Considering making a foray into the thriving business scene of Dubai? A hotspot of innovation and entrepreneurial energy, Dubai offers a wealth of opportunities for foreign investors. Our comprehensive guide walks you through each step of the process of registering a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in this dynamic city.
Discover the ins and outs of selecting business activities, securing local sponsorship, drafting the Memorandum of Association (MOA), acquiring the necessary licenses, and obtaining physical office space. But it doesn’t stop there – with JR & Firm by your side, you’ll have access to our extensive range of specialized services tailored to simplify your venture into Dubai’s business landscape.
Whether it’s assistance with company registration, securing a local sponsor, navigating licensing requirements or post-registration services like corporate bank account opening and ongoing compliance management, our team of experts is ready to guide you. With JR & Firm, you’re not just starting a business, you’re building a future. Explore the possibilities today!
1. Business Activity Selection and Name Approval
The first step to registering an LLC in Dubai is to decide on your business activities. Next, you need to select a unique name for your company and have it approved by the Department of Economic Development (DED).
2. Company Ownership
Previously, it was a requirement for Dubai mainland companies to have a local sponsorship, wherein a local sponsor owned 51% of the shares in the company. However, this is no longer the case. Nowadays, foreigners can fully own a company in the mainland, just like Free Trade Zone (FTZ) companies. Depending on your business goals and plans, JR & Firm will provide a consultation to recommend the most suitable structure for your company.
3. Memorandum of Association (MOA)
The MOA, an agreement between the shareholders in the company, needs to be drafted. The MOA will outline the nature of the business, share distribution, and other details about the company’s operations.
4. Licensing and Approvals
After the MOA is notarized, you can apply for a commercial license from the DED. Depending on your business activities, you might also need to obtain approvals from other relevant government departments.
5. Office Space
Securing a physical office space in Dubai is not only a requirement for registering an LLC, but also a necessity for obtaining an investor visa and opening a bank account. Depending on the specific needs of your business, the office can range from a small space to larger premises. JR & Firm can assist with finding a suitable office, thanks to our partnerships with reputable real estate companies in Dubai. We aim to meet your specific requirements and facilitate the necessary processes tied to the physical office, such as producing a tenancy contract, which is an essential part of the company registration, investor visa application, and bank account opening procedures.
6. Final Submission
Once all the documents have been approved, you can submit them to the DED along with the prescribed fees to complete your company registration.
Starting a business in Dubai is a swift process thanks to the efficient procedures established by local authorities. Typically, it takes about 7-10 days to complete everything related to company formation. Following this, obtaining the investor visa (for the company director) and the Emirates ID, both of which are requirements for opening a bank account, will take approximately one month.
Note: If you’re planning to open a company bank account with traditional banks in Dubai, please be aware that they typically require proof of a residential lease. Therefore, clients are expected to rent an apartment and provide a tenancy agreement as part of the bank account opening process.
1. What is the business atmosphere like in Dubai?
Dubai has a vibrant and competitive business environment, attracting entrepreneurs and investors from around the globe. Its strategic location, robust infrastructure, and ease of doing business make it a global hub for commerce and trade.
2. How is the legislative environment in Dubai for foreign businesses?
Dubai provides a highly favorable legislative environment for foreign businesses. It has modern commercial laws and a regulatory environment that encourages business growth and innovation.
3. How proficient is the English language usage in Dubai?
English is widely spoken in Dubai, especially in the business community. Many government services are also offered in English, making it easy for foreign entrepreneurs to navigate.
4. What well-known companies have operations in Dubai?
Many global corporations have operations in Dubai, including Microsoft, Google, and IBM, along with major financial institutions like HSBC and Citi Bank.
5. Which banks can I consider for my company's banking needs in Dubai?
Dubai hosts numerous well-known international and local banks, such as Emirates NBD, Dubai Islamic Bank, HSBC, and Standard Chartered Bank.
6. What living considerations should I have in mind when moving to Dubai?
While moving to Dubai, consider factors like housing, cost of living, health care, and lifestyle. Dubai offers a high standard of living, but the cost of living can be higher than in many other cities.
7. What is the quality of education in Dubai?
Dubai is home to a number of internationally recognized schools and universities. Education is of a high standard, with many schools offering International Baccalaureate, British, American, French, and German curriculums.
8. Can I own 100% of my business in Dubai?
Yes, changes in regulations now allow foreign investors to own 100% of their businesses in Dubai mainland, just like in Free Trade Zones.
9. How long does it take to start a business in Dubai?
It typically takes around 7-10 days to complete all procedures related to company formation, and approximately one month to obtain an investor visa and Emirates ID.
10. Do I need a physical office to start a business in Dubai?
Yes, a physical office space is required for registering an LLC in Dubai. It’s also needed for obtaining an investor visa and opening a bank account.
11. How can I obtain an investor visa?
After forming your company, you can apply for an investor visa, which allows you to live in Dubai. The process typically takes about a month.
12. Do I need a local sponsor to start a business in Dubai?
No, a local sponsor is no longer required for mainland companies in Dubai. Foreigners can own their companies 100%.
13. What type of business entities can I form in Dubai?
There are several types of business entities that can be formed in Dubai, including Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), Free Zone Companies, and Offshore Companies.
14. Can I bring my family to Dubai while I set up my business?
Yes, after receiving your investor visa, you can sponsor visas for your family members.
15. What is the corporate tax rate in Dubai?
Currently, Dubai does not levy corporate tax except for oil companies and branches of foreign banks.
16. What are the business hours in Dubai?
Business hours in Dubai usually run from 9 am to 6 pm, with a break in the day for lunch. However, during Ramadan, these hours may be shortened.
17. What sectors are popular for business in Dubai?
Key sectors in Dubai include tourism, real estate, retail, logistics, financial services, and information technology, among others.
18. What documents do I need to start a business in Dubai?
The required documents may vary depending on the type of business, but typically include a passport copy, visa copy, and business plan.
19. Do I need to be present in Dubai to start my business?
While it’s generally recommended to be present, many processes can be completed remotely, especially with the help of a company formation specialist.
20. What are the steps to start a business in Dubai?
Key steps include deciding on the type of business entity, securing a physical office space, obtaining necessary licenses, and opening a bank account.
21. What language is the business language in Dubai?
While Arabic is the official language of the UAE, English is widely used in business transactions and communications.
22. How is the political stability in Dubai?
Dubai, as part of the UAE, enjoys a high degree of political stability which is beneficial for businesses.
23. What is the employment process like in Dubai?
The employment process involves securing a work permit and visa for your employees. The process can be handled by JR & Firm
24. How is the infrastructure in Dubai?
Dubai offers world-class infrastructure, including transport, telecommunications, and utilities, which is favorable for businesses.
24. What networking opportunities are available in Dubai?
There are numerous networking opportunities in Dubai through various business councils, trade shows, and networking events.
Jasur Mavlyanov, an experienced entrepreneur and legal expert, has built a notable career in international business, with a focus on China. With over 13 years of experience living and working in China, Mavlyanov has acquired valuable insights into the Chinese legal system and business environment.
As an entrepreneur, Jasur founded JR & Firm LLC, a company dedicated to providing legal services to global clients entering the Chinese market. His leadership has helped the firm become a reliable partner for businesses navigating the complexities of Chinese regulations and laws. READ MORE about Jasur.