26 Apr

Easy steps for business setup in the UAE

Over the years, the UAE has evolved into a major player in global trade with a plethora of thriving industries such as technology, tourism, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, and trading. The country's ascendancy as a prestigious international business hub can be attributed to several factors, including its advantageous geographical location and low tax rates.

Furthermore, the UAE's welcoming business climate has made it a favourable destination for investors from all over the world. The country actively fosters an entrepreneurial spirit, boasting multiple startup hubs and incubators that assist businesses in growing and thriving.

Business setup in the UAE is also quite easy, provided you have an understanding of the country and its licensing practices. To assist in gaining a better understanding, we have prepared a basic six-step guide to starting a business in the UAE.

How do I set up a business in the UAE?

The best advice for anyone looking to start a business in the UAE is to work with an expert throughout the process – be it a business setup consultant or a company formation agent. Business setup in the UAE is a smooth journey, provided you take it step-by-step.

Six simple steps to starting a business in the UAE

Step 1. Choose your company name and activities

The first step for starting your business in the UAE is to outline your business activities and choose a company name.

Your chosen activities must align with a pre-approved list issued by the UAE authorities. It is important that you decide on your activities before proceeding further as this will dictate the type of license that you require. If you wish to undertake a commercial activity, you’ll need a commercial license. Similarly, if you wish you undertake an industrial activity, you’ll need an industrial license, and so on.

At this stage, you should also decide on your company name. A company formation expert can help you choose a name that falls within the UAE’s naming conventions, most of which are common sense – such as not using any word that can be offensive to others and avoiding any religious connotations. Again, you’ll need to choose your name upfront as you will need to check that it is available to be registered before making your license application.

Step 2. List your business needs

It is possible to apply for a standalone trade license in the UAE. However, you also have the option to apply for a license package through a free zone. These packages include added benefits such as visa eligibility or the use of coworking facilities. Your package could even include a fully-furnished office, warehouse or land plot on which you can develop your own premises and other business support services. Applying for your license as part of a package through a free zone is often the most cost-effective way to start a business in the UAE.

Step 3. Submit your application

Once you have decided upon your company name, determined your business activities and outlined exactly what you require from your license package, it is time to get your application ready. If you have decided to set up on the UAE mainland, you can apply for your license to the Department of Economic Development in the emirate where you intend to do business in. If you have chosen to set up in a free zone, you need to apply to the managing authority of that free zone. In many cases, the initial application can be completed online. In addition to filling in the application form, you will usually also be required to provide:

  • Coloured passport copies for all shareholders and managers
  • Copies of visas/entry stamps for all shareholders and managers
  • A No-Objection Certificate (if required)
  • A business plan (if required)

Step 4. Receive your license

The next step is an easy one, simply wait. Your license along with your registration set and bank letter will be issued upon completion of the licensing formality, then the visa application process can begin.

Step 5. Apply for visas

If you have opted for a free zone package with the eligibility for a visa, your visa application process will begin as soon as your license has been issued. If you are applying for your own visa, you can start as soon as you receive your business license.

The UAE visa process involves an application, followed by a medical test and biometric capturing. As this is an important step in the process, it is a good idea to work with an expert to ensure your application is successfully submitted on time with accurate information.

Step 6. Open a business bank account

The final step before you’re ready to begin business operations is opening a corporate bank account so you can easily manage your company’s financial transactions. Once again, working with a UAE company formation expert can help you to accomplish this step smoothly.

Ready to start your UAE business?

Need help with your UAE company formation? Get in touch with Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ)!

The UAE business setup experts at RAKEZ will help you every step of the way, from exploring the market to setting up and managing your company. To begin your journey, simply call +971 72041111 or send an email to info@rakez.com.


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Last Updated on 12/29/2019 9:23:05 PM

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