Set your Business in UAE

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In Dubai, it’s compulsory to have a local sponsor (UAE national) involved when setting up a new business. A trading company must have legal documents to show that 51% of the shares is owned by a local. An expatriate may only own the remaining 49%. However, through a Memorandum of Understanding, these terms can be adjusted to suit the investor’s purposes.

An office address that can be verified by the Dubai Municipality is also a necessity when setting up a new business in Dubai. Office space requirements are varied based on the type of license and it’s the investor’s responsibility to ensure a valid tenancy contract for an office is available at the time of applying for the license.

However, these regulations do not apply to free zone company formations. Dubai free zone companies are 100% owned by the investors/partners and are established withing a few days through the relevant free zone authority. Dubai free zones offer sophisticated infrastructure, all facilities and residency visas for investors.

Small Business Owners: Why We Recommend A Dubai Economic Department License For You

  • You need share capital (RAK FZ: minimum AED 100,000/- and JAFZA: minimum AED 500,000/-) for a free zone business. No capital is required for a Dubai mainland (DED) license.

  • A free zone license is strictly associated with free zone office space (you have to rent it), but Dubai mainland businesses can be run from a business centre with cheaper rent and all-inclusive services (special provisions are available)

  • Free zone business license and visa costs are cheaper, but it restricts you to work within free zones and international regions only – with a Dubai mainland (DED) license, you can have clients from anywhere in UAE as well as internationally

  • The long-term free zone benefits and services are more appropriate for a large international company than a small business owner.

    In both types of companies, there are no income taxes and if you’re thinking of starting a professional practice, you own the company 100%, regardless of whether it’s in free zone or mainland Dubai.

Must know

Local Sponsorship For LLCs

UAE local sponsorship available for LLCs of all types, annual fees range starting from AED 10,000/- based on company type and business activities

Local Sponsorship For Professional Practices

UAE local service agent for just AED 10,000/- per annum for sole establishments and partnership companies

Office Address For License Requirements

An office address in Dubai is compulsory for business licensing. If you are unable to find suitable office space within your budget, we can help you.


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