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Starting a Business in Dubai as a foreigner? Here is all you Need to Know

By Ananya - 31 Mar 2022 Last Updated: 01 Apr 2022
Starting a Business in Dubai as a foreigner? Here is all you Need to Know

Table of Contents 

  1. 1. Simplest way to Start a Business in Dubai
  2. 2. Things to notice before Starting a Business in Dubai as a foreigner
  3. 3. Why to Choose Dubai for Starting a Business as a foreigner?
  4. 4. How to Begin a Business in Dubai as a Foreigner
  5. 5. Required Approvals
  6. 6. Conclusion

Commencing a Business in Dubai as a foreigner, without uncertainty, requires extensive groundwork. Any investor considering how to start a business in Dubai as a foreigner would have to handle the available option and processes. Exile entrepreneurs trying to recognize the rules and regulations of a peculiar land and unspecified language might find the task troublesome. However, consulting company formation experts in Dubai gives you a fair idea. While it does not have to be complicated, starting a Business in Dubai as a foreigner does require some local, professional knowledge, so read on to understand how to start a business in Dubai as a foreigner.

Simplest way to Start a Business in Dubai

The company establishment process in the UAE has been designed to be simple ? and is open to anyone. However, it does require a comprehensive understanding of the region's many customs and regulations.

That's why it's always a good idea to hire a business setup company that can not only advise you on the procedure but also find the best licenses and setup type for your business depending on your needs and budget.

When you employ company setup services, you also have the assurance that your licenses and visa applications are free of errors and mistakes, which can result in delays and rejection.

Things to notice before Starting a Business in Dubai as a foreigner

It is essential to understand how things work in Dubai before we get into the explanation of Starting a Business in Dubai as a foreigner.

Why to Choose Dubai for Starting a Business as a foreigner?

Dubai has achieved international recognition as the Middle East's economic center. Its unique geographical location allows them easy access to Gulf, Asia, and the African subcontinent suppliers. Furthermore, 90 % of the city's population comprises expats from worldwide. Moreover, Dubai's excellent infrastructure, safe living environment, tax-friendly legislation, and visionary leadership encourage technology and innovation to create a favorable climate for entrepreneurship. As a result, they are starting a business in Dubai as a foreigner allows you to live in such a prosperous city.

Corporate Structure

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Also known as an LLC, this corporate structure permits many shareholders to incorporate a company with a minimum of two and a maximum of 50. This is the most famous structure in Dubai since it enables easy import/export and trading activities both locally and internationally. It also facilitates the processing of visa and immigration documentation for partners, their families, and staff. However, it is crucial to note that you must partner with a UAE national, an Emirati, to register an LLC company.

The local sponsor serves as a silent partner, providing services for an agreed-upon annual price. It is also conceivable for an ex-pat to own their own business. However, numerous conditions must be completed, and substantial investment is required depending on your business type.

Sole Establishment

This structure is appropriate for a company entirely owned and run by a single individual. It includes professional areas such as consulting, information technology, salons, medical representation, etc.


In Dubai, you can open a business on the mainland or in one of the several free zones. When establishing a business in Dubai as a foreigner, one may question the distinction between the mainland and free zones.


Conducting business in Dubai Mainland lets you deal both inside local marketplaces and globally. The company formation process is relatively scientific, and you can obtain a business license within a day.


Establishing a business in a Freezone is a cost-effective and advantageous option for new firms. Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA), Dubai Media City, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Dubai Healthcare City (DHC), and Dubai Multi Commodities Centre are some of the most famous free zones in Dubai (DMCC). The rules and regulations for enterprises and the schedule for business setup processes may differ from one free zone to the next because their respective authority oversees them.

Trade Permit

All business permits in the emirate are issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai.

There are four sorts of business licenses from which to choose depending on your needs:

Commercial: As the name implies, this license is required to perform any trading activity in Dubai.

Professional: This license is granted to any service-oriented business. Get a Dubai E-Commerce license for your online business.

Industrial: This license is required for any manufacturing or packaging-related operations.

How to Begin a Business in Dubai as a Foreigner

  • Determine your business activity.
  • Determine the best jurisdiction for your business.
  • Complete the legal structure of your company. You can form a single proprietorship, an LLC, or a branch of a foreign corporation.
  • Obtain approval for your trade name.
  • Obtain the necessary trade license. You may obtain a professional, commercial, industrial, or tourism license in Dubai, depending on the nature of your firm.
  • Register your business
  • Create a Memorandum of Association.
  • Hire an office space (if required)
  • Prepare your tenancy contract, commonly known as Ejari.
  • Obtain preliminary approval for your business.
  • Get your trade license and start your business.

Required Approvals

Approval Required for a foreigner to start a business in Dubai

Everything You Need to Know About the DED Professional License in Dubai. Specific enterprises in Dubai must obtain approval from various government entities. For example, if you want to build a restaurant in Dubai, you must first obtain a permit from the municipality for food and safety. Similarly, you must lease or rent factory space of a specific minimum size to carry out any industrial activities.


Dhanguard has experienced corporate legal consultants who will help you determine the best potential corporate structure and identify a relevant jurisdiction. When working with a UAE company formation specialist, all you need to supply is some basic documentation and some information about the nature of your firm. Then sit back and let the experts handle the rest: managing your license and visa applications, contacting with the appropriate departments and authorities, and reporting back when you're ready to start trading. It really is that simple.Connect with our experts for all the details you need.

Dhanguard provides the business setup and company formation services in Dubai, UAE with the guidance of our professional team of consultants. Faster and hassle-free company setup in Mainland and Freezone in UAE.

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