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Setup Your Own Business in Dubai

Dream of owning your own business? Want to work for yourself and make the rules? Then setup your own company in Dubai with the help of JSB.

We know how daunting the process of setup up your own business can be. It requires research, planning, conceptualizing, decision-making, and much more! So, we have made the journey a little easier by explaining the steps you need to take to start your own business in Dubai.

But first, let’s start off with why you should choose Dubai as the hub for your business endeavors. Dubai is quickly becoming a leading nation for top organizations looking to expand their reach. By setting up your business in Dubai, you get to surround yourself with like-minded entrepreneurs striving for success and growth! Dubai also offers tax-free and VAT solutions, keeping costs low for your business. These are but a few of the many benefits you can take advantage of by opening up your business in Dubai. Now, we will expand on the steps you need to take to become a business owner in the region.

1.Choose the right business structure: The most common business structures in Dubai are sole proprietorship, partnership, and limited liability company (LLC).

  • Sole proprietorship: A sole proprietorship is a business owned and operated by a single individual. This is the simplest and most common type of business structure in Dubai, and it is suitable for small businesses with low risk and liability.
  • Partnership: A partnership is a business owned by two or more individuals or entities. Partnerships in Dubai can be either general partnerships or limited partnerships. In a general partnership, all partners are personally liable for the debts and obligations of the business. In a limited partnership, one or more partners have limited liability, while the rest have unlimited liability.
  • Limited liability company (LLC): An LLC is a business structure that combines the liability protection of a corporation with the tax benefits of a partnership. In an LLC, the owners (called “members”) are not personally liable for the debts and obligations of the business. LLCs are the most popular business structure in Dubai, and they are suitable for medium to large businesses with higher risk and liability.
2. Obtain the necessary licenses and permits: Depending on the type of business you’re setting up, you may need to obtain specific licenses and permits. For example:

  • Trade licenses: All businesses in Dubai must have a trade license issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED). There are three types of trade licenses: commercial, professional, and industrial. The type of license you need depends on the nature of your business.
  • Food safety license: If you are starting a food-related business, you will need to obtain a food safety license from the Dubai Municipality. This includes restaurants, cafes, catering companies, and food processing and manufacturing businesses.
  • Tourist licenses: If you are starting a business in the tourism sector (such as a hotel, tour operator, or travel agency), you will need to obtain a tourist license from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
  • Import/export licenses: If you are planning to import or export goods, you will need to obtain an import/export license from the Customs Department.

3. Register your business: Once you have chosen your business structure and obtained the necessary licenses and permits, you will need to register your business with the DED in Dubai. This process includes completing an application, paying fees, and providing documentation. The documentation required may vary depending on your business type, but it usually includes the following:

  • Trade name application form
  • Memorandum of association
  • Articles of association
  • Passport copies of the owner(s)
  • Passport copy and CV of the manager (if applicable)
  • Commercial registration certificate
  • Lease agreement (if you have a physical office)

4. Set up a physical office: Most businesses in Dubai are required to have a physical office space. This can be a commercial space (such as an office or a shop) or a home office, depending on the nature of your business. If you are setting up a home office, you will need to get approval from the DED and comply with the rules and regulations set by the Dubai Municipality.

5. Hire employees: If you plan to hire employees in Dubai, you will need to understand the local employment laws and regulations, including those related to visas, labor contracts, and working hours.

It is also a good idea to seek the advice of a local lawyer or business consultant (such as JSB) to ensure that you are complying with all the necessary regulations and requirements.

Now that we have laid out the framework to setting up your business in Dubai, you can be more confident about starting this process! If you still have unanswered questions on simply want to chat with one of our expert business consultants, you can find our contact details on the contact us page. We look forward to hearing from you!  


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