8 Easy Steps to Start Your Business in the UAE

8 Easy Steps to Start Your Business in the UAE

UAE has shown a strong comeback post-pandemic and is ruling the global market. Countries’ economic and political strategies have ranked them the best in the ‘Business & Trade’ pillar worldwide. UAE has been ranked 8th for being a strong and stable economy, Globally positioned 4th for “easy to do business with and in.”

The country’s policy and economic infrastructure to support small and medium business opportunities for entrepreneurship are outstanding. It has become a booming global business hub to invest and start a business. The variety of options to set up business in the UAE provide a guaranteed presence in the worldwide market.

To start a business in UAE, here is the checklist :

  1. Identify the business activity

The essential and foremost step to starting any business is identifying the activity. There are 6 categories of licenses: industrial, commercial, professional, tourism, agricultural and occupational and there are 1000s of activities to choose from, and a license can have multiple related activities. 

There are 3 main options to issue business licenses: mainland(onshore), freezone, or offshore. Each has its own benefits, such as Freezone offers 100% ownership but can carry out certain activities within the free zone areas. Onshore licenses allow business anywhere in UAE, but some activities require a UAE National as a business Partner. An offshore license allows business in UAE with a parent company outside UAE.

  1. Company Operational Structure

Depending on business activities, the organizational structure is developed. There are certain structures for business setup in the UAE. An investor can select one of these legal forms:

  • General partnership
  • Limited partnership
  • Limited liability company (LLC)
  • Public joint stock company (PJSC)
  • Private joint stock company (PrJSC)
  • Civil company
  • Local company branch
  • GCC company branch
  • Foreign company branch
  • Free zone company branch
  • Sole Establishment
  • Holding companies.
  1. Register Company Name

Once the activity and organizational structure have been finalized, it’s time to decide and register the company’s name. It follows certain rules:

  1. The name should be unique and not be used by any other company in the past.
  2. It should not violate public, religious, and moral standards.
  3. It should be followed by the company’s legal structure as an LLC or PJSC.
  4. It should be related to and present the company’s activities.
  5. It should not contain logos or designs of external or religious bodies.
  1. Initial approval

Approval is required from Government authorities to understand the business plan and its activities. Investors/ Entrepreneurs must obtain the approval of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs ahead of applying for initial approval. Some activities such as legal affairs, security affairs, and financial securities and commodities require additional approvals from government entities related to that particular business before applying for the initial approval.

Once the approval is granted, then the investor can proceed with the license issuing process.

  1. Location & Office Setup

All businesses setting up in the UAE must meet the office setup requirements. It depends on the activity selected. The office setup is also based on the type of license issued.

  • Business Banking Account

Each company must set up a business/corporate banking account with specific funds. You can set up your business account with any bank in the UAE that best suits your needs.

  • Visa / Wage Processing

The investor can now hire employees under his company name and issue employment visas. Medical tests and scans are carried out for issuing investor and employment visas. Once the process is completed, companies must follow the Wage Processing System accordingly.

  • Business Branding

Last but the most important step for any business to grow is business branding. It starts with an online presence of the company through Websites/ apps. Blesshost is one of the best companies that offer a complete package of business branding across the UAE, from logo designing to brochure designing, website development, 360 web hosting services, and social media marketing. Websites boost online presence not only within the region but globally as well. Blesshost specializes in developing various websites such as e-commerce, business portfolios, blogs, and events bookings that best serve business needs at affordable rates across the UAE.


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