Dubai is the one of the fastest growing business hub with the state of the art facilities available for local and international business. Dubai is an integral part of business world and is leading with innovation. Dubai is politically stable and has strong economic culture and government of Dubai offer friendly business regulations which attracts the investors from around the world. This article will provide you a Compaq guide regarding business setup in Dubai. Before you start your business in a unbeaten economy like Dubai first you need to under the culture of it. Dubai being an international city is a multi-cultural city, people from all around the world are present in Dubai. After familiarizing yourself with the cultural you must learn about the rules and regulations and kind of the business you can start.
Legal structure of business setup in Dubai is according to UAE Federal Law No. 8 of 1984, and after the amendment in Federal Law No. 13 of 1988 – the Commercial Companies Law, and its by-laws regulate the function of foreign business in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In wide terms the requirements of these regulations are: The Federal Law requires a total local equity of not less than 51% in any commercial business and describes seven categories of business organizations which can be established in the UAE. This regulation explains the requirements in terms of shareholders, directors, minimum capital requirements and business incorporation processes. This law further lays down the requirements of governing conversion, merger and dissolution of companies and businesses.
In Dubai, you are given plenty of opportunities; you get benefits of best economy based on strong administrative foundations. Authorities of Dubai have divided the city in different economic jurisdictions. You can start different types of businesses in Dubai bases on type of business and location; types are divided in three main categories which are Mainland, Free Zones and Offshore. Another thing to remember is that Dubai welcomes foreign investment but there are rules and regulations that must be followed. In order for you to enter in Dubai, UAE you need to have sponsor, a sponsor will take your responsibility. Importance of a sponsor can be determined by the fact that for any purpose if it is business or you are just visiting you must have a sponsor. When it comes to start a business in Dubai you are require having a sponsor, any kind of business needs a sponsor or service agent. In mainland a local resident or a of United Arab Emirates based company act as a sponsor, for professional service you need service agent as sponsor and for setting up a free zone business you also need a sponsor, in this case free zone acts as your sponsor.
Business setup in Dubai mainland requires you to have a valid license issued by the administrative authority. The name of the authority is Dubai Economic Development (DED); it is a government agency responsible for issuing the business licenses. Renewal of the license, cancellation and up-gradation are also handled by Dubai Economic Development (DED). To ease the investors Dubai Economic Development (DED) operates for different localities, thought scrutiny process of the application is strict but department ensures the quick application processing. In Dubai mainland, Dubai Economic Development (DED) issues four types of licenses, commercial, professional service, Branch office and industrial license.
To setup your business in Dubai mainland under commercial license you are by law mandated to have the help from local UAE resident which is also called local sponsor. Local sponsor is by law hold the 51% shares of your business and you will hold only 49% of shares. However you are given full administrative rights. You can draw contracts with local sponsor and allocate a yearly fee for being a sponsor. Local sponsor sometimes work as silent partners. Local sponsor can be an individual or it can be a UAE based company or group.
However, if you are setting up a business which involve professional services you don’t need to have a local sponsor, in that case you only need a service agent. Service agent works on your behalf and helps you deal with the local administrative authorities to start your business. You are allowed to hold 100% of your professional business and service agent will only be paid once for the service he offered.
Free zones are special economic zones in Dubai which are specially designed to attract the foreign investment. Free zone based business are fully owned by the investor and there are plenty of options to choose with. Every free zone in Dubai has a governing authority or free zone authority. For business setup in Dubai you would need deal with the free zone authority. You may be asked by the authority to provide different legal documents before you finally give the go ahead in form of license by that authority.
Free zone offers different attractive options for foreign investors such as you are given 100% of ownership of your business. There are many options free of tax you can avail like no personal income tax, corporate tax exemptions. There are different types of business setup options in Dubai free zones like you can start of your business enterprise as a limited liability company or service provider organizations, there are different licensing options. Business setups in free zones are allowed to perform international trades. When time comes you can easily wind your business. There is less paper work involved when it comes to end your business from a free zone.
Offshore is another type of business setup offered in Dubai and has been very famous. Offshore means a business entity setup outside of the resident country in an offshore jurisdiction. Dubai offshore jurisdiction provides number of benefits to your business in terms of asset protection, tax optimization and business expansion. Businesses setup in Dubai offshore jurisdiction must abide the offshore companies rules and regulations and is not allowed to trade inside the offshore jurisdiction.
To sum up, after making decision with the kind of business you are willing to start in Dubai you need to deal with the concerned authority. The best way is to hire a professional help. You will be able to find number of consulting firms who are willing to help you deal with the paper work and the authorities. You will be asked by regulating authorities to provide different documents and submit paper work.
Here are few steps you may follow, first of all do research and decide the type of business you are willing to embark, choose jurisdiction and follow through. It is recommended to get the help from a professional when it comes to business setup in Dubai. Ready your paper work for the licensing and get a guide on licensing terms and conditions as there are certain activities you are allowed and certain activities you are not allowed to perform. There are license you can choose which allows multiple business activities.
Brenda Cagara is an experience content supervisor at Riz & Mona Consultancy. We help people in business setup in Dubai, Mainland and Free Zone company formation across all states of UAE. Other services included offshore formation, visa processing, product registration, bank account opening and many more. Visit our website for more info.