6 Easy Steps to Start your own Business in Dubai

start your own business in Dubai

6 Easy Steps to Start your own Business in Dubai

There are several reasons why numerous entrepreneurs from around the world opt to conduct business in the UAE. One significant attraction is the country’s favourable tax regime, which imposes low tax on both personal and corporate incomes. Additionally, the strategic location of the heart of the Middle East makes it an ideal hub for global trade and can be good place to start your own business in Dubai.

Opting to establish a business in one of the UAE’s free zones brings further advantages, including certain exemptions from customs tax, no currency restrictions, and the freedom to repatriate all capital and profits, among other benefits.

Moreover, the UAE offers a remarkably straightforward company formation process that can be completed in just a few uncomplicated steps, provided one is familiar with the business practices in this region.

Why Should You Open a Business in Dubai?

Following are the reasons you should start your own business in Dubai:

Strategic Location:

Due to its strategic positioning at the intersection of Europe, Asia, and Africa, Dubai serves as a prime commercial centre. It serves as a gateway to the Middle East and North Africa region, connecting businesses to a market of over 2 billion people within a four-hour flight radius. This strategic advantage opens up immense opportunities for trade, logistics, and diverse business collaborations.

Thriving Economy:

Dubai boasts a thriving and diversified economy. According to the Dubai Statistics Centre, the emirate’s gross domestic product (GDP) reached AED 407.2 billion (approximately USD 111 billion) in 2020. Key sectors driving economic growth include real estate, hospitality, retail, tourism, finance, logistics, and technology. This diverse economic landscape ensures that entrepreneurs have access to a wide range of industries to explore and tap into.

Pro-Business Environment:

Dubai’s government has taken significant steps to create a pro-business environment that fosters entrepreneurship. The Dubai government’s initiatives, such as the Dubai Plan 2021 and Dubai Vision 2021, focused on economic diversification, innovation, and sustainable growth. The ease of doing business in Dubai is evidenced by its consistently high rankings in global indices. In the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index 2020, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), of which Dubai is a part, ranked 16th out of 190 countries.

Free Zones:

Dubai is home to numerous free zones, which offer attractive incentives for businesses. Free zones such as Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, and Dubai Healthcare City provide a business-friendly environment, allowing 100% foreign ownership, tax exemptions, repatriation of profits, and simplified company setup processes. These free zones focus on specific industries, making them ideal for startups and niche businesses.

Entrepreneurial Support:

Dubai offers a range of entrepreneurial support programs and initiatives. Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy, Dubai SME, and Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry are just a few of the organizations that provide training, mentorship, networking opportunities, and funding support for startups and businesses. The government’s commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship has led to a vibrant ecosystem that nurtures and empowers entrepreneurs.

Infrastructure and Connectivity:

Dubai’s state-of-the-art infrastructure and world-class connectivity contribute to its attractiveness as a business destination. The city offers modern office spaces, advanced transportation networks, world-renowned exhibition and conference centres, and an efficient logistics and distribution system. Additionally, Dubai International Airport, one of the busiest airports globally, facilitates easy access to international markets, while Dubai’s advanced telecommunications infrastructure ensures seamless connectivity.

How to Open a Business in Dubai?

Following six steps are necessary to start your own business in Dubai:

Decide your Business Activities

The first stage in establishing your UAE business is determining your business operations. There are hundreds of potential activities to select from, and it’s critical that you include any that you intend to do on your license application.

Failure to define all of your intended actions may result in problems later on. As a result, when making this decision, it is best to consult with a business formation specialist such as Shuraa. Our professionals are aware of allowed activities and may recommend those that are most appropriate for your company.

Choose a Company Name

With your business operations defined, it’s time to select a name for your organization. When naming a business in the UAE, there are a few factors to consider. Here, you must follow a rigid yet simple set of naming standards. Once again, our business formation specialist can assist you with this phase.

In short, avoid using disrespectful or profane words. If you want to name your company after yourself, avoid well-known corporate names and acronyms. You must also ensure that the name you want to use is accessible for registration.

Choose a setup – Free zone or Mainland?

Before submitting your license application, you must determine whether you want to establish your business in a free zone or on the mainland.

Both have several advantages to start your own business in Dubai. Free zones provide advantages such as a simple incorporation procedure, continuing company assistance, and financial incentives such as tax exemptions and no currency limitations.

In contrast, mainland business allows you to trade directly with the UAE market and compete for potentially lucrative government contracts.

The best arrangement for you will be determined by the type of your business. Again, our professionals in business creation may advise on the optimal way.

If the expense of establishing a business in Dubai is a major consideration in your decision-making process, don’t worry: the prices are equivalent whether you choose a free zone or a mainland setup.

Applying for your Business License

A business license is an essential requirement when starting a business, playing a significant role in ensuring legal compliance.

The process of acquiring a business license is straightforward for both free zone and mainland enterprises. The following are the conditions for starting a business on the mainland: Apply for your license directly to the Department of Economic Development or the Municipality in the Emirate where you intend to establish your business. Typically, it takes around 3-4 working days for mainland license applications to be processed.

If you want to start your own business in UAE from a free zone, it usually takes 5-7 working days to process the License. It is a good idea to retain the services of a business formation professional at this point to guarantee a seamless procedure.

You are normally just required to give a few facts and some basic paperwork, whether you make your application yourself or through a company formation agency, such as:

  • Completed application form
  • Provide a scanned copy of the passport belonging to the individual or individuals intended to be the owner(s).
  • Two color passport-size photos.

If you’re wondering how to establish a business in Dubai on a shoestring budget, free zones are frequently a viable alternative. Many economical license packages are available, with no paid-up share capital required, no yearly audit, and a simple incorporation process. There is also no requirement for you to be present in the UAE in order to start your new company.

Applying for Visas

Obtaining a UAE visa is a crucial requirement when initiating a business venture. The procedure for applying for your personal visa, as well as that of your staff, is specific yet simple. Again, a UAE business creation specialist can assist you with this phase.

You can sponsor others for visas as the owner of a UAE company license. Consider a spouse, parent, or child, or a domestic worker such as a housekeeper.

The maximum number of visas you may apply for is determined by the size of your firm, the configuration you choose, and, in the case of dependant visas, your personal earnings.

Opening a Corporate Bank Account

The rigorous money laundering restrictions in the UAE make it difficult for foreign enterprises to have access to corporate banking services. Working with an expert in the subject makes the process go much more smoothly.

Experts in company formation have strong ties to both local and international banks and can readily connect you with the one best suited to your needs, including organizing face-to-face meetings if necessary.

Our experts can assist you with obtaining a company license in the UAE, whether in a free zone or on the mainland.


Dubai provides an ideal platform for entrepreneurs to establish and build their enterprises due to its strategic position, flourishing economy, pro-business atmosphere, free zones, entrepreneurial assistance programs, and solid infrastructure.

The data and facts emphasize the enormous potential and chances that await budding entrepreneurs in this vibrant metropolis. By following the six simple steps explained in this guide, you may confidently begin on your entrepreneurial path and position yourself for success in Dubai’s thriving business scene.

Get in touch with Shuraa by calling on +918010990022.