How to Start Business In UAE

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Ways to start your business in UAE


United Arab Emirates is known as a trading hub in the world and it is drawing the attention of investors from far and wide. UAE provides a great opportunity of growth to its investors. UAE shares a strategic location between the west and the east. It allows the transportation of goods among so many regions due to easy access to ports. Not only the strategic position but also the infrastructure of United Arab Emirates offers bright chances of business and employment opportunities to the people. UAE offers plenty of business locations that are good enough to establish a business. How to start business in UAE is a frequently asked question by the interested investors. People often think that it would be a lengthy procedure and a lot of steps must be involved in it. But you don’t need to worry because UAE always tries to facilitate its investors and procedure has been kept so simple to encourage investment.

How to start business in UAE is the question that many investors are trying to find answer to. This is why; below we will describe two main ways that will help you in figuring out your answer of how to start business in UAE.

  1. How to start business in UAE Mainland:


UAE is known for its amazing business opportunities in the world. There are many investors who want to start their business in UAE so they can consider establishing their business on the mainland in UAE. So if you have decided to start your business in mainland, first of all you are required to contact the Department of Economic Development (DED) of the concerning Emirate. This department will provide the initial approval and the trade name will be registered here. Investors or businessmen are allowed to personally visit their office or they can avail the eservices of this department. After getting the initial approval, the next step is to get an approval from other concerning government authorities. These approvals are necessary if you want to carry on a trading or business activity in UAE.

When you are planning to set up your business in UAE, you must consider the following prerequisites. These prerequisites will guide you how to start business in UAE.

  • First of all, you have to consider the likely cost of your business. Cost of a business depends upon the nature of business activity and the license that is required to carry on this activity. Secondly, you need to decide that what will be the legal form of your company. It would be an establishment, branch/franchise of a company or a company as a whole.
  • After deciding the form of company, you have to estimate your capital requirements. When you are establishing your business on mainland, the capital requirements vary according to the nature of business. In case of PJSC, the minimum capital requirement is 30 million AED whereas in case of PrJSC it must not be less than 5 million AED and it will be paid in full.

In case of foreign companies that want to establish a Limited Liability company (LLC), they need to follow the rules of respective emirate for minimum share capital.

Benefits to start business in mainland:

After knowing the basic requirements of how to start business in UAE mainland, the investors should also know the certain benefits. You can avail these benefits after starting your business in mainland.

  • After starting the business in UAE mainland, you are allowed to do business in any part of UAE.
  • Multiple entry visas can be obtained without any restriction.
  • License can be obtained easily for conducting many business activities.
  • There is no personal tax or business tax.


  1. Start your business in a free zone:

People who ask how to start business in UAE, they can also think to set up their business in free zone. There are plenty of areas in UAE that are declared as free zone. Free zones are the places where investors have to face fewer restrictions. If a business man does not want to share the ownership of his business with a UAE national or he does not know a UAE national with whom he can start his business then free trade zone is a good choice for the investor. In these free zones, businessmen are allowed to have 100% ownership of an enterprise.

In free zones, businessmen are allowed to carry on multiple trading and manufacturing activities without any custom interference. But when the goods are moved from the free zones to the customers within the UAE then they are subject to prevailing custom duties.

Free zones are mainly created near major sea ports, international airports and national frontiers.


When you decide how to start business in UAE, you must consider the option of free zone as it offers you plenty of benefits.

Benefits of establishing business in free zone:

Here are some promising advantages of establishing a business in free zone. They can help you in making decision when you are thinking how to start business in UAE.

  • Import and exports of your business are fully exempt from tax.
  • There is no restriction on the repatriation of capital and profit.
  • No corporate tax is imposed on a businessman.
  • No personal income tax is imposed.
  • Import and export is fully exempt from tax.
  • Licensing procedure is very easy. So business can be started on an instant basis.

These advantages may vary from a free zone to another free zone.

There is one major disadvantage of free zone. If you have established your business in UAE free zone then you cannot move it to anywhere else in UAE.


The above discussion throws a light on how to start business in UAE in two different ways. Both of the options have their own benefits. Difference is clear between a business start up on a mainland and free zone so you can select any option that suits your needs best.