Open a consultancy business in the UAE

It’s estimated there are 700,000 consultancy firms globally, dispensing advice and guidance on everything from marketing and IT to retail and healthcare. This is big business. An industry worth over USD 250bn.

In our part of the world, the popularity of such firms follows the global trend. The GCC’s management consultancy industry is worth USD 2.8bn, up 7% on recent years.

As well as a growing market, entrepreneurs launching consulting companies here in the UAE benefit from a range of other business advantages. There’s the country’s world-famous tax rate of 0% on both corporate and personal earnings, along with the UAE’s location, perfect for business travel and international trade.

The country’s diverse economy also makes it attractive for consulting firms. With so many thriving sectors, the demand for business support and advice is ever-increasing.

If this sounds appealing, there are a few things you’ll need to know before you get started. Here’s our simple guide to setting up a consulting business in Dubai and the UAE.

How to become a consultant in the UAE

While there are no specific qualifications required in order to apply for a Dubai consultant license, you should be experienced and knowledgeable in the industry you are wishing to enter.

This could mean you have industry-specific qualifications or years of in the field experience. Some clients may require you to have an MBA, but this is not always neccessary. The required level and specifics of your knowledge and experience will depend on the type of consulting you intend to carry out.

If you feel you’ve got what it takes to starting a consulting business in Dubai then the next step is to apply for your license.

You can apply for a Dubai consultant license to one of the emirate’s free zones or directly to the Department of Economic Development. In both cases, you’ll need to submit a completed application form along with some documentation about you and your business.

A company formation expert can help you with this step, managing the entire process for you and communicating with the managing authority and other relevant bodies on your behalf.

How to open a consulting business in the UAE

Aside from applying for your consulting license in Dubai, there are a couple of other steps to take before you’re ready to trade.

The first is deciding on your company name. When choosing a name for your business, keep in mind that you cannot include any offensive or blasphemous language, nor any references to Allah or Islam in your company name. Also, if you wish to include your own 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.

With this decided and your license applied for, you can now apply for your UAE visa. You can do this yourself or, once again, work with a company formation expert who can manage the application as part of the business incorporation process. It is also possible to sponsor others for their UAE visas too, such as your children, partner or parents.

The last step before you can embark on your journey as a management consultant in Dubai is to open your business bank account.

Again, it is advisable to work with an expert here to ensure you don’t waste time applying to a bank that is not suited to your needs.

Dubai is home to 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.

Benefits of becoming a consultant in Dubai, UAE

There are many great reasons to become a consultant in Dubai:

  • Flexibility: Start your own management consultancy in Dubai and you can work alone. Not only does this allow you to choose your hours and your clients but you’ll also have no ties, no expensive overheads and, most importantly, no boss.
  • Earning potential: When you set up a consulting business in Dubai, you receive every cent you earn – with no middleman taking a cut and no deductions for tax.
  • Easy setup: With the right support, setting up a consulting business in Dubai is easy. All that’s required is some knowledge and experience of your industry and a consultancy license.

What is the cost of license for a consulting business?

There are many affordable ways to set up a consulting business in Dubai. If you choose to work alone with no employees or physical premises, it’s easy to keep costs down.

As for the license itself, it’s often more cost-effective to apply for a management consultancy license in Dubai via one of the emirate’s free zones.  

Many Dubai free zones offer packages that include both a trade license and one or more visas, so if you’re looking for the cheapest license package, it pays to look around at all of the options available.

A company formation expert can help you in your search, understanding your needs and your budget before finding a package that fits the bill.

Business setup in Dubai

The process of applying for a management consultancy license in Dubai and setting up here 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.

When you use business setup services, you also gain peace of mind that your license and visa applications are free from errors and omissions – both of which can lead to delays and rejection.

When you work with a company formation specialist, 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.