New businesses in Dubai have an edge over others around the world due to the business friendly policies of the government along with immense opportunity to make a mark due to the strategic position of Dubai closer to the international market. The thriving economy, growing development avenues and Dubai becoming a tourism hub are also favourable reasons. But the process of starting a business here can be complex if sufficient planning is lacking. One needs to know the local market, the rules and regulations, licensing policies, visa rules etc. to start the business at an advantage during the initial period. How to achieve this can be understood by understanding these crucial phases in starting a business in Dubai.


Feasibility study and Market Research

The competition, market conditions, potential risks, economic implications, government policies and reforms are studied as part of the feasibility study. Along with the knowledge of the local market as well as the international scope for the business helps businesses and entrepreneurs get a fair idea as to how to approach the business and plan for the future. The legal aspects of the business and regulatory framework of the country are also studied. Market research does a SWOT analysis for the company before it has been established. It defines the strengths that can be explored, the potential weaknesses to be vigilant about, the opportunities the market has to offer, and the probable threats that the company should look out for.

Business Plan

Develop a comprehensive business plan outlining the objectives, target audience, financial projections, and marketing strategies. This plan will serve as a roadmap for the future of the business. By defining clearly what the company wants to do and achieve in the forthcoming times, they can understand better how to meet the competition, and how better to increase the profits by reaching the right market locally or internationally.

Where to set up

The structure and framework of your business needs to be decided. In Dubai, one can choose between a mainland company, a free zone company, or an offshore entity. Which to choose depends on what kind of business the company is starting, which market the company will be playing in, what benefits the company is expecting from the government, and what kind of diversification the company is looking to achieve in the coming times.

Local Sponsorship

If one opts for a mainland company, one would need a local Emirati sponsor or partner who holds a 51% share in the business. Before venturing out to partner with a sponsor, the company must safeguard its interests by finding as much information about the person or entity that they want to partner with. Someone with enough reputation and experience in business is always beneficial. A business consultant in Dubai will be able to help the company with finding a right sponsor whose interests and reputation aligns with that of the companies. 

Registration and Licensing

Register the business with the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) for mainland companies or the respective free zone authority for free zone businesses. For this all the documentation and paperworks need to be up to date and all legal formalities met. Even though the business environment is friendly and regulations are set up to help a business in UAE, but the government and authorities have stringent scrutinizing measures to identify the right business that can follow compliance and regulatory measures. 


A business depending on the business activity, may need additional approvals and permits from various government departments, such as health, environment, or safety. Here, in UAE the government rules pertaining to health and safety of the consumer, branding and labeling of the product, and environmental implications of the business are very strong. Due to this every business being set up in the country especially those relating to manufacturing may be required to get additional approvals, licenses and permits before taking their product into the market. A business consultant can help with approaching the right authorities to get the same.

Office Space

One of the first concerns after a business has been formed is to find the right location to start running the business. For big organizations, finding office space, production units, warehouse facilities etc. would be primary. For startups and companies with small-scale plans, the right office space is a must. Today business consultants take up this responsibility to find the most suitable business space for a company. This can be-


Frequently Asked Questions on How

  • What are the legal requirements for starting a business in Dubai?

    The legal requirements for starting a business in Dubai vary depending on the type of business structure chosen. Generally, the requirements include obtaining a trade license, selecting a business activity, finding a suitable business location, securing approvals from relevant authorities, and registering with the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED).

  • What types of business structures are available in Dubai?

    Dubai offers several business structures, including mainland companies, free zone companies, and offshore companies. Mainland companies allow you to conduct business anywhere in Dubai, while free zone companies offer specific advantages such as 100% foreign ownership and tax incentives. Offshore companies are mainly used for international operations.

  • What are the key steps involved in the business setup process?

    The business setup process in Dubai typically involves the following steps: selecting a business activity, choosing a company name, obtaining initial approvals and a trade license, finding suitable office space, applying for visas and work permits, and registering with the relevant authorities.

  • What are the costs associated with starting a business in Dubai?

    The costs of starting a business in Dubai depend on factors such as the type of business, the location, and the chosen business structure. Costs may include license fees, visa fees, office rent, sponsorship fees, and other miscellaneous expenses. It is recommended to consult with a business setup company to get an accurate cost estimation based on your specific requirements.

  • Are there any specific industry regulations or licenses required for certain types of businesses?

    Yes, certain industries in Dubai have specific regulations and licensing requirements. These may include sectors such as healthcare, education, real estate, financial services, and food-related businesses. It is crucial to research and understand the industry-specific regulations before starting a business to ensure compliance.

  • Can you assist with post-setup services such as accounting, bookkeeping, and PRO services?

    Yes, we provide comprehensive post-setup services to support your business operations in Dubai. This includes accounting and bookkeeping services to ensure proper financial management, PRO (Public Relations Officer) services to handle government-related tasks and document processing, and various other administrative and compliance services. Our aim is to be your trusted partner throughout your business journey in Dubai.

  • What are the advantages of setting up a business in a Dubai free zone?

    Setting up a business in a Dubai free zone offers several advantages, including 100% foreign ownership, exemption from corporate and income taxes, repatriation of capital and profits, access to state-of-the-art infrastructure, simplified setup processes, and potential for strategic partnerships with international companies. Each free zone may offer specific incentives, so it’s important to explore and choose the one that aligns with your business requirements.

  • Can you assist with visa and residency requirements for business owners and employees?

    Yes, as a business setup company, we can assist with visa and residency requirements for both business owners and employees. We can provide guidance on the visa application process, help with document preparation, and liaise with the relevant authorities to ensure a smooth visa and residency process for you and your employees. Our goal is to make the process as convenient as possible for you.

  • How long does it take to set up a business in Dubai?

    The time required to set up a business in Dubai can vary depending on various factors, such as the chosen business structure, the completeness of documentation, and the efficiency of the registration process. On average, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months to complete the setup process.

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