Small Business license in Dubai: Costs & Requirements

start a small business

Opening a small business in Dubai is a dream for nearly every ex-pat and foreign investor. Business-friendly government regulations, zero tax environment, high quality of living, and world-class infrastructure make it easy to understand why over 90 percent of Dubai’s population is made up of foreign nationals.

No business in the United Arab Emirates can operate without a trade license, no matter if the company is a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company or a big business operation. New small businesses are increasing in double-digits in Dubai as foreign nationals and investors turn their business ideas into business operations.

How much does it cost to start a business in Dubai? In this article, we will help you learn how much it costs to start a small business in Dubai, the steps you must take to start a small business in Dubai, the documents you’ll require for a small business trade license, and the benefits of starting a small business in Dubai.

How much does it cost to start a small business in Dubai?

To quickly answer the question on how much it costs to start a small business in Dubai, the answer is that a small business license type starts at AED 8,000. Dubai company registration cost varies depending on several aspects. Contact Trade License Zone for a personalized quote for your company formation cost.

  • The trade license type
  • The chosen business setup: Mainland company, Free Zone company or Offshore Business
  • Local government costs involved such as an administrative services fee
  • The chosen business activities for your small business
  • Trade license registration fee
  • Business location (and office space/office rent)
  • The number of business partners means additional costs involved

That might seem overwhelming and complicated to you at first – despite the United Arab Emirates’ recent updates to its business regulations to streamline this process. When you reach out to company formation specialists such as Trade License Zone, we will help you select the type of business setup.

As we’ve mentioned, your business activities may be better suited to a Free Zone company structure, a Mainland company, or even an Offshore Business. This will determine the type of business setup package for you to select. In our experience, the most popular type of business setup package for small businesses in Dubai is with the Free Zone authority for a Free Zone license.

Steps to start a small business in Dubai

Step 1: Partner with Trade License Zone

Partnering with a local company setup agency is the first step to opening any type of business in Dubai. Our business consultant experts at Trade License Zone will manage all aspects of your company setup, all the business activities, complete all the required documents, and trade licenses for you to trade as soon as possible.

Step 2: Choose a legal structure

The UAE has implemented innovative Free Zones to stimulate and support industries with specific regulations. By choosing the right legal structure, you can apply for a trade license in a relevant Dubai Free Zone establishment for maximum benefits and local government support.

Step 3: Choose and register a business name

Trade License Zone can help you choose and register your company name with the UAE’s Registry Office. The business name must adhere to the UAE’s strict naming regulations. Business names cannot include any offensive or blasphemous language, nor any references to Allah or Islam. If you wish to include your name in your company name, you must use it in full rather than just your surname or initials. We’ll also check that your chosen name is available to be registered.

Step 4: Getting your visas

Trade License Zone can help you get residency visas to live and work in the UAE. With your relevant work visa, you can sponsor your dependents for their visas, too. Our specialist teams will guide you through every step of the process.

Step 5: Office rent and permanent office space

With your trade license in hand, we can help you find the right rental premises and complete a tenancy contract in the city’s Free Zone area that best suits your business activity and your customers’ needs.

Documents required to start a small business in Dubai

After the Registry Office has approved your company name, you need to apply for notarization of the company’s Memorandum of Association (MOA) and Articles of Association (AOA) with the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai.

Along with your completed application form and business plan, you’ll also need to submit the following documentation to the DED:

  • Proof of ID and address for directors and shareholders
  • Passport copies for shareholders and directors
  • Copy of company name confirmation
  • Memorandum of Association (MOA)
  • Articles of Association (AOA)

Benefits of starting a small business in Dubai

Dubai is renowned as one of the world’s most popular destinations for entrepreneurs. This emirate offers tax-free incomes for personal and corporate accounts, the ability to repatriate 100 percent of your company’s profits and capital gains, access to an international market through the Middle East, Africa and Europe, and a foreign company can choose from over 2,000 business activities in the UAE.

How to grow a business in Dubai?

Growing a business in Dubai can be a challenging yet rewarding endeavor. Here are some tips to help you succeed:

Conduct market research: Before starting or expanding your business in Dubai, it’s essential to understand the local market and your target audience. Research your competitors, consumer preferences, cultural norms, and regulatory requirements.

Choose the right location: Dubai offers several free zones and mainland locations for businesses to operate. Choose a location that aligns with your business goals and objectives.

Build a strong network: Establishing strong relationships with local business partners, suppliers, and customers is critical to success in Dubai.

Focus on customer experience: Provide exceptional customer service and prioritize customer experience to build a loyal customer base and stand out from competitors.

Embrace digital marketing: Dubai is a highly connected city, and digital marketing can be an effective way to reach your target audience. Leverage social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and other digital marketing tactics to increase brand awareness and drive sales.

Hire the right talent: Dubai is a diverse city, and hiring employees with the right skills and cultural fit can be challenging. Work with a recruitment agency or HR consultant to find the right talent for your business.

Stay compliant: Dubai has strict regulations and laws governing businesses. Stay compliant with all legal and regulatory requirements to avoid fines or legal issues.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of success and grow your business in Dubai.

Working with Trade License Zone

Business setup in the UAE is straightforward, but it remains a complex process – even if you think you know what you’re doing. When you partner with Trade License Zone, we will save you from unnecessary delays or rejections and make the entire process a streamlined one. When you work with the specialists 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 trade license and visa applications, communicating with all relevant departments and authorities, and reporting back when you’re ready to trade. It really is that simple.

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