The UAE is a global leader in trade and business. You are probably wondering what type of business structure in Dubai or other Emirates would work best for you if you want to capitalize on this market.
You can set up an offshore company, a free zone company, or a local company in the mainland. Each type of company has its own set of requirements and restrictions regarding the business activities that are allowed.
1. OffShore Company
An offshore company is the best choice if you are looking to do business in the UAE but also want to take advantage of the local banking facilities, tax-exempts, and 100% foreign ownership. These are the three most important points to remember when an offshore Company Setup in Dubai.
The UAE does not allow you to establish a physical office.
The registered agent will be the only address for the company.
Visa is not available to you. This means that you can’t become a resident of the UAE under the sponsorship by an offshore company.
For an offshore business set up in Dubai, it is important to understand that only one registered agent can submit the application and not the investor directly. The process of Company Setup in Dubai will take approximately 3-5 working days.
2. Company in a Free Zone
You can own 100% of the company in a Free Zone. There are no taxes and flexible office solutions. You can also obtain UAE resident visas to you and your family. You can operate in the UAE, with some restrictions to the local market, and anywhere else outside the UAE. Each free zone has its own list that allows companies to do certain activities.
There are more than 30 zones that are operationally free in Dubai alone. Dubai Design District, for example, focuses primarily on fashion and design activities, while Dubai Internet City is primarily focused on IT, Internet, and software-related activities. A free zone company is the best choice for expats.
You can open a trading company by opening a free zone business. Wholesale trading is permitted (except in some cases in certain free areas), but not retail sales. Companies in the free zone are not allowed to sell their products directly to local markets. This is however not applicable to local businesses.
3. Local Company
A local company on the mainland is best if you are looking to start a retail store. The Department of Economic Development (DED) must register a local Dubai company. A local partner must have 51% shares to obtain a Commercial license. You, as a foreigner will have 49% shares. Wholesale and retail trade includes construction, transport, stockpiling and communication. Foreigners will need 49% shares.
If you’re looking for a Professional license, however, you can still be 100% owner of the business as a foreign investor. Marketing and management consulting, restaurants, coffee shops, beauty and spa salons, and many other professional activities are some examples of professions.
A physical office is a requirement for a local business. A physical office is required for the registration of a local company. The license can’t be issued without it. Local companies are allowed to trade in the UAE and other international markets. You are also eligible for UAE resident visas through local sponsorship.
4. Get Started Today
Get in touch with the My Business Consulting Make My Firm Business Setup team to make the first steps toward the business establishment in Dubai. We are a renowned Corporate Services Provider in Dubai and can help you launch your business quickly and smoothly.
To schedule a complimentary consultation, call us at +971 52 673 9777