UAE is an attractive place for entrepreneurs, offering a pro-business environment, tax-free benefits, and a growing market.
Due to its favourable business environment, tax exemptions, and proximity to emerging markets, the United Arab Emirates is an ideal location for entrepreneurs. If you're thinking about starting a business in the UAE, here are a few things you need to know:
#1 - Choose a business activity
Step 1 in starting a business: decide what kind! Being situated in UAE you will get a large variety of economic activities for choosing, but it is suggested to conduct a thorough research before selecting one that will turn out to be viable and also lucrative.
#2 - Determine your company's legal structure
Once you have chosen the type of business activity you want to engage in then you must determine what legal form the enterprise needs. The most common legal structures in the UAE are:
Limited liability company (LLC):
An LLC is a distinct legal entity and separate from its members, meaning they’re not personally liable for the company’s obligations.
One type of small business structure is a sole proprietorship, where a single person owns the business. Full ownership comes at a cost, as the owner remains responsible for any debts of their company in addition to their personal finances.
A civil society is created through partnerships between two or more partners. Partners share in both the profits and the losses of the business and are also personally liable for the debts of the business.
"We should always be practical, realistic and optimistic." – HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
#3 - Register your trade name
Once you have decided on the appropriate legal structure, you will need to register for your trade name with the Department of Economic Development (DED) in the Emirate in which you intend operating your business. You need to provide your unique trading name that is not going to infringe upon the rights of others.
#4 - Apply for initial approval
Following registration of your trade name, you will have to secure first approval from the DED. The application requires you to submit several documents such as your business plan, financial projections, and proof of your ID.
#5 - Draft a Memorandum of Association (MoA)
If setting up an LLC, MoA would be required. The MoA is a legal instrument which sets forth the organization of the company, its shareholders, and governance framework.
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#6 - Select a business location
Once your request gets initial approval from the DED, then you will have to pick an office space for your business. For starting off in business in the UAE mainland, you would need to secure/rent an office space. For those operating a business in a free zone, they may want to rent an office space or have a virtual office.
#7 - Get additional government approvals
If you’re going to do business in certain fields (health care, education, etc.) you may need other clearances from government officials besides the above mentioned. Like for instance, when you are intending to establish an elementary school then first your need to approval from the Ministry of Education.
#8 - Submit documents and pay fees
Finally, after gaining all the necessary approvals, you would have to submit your documents along with the requisite fees to DED. When your application is approved you get a Trade License.
#9 - Open a corporate bank account
Once your application for a trading license gets approved then you’ll also need to open a corporate bank account in the UAE. Open a bank account in any of the UAE’s banks.
#10 - Hire employees
You have to register your employees with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) if you want to bring in employees. You’ll need to obtain a Work Permit for every employee too.
Starting a business in UAE may seem overwhelming at first, however, the return on investment is worth it. By doing so, you ensure the transition goes through its paces with least friction.
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Tips for starting a business in the UAE
Here are a few tips for starting a business in the UAE:
Do your research: Research the market and business environment in the UAE before starting the registration procedure.
Get professional help: There are number of professional service companies available to help in establishing your Business in UAE. By hiring an expert from Almheiri Advocates, you cut down on the workload.
Be patient: It may take as long as several weeks to get going with this process, so patience is key!
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said “happiness and positivity in the UAE are a lifestyle, a government commitment and a spirit uniting the UAE community. The government system is evolving to realize the goals that every human seeks: happiness for him and his family.”
Why start a business in the UAE?
There are a number of reasons to start a business in the UAE, including:
Pro-business environment: UAE has a business friendly approach, with little to no tax burden and minimal red tape.
Growing market: The UAE’s growing economy with its burgeoning consumer class made it the perfect place to establish our presence.
Access to international markets: As the world’s third-largest re-export hub, with unrestricted global market access, the UAE is perfect for your global expansion.
The UAE is a great place to start a business. Get a professional help from Mohammad Almheiri Advocate's expert business consultants.
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