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Why Start a Business in Dubai or the UAE?

Starting a business abroad can be intimidating. But it isn’t when the foreign country is the UAE. The UAE has an excellent business climate.

That is one of the many reasons why thousands of businesses are established in Dubai alone each year. Despite the pandemic, more than 40,000 new business licences were issued in Dubai in 2020. Many of these new enterprises are set up by overseas entrepreneurs, who make up about 85 percent of the country’s population.

If you are interested in investing and starting a business in Dubai, this guide will help you from choosing a company name to applying for licences and visas.

Benefits of Starting a Business in Dubai

One of the most notable advantages of opening a company in Dubai is that you will not have to pay any taxes. The UAE (Dubai) exempts all residents from income, corporate, and personal taxes. However, certain businesses may be subject to a 5% VAT.

The UAE is the second largest economy in the Arab world, after Saudi Arabia, with a GDP of roughly AED 1.5 trillion (USD 421).

Its economy is very diverse, with non-oil and gas sectors accounting for 70% of GDP. The UAE’s booming economy offers lucrative prospects for both budding entrepreneurs and established businesses wishing to expand worldwide.

A strong business climate, more investment, and an increasingly robust and diverse private sector have led to the Index of Economic Freedom praising the UAE economy.

Dubai’s location makes it an attractive trading hub for both East and West. Its two bustling airports put one-third of the world’s population within a four-hour trip and two-thirds within an eight-hour journey.

Many funding programmes exist in the UAE to help businesses expand. The AED 2 billion Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund, for example, helps finance innovative ventures and provides professional advice and support. For small enterprises looking for finance, many UAE free zones have startup incubators and venture capital forums.

Ready to Start your Business in Dubai? 

Here’s how to get things underway:

  1. Select a Business Activity: The Dubai Department of Economic Development categorizes businesses into over 2,000 activities. The activities you choose can affect where you can set up, so plan beforehand.
  2. Choose a Jurisdiction: Choosing a free zone offers 100% company ownership, 100% capital and profit repatriation, no currency restrictions, and 100% import and export tax exemption, but you’ll need a partner to trade locally in the UAE. A mainland base allows for direct local market trading, government contracts, as well as government contracts. A new policy also allows 100% foreign ownership of some activities on the mainland.
  3. Obtain Approval for your Company Name and Activity
  4. Apply for a Licence: Whether in a free zone or on the mainland, a few standard documents are required: an application form, shareholder passport copies, and so on.
  5. Open a Bank Account: You can open a corporate bank account in the UAE once you have obtained your licence. In the UAE, you can choose from a variety of international, local, and Islamic banks.
  6. Apply for your Visa: Immigration and visa processing is the final stage in the business setup process. Again, a company formation specialist can help you.
Why Start your Business through OAHKS?

Starting a business in the UAE and Dubai is simple with OAHKS Consulting. Either free zone, mainland or offshore, we will help you through every step of the journey. In addition to assisting with the selection of business activity and company name, OAHKS Consulting can also assist with establishing corporate bank accounts and processing visa applications.

We’ll do the heavy lifting! In some situations, you can register your company without visiting the UAE. Want to know more about starting a business in Dubai?

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