How to start a business in Dubai

30 March 2020
7 Ways to raise funds for your company in the UAE

In the long-term, the United Arab Emirates GDP Annual Growth Rate is projected to trend around 2.50 percent in 2021 and 2.30 percent in 2022, according to econometric models. The biggest sector of United Arab Emirates' economy is services, which accounts for 40 percent of GDP.

Company formation in the UAE enables your business to be located in a prime position between Europe and Asia. There has been an increase in businesses in the country and it can be a simple and easy process to form a company of your own in the region, more notably a free zone company.

There are multiple options for company formation in the UAE including onshore, offshore and free zone however it is a free zone company which is the most popular with foreign entrepreneurs.

UAE free zone companies offer 0% corporation and personal tax, 100% company ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits, no currency restrictions and 100% import and export tax exemptions.

A step by step guide

Whilst free zone company formation may seem daunting, SFM can guide you through the process and make it as seamless as possible. There are numerous free zones to choose from in the UAE depending on your business activity and needs.

1. What does your business do?

The nature of your business will have some bearing on where your business will need to be. Some free zones have restrictions on certain business activities which will also restrict where you can have your free zone business however your business will benefit from the best suited free zone.
There are several licenses divided into 4 major categories: Trading, Consultancy, Industrial and Media. Depending on your business activity, we can assist you to select the proper license you would need, and it is possible to have multiple business activities from the same category listed under one trade license.

2. Choose your company name

Choosing a company name for your free zone company does have some restrictions. Any name that has offensive language is forbidden as well as anything religious, sectarian or political. Any personal names that are used in the company name must be associated with the company owners or directors and use their full name – no initials or abbreviations unless it has a meaning and followed by the type of activity of the license you intend to register.

3. Finalize all incorporation paperwork

Some free zones will require additional documentation and the type of business license and activity will determine the list of documents required such as bank statement, a business plan or Non-Objection Certificate/ NOC (a letter from a current sponsor confirming that you are allowed to set up another business in the UAE). SFM can guide you through your entire incorporation process.

4. Obtain your visa

The final step of company formation in the UAE is obtaining your visa. As well as getting your own visa many free zones will permit you to apply for a visa for your family, dependents and employees – How many is often dependent on the size of the office you will be renting and where your business is located. It is best to seek advice from a professional before setting up your company if you know you’ll need visas for employees and family.

5. Open a bank account

Once you receive your license notification you will have all the documentation you need to open a UAE bank account. UAE is home to multiple options for bank accounts – including local and international. You can either approach a bank yourself or ask your incorporation partner to assist you with this. SFM is well connected and partners with top banks in the UAE and will be glad to introduce you and assist you with the process of your business and personal account opening.

To set up your free zone company in the UAE contact SFM today.

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