Excellent business opportunities, good purchasing power, modern infrastructure, and unique tax strategies have made Dubai one of the most attractive business hubs around the world. Dubai is one of the best places to start small businesses or startups and run branches of well-established infrastructures. The city is now populated mainly by the working-class and is being visited by thousands of tourists every year.

Dubai has two areas for conducting business in: i) Dubai free zone that enables foreign investors to establish their 100% owned business and offers unique tax-free opportunities, ii) Dubai mainland, which is a popular zone for conducting business locally in the whole UAE and establish strong local ties.

Business in Dubai - Smart Zone

For business in Dubai mainland, there are a few requirements and steps to take before obtaining the final approval: 

  1. Business Activities: determining the nature of the business is the first and obligatory for forming any business in Dubai. The decided business should then be approved and fall under one of the Department of Economic Development (DED). 
  2. Office or Business Location: this is one of the main factors that decide the success of a business. Determining the place of the business is also mandatory in the process of legally registering the business. 
  3. Legal Structure: there are various legal business forms that companies can be established under. The legal structure of a business also depends on the nature of the business. This is why determining the type of the business carefully is of high importance.
  4. Local Sponsor or Local Service Agent: this is applicable for those businesses set up either in the mainland (not a free zone in which a business can be owned 100% by a foreign investor) or fall under categories that necessitate partnering with a local partner. 
  5. Other Documents: the documents required for establishing a business are usually straightforward to prepare. They are mainly the visas or passports of the shareholders, the sponsor’s Emirati ID, MoA, contract draft, necessary trade licenses, etc. 

Once all the steps above are followed, registering a company or business should not take longer than a week by the DED.

Smart Zone

With the right guidance from our dedicated Business Setup Advisors and quick turnaround time, Smart Zone can setup your Dubai Mainland business on the same day.

We will assist with all your trade license requirements, PRO services and take care of the visa procedures for yourself, your employers and your family members.