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Business Setup FAQ

Business Setup FAQ

For a LLC Company – yes, it is necessary that you need to be a resident of UAE and have a resident visa or a partner’s visa. However, for a Freezone Company – that provides 100% foreign ownership, does not require a resident visa or for the investor to reside in UAE. Although, the general manager appointed for the freezone company needs to be a resident of UAE.
The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) regulates the association between the landlord and the tenant, outlines each party’s responsibilities and minimizes disputes and misunderstandings.
Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) is the regulating body for all the rental properties in Dubai, including office space, warehouses, etc.
The UAE market is an open one however, there are firm restriction enforced by the governmental agencies. A certain restraint cannot be described, as restrictions mainly depend on the type of business structure, the business activity, the jurisdiction and other such standards.
Various licenses and permission can be availed from the government only when an attested lease copy is shown. To get a better idea on renting an office contact Shuraa Business Setup today! Or click here -
No, renting or leasing an office or premise is one of the significant requirements for obtaining a trade license. The DED in co-ordination with the Planning Department of Dubai Municipality scrutinizes the place, fitting to your business activity and provides an approval accordingly.
No, for an offshore company formation in UAE there is no requirement of renting an office space.
Yes, a freezone business setup in UAE can only operate within its registered jurisdiction. Thus, it is important to choose the right freezone jurisdiction, so that renting an office space become convenient.
Yes, a freezone company needs to have office space on rent in UAE. However, for a freezone business affordable possibilities such as Flexi-desk, Smart-desk, etc. are available. Ask Shuraa Business Setup! Or click here -
There are plenty of options without any restrictions for a mainland business setup in Dubai. Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay, Deira, Bur Dubai, Al Quoz, Al Quasais, etc. are some of the prominent place to rent an office in Dubai. Shuraa Business Setup also offers cost-effective measures to rent an office. Find out call us now -
Yes, a physical presence is a must in UAE. Having an office space on rent or lease is compulsory, for most of the governmental licenses, as they are processed only after you submit your lease agreement. However, the kind of business setup defines whether an office space in mandate. For instance, a Mainland or a Freezone needs a rented office space but this compulsion is not imposed on Offshore business setup. Find out why,
Documents required to get involved in any kind of website services are Business Trade License, Business Owner’s Passport & Visa Copy and Owner’s Emirates ID.
An annual website maintenance contracts are an all-inclusive way to keep your website updated, active and operative, at all times. Shuraa offers three categories of AMC packages starting from Basic Package, Intermediate Package and Advance Package – depending on your website pages and requirements you can opt for the level of consistent support. These AMC’s cover regular alterations, updates, replacements and repairs.
Although there are several differences between a Dedicated Server and Shared Hosting with regards to performance, control, cost, the most significant one is the bandwidth and disk space. In a Dedicated Server, the entire server is dedicated to your website, however, Shared Hosting is when a several websites are hosted under the same server. Both work efficiently, depending on the scope of the website.
Yes, Shuraa can host an already designed website. Take a look at each of the web hosting packages and the features, you can pick the package that suits your needs. Know more
The time frame required may vary from 15 days to 90 days, however, it completely depends on the requirements and specifications of the website needed.
Shuraa can design or redesign your websites. We offer three categories of website design and development packages – those are Startup, Business and Corporate. All the packages are nominally priced with exclusive features such as google map, social media pages, SEO assistance, free Content, support and so on.
All-in-one Website Services is a cost-effective and categorized method to get your website done. You do not need to run around places for designing, hosting, support, SEO or even content – get your All-in-one Website a comprehensive and under-one-roof solution for your website related needs. Buy now
Certainly, Shuraa offers multiple business websites that have attractive features and are at an affordable price. Learn more about the features and cost
Yes, a business website can be enormously useful while setting up a company. The website will not only promote your products and service, but also let you customers know that you exist in the market.
It is not possible to list the enormous activities carried out by a PRO. But to mention a few; Visa Applications – Applying, Cancelling or Renewal; Assistance on Ministry and Government procedures and documentation; Drafting documents for judicial bodies; processing paperwork for governmental department and getting clearance; permissions and licenses for various business level activities; notary requirements involved with the Chamber of Commerce; the Foreign Affairs Office; or the Ministry of Justice and various other government bodies depending on the business activity. To learn about PRO in Dubai and UAE, click here -
There are possibilities, that you may require a PRO even after liquidating your company. It merely depends if are any legal procedures are left incomplete.
