How to become an entrepreneur in Dubai (2022 Guide)

become an entreprenuer in the UAE

Dubai is the ideal place to become a successful entrepreneur. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) provides aspiring entrepreneurs with business-friendly laws, a tax-free environment, world-class infrastructure, access to the global community, and a strong support network with industry-specific small business resources to grow your own company.

In this article, we’ll show you the steps you must take to become an entrepreneur in Dubai, how foreigners can start a business in Dubai, and the cost of becoming an entrepreneur in Dubai.

Trade License Zone has helped many a business idea grow into a profitable business. You can too. Make use of our business setup and consultancy services to cut out the hassle so you can concentrate on your products, services and customers in Dubai.

Become an entrepreneur in Dubai: 5 Simple Steps

Dubai is one of the fastest-growing economic hubs in the world. As such, it attracts budding entrepreneurs from countries across the globe. In fact, Dubai’s population is comprised of 90 percent foreign nationals. Business in Dubai is growing at double-digit figures as businesses and entrepreneurs turn their ideas into reality. If you’re wondering how to become a successful entrepreneur in Dubai, we’ve outlined 5 simple steps for you.

Step #1: Partner with Trade License Zone

Partnering with a local business setup agency such as Trade License Zone is the first step in beginning a new venture as an entrepreneur in Dubai. To benefit from the legal structures of operating with a trade license, you will need to follow the UAE’s strict business structure and formation regulations. Our specialists at Trade License Zone will manage all aspects of your company registration and setup process and guide you on the various governmental and municipal trade regulations for operating in Dubai.

Step #2: Plan and organise your business

Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires careful planning and organisation to transform your great ideas into successful businesses. The most critical step you can take in planning your business is market research. This will help you decide what product or service your company will offer its customers – and the specific niche you’ll target. You’ll also need to consider other key factors such as the business’s location, marketing strategies and advertising, staffing solutions, selecting a legal business model and structure, and finding the necessary funding resources to launch your business. The hard work you’ll undertake in this step will undoubtedly create long-term success for you as an entrepreneur in Dubai.

Step #3: Choose your business type

The United Arab Emirates created its innovative trade zones to better manage and support specific industry types. The two main classes of trade zones in Dubai are Mainland Companies and Free Zone Companies. A Mainland Company allows you to trade within Dubai and across the UAE, but you’re limited to only owning 49 percent of the business’s shares. The laws require a UAE national partner to own a 51 percent share of all foreign-owned Mainland Companies.

A Free Zone Company is set up in one of Dubai’s over 40 special economic zones. These free zones offer benefits to foreign entrepreneurs such as 100 percent ownership of the business, zero tax, and the authority to repatriate all the profits.

At the same time, you need to determine the type of trade license for your new startup. To do business in the UAE, you’ll need to register for a new company and apply for a trade license for your business activity.

We at Trade License Zone are company formation specialists with decades of experience working in Dubai to guide and assist you in starting a business. We’ll help you select the right type of trade license.

A trade license determines the type of business activity you can pursue. The three most popular trade license types are:

  • Commercial License: for general trading activities
  • Industrial License: for manufacturing or industrial activities
  • Professional License: for service providers and professionals such as lawyers, accountants and doctors

Trade License Zone‘s experts will help you select the right trade license type for your business needs. You’ll need to get government and municipal authorizations, tender various documents, and apply for your relevant visas to live and work in Dubai. Trade License Zone will speedily and professionally perform those tasks on your behalf.

Step #4: Formulate a solid business plan

A solid business plan is the starting point for turning your business ideas and skills into a profitable business. Your business plan will serve as the road map for you to plot your company’s growth and it can also attract potential investors to raise capital for your fledgling startup – as well as for your established company down the line. Your business plan must outline your vision, goals, targets, strategies, and market opportunities. It should also present a clear idea of the type of business you’ll be running, budgets, savings and when you need to spend money, as well as outlining how to create satisfied customers and lure repeat customers.

Our company formation experts at Trade License Zone specialise in business setup processes. We’ll assist and guide you through every aspect of this step.

Step #5: Accessing funding resources

How will you fund the start of your new company? Most entrepreneurs self-fund their small businesses, although some turn to venture capitalist firms and other third-party sources for funding resources. Banks in Dubai are a popular source of business loans for upcoming entrepreneurs. One of the advantages of operating your business in a free zone is that you will have access to startup incubators and accelerators specific to your industry type and business needs.

Can foreigners start a business in Dubai?

The UAE has fundamentally changed its business regulatory framework regarding foreign nationals. For instance, before 2021 foreign nationals were legally required to partner with an Emirati national to create a business. The UAE national partner was required to hold 51 percent of the business’s share value. As we have mentioned, this rule has been updated: foreign nationals can now start their own businesses and own them in their entirety.

Cost of becoming an entrepreneur in Dubai

The cost of becoming an entrepreneur in Dubai depends on the business type, trade license type, the nature of your business activities, the approvals and certifications required, and the area where you plan to base your business operations. The basic cost of applying for a Free Zone Company starts at AED 11,900. As we’ve mentioned, the costs vary depending on the type of company and its business activities.

Our financial specialists in Trade License Zone specialise in assessing the cost for businesses to have a successful start in Dubai. Contact our agents today to get a general idea of business startup costs in Dubai.

Working with Trade License Zone

Starting a business is a challenging process no matter where in the world you’re located. Business setup in the UAE has recently been updated to streamline and simplify this process. There are many ways to become an entrepreneur and start your own company in Dubai. Navigating the UAE’s frameworks, resident visa processes, and license registration and application activities might seem difficult. Partnering with Trade License Zone will ensure success – saving you from unnecessary delays or rejections. When you work with the experts at Trade License Zone, all you need to provide is some basic documentation and a little information about the nature of your business. Then, sit back and let the experts take care of the rest – managing your license and visa applications, communicating with all relevant departments and authorities, and reporting back when you’re ready to start trading. It really is that simple.

Contact us to get a personalized quotation based on your business activity