Busines Setup Services

Starting Business in Dubai

Starting a business in Dubai is becoming quicker and easier than ever, in line with the vision of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai to help business owners launch and expand their operations without the need for lengthy processes and administration.

Broadly, there are two jurisdictions in Dubai for conducting business: Dubai “mainland” on one hand, and more than 20 economic free zones in Dubai on the other hand. Mainland and free zones offer different advantages depending on your business type and activities.

Select Business Activities

The first step in the process of issuing a license is determining the activity type which identifies legal form options and parties associated with that activity. There are more than 2,100 business activities available in Dubai, which fall into different classes and groups: industrial commercial, professional and tourism activities.

Types of License

The license type is associated with the activity type, thus if the activity type of the license is professional, then the license should be professional as well. When the license combines several activities, the largest activity which is the industrial activity is taken into consideration followed by the commercial activity and then the professional one. For example, if a license contained both commercial and professional activities, the type of the license should be commercial since it’s the larger activity (not applicable for tourism activities). Please note that some of the business activities require approvals from government bodies
other than Dubai DED

Legal Form

A ‘legal form’ is a description of what sort of business you are starting up. It is not a form that needs to be filled in. When you select a legal form for your business in Dubai, you must take into account the business type, business activities, the number and the nationality of owners and the ownership options. Companies in Dubai can take various legal forms. Depending on your particular business activity not all of these legal options may be open to you.

Legal Forms

Sole Proprietorship
– One Person Company (LLC)
– Civil Company
– Limited Liability Company
– Private Share Holding Company
– Public Share Holding Company
– Simple Limited Partnership
– Partnership Company
– Branch of a Foreign Company
– Representative Office
– Branch of a Dubai-based Company
– Branch of a UAE-based Company
– Branch of a GCC-based Company
– Branch of a Free zone Company
– Intelaq (Home-based business for UAE Nationals)
– SME License