Guide to Setting Up A Business in Dubai – 10 Tips

The UAE is a great place to set up a business, and in this blog post, we will be discussing 10 tips that you can follow in order to successfully establish your company there. From the costs of setting up a business to how much it usually takes for employees, this article has all the answers you need!  

1) Forming A Company

As a business owner, you will need to set up your company in the UAE. There are different types of companies that you can establish including an LLC, Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Company, or Branch office. You can do this through any number of professional service providers such as law firms and accounting, audit, and taxation consultants. The cost of setting up these companies varies depending on the location you choose to set up your company at.

2) Filing Taxes

Setting up a business in Dubai is taxed based on the type of industry it belongs to and its profits. As a part of their tax obligations, all businesses must register with the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) for Value Added Tax (VAT). You can either choose to pay this tax yearly or upon receiving your final payment.

3) Registering For An Ejari License

To date, all properties in Dubai must be registered on before any rental contract is signed between a buyer and a seller. This is a free service that you can register for online and take no more than 10 days to complete.

4) Hiring Employees

Within 30 months of their establishment, businesses must hire at least 1 UAE national. Often heavily subsidizing Emirati training in many developing disciplines, the government seeks to develop a skilled workforce. A total of 80,000 nationals have been employed by the government, with an additional 100,000 employed by private businesses.

Depending on your company’s needs, you can apply for three types of employment visas: G-visas are for skilled workers, B-visas are for semi-skilled workers, and A-visas are for unskilled workers.

5) Setting Up Your Business Address

Set up your company’s address there if you are outside the UAE (such as in Dubai). Free zones provide advantages such as low taxes, fast opening of bank accounts, and the ability to hire people without entering the country.

6) Getting A Mobile Number

All companies operating in the UAE must acquire a local mobile number as their sole means of communication with the government. Obtaining one is fairly easy and will only take up to 2 days.

7) Educating Your Employees

UAE law requires companies to keep records of their employees, training, payroll providers, and complaints. Businesses (apart from sole proprietorships) must also offer employees health insurance plans, which cost around US$255 a month.

8) Providing Housing For Employees

If their employees do not reside in Dubai, businesses with a large number of employees must provide housing. Before you can apply for a housing license, you must house 50% of your workforce.

9) Providing Medical Insurance

The UAE government mandates that all-male ex-pats above 18 years of age are required to have health insurance. Businesses are responsible for providing this, so companies must ensure their employees have comprehensive medical coverage before they can work in the country. Minimum coverage includes treatment costs up to US$5,000 and an additional US$25,000 for hospitalization.

10) Opening A Bank Account

All businesses established in Dubai must acquire a bank account (or multiple accounts) before any transactions can take place. There are currently 6 commercial banks operating in the UAE; Emirates NBD, HSBC, Mashreq, National Bank of Umm al-Qaiwain, Standard Chartered and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

Normally, the business owner is responsible for opening this account on behalf of his company; You must, however, be accompanied by a local partner/sponsor if you are a foreigner without a local partner or sponsor in order for any bank to take you on as a client.Your local partner can arrange this on your behalf.

Your local sponsor can apply for a free business account with your bank of choice, which typically includes a debit card, checkbook, and cash/funds transfer facility.

You must choose an appropriate name for your company (i.e., not “my business” or “Dubai”). In some instances, you may need to provide information such as shareholder names, board members, business activities, and manager titles. Banks usually require that you have a local partner or sponsor.

In addition to the above 10 steps, you must also consider insurance certificates, labor permits, and specific business permits. Obtaining a license could lead to fines and penalties, so be sure to do your research before applying.


As an entrepreneur in Dubai, don’t let the complexities of starting a company frighten you away; You can do the entire process without leaving your home country within 7 days (faster if you hire professionals to help). You will find that registering your business makes life much simpler. We have documented the bureaucracy through first-hand blogs and articles written by observers and consultants.

Although the process can seem complex at times, several online resources are available to assist you. Several UAE government websites provide information, documents, and downloadable forms to help entrepreneurs set up their own businesses.


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