A PRO is required during company registration and business licensing, for getting approvals; functional reviews and inspecting the company standards; procurement for companies from the Department of Economic Development; dealings with ministries and various other governmental bodies; while obtaining certification and permits; for rendering immigration formalities; insurance applications; visa processing & renewal; legal translation; document clearances; company cancellation formalities; business setup document; establishment card services; e-signature services and so on
A Public Relations Officer’s service is a must as long as your company is regulating, be it a small-scale enterprise or highly-established company. A Public Relations Officer helps your organization with tedious operations concerned with any of the governmental bodies. To learn more about PRO services in Dubai and UAE, click here -
A PRO / Public Relations Officer is a person who closely associated with the governmental agencies on behalf of a company. A PRO involves in the process of documentation and other paperwork for the company’s or organization’s routine requirements. To learn more about PRO in Dubai and UAE, click here -
Please refer to the Section Office for Rent – Question 5
It takes around 4 to 5 days to establish an offshore company in UAE. Offshore companies in UAE also offer express registration that can be done in a span of 48 hours.
Offshore company in Dubai or anywhere in UAE only have three limitations; those are Offshore companies do not provide a UAE residency visa; it is not possible for an Offshore Company in UAE to trade within the country and an offshore company cannot lease or rent a local premise in UAE. However, there are various measure and jurisdictional benefits that an offshore company provides, to know ask Shuraa Business Setup Consultants. Call us now
Yes, an offshore company can open a bank account in UAE. However, to do so the company owner will have to visit UAE for a day, sign the required documents and no other verification will be required.
A resume, copies of passport, the utility bill, a reference letter from the bank are the essential documents required to register an offshore company in UAE. Depending on the nature of the company some other documents may also be required.
The registration process of an offshore company in Dubai or any other emirates is the simplest form of company registration in UAE. If the right documents are at hand, the presence of the company owner is not required and all the procedures can be done by post. The company registration documents just need to be signed and would be duly certified. Find out more about offshore company registration on
Offshore companies were proliferated by the British Virgin Islands; the model was copied worldwide. Nevertheless, in the early 2000s the OECD Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development launched a protective protocol and claimed that such companies invade tax through non-disclosure. UAE did not sign this treaty and through legitimate ways continued to welcome offshore companies in UAE.
A UAE Offshore company is an establishment statutorily exempted from any kind of tax within the registered jurisdiction. Conditioned, that they did not participate in any kind of business activities with residents in that jurisdiction.
Yes, a freezone business setup in UAE does require a local agent, if it is under 100% foreign ownership. However, if the company is majorly held by a UAE national a local agent is not required.
There are mainly three legal structures of company formation in UAE Freezone:
• Free Zone Establishment (FZE) – Sole Establishment / Single Shareholder • Free Zone Company or Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZCO or FZ-LLC) – More than one Shareholder / Multiple Shareholder • Branch Office / Representative offices
The capital requirement depends on the freezone jurisdiction and the business activity you intend to operate. The minimum capital requirement to incorporate a Free Zone Establishment FZE, or a Free Zone Company FZC, or a Free Zone Limited Liability Company FZ-LLC – fluctuates the end cost. There is generally no capital requirement for branch companies.
A freezone business offers 100% foreign company ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits, exemption from all import and export duties, no corporate tax, no dividend tax, etc. However, if business is done locally, only then a 5% custom duty is applicable.
No, you do not require to live or be a resident of UAE for a Freezone company formation. Freezone company in UAE offer 100% foreign ownership, however, free zones do require a general manager of the company, to be a resident of the UAE.
Yes, but subject to certain conditions. If you have a company in any UAE free zone, you can trade within UAE only by partnering with a local distributor or a local agent, however, you will have to set up a branch office. To trade within UAE call us or click here -
Please refer to the Section Office for Rent – Question 4
Please refer to the Section Office for Rent – Question 3
As a freezone company, you can have full ownership of your company and get access to free-hold property anywhere in Dubai. You are exempted from paying taxes and import or export duties. To learn more about the advantages to set up a business in Dubai free zones, click here -
Yes, Freezone Business in UAE as well as Dubai freezones offers 100% ownership and complete control and independence over your business.
Free Trade Zones are areas designated for international businesses. Companies in each free zone can trade only within the same freezone and nowhere else in UAE. To learn more about free zones, click here -
The business activity determines the requirements, however there are few essentials to establish a Mainland Business in Dubai irrespective of the business activity. Those are; business activity selection and name approval, local partner or service agent, initial approval certificate for mainland company setup, preparation of court notarization, memorandum of association, office space and tenancy contact, final submission letter and assimilation of documents for mainland company formation in Dubai.
For every 9sqm, one visa can be applied, thus the bigger the office space the more number of visas can be applied for under a Mainland Business setup in Dubai. Find out
 A Mainland Business setup in Dubai offers several potential jurisdictions for company operations. Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay, Deira, Bur Dubai, Al Quoz, Al Quasais, etc. Every region can be vividly advantageous depending on the business type. To know about these areas, click here or ask a Shuraa business consultant to guide you.
