How to start a recruitment company in Dubai

recruitment agency in Dubai, UAE

Dubai sees thousands of businesses start up on its shores every year. These businesses require skilled employees – and with a population made up of over 80% expatriates, they are happy to find them from all over the world.

It’s no surprise then that UAE recruitment industry is thriving. Pre-pandemic, the UAE led regional online recruitment growth – at 42% in Q1 2019.

As Dubai’s businesses once again look to the future, there’s perhaps never been a better time to take your place in this bustling and rewarding sector. Keep reading to find out how to get started.

How to start a recruitment company in Dubai

Before running through the steps involved in starting your UAE business, there are a few things you’ll need to know.

First, the process can be simple, but only if you seek out expert help before you begin. That’s why it’s always advisable to partner with a company formation agent.

Working with an agent makes business setup in Dubai easy. We can manage the entire process for you, taking care of early admin and assisting with license, visa, and bank account applications.

You should also familiarise yourself with the documents and licenses required to start a recruitment agency in Dubai. Below are several key points to consider.

What are the two types of recruitment agency licenses?

Recruitment agencies in Dubai can obtain either a brokerage license or a temporary recruitment license.

A brokerage license allows you to complete activities relating to filling job roles between UAE and foreign nationals and UAE and foreign companies.

You are permitted to publicise job vacancies, process applications for job seekers looking for employment, maintain a database of employers and employees, and broker contact between the two parties.

A temporary recruitment license allows you to go further, shortlisting, interviewing, and placing employees on behalf of an employer. You are also permitted to recruit employees from outside of the UAE and act as their sponsor for the duration of their employment.

What documents are needed to start a recruitment agency in Dubai?

Whatever license you require, you must submit certain documentation as part of your application. This may include:

  • A copy of your passport
  • A statement of good conduct
  • A blueprint of your premises
  • Written statements from all shareholders

What are the rules and guidelines for setting up a recruitment agency in Dubai?

When starting a recruitment company in Dubai, you’ll need to abide by the emirate’s strict guidelines regarding the protection of workers.

You must ensure that you and your employees are qualified and experienced in your field. You must also put up a security deposit of AED 2,000 for every employee you bring into Dubai.

When recruiting expatriates, you must ensure that they are of good standing with no criminal convictions.

Finally, you must follow the Ministry’s guidance on fees, with set limits depending on the nature and duration of employment.

Company formation in Dubai – step by step

Step 1

First, you’ll need to choose and register a company name, ensuring that it complies with the UAE’s naming criteria.

You cannot include any offensive or blasphemous language, nor any references to Allah or Islam in your company name. If you wish to include your name in your company name, you must use it in full rather than just your surname or initials. You must also check that your chosen name is available to be registered.

Step 2

Next, you should decide whether to set up in the mainland or in a free zone.
Free zones offer a range of benefits, including, but certainly not limited to, full customs tax exemption, no currency restrictions, and the ability to repatriate 100% of your capital and profit.

Mainland companies cannot take advantage of all of the benefits offered by free zones but they are permitted to trade directly with the local UAE market without the need for a service agent and can also take on government contracts – both things that free zone businesses cannot do.

In most cases, it is most cost effective to set up a company in a Dubai free zone rather than opting for the mainland.

Step 3

Now for the all-important step – applying for your company license.The process here is slightly different depending on whether you have chosen to set up a free zone or mainland business.

If you’ve decided that the mainland is a better base for your business, you’ll need to make your application directly to the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED), and request additional approval from the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MOHRE). Most of this process takes place online.

Alternatively, if you have decided on a free zone setup then you can make your application directly to your chosen free zone. As free zones are self-regulated, you do not require additional approvals to trade, making the process faster and more efficient. This is one of several reasons why free zone company setup is often the most affordable and straightforward method of starting a business in Dubai.

Step 4

With your license application made, you can apply for your UAE visa.You will need to visit an immigration centre during the process to provide biometric information. The visa application also includes a fitness test, blood test and chest x-ray.

Providing you meet the salary criteria, it is also possible to sponsor others for their UAE visas too, such as your children, partner, or parents.

Step 5

Finally, you can now apply to open a corporate bank account.

Dubai is home to a wide range of banking institutions, both local banks and international brands. However, bank account opening can be a complex process for overseas business owners, so it is best to make your application with the help of an expert that is well-versed in the process and its requirements.

What is the cost of starting a recruitment agency in Dubai?

This is not easy to answer with complete certainty as every business is different. The size of your company, the type of setup, and your chosen location can all have a bearing on price.

Generally speaking, however, free zone licenses range from AED 9,600 with no visa application, up to AED 24,700 inclusive of six visas and beyond.  

Business setup in Dubai

The process of company creation in Dubai has been designed with simplicity in mind. That said, it does take some in-depth knowledge of the UAE and its many customs and regulations.

That’s why it’s always advisable to acquire the services of a business setup company who can not only advise on the process but also seek out the most suitable license and setup type for your business, based on your needs and your budget.