United Arab Emirates and Dubai in particular is focused on trading and promoting businesses in the country. It has made tremendous progress and is ranked at the top of the global ease of doing business index. Bureaucratic hurdles are very negligible, the requirements are clearly listed publicly for ease of reference. Real Estate, Trading, Food and Beverages, Retail are all major contributors to the GDP.
The highly developed infrastructure, global connectivity, excellent logistic support for global trade, availability of free zones, a multi-cultural workforce, excellent law and order management, ease of recruiting resources from unskilled to highly skilled, absence of income tax all contribute to making United Arab Emirates and Dubai in particular a magnet for business set up.
Business Advisory services help you make the most of these opportunities.
Business setup - Ownership
The regulatory and legal framework of the country, is well established, to provide more than requisite assurance to investors, on their ability to own and manage their investments in business entities, in a confident manner.
The country has a very small percentage of citizens as compared to the total population of the country, with expatriates constituting a big majority. This requires the country to undertake some safeguards, which are very straight-forward and easy to manage with no impact on the business ability to have full control of their business interests.
Free zones offer business setup with 100 % ownership to expatriate investors, while business setup for professional activities can also be set up with 100 % ownership by expatriate investors. The other businesses require having a citizen or local corporate as partner.
You can download an excel sheet listing the activities by clicking here
Our business advisory services helps you navigate and decide on the right setup
Forms of Business Entity
Almost all the globally known forms of business setup are allowed to be set up in the country. Be it sole proprietorship, Partnerships, private limited companies or public joint stock companies. Even joint ventures and representative offices are common forms of businesses in the region.
As in any geography, the requirements and regulatory framework around these forms of business setups are specific to the sensitivities of the country.
The cost of doing business is also directly proportional, to the nature and scale of business being contemplated. Apart from that capital requirements, staff quotas and approval requirements would have to be considered while deciding on the form of business. These rules are common for both mainland and Free Zone area.
It is to be noted that, there are clear listing of activities for doing business, this also has an impact on the form of business entity that an investor plans to set up. Click here to see the listing of forms on the Government website
Our business advisory services provides you clarity to decide on the form of business entity most suited to your requirements.
Free zone setups:
Businesses can be set up in designated Free-zones or on mainland. While businesses can be set up in any free-zone, there is also an option to set up the business in a specific themed free-zone to better align with the activities to be undertaken, for e.g. Silicon Oasis or Internet City for technology related businesses.
There are also specialised free-zones to cater to small start-ups, incubators and creative endeavours.
The primary attraction of setting up business in a free-zone, when compared to mainland setup, is 100 % ownership for any form of business. The businesses in the free-zone are regulated by the specific free-zone authority.
A significant number of free-zones have also been notified as designated zone for the VAT law, which makes businesses in the designated zone as being outside the shores of UAE hence no impact of VAT. The only consideration is businesses in free-zones are not allowed to directly supply to mainland businesses, which is to be expected of a free-zone principle globally.
Our Business advisory services help you decide on the free zone most suited for your requirements
Setting up business in Mainland U.A.E - Mainland Setup
Mainland refers to any part of the country other than free-zones. This is the preferred mode of doing business in U.A.E. There are well established set of guidelines, which have matured over a period of time.
There are several well established mainland setup businesses in the country, which have consistently grown over the years, and have become global players.
All forms of businesses and all activities can be undertaken mainland setup business. Setting up business in mainland is comparatively lower cost over a period of time, with comparatively lesser compliance requirements, when you consider the additional requirements that free-zone authorities are known to require businesses in their jurisdiction to comply with. for e.g. audit reports for renewals, location and office requirements, etc.
Contrary to common belief, expatriates can legally own 100 % of the business for professional category activities in the form of sole establishment or civil companies in mainland setup businesses.
Our business advisory services can also help you buy an existing business
Professional advisory services - why?
The options are many, the entities to deal with are in multiples, documentation is primarily in Arabic, communication is primarily in Arabic, while explicit the process is still extensive and unique to the region, limited knowledge of available options even for businesses operating in the region, given the regular and pro-active updates to ease doing business in the region.
Professional business advisory services helps you understand the current options in all its aspects to take the right decision and invest wisely.