Start an accounting business in Dubai, UAE – Costs & Requirements

start an accounting business

The United Arab Emirates is one of the world’s most significant business hubs. Dubai leads the charge with its diverse economy, world-class financial advisory services, top accounting firms, and growing population. As the UAE’s growth continues its exponential surge, startups and established companies need to outsource services, such as accounting and bookkeeping, from chartered accountancy firms.

In this article, we will cover:

  • The benefits of starting an accounting business in Dubai
  • Requirements to start a bookkeeping business in Dubai
  • Steps to start a bookkeeping business in Dubai
  • Costs of starting a bookkeeping business in Dubai
  • Can a CPA practise in Dubai?
  • Are accountants in demand in the UAE?
  • Working with Trade License Zone

The benefits of starting an accounting business in Dubai

Accounting firms are critical to the sustained growth of markets and economies. Accountants, accounting businesses and bookkeeping service providers guide the strategic direction of startups, established companies and large corporations with the crucial financial information they need to enhance their business transactions and increase revenue.

An accounting system also offers all-important insight into a company’s health. Accounting firms in Dubai can help an organisation grow its revenue streams and support its growth.

The benefits of starting an accounting business in Dubai, UAE, are numerous: recently updated government regulations encourage foreign nationals to relocate to this emirate as entrepreneurs and investors.

Incentives include a 0% tax on corporate and personal incomes, the ability to repatriate profits overseas, and 100% business ownership. What’s more, 90% of Dubai’s population comprises expatriates, making it one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world.

Requirements to start a bookkeeping business in Dubai

To start an accounting services business in Dubai, you must first meet the government’s Department of Economic Development (DED) requirements for a trade license. Anyone looking to open a business of any type in the UAE must hold a valid trade license. As finance professionals looking to provide quality services, accountants and bookkeeping experts can apply for a professional license to enable them to operate in Dubai legally.

There are three requirements necessary to start a bookkeeping and accounting services company in the UAE:

1) A degree in accounting: To provide professional services in the field of finance, you must hold a degree in accounting or a related field.

2) Professional license: As we have mentioned, all entrepreneurs looking to open a business in Dubai need a trade license. The correct trade license for an accountant and bookkeeper is a professional license.

3) Office space: Accounting businesses must occupy office space and hold a registered commercial address in order to get their professional trade license.

Steps to start a bookkeeping business in Dubai

Step 1: Partner with Trade License Zone

The first step in starting an accounting business in Dubai is to partner with Trade License Zone. Our professional team will manage all aspects of your company registration, trade license application, and setup process to guide you on all the documentation required for the various government authorities’ procedures and obtain external approvals on your behalf.

Step 2: Select your business activity

It is essential to outline your accounting company’s business activities and services for your professional license application. Your business license enables you to carry out several activities – but only those listed on your trade license.

You can select the appropriate business activities you wish to pursue in Dubai from an extensive list of more than 2000 on Dubai’s DED website. Failure to list all your business activities on your accounting business license application may result in penalties.

That’s why it is best to partner with a company formation expert such as Trade License Zone to ensure that your financial accounting firm license application and business activities are aligned.

Step 3: Choose a suitable name

Trade License Zone will help you choose and register your accounting company’s business name with the UAE’s Registry Office. You can use your name in the company’s trade name, but you must use it in full instead of just your surname or initials. The business name must adhere to the UAE’s naming policies, including that it cannot include offensive or profane language or references to Allah or Islam.

Step 4: Select a business jurisdiction

There are two main business jurisdiction types in the United Arab Emirates: free zone companies and mainland companies. Each has specific benefits, regulations and requirements.

Free zone companies are the most popular and cost-effective of the two types. While it offers foreign nationals 100% ownership, a free zone company must take additional steps (such as opening a branch or a distributor) to trade within the UAE legally.

A mainland company setup allows you to trade within the UAE market without extra steps, but it means that a local sponsor must hold 51% of the company’s shares.

Selecting the correct business setup for your accounting company might seem complicated. When you contact the highly experienced consultants at Trade License Zone, we will help you to choose the best company setup formation for your business needs and help you get set up quickly and efficiently.

Step 5: Submitting your license application

With the help of Trade License Zone, we will submit your completed professional license application and all supporting documentation and external approvals to the UAE’s DED for processing. We will immediately inform you upon approval so you can begin trading legally.

Step 6: Open your corporate bank account

After applying for your professional business license in Dubai to start your accounting firm, you can apply for your visa and open your corporate bank account. Your visa may enable you to sponsor the visas of family and staff, depending on your license’s conditions. Contact Trade License Zone’s expert team to help you with this critical step.

Costs of starting a bookkeeping business in Dubai

The cost of starting a bookkeeping business in Dubai is AED 20,000 to AED 25,000. The cost depends on many factors, such as visa costs, government approvals, office space, and more.

For an accurate quote, please get in touch with our consultants for a free quote.

Can a CPA practise in Dubai?

Yes, a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) is a recognised qualification throughout the UAE.

Are accountants in demand in the UAE?

Yes, around 30,000 startup businesses open every year in the UAE, all needing accounting and bookkeeping services.

Working with Trade License Zone

Business setup in the UAE is straightforward when you partner with a team of experts, such as Trade License Zone. Starting a business in Dubai, such as an accounting and bookkeeping company, can be tricky when it comes to applying for a trade license, business setup, and more.

When you partner with Trade License Zone, we will save you from unnecessary delays or rejections and streamline the entire process.

The specialists at Trade License Zone can get started once you provide us with some basic documentation and a little information about the nature of your company and business activities. Then, please sit back and let our team take care of the rest.

We’ll manage your professional trading license and visa applications, communicate with all relevant local departments and authorities and report when you’re ready to trade. It really is that simple.

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