Read the steps to start your business in United Arab Emirates

Steps to start a business in the United Arab Emirates

Setting up a business anywhere in the world is a vital decision. But while starting a business in the United Arab Emirates every decision must be made at the right time. Expertise and experience are required to start a company in the UAE. Nevertheless, the investor-friendly government has made few steps to start a business in the UAE in order to make the process easy.

Here are the most important steps of starting a business in the United Arab Emirates:

Select a Business Activity

Understand the practicability of your business set up in the UAE while selecting the business activity you would like to start and do a thorough research on the feasibility of the business in the UAE

Select the Jurisdiction

UAE Market is that it is divided into different zones in order to increase the efficiency of every business setup. Mainland, Free zone and Offshore selecting a jurisdiction completely depends on your demands, requirements and business activity.

Decide the Company Structure

Decide the kind of legal form or the company structure for your business at an initial stage. Do it before licensing the company as it will help you to provide a proper layout for your company. UAE companies are under the company structure of Limited Liability, General Trading, General Partnership, Partnership in Commendams, Public Shareholding, Private Shareholding, Joint Venture and Share Partnership. These can be decided based on your jurisdiction and business activity.

Name and Activity Approval

The Economic Department approves the trade name for you before you move ahead and start the process of the company set up in the UAE. The activity is also approved at this step and required documentation is distinguished for the process of licensing.

License your Company

There are mainly four types of licenses that you can choose from if you are planning to start a business in the UAE. Those are Commercial License, Professional License, Industrial License and Tourism License. These licenses are mainly regulated in UAE mainland. However, the licensing structure in the UAE free zone are different and subjected to the business activity performed by the company.

Register your Company

Company registration and licensing is a simultaneous process, yet the entire process of documentation and approvals goes through various stages and is known as registration of your company in the UAE. In this step, you will have to get all the approval from the governmental authorities as requested by the Economic Department. The documentation is different for each company type and activity.

Find a UAE Local Partner / Sponsor

Finding a partner is one of the mandatory steps of starting a company in the UAE. Finding a trustworthy partner or a sponsor who is a UAE national can be tedious for foreign entrepreneurs. But there are a few good and reliable business setup companies in the UAE that partner with UAE as a local national. These business setup companies offer you documented authority and complete control over your business with zero interference.

Get your External Approvals

The Department of Economic Development demands external approval from some of the governmental as well as non-governmental bodies. For instance, companies may require getting approvals from the municipality, banks, embassies, etc.

Draft your Memorandum of Association

Comprehend the complexities of the Memorandum of Association (MOA). Before drafting the MOA also make sure to take expert advice so that the MOA is drafted in accordance to the governmental standards and your interests.

Rent an office

Renting an office or getting a workspace in a business centre is also one of the steps of starting a business in the UAE. The Economic Department conditions on the space rented for certain business activities as well as sanctions number of visas based on the office space rented in the UAE.

Get the Tenancy Contact and Ejari

It is important to get the tenancy agreement and Ejari for the rented warehouse, factory or office space. You must rightly draft your agreement and makes a tenancy contract. It is also required to be notarized as per the governmental standards.

Get an Initial Approval

Before getting your Business License the Economic Department provides you an initial approval. It is basically a statement that allows you to carry out your business until you receive your Trade License. The name reservation certificate, passport copies of partners and all the approvals from the external departments are submitted, after which the Economic Department grants the initial approval. The initial approval allows you to start your business proceeding.

Collect your Business License

To collect the UAE business license you will have to submit the Memorandum of Association, the License Application, the attested LLC agreement, governmental forms, name reservation certificate, initial approval certificate, external departments approval, tenancy contract, EJARI registration certificate, passport copies partners, NOC for partners (if any) or any other specifications as per your business demands. All these documents are submitted to the Department of Economic Development along with the governmental fees. You should get a license after about a week from the Department of Economic Development.

Contact Shuraa Business Setup

Not sure how to get it done? Contact Shuraa Business Setup a leading business setup service provider in the UAE offering A to Z solutions to start a business in the UAE.

With over a decade of experience and a professional team that develops quality service tailored to the needs of each individual business owner Shuraa can help you start your business in no time! We are fully aware that complex business issues require careful understanding, proper planning, and correct implementation.

If you are facing any complexities get Free Business Setup Consultation. Call us on +97144081900 or WhatsApp us on +971507775554. You may also email us on or log on to