Setup Business in UAE

Setup Business in UAE – Start, Build, and Grow your Business in Dubai

Are you planning to setup a business in UAE? When considering setting up a business abroad, the United Arab Emirates ranks high. Amongst the top destinations that promote and encourage investors to dive into the pool of potential, success, business development, and possibilities. The most commonly frequently asked question is “Why Dubai?” as many ponder on the statistics, formation policies, and license set up. Strategically located, in a favorable time zone, Dubai has emerged as a reputable hub. That paves a pathway connecting the East with the West amongst the variety of attractive characteristics within the United Arab Emirates. Dubai’s highly developed economy, infrastructure, and services comply with international standards.  Enable it to act as an entry focal point for setting up businesses across the Middle Eastern region.

Having gained recognition by the World Bank in the 2016 Report. Dubai ranked 31st in place for ‘Ease of Doing Business’; with our expert team at Business Link UAE. We ensure that business owners experience a smooth business setup process. The main attraction of Setting up a Company in Dubai is the free economy and zero tax law policies. In a place with minuscule import duty and no direct tax on personal income or corporate profits.

Business Link UAE is well acquainting and highly knowledgeable about the laws and regulations regarding company formation in Dubai. It can help facilitate all procedural requirements for setting up your company. Whether it is a Free Zone Company, an Offshore Company, or a Mainland Company. Whilst handling and helping to obtain the required licenses ranging from an Industrial License, Professional License, Commercial License, and or a Limited Liability Company License. Potential business owners can choose to set up Dubai Free Zone Company, mainland, or an offshore company in Dubai.

Mainland Companies Formation –Low-Cost Business setup Dubai

Incorporating a new business set up in Dubai Cost the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can easily become one of the best financial investments. You will look to make, come the next few years. With booming economies such as its real estate industries. As well as a vast wealth of natural resources like petroleum and natural gas. Branching out your business ventures towards the country is only going to benefit you more in the long run.

Still, always consider Dubai as your preferred destination for your business needs, if you finally make the leap. A new company formation in Dubai is not only convenient for you. But will also provide perks for your company’s endeavors, moving forward.

Mainland companies, on the other hand, categorize business entities. Which fall under commercial geographical areas that are registered under the Emirates government. Whereby the maximum foreign shareholder equity is at a maximum of 49%. A UAE National or Local Sponsor is also required for starting a business in Dubai Mainland. A mainland company is compliant and structured in accordance with the Government policies. But with a Mainland Company Start-up, you are allowed to trade or distribute your services to other mainland companies, all over the UAE and internationally as well without any restrictions. While a free zone company cannot do it directly.

Mainland vs Free Zones

By setup a business in UAE, you will be looking at two varying business environments for you. To choose from Mainland Company or Free-Zone Company. There are stark differences in registering your company like one of these two forms of company formation. Being that a Dubai mainland company will be registered completely in Dubai itself while a free-zone company will look towards running a business in that specific free-zone area

A Dubai free-zone company setup cost is generally known to be quite reasonable on the expenses as opposed to registering for a mainland company in Dubai. Still, a business setting in Dubai mainland offers more perks that may potentially uplift your business dealings in the near future, than a Small business set up in Dubai’s free-zone areas.

How to Create – Incorporate Mainland Company?

In accordance with Dubai’s local company registration rules, there are several important aspects that you will need to prepare accordingly. They are:

1) Local Business Partner

Incorporating a mainland business in Dubai will require you to have a local ‘sponsor’ (UAE national) own a minimum of 51% of company shares to identify the business as a local shareholding company. This is to protect the interests of improving the local economy of the UAE. Furthermore, a small business in Dubai can also gain from having a local sponsor, with the individual contact possessing local networking options. To help facilitate your company’s business opportunities in Dubai.

2) License Registration

You will need to register your new business set up in Dubai with the Department of Economic Development (DED) accordingly if you are to run a proper business within the city. Here, document processing and compliance matters will be a screen with respect to the local authorities and regulations. Most companies face difficulties in having to comply with said regulations respectively. Hence business setup services in Dubai have been introduced to help new business owners with complying with DED.

3) Other Governing Bodies

Company setups in Dubai also require submitting proper paperwork with the Dubai Municipality office to acquire licenses for your office or rental spaces. A new business set up in UAE will also need to register with EJARI. In regards to tenancy agreements between the business and landlords. These extra approval processes can seem confusing and tedious for first-time business owners in Dubai. Hence, business setup companies in Dubai provide business consultancy services to aid you if things get too complicated.

Business License Types Available in Dubai

Our setup consultants at Business Link UAE are highly invested in the needs of clients, and with full disclosure, they cater to the needs and prospects of business owners. Once potential owners identify the nature, and Budget Attainment for their company, they can choose from the below:

Limited Liability Company (commercial license formation)

For investors, an LLC is the most common type of company set up in Dubai. As it remains less tax and diverse in its policy. It can form with a minimum of two shareholders to a maximum of 50. However, an LLC requires a UAE national to obtain a 51% share in the company and the remaining 49% share belongs to the expatriate investor. The UAE national is usually a silent partner with no involvement in the company, however, profit and loss can share at a different ratio than that of the share capital. Our team of experts will highlight all the required documents for an LLC Company Formation in Dubai along with the setup procedures. A commercial license can also be set up as an LLC if the company intends the sale and or trade of goods in the UAE market.

Civil License

With 100% foreign investors more than one business owner can be done Civil License Company Setup in Dubai. Although a local service agent will need to appoint to take care of official procedures within various government ministries. This procedure starts with the trade name application and approval, which come after the initial approval. In the procedure for procuring the civil license, you require to secure an appropriate office location before the procedure can be completed.

