A business idea may be simple to explain but making it legal will require the help of a company registration specialist like us. Our entire process of company registration in Dubai is tailor-made to suit the unique needs of each business or office setup.
UAE being the center point of world commerce offers a host of advantages like low or no taxes, technology advanced community, free trade zones, strict levels of confidentiality, and rapid development making it the best choice for doing business.
There is no doubt that Dubai is one of the biggest ever-growing economic hubs of the Middle East. Business owners will get a highly lucrative environment to experience the valuable benefits of 100% foreign ownership, up-scaled business infrastructure, a high-class lifestyle, and greater business opportunities.
However, starting a company in Dubai could be a time-consuming and complex process, especially for beginners, who don’t have proper knowledge and planning of their business activities. The government of Dubai has instilled strict measures to qualify for company registration in Dubai. But with proper guidance and understanding of legal terms and facts, your company gets legal within 24 hours.
How to Register a Company in Dubai
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.
Steps of Company Registration in Dubai
Choose your license type
To register a business, the investor must first select the type of license (trade, industrial, and/or professional) for the Dubai mainland.
Select your business activity
The investor has to choose a business activity like trading, service, restaurant, etc.
Choose your legal structure
After choosing a suitable activity, the investor needs to select the proper legal structure, i.e., sole establishment, Civil partnership, Limited liability Company (LLC).
Get your Local agent
Choose a local UAE national either as a local agent or sponsor for the company. Only required for a professional business.
Register the trade name of the business
Submit the company registration application and the proposed company name to the Department of Economic Development (DED) for initial approval. Notarize the company’s Memorandum of Association either in notary public or at Department of economic development (E notary). This step is crucial as the name you choose has to be appropriate.
Select your office location Physical or Virtual
Choose your office location and get a lease agreement. There are multiple options available like share desk, virtual office, flexi-desk office, shared office, and standard office. The government also provides an instant business license. The investor can take up an office only from the second year onwards and does not need an office space in the first year.
Get your company documents
File company documents with the Department for Economic Development (DED) and obtain trade license and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Make the company stamp.
Get your visa issuance
Register a company license in the immigration department. Issue a partner or Investor visa for the owner of the company. Register a company license in the Ministry Of Human Resource And Emiratization (MOHRE). Apply for the employee visa under the company.
Types of Company licenses in Dubai
- Commercial License: This license is for the company that engages in any commercial activity. You can learn more about commercial license in Dubai and its benefits.
- Industrial License: This license is for the company that engages in manufacturing or industrial activities.
- Professional License: This license is for service providers, professionals, and artists.
Setting up a company in Dubai and the the UAE requires a business license for conducting your activities legally with peace of mind. However, when your license expires you are always required to renew your company license before its expiration to avoid any fines and penalties.
The Cost of Company Registration in Dubai
Due to low logistics and operational costs in Dubai, any business registration is not expensive at all. For any foreign/offshore company, no minimum capital is required. However, the cost of company registration in Dubai is AED 10,000 (USD 2,700).
Dubai company registration cost varies as per your choice of business. Services License Fee, Trading License Fee, and General Trading License Fee are the three major categories for LLC company registration.
For Services License Fee, sole establishment costs AED 15,150, and Civil Company costs AED 18,650. Dubai LLC company registration costs AED 22,150 for Trading License & AED 37,250 for opening a branch of a foreign company.
Company Registration Cost for Each Legal Structure
|Type of company to register in Dubai||Registration cost AED|
|sole establishment Registration||15 150|
|Civil Partnership Registration||18 650|
|LLC company registration||22 150|
|Branch Office in Dubai||37 250|
Learn more about the cost of mainland vs freezone company registration so that you can have a clear picture of how much you need to spend while registering a company in Dubai generally regardless of your business legal structure.
Documents Required During Company Registration in Dubai
Following are the documents required during business registration in Dubai:
- Application form
- Passport Copy
- 2 Photographs (white background)
- NOC if already in UAE residency visa
- Tenancy Contract Copy
- Location Map
- Designation Details: Higher Designation Requires Degree Certificate (Attested)
Types of Companies Registration in Dubai?
Once a company is registered 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.
Mainland Company Registration
DED (Department of Economic Development) registration is necessary for Dubai mainland company registration.
A company formed in mainland 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 Mainland. 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.
Freezone Company Registration
There are 45+ freezones in the UAE and 8000+ companies in freezones. The UAE Freezone 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 Freezone has become a significant commercial hub in the region resulting in business promotion initiatives provided by the UAE Government and Freezone 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.
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 UAE is one of the affordable ways to grow your foreign business without causing much burden.
Mainland Company vs Freezone Company Registration
|Category||Mainland Company Registration||Freezone Company Registration|
|Ownership||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.|
|Workspace||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.|
Advantages of Consulting a Company Registration Specialist
There are many advantages of consulting an experienced company setup professional and it is highly recommended to consult a trustworthy business setup consultant who has a deep knowledge of Dubai business sectors so that you can get complete assistance that will help you setup and grow your business locally and internationally. An experienced business advisor will clear all your business setup doubts and answer all your queries including how to register a company in Dubai with 100% foreign ownership and help you getting your business license on time.
