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Starting a company in Dubai as a foreigner requires, without a question, a significant amount of preparation. Any investor who is considering how to establish a company in Dubai as a foreigner will have to navigate the many choices and procedures accessible to him or her. Expat entrepreneurs who are attempting to grasp the laws and regulations of a foreign country in a foreign language may find the job difficult and time-consuming. Consulting with business formation specialists in Dubai, on the other hand, will provide you with a reasonable estimate.

As a foreigner, this is what you need to know in Dubai to start a business

What you need to know before establishing a company in Dubai as a foreigner is detailed below.

First and foremost, it is essential that you understand how things operate in Dubai before we can discuss how to establish a company in the emirate as an international investor.

What is it about Dubai that interests you?

Dubai has risen to worldwide prominence as the Middle East’s financial and commercial centre. Its geographically advantageous position allows it to have easy access to suppliers in the Gulf, Asia, and the African subcontinent, among other places. Expats from all over the globe make about 90% of the city’s population, which is a significant proportion. Furthermore, Dubai’s outstanding infrastructure, secure living environment, tax-friendly laws, and visionary leadership, which promotes technology and innovation, all combine to create an atmosphere that is very favourable to the growth of businesses. As a result, establishing a company in Dubai as a foreigner offers you with the opportunity to live in such a profitable city while earning an income.

Structure of the corporation

Before you can start a business in Dubai, one of the most important choices you must make is what kind of firm you want to establish. There are many variables that will influence this, including the type of your business, the goal of your firm, and the operational features of your organisation, among others. There are two main kinds of business arrangements from which you may choose: partnerships and corporations.

Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) — This corporate structure, also known as a limited liability corporation (LLC), provides for the creation of a business by bringing together a group of shareholders with a minimum of two and a maximum of fifty. This is the most often used structure in Dubai since it facilitates import/export and trade operations both locally and internationally without causing undue difficulty. Besides that, it facilitates the processing of visa and immigration papers for partners, their families, and company workers, among others. It is essential to remember, however, that in order to establish an LLC business, you must partner with a UAE citizen, namely an Emirati. This local sponsor serves as a silent partner, providing services in exchange for an agreed-upon yearly fee. It is also feasible for an expat to become the sole owner of his or her own business enterprise. However, there are a number of requirements that must be fulfilled, as well as a substantial deposit that varies depending on the nature of your company.

A sole proprietorship is a business form that is appropriate for a firm that is entirely owned and managed by a single individual. It includes professional areas such as consulting, information technology, salons, medical representation, and so on.


In Dubai, you have the option of establishing a business on the mainland or in one of the many free zones. One may ask, while establishing a new company in Dubai as a foreigner, what the differences are between mainland Dubai and free zones.

Mainland — Owning and operating a business in Dubai It is possible to trade both inside and outside of the local marketplaces on Mainland. The procedure of forming a corporation is quite organised. Furthermore, you may get a company licence in as little as one day.

The establishment of a company in a free zone is a realistic and advantageous option for new companies. There are many free zones in Dubai, including the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA), Dubai Media City, Dubai Silicon Oasis, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the Dubai Healthcare City (DHC), and the Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC) (DMCC). The laws and regulations for companies, as well as the timeframe for completing company establishment procedures, may differ from one free zone to another, since each is controlled by its own set of rules and regulations.

Permission to Do Business

Almost all business licences in Dubai are issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED), which is part of the Dubai government. There are four different kinds of business licences from which you may select based on your particular industry:

Commercial — As the name implies, this licence is required in order to operate any kind of trade company in Dubai.

Professional — This licence is granted to any business that provides a service to the public.

Industrial – This licence is required for any manufacturing or packaging operations that take place on your property.

Tourism — In this instance, not only is the Department of Economic Development (DED) involved, but also the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) (DTCM). The latter is the one who issues the business licence.

Approvals are needed for foreigners who want to establish a company in Dubai.

In Dubai, certain companies must get authorization from a variety of government authorities in order to operate. For example, if you want to establish a restaurant in Dubai, you will need to get a permission from the municipality in order to ensure food safety and quality. In a similar vein, in order to carry out any industrial operations, you must lease or rent factory space with a specified minimum floor size.

Assistance from a professional

Are you still perplexed about how to establish a company in Dubai as a foreign national? Consult with Generis Global, which specialises in UAE business creation. Our knowledgeable legal corporate advisers will not only assist you in determining the most advantageous company form and selecting the most appropriate jurisdiction, but they will also guide you through the process and make it as simple as possible.