How to start a business in Dubai as a foreigner or non-resident

It is a must to have a corporate bank account to open a company in Dubai or the UAE. Depending on your requirements and financial situation, you can opt for national, international or digital banks. Rest will be taken care of by our team and you can be rest assured of your welcome to the UAE. Specific visa requirements for you and your staff, as well as your dependents will vary according to jurisdiction and business activity.

What are the Dubai company formation costs?

In 2021, changes were made to the UAE Commercial Companies Law, allowing a foreigner, group of foreigners, or a foreign company to have 100% fully owned businesses in the UAE, subject to certain rules. The Dubai Government quickly announced 100% foreign ownership status for more than 1,000 commercial and industrial activities in the emirate. World Bank’s ‘Doing Business 2020’ report, beating countries like Thailand, Germany, and Canada when looking at overall business regulation and practices. The type of business activities that you intend to carry out will have a bearing on the best setup and license type for your business. For example, if your business activities fall into the category of industrial or manufacturing then you will require an industrial license.

The Key Benefits of Obtaining a Free Zone License in Dubai

However, for broader business categories like ‘retail’ or ‘trade’ there are multiple options, distinct sectors, and several specialised activities. As an integral part of setting up new business in Dubai, you must choose an activity or multiple activities to apply for a licence. Very few business activities have restrictions, and a handful are prohibited. Once you are fully set up as a business, you should set up a bank account for your operations. This will make it easier to handle your company finances and tax filing in the future. In terms of the legal environment, Dubai allows for e-commerce businesses to obtain a license to operate fairly easily. However, it must be noted that although it is a simple process, running an ecommerce business without proper licensing is illegal and procedures must be taken carefully to abide by the law.

It allows foreign nationals to own up to 49% of the company while partnering with a UAE national who holds the remaining 51% share. The registration process can vary but typically takes a few weeks to a couple of months, depending on factors like documentation and approvals. Read more about company formation in Dubai here. International companies seeking to expand their presence in Dubai can establish a branch office under their parent company’s license. While there are many factors involved, you can expect a trade license to cost in the region of AED 15,000 to AED 25,000. Year on year, increasing numbers of foreign investors and businesspeople flock to the emirate to take advantage of its prime business environment. To start a business in Dubai in any of the three business zones – Mainland, Freezone and Offshore, the costs are variable depending on the zone.

Your decision should be based on your business goals, target market, and growth strategy. And remember, no matter what you choose, Adam Global is here to make the process as easy and hassle-free as possible. This document, as well as any other document that your company needs, would need to be notraised and attested. In Abu Dhabi, there is also the option of completing this process online.

Contact us to get a personalized quotation based on your business activity

The cost of a free zone license in Dubai varies based on the type of license you need. These licenses, like Trading, Service, and Industrial, usually need to be renewed every one to three years. Typically, they can range from AED 10,000 to AED 50,000 per year, but the exact price depends on your specific license and the Free Zone you choose.

Other recent changes include the long-term visa which allows foreigners to stay in the UAE for extended periods and potentially retire here at the end of their career. As Dubai continues to grow as a global digital capital, entrepreneurs are well-equipped to seize the exciting opportunities that await. Download the guide today to embark on your journey to business success in this dynamic city. We have been serving clients honestly and supporting them to make their dream into reality for more than two decades. Our experienced professionals would work on behalf of you to establish your e-commerce business and guide you regarding the best business ideas.