Some of the advantages of consulting a business advisor before your company registration in Dubai are the following:
- Quick Company Registration process
- Choosing the right company jurisdiction
- Selecting a suitable legal structure
- Choosing the right business activities
- Getting a professional Advice for business growth
- Avoiding paying unnecessary fines and penalties
- Saving your time and focus on other activities
- Assistance in opening your corporate bank account
- Guidance in choosing a strategic location
- Providing a clear business feasibility plan
How Avyanco Help You Register a Company in Dubai?
Avyanco will help you with effective advisory and consultancy solutions for company registration in Dubai. We will help you figure out and understand what corporate structure best suits your current and future plans.
Our experts will draft all your documents, assemble files, manage your submissions, and handle legislation. Simply, we will take care of all your tedious tasks and let you focus on other important tasks at hand. Whether it’s internal/external audit services, sponsorship services, VISA services, or trademark registration in Dubai, we cater to all your business’s needs.
We strive to deliver the best support to you so you can set up the perfect business in Dubai at the right time that eases your business growth. For all custom-tailored solutions that fit best to all your needs, implement Avyanco’s advice and execute the perfect opportunity for your company registration process.
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.
1. Why Register a Company in Dubai?
Dubai is strategically located and has already made its mark as a global hub for trade. It is also one of the easiest places to conduct business with minimal red tape. It has a robust infrastructure that supports setting up and running a business. Moreover, companies in Dubai are not subject to corporate tax, Income Tax, capital gains tax, or withholding tax. Which makes company registration in Dubai easy and hassle free.
Check the top reasons why to invest in Dubai and its benefits for foreign entrepreneurs.
2. How can I Register an LLC Company in Dubai?
The following steps can guide you for an LLC company registration:
- Select a local sponsor for the company
- Select the right business activity and legal structure of the company
- Reserve a trade name of an LLC company
- Get pre-approval (Initial approval) from the relevant authority
- Sign the memorandum of the company either in Notary public or DED E notary
- Prepare the lease agreement of the office
- Submit the documents to the Department of Economic development
- Pay for your company license
Learn more about the cost of LLC company registration in Dubai and its registration benefits.
3. What is the Minimum Capital to Register an LLC Company in Dubai?
AED 100,000/- (USD 27,322/-) is the minimum capital requirement for business setup in Dubai as the company’s authorized share capital. However, this share capital does not require depositing in the bank. The investor needs to pay only setup costs, issuing license, office rent, and visa cost.
4. Can Foreign Nationals Get 100% Ownership of a Company in Dubai?
Yes, they can. Suppose the nature of the business is providing services in the UAE. In that case, a foreign national can get 100% ownership of the business. However, they must appoint a UAE national as an agent of the company. According to the new FDI guidelines, the UAE government allows 100% ownership for foreign nationals in certain business activities in the manufacturing and agriculture sectors. Earlier, only a maximum of 49% ownership was allowed to foreign nationals.
5. If I Register a Company in Dubai and Get a Residence Permit, can I Travel to Other Emirates Freely?
Yes, you can. A residence visa for foreigners is issued by the UAE government. So, they can travel to any of the emirates in the UAE. After company registration in Dubai and you residence visa is out you are always free to visit and travel every where in UAE.
6. How Much Time is Required to Setup a Company in Dubai?
Company formation in the free zones will take around 1-5 days. In contrast, an offshore company can be established in 48 hours if the proper documentation and resources are presented. Mainland company registration, business license, as well as registration, depends on the necessary paperwork and documentation requirements. However, these licenses also can be obtained in a day or two. We at Avyanco make it easy for the investor to start their business in Dubai.
7. What is the Cost of Setting up a Business in Dubai?
The cost for setting up a company in Dubai depends on the business location, the number of visas required, and the size of the office.
A minimum amount of AED 8050/-* will be needed to set up a free zone company in UAE free zone. The cost for the owner’s visa, registration in immigration, and getting an establishment card is additional.
A minimum amount of AED 14,999/-* is needed to set up a mainland company for a professional business license. There will also be visa costs for the owner, registration in immigration, and an establishment card.
The minimum registration fee for setting up an offshore company is AED 9000/-*.
You can check our company registration packages to have a better picture of how much you will need to spend during your business registration the process.
8. Can a Company Registered in Dubai Operate in Other Emirates?
No, a local branch of the Dubai company must be established in another emirate where the company plans to operate. Which means that only registering a company in Dubai does not give you the permission to operate in other Emirates unless you open branches in those Emirates.
9. Do I Require a Physical Office for Registering a Company in Dubai
A registered address is a mandatory requirement to open a business bank account for the new company. Until recently, DED mandated a permanent office of a minimum of 200sqft to issue its license it is mandatory. However, in keeping with the different developments to attract investors, Department of Economic Development has started issuing Licenses without office space. Instead of getting a permanent office space, you can get an Estidama/Sustainability Contract like a virtual office. You get a Lease Agreement for the company registered in Dubai, enabling you to get up to 4 employment visas.
Free zones offer Shared or Hot Desks for those looking to minimize their office expenses and apply for 1-2 visas.
10. Can a Foreign Trading Company Open its Branch in UAE?
No, Foreign trading companies cannot open a branch in UAE with the same activity mentioned in the parent company however the foreign company can have a Representative office in Dubai to expand its business in Dubai and provide support to its client in the country.
Company registration options:
- Investor can either choose a Free zone or Mainland or Offshore to operate their business in Dubai.
- A company in Dubai can be registered either under an individual name or under a corporate entity registered in UAE or outside of UAE.