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How to Register a Company in Dubai

December 11, 2021

Registering a company in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates allows you to experience the profitable business environment by taking advantage of the great benefits of the United Arab Emirates.

It is a popular choice amongst international investors establishing a company with 100% foreign ownership, ease of doing business, e-governance system, top-class lifestyle, tax savings, up-scaled business infrastructure, and growing business timeliness.

Investors can choose from a variety of corporate registration options in the region. In this guide, we will cover every aspect of Company registration in Dubai so that you can smoothly head into a business acquisition in Dubai.

How to register a company in Dubai

The Process of Registering a Company in Dubai

Step 1. Determine the type of legal entity.

Step 2. DED approval for the business name and sponsored activities.

Step 3. Restriction of business premises and developing business contracts.

Step 4. Creation and submission of MOA (Memorandum of Association).

Step 5. Application for License at DED along with necessary documents. In addition, cater fee submission here.

Requirements for Registering a Business in Dubai

  1. Select a business activity.
  2. Get a local partner (if you need)
  3. Select a company structure.
  4. Finalize your company name.
  5. Get initial approval and external permits.
  6. Rent a commercial space.
  7. Make relevant payments.
  8. Get your trade license.


Documents Required for Registering a Company in Dubai

Certain documents must be prepared and submitted if you want to register a company in Dubai. At best, these documents include:

  1. Articles of Association (AOA)
  2. Contact person’s business card
  3. Business plan’s copy
  4. Application license form (duly filled)
  5. Business managers and partners – Passport copies
  6. License of partner’s existing company (if applicable) and original bank letters
  7. Notarized and attested MOA – Memorandum of Association


Types of license for Registering a Business in Dubai

  1. Commercial License: This license is for the company that engages in any commercial activity.
  2. Industrial License: This license is for the company that engages in manufacturing or industrial activities.
  3. Professional License: This license is for service providers, professionals, and artists.


Benefits of Registering a Company in Dubai

Registering a company in Dubai has several advantages. These benefits are:

  1. There is no capital gains tax in the United Arab Emirates.
  2. English is widely spoken in the United Arab Emirates, making it easier for many foreign investors to invest.
  3. Owners settled in the UAE are only required to pay income tax if they are in an overseas bank or oil and gas industry. Otherwise, UAE companies are exempt from taxation.
  4. The minimum capital requirement for the owner to decide to launch in UAE is “0 AED”. Therefore, there are no capital requirements.
  5. UAE has no sales tax.
  6. The United Arab Emirates is home to a diverse and growing economy that shows extensive businesses opportunities.

What Types of Companies you can Register in Dubai?

Once a company registers with a competent authority, it creates a smooth and seamless path to enter the Dubai or UAE market and grow without encountering operational or legal issues. The right to register a license is entirely dependent on your business plan, business type, target market, financial goals, and initial budget. You can choose among three types of registration.

  1. Mainland
  2. Freezone
  3. Offshore


1. Mainland Company Registration

DED (Department of Economic Development) registration is necessary for Dubai mainland company registration.

Mainland businesses can engage in any industry, commerce, professional, or tourism. According to the DED procedural rules, companies require authorities' approval for business regulation.

Foreign investors can acquire 100% ownership of their business settled in the UAE. Alternatively, they can go with 100% private business ownership.

Shareholders are required to complete constitutional documents and processes, including the appointment of a manager under the Articles of Incorporation (MOA) or service contract, for a limited or permanent period. On the mainland, the company must have at least one manager and up to five managers.


2. Freezone Company Registration

There are 45+ free zones in the UAE and 8000+ companies in free zones. The UAE Free Zone is a designated UAE area where expatriates can fully own and operate their business at an affordable registration fee. Dubai Freezone company registration is a potential business investment for expatriates worldwide. The UAE Free Zone has become a significant commercial hub in the region resulting in business promotion initiatives provided by the UAE Government and Free Zone Authorities.

Features such as business freedom and lack of tax sovereignty make the UAE Free Zone a unique and premier place to start a business. Besides this, the exact depends on the company's legal structure, and of course, the chosen free zone. The costs for registering a company in a Dubai-free zone are not exceptionally varied; it is usually around the range of AED 9,000 to AED 12,000.


3. Offshore Company Registration

Offshore companies in UAE are also considered as “paper” companies. Such entities are a wholly foreign-owned limited liability company. In general, these offshore companies incorporate within the countries that impose little or no tax on their capital gains. The United Arab Emirates is a preferred offshoring destination for various businesses.

Establishing an offshore company in the UAE is one of the affordable ways to grow your foreign business without causing much burden.

Mainland vs Freezone Company Registration in Dubai


Mainland Company Registration

Freezone Company Registration


Dubai mainland company provides complete control for your enterprise, but for this purpose entrepreneurs need a local sponsor.

Business setup in Dubai free zone offers 100% foreign ownership.

Business Scale

Companies settled in the United Arab Emirates have no restrictions on a business scale. Companies can do business anywhere in Dubai.

Compared to mainland facilities, free zone companies can only operate within areas designated as free zones. If they want to do business in the local market, they need a local dealer or agent for assistance.


The minimum annual rental space requirement is 200 square feet for mainland businesses.

Companies in the Free Zone do not necessarily require physical office space. Depending on the activity or industry, there may not be an office.

Visa Facility

There are no visa restrictions on mainland licenses.

Each free zone license includes 2 visas in the Smart Office package, which is different because different free zones in the UAE allow 36 visas for this package. If you need more visas, you can get different visas because you have to rent a physical office or warehouse.

Government Approval

The Mainland Company license requires standard government approval to obtain a license.

However, most free zone companies are primarily involved in imports and re-exports. In this case, these companies do not need to obtain the approval of an external agency to issue the license.


The Cost of Registering a Company in Dubai

Particulars Of Services

Minimum Fees

Maximum Fees

Private Limited (Approximately)



Branch Office (Approval)



Economic Department Fee



Agent Agreement With Notary



Trade License Fees & Cost



Commercial License Fee






Membership Of Chamber



Local Director Service



Typing Fee



Consultancy Fees & Cost





Why Avyanco During Your Company Registration

With over 2,000 activity licenses and over 28 jurisdictions to choose from, it's difficult to choose the option that's right for your needs, so things are complicated, but don't worry. Our expert advisors can assist you with complex corporate registrations in the United Arab Emirates until your company is registered.

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Contact info

Avyanco delivers its customers with the most authentic and effective consultation to setup a business in Dubai and
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Office No. 1406 The Exchange Tower, Business Bay, Dubai, UAE