Things You Must Know before Setting Up Your Business in Dubai

Dubai, the commercial capital of the UAE, is a massive attraction for entrepreneurs who want to set their foot in the Middle Eastern market. The city of gold has a vast range of business opportunities and innovative commercial hubs to offer for people looking to venture into entrepreneurship.

Moreover, the investor-friendly policies of the government and UAE Labour Law act as a cherry on the top, making it extremely favourable for entrepreneurs to start their business here.


On this note, today we’re going to tell you briefly about some of the basic things that you must know about before you establish your business in the UAE. Read on and enlighten yourself!

Select the Type of Business You Intend to Do

Before you begin, you must know what kind of business you want to do in Dubai. Similarly, prior to deciding the type of start-up, you should check whether it is allowed in the UAE or not. Because there are certain businesses that the UAE government do not allow to operate. So, decide your business as per the Middle Eastern market.

Decide the Jurisdiction

Within Dubai, there are different zones for business jurisdictions. This increases competence as well as the productivity of businesses. There are many options to choose from like mainland Dubai, Free zones as well as off-plan business options.

Select the Company’s Structure

After sorting the type of business and the jurisdiction comes the time to decide the structure of your company. The company set up in the UAE is the shareholding structure and it also distinguishes the legal status of your business. Therefore, while you’re deciding upon the structure of your company, you should consult legal experts such as Davidson who can guide you properly in this regard.

The type of company structures you can choose from are:

  • LLC i.e., Limited Liability Company.
  • Sole Proprietorship.
  • Public Shareholding.
  • General Partnership.
  • Private Shareholding.
  • Shared Partnership.
  • Joint Ventures
  • SME License.
  • Limited Partnership.
  • Branch Offices.
  • Representative Offices

Find a Reliable Local Partner

For starting a business in the UAE, you need to have a local partner that is UAE national. However, the trickiest part is to find someone who’s reliable and trustworthy because that person will hold 51% of your company’s shares if you’re establishing your company in mainland Dubai. However, if you’re setting up your business in one of the free zones, then you need to require a local service agent who will work for you.

Regardless of where you’re setting up your business, it’s always a good idea to get into a legal agreement with a silent partner. By doing so, you can make your business more secure as the other part is bound through a legal agreement.

Register Your Name with DED

One of the most crucial steps for starting your business in Dubai is getting your brand name registered with the Department of Economic Development (DED). The trading name of your brand will act as its identity in the whole of the UAE.

Secure Approval for Your Business Activity

After getting your brand trading name registered, the next step is to get an approval for your business under the Law No. 13 of 2011. The authority that has the right to issue a license to your business is DED. Other than the mainland, you don’t have to get a license from DED.

Gather Ample Knowledge About Business Laws

Moreover, it’s always wise to get a good understanding of the country’s rules and regulations where you intend to start your business. We recommend getting ample knowledge about the UAE laws regarding business before starting operations here. It will to save yourself from any problems.

Get Your MOA/LSA Drafted

Similarly, you need to draft and sign the Memorandum of Association (MOA) or the Local Service Agent (LSA) agreement. This is required to operate a business legally in Dubai. The MOA contains the specification of the limitation of shares and the liberty and privileges that every partner gets to enjoy.

Similarly, partners also discuss unpredictable scenarios such as an emergency at the time of agreement signing. This year, the use of such articles was largely seen within the UAE . Particularly, during the Covid-19 pandemic, most corporations implemented the clause of force majeure in Dubai through mutual consent.

To sum it up, it is important to understand legal and general rules pertaining to setting up and operating a business. It will save you from troubles and ensure a smooth process. 


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