Tips for starting an Advantage business in Dubai as a foreigner

Dubai’s rapid economic growth in all sectors makes it a lucrative city for business and entrepreneurship. The government continues to introduce new reforms to empower foreign businesses to make a name for themselves in the UAE’s marketplace. However, you want to know as much as you can about a foreign land before establishing your dream venture. There’s so much that goes into your mind before starting a business in Dubai as a foreigner

It’s imperative to get acquainted with the operational framework of UAE’s custom policies and procedures before you get started with your business activities. The local business consultants at Shuraa Business Setup help you with the same by taking care of all your worries related to company formation in Dubai and the UAE. 

What is the Advantage of starting a business in Dubai? 

Setting up a company in Dubai is advantageous for individuals starting a business as a foreigner. Dubai is globally renowned as an investor-friendly city because of the increasing number of foreign investors, thanks to the supportive business laws. Additionally, the below advantages encourage entrepreneurs from all across the world to start a business here: 

  • The government allows 100% foreign-owned businesses 
  • There are lesser taxation norms as compared to other countries 
  • The registration process is simple, straightforward, and completely transparent 
  • The region has a stable and calm political environment with the lowest crime rate 
  • It has a strategic location that facilities hassle-free trading globally 

What are the tips for starting a business in Dubai as a foreigner 

Here are a few handy tips for you if you’re starting a business as a foreigner in the UAE:

1. Prefer a mainland establishment for government projects 

If your primary objective of setting up a company in the UAE is to secure valuable government projects, you should prefer a mainland establishment. Companies incorporated in this region get the government’s preference and provide you the opportunity to obtain your dream project.

2. Rent an office space 

It’s better to rent an office space in Dubai rather than investing in real estate as you’re saved from the hassle of selling it once you decide to relocate. Moreover, up-and-coming businesses don’t have the financial flexibility to cater to such hefty initial investments. 

3. Choose your local partner wisely 

A reliable local sponsor or local service agent (LSA) is a blessing to have as an expat investor in the UAE. However, you need to choose them wisely as unauthorized sponsors can cause a lot of trouble. Therefore, you should connect with Shuraa and we’ll become your sleeping partner so you can enjoy 100% operational ownership at a nominal cost. 

4. Understand first, act later 

Many expats commit the mistake of acting too early. It takes time to understand the UAE’s corporate framework, taxation policies, licensing procedures, and more. Therefore, you should educate yourself first before getting started with business-related activities. 

Who can start a business in Dubai?

The UAE is home to several nationalities and diverse cultures. Any citizen having a clean background can start a business here. The best part is that the government is working tirelessly to provide lucrative business opportunities to both expats and locals. 

The prerequisite to starting a business in Dubai as a foreigner is to determine the jurisdiction of the business formation. Dubai offers three types of jurisdictions. 

1. Mainland: to set up a business in the Dubai mainland, you need to partner with a local sponsor who’ll have 51% shareholding in your company. Furthermore, mainland companies enjoy hassle-free access to the world-famous local marketplace of Dubai and can choose from more than 2,000 business activities to establish their venture. 

2. Free zone: a free zone company enjoys 100% ownership and doesn’t need a local sponsor. Free trade zones are specialized economic zones that offer tax redemptions, lesser restrictions, and custom duty benefits to business owners. 

3. Offshore: the UAE has several offshore business zones like Ajman, Jebel Ali, RAK, and many others. You can rent an affordable warehouse in these offshore zones and kickstart your trading ventures in Dubai. 

How to start a business in Dubai as an expat? 

The UAE is home to several nationalities and diverse cultures. Any citizen having a clean background can start a business here. The best part is that the government is working tirelessly to provide lucrative business opportunities to both expats and locals. 

The prerequisite to starting a business in Dubai as a foreigner is to determine the jurisdiction of the business formation. Dubai offers three types of jurisdictions. 

1. Mainland: to set up a business in the Dubai mainland, you need to partner with a local sponsor who’ll have 51% shareholding in your company. Furthermore, mainland companies enjoy hassle-free access to the world-famous local marketplace of Dubai and can choose from more than 2,000 business activities to establish their venture. 

2. Free zone: a free zone company enjoys 100% ownership and doesn’t need a local sponsor. Free trade zones are specialized economic zones that offer tax redemptions, lesser restrictions, and custom duty benefits to business owners. 

3. Offshore: the UAE has several offshore business zones like Ajman, Jebel Ali, RAK, and many others. You can rent an affordable warehouse in these offshore zones and kickstart your trading ventures in Dubai. 

How to start a business in Dubai as an expat? 

Setting up a company in Dubai is straightforward if you know the rules and regulations maintained by the government. Here, we list down the steps for starting a business in Dubai as a foreigner to make it easier for you: 

1. Decide your business type 

The type of business you want to build is one of the most important decisions you need to make before starting a business in Dubai as a foreigner. The activity you choose will define the structure of your company. You can launch a sole proprietorship that allows you to be the sole owner of your business. Furthermore, you can form a limited liability company (LLC), the most common type of business structure in Dubai that allows you to have a separate legal structure. 

2. Choose a trading name 

Trade name reservation is a precondition for a company’s registration. Your company name must reflect the type of business you do. The legal advisors at Shuraa can help you choose a name that is not previously registered, does not violate public sentiments, and complies with your business activities. 

3. Obtain a license 

Acquiring a license is mandatory to start a business in Dubai as an expat. The trade license can be obtained directly from the respective free zone authorities, or from the department of economic development (DED) if you have a mainland establishment. The four main types of trade licenses available in Dubai are: 

  • Commercial license 
  • Professional license 
  • Industrial license 
  • Tourism license 

4. Business registration and incorporation 

Once you’re done with all the steps mentioned above, you can register your business with the concerned jurisdiction and get started with your operational activities in the UAE. Registering would mean gathering all documents, identity proofs, trade license, permissions, bank account, etc. Your business becomes a legal entity in Dubai post-registration only. 

5. Get a business visa

A Business visa facilitates the movement in and out of the country for the business. Besides, it allows three of the senior business staff to apply for residency. The people who want to start a business in Dubai as an expat can get a long-term visa for themselves and their dependents. The visa can be secured by contacting the local embassy. Furthermore, anyone willing to relocate to the UAE to establish a business is eligible to apply for a business visa. 

Connect with Shuraa 

Keeping in mind the evolving rules and regulations around the world, it is cardinal for individuals to read up upon the region, requirements, and trends before starting a business. Therefore, you should collaborate with the company formation experts at Shuraa. Shuraa Business Setup is a one-stop destination for all business formation solutions. The experts at Shuraa will not only help you set up your business but also provide end-to-end business counseling services. So, what’s the wait for? Get in touch with Shuraa today! 

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