Businesses in Dubai have many options when it comes to choosing a location. It is important to consider the laws and regulations that will affect your business, as well as the tax implications for setting up a company there. Some other considerations are labour costs, ease of travel by employees and customers, and what type of business you want to establish.
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Regulations in Dubai are pretty straightforward, given it’s a relatively small but affluent city-state. In terms of business, the biggest hurdle is finding a good location to establish your office or factory. The second most important thing is finding a reputable labour force that fits the bill for your product/service. Contrary to popular belief, many ex-pats in Dubai do not work as bar girls, cab drivers or in manual labour. There is a large professional class who have taken advantage of the economic boom and have set up quite a few businesses for themselves.
“Business Setup Process in Dubai”
Although it’s pretty straightforward to register a business upon your arrival in Dubai, you should be aware that there are certain types of businesses that require a government permit to open. What this means is that the business cannot officially operate until they have received approval from the relevant authorities. All applications must be signed by a sponsor who has been registered for at least two years, and there is little chance of registering an individual as a company’s sole proprietor.
“Business Setup in Dubai for Expats”
If you are a non-resident in Dubai, without a commercial or trade license, converting a tourist visa to a business visa can be difficult. The rules and regulations for this process are quite unclear from government sources, but we have been able to find some useful information. In order to maintain your business visa, your business must be registered with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce.
“Business Setup in Dubai for UAE Nationals”
If you are a United Arab Emirates national, there is no need to register your company with the government or another authority if it falls under certain categories of business. You must be working as either an individual proprietor, working for a family member or for an Emirati who is registered with the Chamber of Commerce. The company profile must be publicly available at any time through the Dubai Chamber, and there have been cases of expatriates being deported if they are caught operating under these circumstances.
“Business Setup in Dubai for UAE Expats”
If you are an Expatriate or a GCC national, the rules and regulations for setting up a business in Dubai are much more complicated. In order to open a new company, there is a minimum capital requirement of 25,000 AED (~USD$7,000). If you cannot meet this obligation as an individual or sole proprietor, you can seek out a sponsor in Dubai who is willing to act as a “nominee” for your company. Keep in mind that any company that does not meet this requirement must wait three years before they can apply again (and must pay the same fee).