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Here is How to Start a Business in Dubai as a Foreigner

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starting business in dubai as a foreigner is easy

Dubai is the capital city of United Arab Emirate, a gulf nation in the Middle East, Asia Continent. Known for its oil rich economy the country has now been a leading center for business and entrepreneurship. The government of UAE has done some tremendous job in ensuring that the country becomes a global hub for startup and businesses and that can be seen with its rising economy and growing fascination among businesses to start here.

The country ranks at 11th spot when it comes to ease of doing business. Ease of doing business is a consolidated word that evaluates various business parameters to give a final rank.

In comparison to other regional countries in the Middle East, the rank of UAE has been extremely good where the average ranks happens to be 58. UAE ranks at 1st spot in getting electricity which is among the several parameters that determine ease of doing business. It ranks at 2nd spot in paying taxes, 7th in registering property and 5th in dealing with construction permits.

It ranks at 9th spot in enforcing contracts and 15th in protecting minority investors. The rank goes a bit low while dealing with other parameters such as 25th in starting a business, 44th in getting credit, 75th in resolving insolvency and 98thin trading across borders.

Nevertheless the country has a very high rank in doing business and that is why it has been a center of attraction for investors and startups that are enriching the country’s economy and providing new jobs.

Active Aid to Businesses:

Dubai has been a center for doing business in UAE and the government has created free zone for businesses which are mostly foreign owned. The government believes in least interference and also has provided incentives to the business by lowering taxes, providing government aid and also by minimizing bureaucratic hurdles. The country has attracted 56% of the fortune 500 companies to do business in Dubai. It also has more than 2 lakh registered companies in which many belong to the medium and small scale enterprises that are key to create employment.

The country has been very moderate in order to accommodate foreign investors and also a great share of world tourist. The liberal policies of the government has made it possible that there is a favorable atmosphere to work and live in UAE.

Now when it comes to starting business there is a procedure made for foreigners who want to invest and start their business in the country. The first step is obviously with preparing to start a business.

An Extensive Business Plan:

According to WolfDocs – Business Setup Consultant It is not an easy decision to make when you have chosen to start a business in foreign country. There are lots of preparations that have to be made in order to start your business. And that starts with a through planning.

A business plan is a necessary part in your first step towards starting your business. Such a plan contains all the details of your business which has various question answered. Before writing a business plan one must go through deep research or can opt for a firm that does feasibility analysis which will help you to explore business opportunity, chances of success, type of business, etc.

After you have all the information then you can move towards writing a comprehensive business plan. A business plan contains:

  • Capital Investment amount
  • Type of Business
  • Micro Details related to Investment
  • Detailed methods of starting a business
  • Probable place of business
  • Expected turnover
  • Details of business, etc.

It’s the time to obtain Visa.

Obtaining Visa for Business in Dubai

Since you will be doing business in Dubai therefore you will have to apply for a business Visa with multiple entries. The first step in obtaining a business visa is to consult the local embassy of UAE in your country. To apply for visa you need:

  • A set of photographs
  • Passport
  • Ticket details
  • Purpose of visit
  • In case you are establishing your business you need to show your business plan
  • Visa application duly completed
  • Guarantor’s visa and passport with 3 month validity
  • Security amount
  • Bank statement
  • Some other personal details, if required

Type of Business Visa you can have: There is a 30 day and 90 day multiple entry visa program where one can enter UAE and exit anytime for 30-90 days. This is the most preferred visa type for business officials. You can choose the type and then fill the visa form accordingly. These two types of visas are non-extensible.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Your passport should be at least 6 months valid from the day of entry.
  • In case you are student, minor or women, you need to be accompanied by someone
  • You should have never been convicted in Dubai
  • You should have never been deported from Dubai

You need to lastly pay the due fees for the approval of your visa. It takes a week time to get your visa processed. It will be mailed to you on your email and in case of delay you will be informed.

Starting your Business

It is evident that if you have made your mind to start a business in Dubai you have already met with people who are going to assist you in your business startup. The best way to go further is to hire a firm that provides assistance to businesses in their incorporation.

You can look online for many such firms that have an excellent record in providing services to the new emerging businesses. They help in many ways by getting your visa done, arranging resources for your business, getting documentation work, dealing with authorities, getting various clearance and licenses, etc.

Don’t take the risk of doing things on your own as it may consume your time and you may needlessly have to face trouble.

Select the Type of Business

UAE offers business in free zone areas that are specially meant for businesses that offer various advantages. If you want to establish your business in such type then there are two such types:

  • Free Zone Limited Liability Company
  • Free Zone Establishment

You need to do further consultancy in order to take a call. There are certain criteria to be fulfilled in order to start your business in those particular zones.

