For decades, UAE has remained a thriving entrepreneurial hub. After all, hardly a week goes by without the announcement of the launch of another ambitious project or venture in UAE. Not to mention, UAE’s lucrative growth projections are drawing an ever-increasing number of businesses to the country. If you are also thinking of jumping on the bandwagon and launch a business setup in Dubai but the technical, financial, and administrative aspects of company formation in Dubai are keeping you from realizing your ambitions, here are 6 fool-proof steps to set up shop in Dubai.
The nature of your business will influence the type of license you require. Whether it's industrial, professional, or commercial licenses, these will form the basis of your operations. Not to mention, the nature of your business can have a strong bearing on which free zones you are allowed to set up in. For instance, different free zones only allow certain types of activity, such as transport, medical or media, and restrict others. Additionally, it’s better to include business setup in Dubai in close proximity to businesses in the same industry. Also, be sure to check out the ties to travel. It is prudent to choose a free zone located in the vicinity of an airport, especially if your business depends heavily on import and export. While you don’t have to finalize your business process so early on but establishing your business activity will give you a push in the right direction and narrow down your options.
The UAE imposes stringent naming rules, so make sure that any business name you choose conforms to their conventions. Any names that include offensive words, inappropriate innuendos, or alludes to Allah, or any other political, sectarian, or religious groups, are strictly prohibited. Additionally, you are not allowed to name a business after a person unless that person is an owner or a partner of a business, and even then, only the full name must be used. Get in touch with a company set-up specialist to garner a list of naming conventions. It would be really beneficial to run your proposed names by them to check whether it passes.
This step is the most arduous of all, due to all the paperwork involved. You need to fill out an application for your chosen business name and activity and submit it along with copies of shareholders’ passports to the relevant government authorities. You might have to submit additional documentation in certain free zones, such as a business plan or a letter from your local sponsor in UAE confirming that you are allowed business setup in Dubai. If you are feeling overwhelmed with all the paperwork involved, remember that the process doesn’t have to be taxing if you seek the help of an expert. Your business set-up partner can help you completed all documentation required.
Now that you have got all the documentation out of the way, this step is the easiest. Once your application has been processed, you will be granted a business license from the UAE government.
Once the government authorities have returned your documents, you will be able to open your bank account, in any foreign or local banks in the UAE, such as the Barclays, Citibank, HSBC, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank or the Emirates NBD. If you are having difficulty choosing the right bank, you can always ask your partner to arrange meetings with a number of institutions.
This is the last step to completing the business setup in Dubai. You need to fill out your own visa form as well as apply for workers and dependents you will be bringing with you. Depending on the free zone you choose, there are restrictions on the number of applications you may file for. Whether you are applying for your visa, or that of your partner, kids, or house help, it is best to look for expert advice to avoid any pitfalls according to the free zone of your choice and also to make sure you meet all the criteria for visa processing. Once all your documentation is completed, you can simply move on to the next four steps of visa processing, namely: status adjustment, entry allowance, registration of Emirates ID and visa stamp, and medical fitness test. Once all these steps are completed, you are ready for a business setup in Dubai.
Even with the accommodating conditions of the free zones, Business setup in Dubai isn’t a simple process. A lot of things can go wrong and cause hindrances in your way, but with the right business setup company working hand-in-hand with you, you can navigate the process without any hassles.
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