top of page

Business Setup Services in Dubai

A Guide to Setting up a Company in Dubai, UAE

For foreign investors seeking to establish a company in the UAE, it is essential to explore various options, such as setting up a branch, representative office, or registered company incorporation in UAE. Additionally, companies can designate a business operator to sell their products in the UAE market or export them. Another popular choice is to conduct business activities from a Free Zone, which offers a designated, self-governing area aimed at promoting economic activity within an emirate.

Foreign Company Formation in Dubai, UAE


When considering setting up a business in Dubai-UAE, understanding the ownership restrictions is crucial. The Commercial Companies Law (CCL) mandates that, for some of the business activities, at least 51% of the shares of all companies established in the UAE must be held by UAE nationals or their wholly owned companies. However, this restriction does not apply to companies set up in free zones, making them an attractive option for foreign investors.

Choosing the Best Company Incorporation

When deciding on the optimal company incorporation structure for your business in Dubai-UAE, it's crucial to consider various factors. Here are key elements to contemplate:

  • Nature of the Business: Understand the unique characteristics and requirements of your business.

  • Growth Plans: Consider your business's growth trajectory and future expansion plans.

  • Available Funding: Assess the available financial resources for establishing and sustaining the business.

  • Need for Outside Investors: Determine if there is a requirement for external investment and how it aligns with your business goals.

  • Tax Implications: Explore the tax implications associated with different incorporation structures.

  • Personal Liability: Understand the level of personal liability you are willing to assume in the business operations.

  • Compliance Requirements: Familiarize yourself with the legal and regulatory compliance obligations relevant to your industry.

  • Mix of Individuals and Companies Involved: Consider the involvement of individuals and other companies in your business setup.

Business Setup Services in Dubai, UAE


Setting up a business in Dubai-UAE may seem challenging, especially for foreign entrepreneurs unfamiliar with the local regulations. Therefore, seeking the assistance of reputable business setup services in Dubai is recommended. Local experts can provide guidance on understanding the differences between onshore/offshore companies and those established in free zones. They can also help entrepreneurs choose the most suitable option for their business needs and navigate the company formation process smoothly.

Shareholders and Share Capital Requirements


When laying the foundation for a Dubai-UAE enterprise, the composition of shareholders is a critical facet. Traditionally, UAE firms require local partners to hold at least 51% of the shares, while foreign shareholders or a single foreign stockholder could own the remaining shares. Recent legislative changes now permit complete foreign ownership in specific business setups, enhancing the appeal of UAE as an investment haven.

The UAE's Company Law outlines stipulations for share capital in domestic firms. Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) carry no minimum share capital, but investors must demonstrate

adequate capital for the intended activities. Meanwhile, private and public onshore entities hold minimum share capital prerequisites of AED 5 million and AED 30 million, respectively. Free zones may introduce distinct share capital norms, contingent on their governing authorities.


Types of Company Formation

In Dubai-UAE, there are various types of companies available for incorporation, including

  • Onshore Companies: Engage in the UAE market directly.

  • Offshore Companies: Registered in the UAE but operate outside the country.

  • Free Zone Companies: Operate within designated free zones, offering specific advantages.

  • Branch Offices and Subsidiaries: Suitable for foreign companies expanding their presence.

  • Sole Proprietorships: Ideal for individual entrepreneurs conducting business activities.

Each business form has its specific requirements and considerations, necessitating expert advice when choosing the most suitable option.

Company Formation in UAE Steps and Costs

Registering a company incorporation in UAE involves several key steps,

Here's an overview of key actions involved:

  • Choose the Business Form: Select the most suitable business structure based on your needs and goals.

  • Reserve a Trading Name: Secure the desired business name by reserving it through the appropriate channels.

  • Draft and Notarize Memorandum and Articles of Association: Prepare and notarize the legal documents outlining the company's structure and operations.

  • File Documents with the Department of Economic Development: Submit necessary paperwork to the Department of Economic Development for official approval.

  • Register for Employment and Obtain a VAT Number: Complete the registration process for employment and secure a VAT number if applicable.

  • Apply for Necessary Licenses: Obtain the required licenses essential for initiating business operations.

  • Consider Costs: Factor in various costs associated with company incorporation, such as:

  1. Company registration fees

  2. Virtual office expenses

  3. Minimum share capital requirements

  4. Company formation charges

  5. Accounting services, if needed


Licenses for Company Incorporation in UAE

The licensing process is an integral part of company incorporation in UAE and is typically completed simultaneously with the incorporation process.

Here's an overview:

  • General Licenses: Obtain essential general licenses like trading, industrial, commercial, or professional licenses, irrespective of the company's location.

  • Specific Licenses: Depending on the nature of business activities, specific licenses may be necessary, such as those for import and export operations.

  • Free Zone Regulations: In free zones, each may have its distinct set of activities and associated licenses. These regulations are typically imposed by the respective free zone authorities.

  • Simultaneous Process: The licensing process is usually intertwined with the overall incorporation process, ensuring a comprehensive legal framework for business operations.

  • Compliance is Crucial: Adhering to all licensing requirements is vital for the lawful operation of businesses in the UAE.

Major Cities for Company Incorporation in UAE

In the UAE, several major cities are suitable for company incorporation. Dubai is a cosmopolitan city known for its shopping experience, attracting tourists from around the world. Abu Dhabi, the richest home, serves as a well-organized business center in the UAE. Sharjah is home to the Sharjah Airport International Free Zone, attracting foreign investors. Other cities, such as Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, and Umm Al Quwain, also offer unique advantages for business setup.

Benefits of Company Incorporation in Dubai-UAE


Company incorporation in Dubai-UAE offers several benefits for businesses. The region provides a favorable business environment, and with the right structure and support, companies can thrive. Engaging business setup services in Dubai ensures compliance with local laws and regulations, facilitating the incorporation process. Dubai's strategic location allows access to the Middle Eastern, Asian, and African markets, making it an appealing destination for entrepreneurs and investors alike.


Setting up a company in Dubai-UAE can be a rewarding venture for foreign investors. With various company incorporation options, understanding local regulations, and enlisting the help of professional business setup services in Dubai, entrepreneurs can navigate the process successfully and enjoy the numerous benefits the UAE has to offer.


        +971 55 501 2638

        +971 54 323 1596



  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
bottom of page