Professional License

With 100% of foreign ownership can be done Professional License Company Setup in Dubai, provided that a UAE national is appointed as a service agent but has no direct involvement. The sole purpose of having a nation is to liaise and assist in the acquisition of a professional license, visa, and labor card. A professional company practices a profession as its main object via professional effort and is more non-profit-orient.

Industrial License

An industrial license is issued to companies that engage in an industry. Whereby natural resources transfer into raw material, this can vary from structure to the manufacturing of products. An Industrial License in Dubai is issued by the DED, Dubai Department of Economic Development, and requires approval from the Dubai Municipality and other ministries and authorities. Similar to an LLC, attaining an industrial license requires a local sponsor holding 51% of company shares and the remaining 49% of shares belong to foreign investors. In order to obtain an industrial license, the company must have a physical presence and office in the UAE.

Dubai Company Formation Setup Steps and Procedures:

Business owners must first determine what kind of license their business activity requires; professional, commercial, or industrial license.

Potential owners that show interest in setting up a mainland LLC in the UAE must obtain a local UAE Sponsor and prepare a detailed agreement of terms.

Obtaining a NOC from your sponsor for business-related activities.

Obtaining the company’s Memorandum of Association. Which is the contract with a set of clauses signed by all shareholders, capital investment details, and the issuance of shares. After receiving, it must receive preliminary approval from the Department of Economic Development.

Register company trade name.

File all company documents, including office space addresses and tenancy contracts to the DED to obtain a trade license from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Our dedication at Business Link UAE strives toward the guarantee of client satisfaction. With a team of experts dedicated to the aforementioned, we take care of all incorporation processes and offer reliable guidance and assistance towards our clients’ journey into entrepreneurship.

Incentives and Benefits of Free Zone Company Formation

Free Zone Company is the most popular for international business operations as they are exempt from the 51%- 49% shareholding policy that governs companies outside the free zones.

Free zones companies are favorable because of their profitable nature due to:

  • Full exemption from import duties
  • No personal income tax
  • 100% Foreign ownership
  • No currency restrictions
  • Freedom to repatriate capital and income
  • Affordable cost for high-quality labor
  • Customs privileges
  • Greater growth potential due to geographic location
  • A wider reach to the customer base

Business Link UAE experts offer services and expertise in the formation of companies in all of the below-mentioned free zones:

  • Dubai Airport Free Zone
  • Jebel Ali Free Zone
  • Dubai Internet City
  • Healthcare City Dubai
  • International Financial Centre
  • Dubai Knowledge Village
  • DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodity Centre)
  • Dubai Design District
  • Silicon Oasis
  • DWC (Dubai World Centre)
  • UAQ Free Zone
  • RAK Free Zone

And Many More

Offshore Companies Formation

Offshore Companies are considered one of the most favorable by businesses because the income obtained by the parent company, the offshore company is not taxable. An offshore company is also known as a non-resident company. The benefits of an offshore company as a holding company is that business owners have intellectual property rights, patents, trademark, copyrights, and the capability to license franchises.


Q: How to setup business in UAE?

A: You will need to register and apply for licenses with Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED), Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), and the Ministry of Labour before finalizing on your preferred office location.

Q: What is meant by Local Service Agent (LSA)?

LSAs are local UAE individuals serving as domestic nationals within the company. To ensure that the company serves to work within the regulations of the local government and authorities. These UAE nationals may not have any interest in the daily running of the company nor gain any revenue or income generated by the local business entity.

Q: What is the maximum number of licenses that a foreigner can own?

For ex-pats looking to engage in a new business setup in Dubai, there is NO limit to how many business licenses can be obtained pursuant to what type of company formation you are looking at.

Here, you will need to register with the Department of Economic Development (DED) for your new company formation in Dubai and proceed to obtain specific business licenses pertaining to the nature of business for your potential company setup.

You may proceed to contact any of the local business setup consultants in Dubai to find out more regarding these business licenses.

Q: What is a free-zone company?

Free-Zone companies are business setups that incorporate within designated free-zone areas. According to the UAE and Dubai’s jurisdictions.

A business setup Dubai free-zones is only allowing to do business dealings within its specific areas of incorporation. It does not allow pursuing trade outside of its encompassing territories.

Regardless, the inexpensive Dubai free-zone company setup costs and minimal regulations on its local business markets provide enough reason for small businesses in Dubai to try out new business ideas for the local markets.

Q: What is an offshore company?

An offshore company is a local business entity that deals with businesses outside of the domestic country’s lands.

Due to the abundance of business opportunities in Dubai, many locals and ex-pats have been focusing on creating new company setups in the city. Which promotes more competition for new emerging business formations in the city.

This is one of the potentially many other reasons why certain business entities prefer to perform business trade and dealings with foreign markets albeit having their headquarters and offices here in Dubai and the UAE.

Q: What is a mainland company?

A mainland company is a local business set up in Dubai. Which registers itself to be a legal entity looking to make the trade within Dubai’s main city centers as well as other regions across the UAE.

Although a mainland company formation enjoys beneficial gains in regards to unrestricted domestic market potentials and business dealings. The process of incorporation may sometimes become a little more tedious.

Furthermore, you will need to appoint a local UAE national, also known as a ‘sponsor’. Who owns a minimum of 51% shares of the company. To allow the company to incorporate as a mainland business entity in Dubai.

For more information about the process of Business Setup in Dubai, contact us at 00 971 556070118 or email us at