Set Up Your Company in the UAE with these 5 Steps

Company setup in the UAE

Setting up a company in the UAE used to be considered ‘mostly free’ due to the economic freedom the businesses used to get. However, over some time, the country’s government has taken practical steps to simplify the business setup process and is well-regulated.

This blog explains how you can set up your business in the UAE and get your business started in just five simple steps.

Why Should You Setup Your Business in the UAE?

The UAE is known to be a financially attractive, well-developed, and economically diversified country worldwide. Hence, it makes the country a welcoming place for the existing players to enter the local market and those who want to start fresh by setting up their businesses in a business-friendly environment.

  • – Smooth Governance: The UAE’s company setup requirements are straightforward and do not involve complex procedures. The business registration portals are also relatively user-friendly, allowing you to navigate different sections efficiently.
  • – Better Infrastructure: The country has the proper business infrastructure perfect to set up a company and strategic locations for specialised businesses to grow their businesses.
  • – Constant Opportunities: The UAE is a commercial capital worldwide due to countless opportunities to start a business, faster and more accessible transportation facilities, and low taxation schemes.
  • – Faster Aviation Facilities: The UAE has frequent and shorter connectivity to many countries, making it aviation-friendly since business owners can seamlessly visit the country for business expansion.

Thus, setting up your business in the UAE will have many advantages and will help your business grow internationally.

Let’s understand the steps to start your business in the UAE.

5 Steps to Set Up Your Company in The UAE

Whether you are expanding your business in the UAE or willing to register a new one, the company setup process is not complex. But understanding the process ultimately will accelerate your process.

Decide the Legal Form of Your Business

In the first step, you need to decide which form of business you would prefer to have:

  1. A partnership, company
  2. A limited liability company (LLC)
  3. Sole proprietorship
  4.  Other forms


The type of legal form for your business is highly influenced by the business activity you want to undertake. For example, setting up a company may benefit you more than having a partnership firm if you are into trading activities.

Remember: You must understand which form suits your business the most and the pros and cons of having a particular format.

Read More: Benefits of Business Financial Planning

Decide the Location of the Business

You can set up your company on the mainland of Dubai or have a free zone company in the designated free zone areas in the UAE. Your business activities mostly decide the location for the operation of your business.

  • – Mainland: It is the main territory of the UAE that is not designated as a free zone, and in 2021, the government of Dubai allowed 100% foreign ownership through amendments in the Commercial Company Law.
  • – Freezones: These are low-cost business setup areas with their own rules on taxation, customs, and import-related provisions. The 40 free zones are spread across the seven emirates.

You can also set up your offshore company to do business outside the UAE without office space.

Get Your Documentation Ready

The documentation requirements will vary depending on which location you select to set up your business. However, it is advisable to be prepared with the documentation to avoid last-minute anxiety about missing documents.

Apply for License Registration

Once you gather all the required documents, you must apply for license registration. To set up your business, you need business licenses and permits from the government that will allow you to trade or do business in the UAE by issuing a license for your business.

Mainly, your license application will include a visa application because if you are not an Emirati, you need a residency visa to stay in the UAE.

Open a Bank Account

Khalas! After you receive your trade license, you need to open a bank account in the country so that you can perform transactions for your business through that account.

The above steps are generic; you may have to change the procedure slightly for each type of business. Therefore, it will be a good idea to consult a business setup specialist and get an exhaustive understanding of the process of a business setup in Dubai.

Now that you have understood the business setup procedure let’s see some tips that will help you manage your business setup costs and make your process more cost-efficient.

How to Manage Business Setup Costs Efficiently?

  • – Have a tentative budget for your business so that you know how much you will be spending in the initial years.
  • – Watch your fixed costs carefully, as you will need time to recover them from your business revenue.
  • – Try to negotiate on the variable costs and get multiple quotes from vendors to explore the best price.
  • – Use the credit period efficiently to maintain a positive cash flow.
  • – Track all your expenses to control what is going out and how much is coming.
  • – Invest in technology such as software that helps you automate your process of tracking expenses, creating a budget, making a business plan, and more.

Read More: Expense Management Software, is it worth?

Xpence can help you automate your invoicing and bookkeeping and provide virtual and physical visa cards to manage your expenses to streamline your business spending.

Xpence streamline your business spending has never been better






Read More: Your Guide to Corporate Credit Card

Thus, while the company setup process is crucial for anyone willing to start a new business in the UAE, managing the expenses is even more essential to generate positive and growing revenue.

Read More: How to Manage Employee Claims for Your Business?