How to Start a Small Business in Dubai

How to Start Small Business in Dubai

SMEs, or what is known as small and medium enterprises, are popular as a shortcut to wealth and glory. And where else would you consider exploring various business potentials? Other than the famous country known as the land of opportunities, the UAE. With highly competitive business industries continuing to promote the local GDP of the country from last year’s $432 billion records. It is now easier for locals and expats to start a small business in Dubai.

However, the country has set up different business areas to facilitate the domestic economic growth of its local industries. It provides a streamlined process for managing the country’s diverse business sectors. These are seen in the formations of Free Zone and Mainland areas within the UAE.

In taking the Mainland areas of the UAE as the topic of discussion, you can take Dubai as a prime example. Starting a business in Dubai requires due consideration of its registration and approval processes. Incorporating a Dubai-Mainland company is categorized into three main categories. Depending on your preferred business needs.

1) Professional Services Firm (Civil)

Civil services comprising of medical practitioners, legal attorneys, and other professional services, are some of the permissible businesses allowed established on the Dubai Mainland with 100% foreign ownership. These are essential components that provide sufficient welfare for the local community. The local authorities are responsible for issuance. However, a civil business firm needs to have local service agents. They will manage administrative and legal obligations for the company to adhere to local laws

2) Company Branch (Offshore Companies)

Parent companies from any offshore or any of the Free Zones can opt to go for another branch company set up in Duba Mainland of the approvals and legal authorizations from:

  • Department of Economic Development (DED) – registration and business license process via their e-portal.
  • Ministry of Economy – Company shareholder details and authorizations.
  • Local Service Agent – To accommodate the company’s filing process and administrative duties in due to local regulations.

Furthermore, the business opportunities are severely limited to which disapproves any business activities related to:

  • Trading
  • Public restaurants and cafes
  • Hajj and Umrah services
  • Employment services
  • Commercial activities

3) Limited Liability Company (LLC)

The most common form of business, LLCs are the alternative due to their flexibility regarding common regulations. You can participate in any of its business industries. Also, expand towards other Mainland in the UAE. Nevertheless, LLC requires:

  • Ministry of Economy – UAE national recognized as the MAJORITY shareholder (minimum of 51% shares) of the company.
  • Local Sponsor– Dependent on the Ministry of Economy’s approval

Having the above matters stated, it is conclusively not as easy as people would have thought regarding the processes of a small company formation in the UAE. However, Free Zone areas provide much more leniency and are more accommodating toward local and foreign business investors.

Relating to business setup in Free Zone areas, any potential business allows having a 100%-owned company by a foreign individual.

Advantages of Starting a Small Business in Dubai

  • Full company ownership
  • Completely free of taxes
  • No corporate tax charges
  • No income tax charges
  • Low operational charges

As we refer to all the points above, these are the current business environment that needs to look upon for a company’s formation in Dubai. However, these are considered initial annoyances compared to the potential gains forecasted to be received in the running of your business.

Furthermore, having a corporate sponsor in Dubai tied to your growing start-up company will undoubtedly benefit your business as a whole. Upon mutual agreement, you may save up those limited resources early on by focusing on other key factors instead of the branding and marketing side of the business. These are among the key aspects that need to be looked upon for any company formation in Dubai, UAE.

However, all these hiccups during the early stages of your company incorporation. It will certainly ease by having dedicated business setup consultants in Dubai as your company advisors, such as the Business Link UAE team.

By offering sufficient and correct advice and guidelines, our business consultant assists you with a Dubai company start-up. Business Link guarantees to be safeguarded from all the minor issues that usually plague other competing businesses in the industry. Furthermore, our PRO services in Dubai are in abundance. if you are short on manpower to collate all those confidential documents and materials for your proper filing purposes, you can approach us. To know more about opening a business in Dubai costs and procedures, contact us at +971 50 205 2735 or email us at