Dubai is famed for many things. Low tax. High buildings. The list goes on. Perhaps a lesser-known fact about the emirate is how ideal an environment it is for logistics businesses.
The UAE is one of the most logistics-friendly countries in the world according to a recent report, ranked in 11th place ahead of both Saudi Arabia and Oman.
A fast-growing e-commerce sector on top of ever-steady manufacturing, trading, and oil and gas industries has seen the logistics sector thrive in recent years. And this trend is only set to continue as the UAE continues its diversification efforts.
If you’re looking to step into this lively market, it’s easy to set up a logistics company in Dubai, provided you seek out the right support before you get started.
Benefits of starting a logistics company in Dubai
Aside from a growing and demanding market and a straightforward company incorporation process, there are plenty of great reasons to start a logistics company in Dubai.
For one, the emirate benefits from a prime location at the heart of the Middle East. With excellent connections by road, sea, and air, Dubai is ideally placed to trade with every major market in the East and West.
Dubai is also home to free zones that offer business benefits such as customs tax exemption and zero currency restrictions – great news if you wish to trade overseas. This is, of course, on top of the UAE’s 0% tax rate on both corporate and personal income.
Many free zones offer warehousing and storage facilities while some are adjacent to sea- and airports. One, Dubai Logistics City, is tailor-built for logistics businesses. A company setup agent can help you decide on the one that’s right for you.
Steps to start a logistics company in Dubai
With the right support, setting up a logistics company in Dubai is quick and simple.
Step 1: Partner with an expert
The first step to successful company formation in Dubai is to partner with a local expert. A company setup agent can manage the entire process for you from start to finish, liaising with government departments, immigration, and licensing authorities.
Step 2: Define your business activities
Logistics is a broad church. Are you planning to be a carrier? Run a freight fleet? Or manage supply chain for other companies? You’ll need to be specific in your trade license application form.
As your activities can have a bearing on the license and setup you require, you’ll need to outline these with your company setup agent at the beginning of the process.
Step 3: Choose a company name
We’ll help you choose and register your 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 4: Choose your setup
There are two common types of company setup in the UAE, free zone and mainland.
Free zones offer a range of benefits such as full customs tax exemption, no currency restrictions, and the ability to repatriate 100% of your capital and profit.
Mainland companies, on the other hand, cannot take advantage of all 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.
In most cases, a free zone setup is the easiest and most cost-effective way to start a logistics company in the UAE.
Step 5: Apply for our license
Once you are happy with your company name and setup choice, you can begin the process of applying for your UAE trade license.
This process is similar whether setting up in the mainland or in a free zone. However, as free zones are self-regulating, there is no need for additional approvals, making the latter faster and more straightforward.
In both cases, you will usually be asked to provide passport copies, a business plan, and a completed application form. We’ll make sure all documents are present and correct before submitting your application.
Step 6: Apply for your visa
We’ll help with your visa application too. 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 7: Open a corporate bank account
With your license and visa in hand, 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 complicated 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.
Starting a logistics company in Dubai
The process of company incorporation 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.
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.