How to start a small business in Dubai?

How to start a small business in Dubai?

Entrepreneurs and new-age investors from around the world find a home for their business in the UAE.

A lot of its credit goes to the government that continues to introduce business-friendly laws, especially for foreign investors.

Therefore, you’re thinking in the right direction if you want to set up a small business in Dubai. Small businesses require a lucrative marketplace to make a name for their brand, and that’s exactly what you get in Dubai, the pride of the Middle East.

Small businesses can enjoy 100% foreign ownership, complete repatriation of profits and capital gains, cost-effective business setup, and a lot more in the UAE.

They can explore the world-famous local marketplace of Dubai by setting up their company in the mainland or form their company in a specialized free zone to grow alongside other businesses.

All you need to do is get in touch with the business experts at Shuraa, and they’ll guide you through the company formation process.

Steps to set up a small business in Dubai

Setting up a small business in Dubai is pretty straightforward when you follow the correct steps and follow all the deadlines.

Here’s a stepwise summary to make it easier for you to set up a small business in Dubai:

·        Finalize your company’s structure

What should be the structure of your small business? You can open an LLC (limited liability company) in the Dubai mainland region or find a home for your venture in any of the free trade zones.

You also have the option to launch a small online business in Dubai and enter the market physically once you have a solid client base.

A lot depends on your company’s structure, so never make a rash decision and think of all possible scenarios before freezing your thoughts.

·        Decide your business activities

You must know all the business activities related to your venture before you plan to set up a small business in Dubai.

The DED maintains a list of several permissible activities, and so do the free zone authorities. Therefore, you need to make a list of your desired business activities and apply for a business license accordingly.

Furthermore, remember that you’ll need to apply for additional approvals to obtain an allowance for activities not mentioned in your license.

·        Reserve a trading name

What should be the name of your small business? Are there a few names that you have in mind? List down all these names and check whether they’re available or already taken.

Always choose a business name that’s indicative of your activities and includes all the relevant keywords.

Moreover, refrain from using derogatory terms or words that are outright insulting. Ensure that you’re using the full name of a person if you wish to keep it as the official name of your small business in the UAE.

·        Rent an office space

Small business owners have innovative ideas, creative approaches, but don’t have hefty sums of money for initial investments.

Therefore, it’s better to rent office space to set up a small business in Dubai because it’s very affordable and tailor-made for SMBs.

Blocking a significant chunk of your money in real estate can be tricky if you’re planning to relocate within the UAE or move to some other country because you’ll need to sell it at a reasonable price.

You’re saved from this hassle when you rent an office in Dubai.

·        Obtain your business license

Once you’re done with all the steps mentioned above, it’s time to apply for your small business license.

You’ll need the help of a reliable local sponsor to obtain your business license in the Dubai mainland. Conversely, an LSA (local service agent) would assist you in case of a free zone establishment.

The small business license cost in Dubai varies in accordance with the business activities and nature of your company. Furthermore, a business license is a legal permit to perform a group of activities in the UAE, so ensure that your license is always valid.

Continue to renew your license at least one month before the expiration date to enjoy risk-free business functioning in the UAE.

·        Manage visas

The size of your company decides the number of visas you can acquire in the UAE. You can apply for your visa alongside the visas of your family members, relatives, domestic workers, and more.

It’s a well-defined four-stage process that starts with identification and data validation of the applicant, and you get the visa permit at the end of the process.

·        Open a corporate bank account

Opening a corporate bank account is essential to take care of all the monetary transactions happening in your small business.

Ensure that you choose a bank that’s reliable, secure, and offers long-term benefits. You can get in touch with the legal advisors at Shuraa, and we’ll help you open a bank account in your preferred local or international bank in the UAE based on your requirements.

What paperwork goes into opening a small business in the UAE?

Paperwork and documentation are very strict in Dubai to ensure a risk-free working environment for all the companies.

Be it related to identification or business model – you must have the relevant documents to obtain the desired licenses and approvals to set up a small business in Dubai.

Here’s a curated list of documents you should have:

  • A descriptive business plan document
  • Duly filled application form
  • MoA and LSA agreements
  • Payment receipt oftrade name reservation
  • Passport copies of all the shareholders in your company (if any)
  • NOC from your current sponsor
  • A valid tenancy contract

Consult with Shuraa

You need to have an appropriate understanding of how businesses work in the UAE to set up a small business in Dubai.

It can be taxing for a foreign investor to take care of everything by himself. Therefore, you should partner with Shuraa Business Setup and say goodbye to all your company formation worries.

Our business consultants hold prolific experience in this domain and help you with documentation, licensing banking, and more.

We have helped more than 20,000 clients find a home for their business in Dubai’s marketplace and would love to do the same for you.

So, what’s the wait for? Get in touch with Shuraa today, and let’s take things forward, together!

Click here to book a free consultation with our experts and know more about how to set up a small business in Dubai or call at +971 44081900.

You can also send a WhatsApp message at +971 50 777 5554. For email assistance, mail your query at

Similar Posts