  • Local Company Branch 
  • Civil Company 
  • Foreign Company Branch 
  • GCC Company Branch 
  • Free Zone Company Branch 

Each legal form offers distinct advantages and is modified to business activities and ownership structures. Choosing the right form impacts business operations, legal obligations, and regulatory compliance in the UAE. 

Step 4: Choose a Trade Name

Once you have completed the three steps mentioned above, it's time to take step 4. You have to select a name for your business. After you choose a name for your company, you need to register it. 

Select a name that helps people indicate your business nature. This will increase your company's significance in the industry. Be sure to follow to Dubai's rigorous guidelines when choosing your company name. 

Note: When selecting a name, avoid provocative choices that might offend religious sentiments. For guidance on choosing an appropriate name, contact our experts, who are ready to assist you. 

Step 5: Choose a good business location

Choosing a business location comes after deciding on a suitable business name. Your business's location plays an important role in its success. Consult our Shuraa Advisors for insights into the advantages and restrictions of various business zones.  

Getting an ejari or tenancy contract is essential for commercial space in your chosen area. 

Step 6: Get a business license

To get a business license, you must apply through the DED if you opt for the mainland. For free zones, utilise their respective authorities. After getting your business license, get external approvals from other governmental bodies. 

The UAE offers four types of trade licenses: 

  1. Industrial License 
  2. Tourism License 
  3. Commercial License 
  4. Professional License 

Step 7: Open a Bank Account

After completing all necessary paperwork and documentation, opening a business bank account for your company is important. Assessing the benefits can assist in optimising your business expenses. 

Documents Required for Business Startup in Dubai

Documents required for business Startup in Dubai are as follows:  
  • Passport Photographs  
  • Passport copies of all the legal participants  
  • Application form  
  • MoA and LSA documents (notarised and attested)  
  • Ejari number 
  • Business Plan 
Note: Ejari Number verifies the rental space agreement / Business Centre sustainability contract.  

What is the Cost of a business startup in the UAE?

Starting a business in the UAE typically ranges from AED 12,500 to AED 28,500. However, the cost of a business startup in Dubai can vary widely. Factors influencing setup costs include business registration, licensing, office location, size, visa requirements, etc.  If you want to know the exact cost of a business startup in the UAE, you can consult at Shuraa Bussiness setup.   

Business Startup in the UAE with Shuraa

We hope this blog helped you with business startups in the UAE. In this guide, we have mentioned everything related to starting a business in the UAE.  

If you need help starting a business in the UAE, contact Shuraa Business Setup. For nearly 23+ years, we have assisted entrepreneurs in starting their companies in the UAE. Schedule your free consultation with our company formation experts today! 

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