Choose a Trade Name

You need to choose a trade name for your business and this requires you to check it in the list of restricted and already used trade names. Name of UAE and Dubai cannot be used in your trade name and apart from these there are various other restrictions for choosing your trade name which you can check up with the free zone authority.

The Business you are starting

Your business will obviously start either as a goods or service business and you would be dealing with one of such goods and services. Dubai allows a wide range of business types to operate in the country. Some of them also have some kinds of restrictions while there are few that cannot be carried out by foreigners in UAE.

There are also some restricted businesses that are illegal. You need to be vigilant on this. For starting any of such business you may also require a license. Some of the types of licenses issued are:

  • Educational
  • Industrial
  • Media
  • Commercial
  • Consultancy Services
  • E-Commerce
  • Freelancer
  • Offshore
  • Manufacturing and
  • Warehousing

For various such types of licenses there are different criteria and eligibility which you need to check.

Business Type

Apart from Free Zone Business, there is common type of business. They are generally Share Company, limited liability, Proprietorship, Joint Company, etc.

The next after this is getting a business space from where you will operate your business. If you are into manufacturing then you will require larger space for manufacturing goods. Dubai is a very expensive place thus you need to be very careful in choosing business space to avoid extra expenditure. Size and space depends on the size of your business. To get one such space your promoter or your advisory firm will help you.

Important Read: 12 Things you Need to Know Before Starting a Business in Dubai

Incorporation of your Business

Incorporating your business means getting all the documents, getting a bank account, have sufficient capital, done all other important work related to your startup and get an approval of your business. Registration is one such important aspect where your business will become a legal entity. For registration you will have to get all your documents, permissions, license, business space, employees, capital, bank account, etc.

Take help of your advisory firm in incorporation of your business. They will do the most of such work and it will not be that tough for you to start your business. Get yourself registered as a tax payer and don’t forget to fulfill all the legal formalities to avoid any later issue.

Thus your business is on the start.

What to do during your Startup:

Getting a Local Sponsor: A local sponsor is one who own 51% of the shares of your business and in return gets yearly income. He should be a national of UAE. You need to get a local sponsor to start your business.

Selecting a Free Zone: Starting a business in Free Zone will help you in getting 100% ownership of your business. It will also give several advantages like duty free custom boundaries, speedy startup, etc.

Select a Local which is Preferable for Startup: A feasibility analysis report would be of utmost importance in choosing your place of business. This will depend on the ease through which you can manage your business. There are types of businesses situated at particular place and it adds advantage of communication, connectivity and daily working to establish your business at place that is of advantage to your business.

Get ready to stay for a while: You should be mentally prepared to stay for a good time if you want to start your business as it may take some time to officially start a business. Meeting with people of various kind for your business startup, getting permissions, licenses, office space, sponsors, partners, etc. will require your physical presence.

Hire a Legal and Business Advisor: You need advisors who will help you in basics. To get a glimpse of how business works in Dubai requires a deep insight from a person who is professionally into it. A business advisor will help you in such case. He will also help you in your business incorporation by helping you go through various steps smoothly. Permissions, license, office space, meeting clients, customers, partners, a business advisor can help you a lot in this.

What not to do:

Do not Enter Dubai without Planning: Do not enter the country without planning as it may cost you a lot staying there and then planning. Planning is essential which requires some deep research before you step into the country. Dubai is costly place and thus staying there can be quite costly.

Don’t take Legal Formalities for granted: Dubai laws are strict while dealing with irregularities in business. Don’t take legal formalities lightly and be punctual with it. Permissions, licenses, valid visa and passport, correct trade practices should be your priority. Don’t fall for people who will persuade you to go for things that sound fishy and are wrong from the eyes of law.

Make sure everything is on Paper: Don’t make deals especially related to money orally. Make sure everything you deal into is legally bounded so that you are subject to fairness. Don’t trust people blindly and ensure that there is a legal binding on your all dealings.

Be Vigilant with your Capital: Before you invest a single penny ensure that it is not going waste. Be vigilant in spending money and you should have proper research that whatever you are spending is going for the right cause. Business is essentially about profit thus your expenditure should have good probability of return. Don’t spend money mindlessly without a proper plan.

Be Smart: This would be the last advice you need as your business is about to start. Don’t follow even your advisors blindly. Be wise with decision making, go through all the details before you give your assent.

Dubai has lot to give to aspiring entrepreneurs. There is a good chance that your business will flourish and thus you should be optimistic and positive while you start your business.

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