Have you ever sat at your identikit desk, doing a mindless job, counting down the hours until Thursday? Do you think longingly about being your own boss, about really contributing to the economy? It might be time to start your own business in Dubai! Setting up a business in any country can be a daunting task as rules, regulations and requirements will most likely differ from your home country. So for all the budding entrepreneurs, here all the information you need to know for a successful new business setup in Dubai.
Business Setup in Dubai: Mainland vs. Freezone
Business owners have the option of setting up a business in Dubai in either the mainland or a free zone. The main difference between the two is the ownership rules.
To start a business in the mainland areas of Dubai, foreign nationals needed to have a UAE national to act as sponsor, owning a 51% share of the business. This rule has since changed after the introduction of the 100% foreign ownership law in 2018. Now, foreign nationals can consider a new business setup in Dubai without having a UAE national act as a sponsor.
If foreign nationals want to start a business in a free zone aka free trade zones in Dubai they will have 100% ownership of the business, however, these companies can only conduct business and trade with companies outside the UAE. To know more about free zones in Dubai, check out our feature on the difference between free zones and freehold areas in Dubai.
Steps to Setting up a business in mainland Dubai
Here is a complete guide to starting a business in Dubai’s mainland areas.
Benefits of a company setup in Dubai’s Mainland
- You have the option of conducting business anywhere in the UAE
- You have an unlimited number of visas available to you
- You have a greater choice of commercial activities to license
Disclaimer: The above information is subject to change. Up to date and additional information may be obtained from the Department of Economic Development