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How Can I Start My Own Company in UAE?

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Starting your own company in the UAE is a great idea, but it requires patience, courage, perseverance and dedication. Starting a business in one of the thriving cities in the UAE, like Dubai, has always been encouraged.

The current market trends in the UAE offer a lot of opportunities for investment. You might have a lot of capital to start a company, but that does not spell out the success of your enterprise. You ought to consider both small and big aspects for your company to stand through hard times.

Things to Consider Before Starting a Company

Don’t rush to start a company without a business plan, especially if you’re not getting any outside funding. Writing a business plan helps to create a better vision for your business. You also need to focus on the market and identify any gaps.

Research about your potential customers and their needs. Also, understand their spending habits. Study your competitors and understand how they treat their customers. Remember, you can start small and still succeed.

Starting Your Business in the UAE

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Starting a company in the UAE is straightforward for both locals and foreigners. The following simple steps will guide you on how to start your company without any issues:

Choose Your Specialty

Choose the kind of business you want to conduct because this can affect the kind of free zone you ought to set up your company. For instance, there are free zones for transport, media, and even the medical sector.

Apart from the restrictions provided in the Dubai labor law, it is important to set up your company closer to similar operations. Consider transportation, especially if your company will rely on exports and imports – you ought to choose a free zone near a port or airport.

Choose an Appropriate Name for the Company

The UAE labor law is strict when it comes to naming companies. This means you ought to ensure that the name conforms. Offensive, as well as names which refer to Allah, other religions, political groups and government agencies such as the FBI are forbidden.

If you decide to name the company after someone, he/she must be a partner or the owner, and you must use the full name. Initials and abbreviations should not be used. You can consult a corporate lawyer Dubai expert to guide you on how to choose the right name for your company.

Finalize Your Incorporation Details

Dubai labor law requires you to fill an application form with the company name you choose and the activity you want. You also provide copies of shareholder’s passports to the relevant authorities.

Some free zones require additional documents, like a Non-Objection certificate, which is a current letter from your sponsor indicating that you are permitted to set up another business in the region. Some may also require your business plan.

Get Your License

When your application has been finalized, you are ready for your license. Onshore licensing is ideal for commercial startups, which are stated as limited liability companies. These include manufacturing or a logistics company. The Dubai labor law requires that a UAE national should own at least 51% of the shares in these companies. The enterprise should also take up a physical office and may require further approval from relevant government authorities.

Open a Bank Account

When you receive all your paperwork, you will be ready to open a bank account. There are many banks in the UAE, both local and international. It is a requirement for you to be physically present at the bank to open a bank account in the UAE so that you can sign relevant documents and confirm your identity.

There are different types of banks in the UAE, for instance, commercial banks, which offer commercial banking services. They also provide funds for commercial activities as well as managing accounts for enterprises.

Process Your Visa

Apart from applying for your visa, some free zones allow you to apply for your dependents and staff. However, the maximum number you can put in depends on the free zone your company is set up in.

If you wish to apply visas for your family and workers, it is advisable to seek legal counsel to ensure that you can do this in the type of free zone your company is located. Also, you ought to ensure that you and all the people you are sponsoring for visa meet the requirements of being in the country. If you meet all the requirements, you will need an entry permit, undergo relevant medical tests, and then go for Emirates ID registration and visa stamping.


Starting a company in the UAE is simple, and there are accommodating laws allowing you to set up your business in the free zones. Following the steps above makes it easier to finish this process within a short period. Before starting a company, ensure that you research on the type that will yield the best results.


Also published on Medium.