Please refer to the Section Office for Rent – Question 6
Please refer to Section Office for Rent – Question 2
A mainland business setup is established in three stages:
First Stage – Initial Approval is acquired at this stage. Submit an application to get an approval for the activities you intend to commence and provide a list of choices for your trade name. Second Stage – Ensure that the investor meets all the legal requirements. For a mainland business setup in UAE, the Economic Department substantiates the identification of the investor along with his documents, educational qualifications and any financial declarations. Third Stage – Authenticates the business premises, issues business license and the investor’s visa application is processed.
Protection of partnership is ensured at all stages, during the process of setting a business in UAE. There are several procedures and investor rights contracts that do not only benefit the investors but also guarantee the protection of all the parties involved. Learn more:
 Yes, a partnership with a UAE national is required to setup a company in UAE under a mainland business setup.
The procedures of a business setup in UAE Mainland is as follow: Deciding a business activity → getting a trade name approval → selecting a local business partner → acquiring initial permissions and approvals → drafting the memorandum of association→ deciding the location of operation and renting an office space → the tenancy contract is drafted and attested → the documents are submitted as per the requirements → licenses are collected from the judicial bodies. To learn more about the procedure to set up a business in mainland, click here -
For a Mainland UAE company, there are various advantages but the ones that stand-out are as follows:
1) A UAE Mainland can do business with any country and trade freely; 2) Mainland Companies get affordable office space, as they have no geographical limitations; 3) Mainland in UAE are exempted from all kinds of taxes. To learn more about the advantages to set up a business in mainland or the various options of business start ups in mainland click here –
To establish a limited liability company in UAE, you need to reserve a trade name and obtain preliminary approvals. You also need to get a memorandum of association of the company and submit the lease contract and other necessary documents to the Economic Department.
A UAE Mainland Business is a licensed business enterprise authorized by Economic Department the concerned Emirate. Mainland Companies in Dubai or anywhere in UAE can do business locally and internationally without any restriction. If your business targets the local market, then Mainland license is the best option.
There are various documents required to process a partner’s visa are divided into three segments:
Documents required for a Partner’s Visa: Entry Permit Form and Valid Passport Copies, Four Photograph for Visa application, Trade License Copy, Memorandum of Association Copy to denote LLC, Service Agent Contract and Partnership Contract for professional license, Partners List to denote LLC and Immigration Card Copy. Documents needed for medical procedure of Partner’s Visa: Passport Copy, Visa Copy, Two Photograph for Visa application and Typed Application. Documents required for visa stamping for Partner’s Visa: Visa stamping application, One Photograph for Visa application, Emirates ID form, Original Visa, Original Medical Certificate, Copy of Medical Insurance Card, Original Passport, Immigration Establishment Card, LLC Agreement, List of Partners and Other Licenses.
No, businessmen on Investor’s / Partner’s Visa do not be required to pay tax in the UAE.
Please refer to Section Business Setup in Mainland / LLC – Question 11
Once your Investor’s Visa is approved, you can relocate immediately. When the visa is approved, the investor will acquire the visa from the UAE Immigration and can instantly relocate to UAE.
A foreign national is eligible and qualifies to obtain an Investor’s Visa after he confirms on sufficient funds for the prospective investments to create a business in the UAE. The UAE immigration authorities need to authorize this, only after which the visa is approved.
No, an investor does need to apply for an investor’s visa initially, as UAE provides with a temporary residency / visit visa. However, in the later stage once all the important documents are obtained – the investor can apply for the investor’s visa. As the investor is required to make crucial decisions with regards to the business activity and acquire important licenses, only once he do so, he will be able to apply for an Investor’s Visa in Dubai or any other part of UAE.
Investor’s Visa in UAE is valid for a maximum period of three years. The visa sanctions the investor to live and work in the UAE provided the individual abides by all the UAE’s laws and codes of conduct.
A depositor, who intends to capitalize his money in the UAE market and needs to enter as a partner with the support of an UAE national in the country requires a partner visa. An Investor’s Visa is nothing but the permit provided by the Immigration Department to enter the country as an investor.
In order to do business in Dubai or setup a company in UAE an investor’s visa or a partner’s visa is required.
There are different types of Visa in UAE – Service Visa, Visit Visa, Transit Visa, Tourist Visa, Employment Visa, Sponsor Visa, Spouse / Parents Visa, an Investor’s / Partner’s Visa, etc. To learn more about investor and partner visa in Dubai or anywhere around UAE, click here -
The answer to this question completely depends on your nationality and the passport you hold. For instance, a US citizen with a US passport that is valid for more than six months do not need to obtain a visa before entering UAE, if the duration of the visit is less than one month. Likewise, for a British Citizen a visitor’s visa on arrival is required. There are several other countries that can get visa on arrival, however few Asian countries do require a visa beforehand.
No, once a Trade License is cancelled the Trade Name cannot be maintained.
Submit the Trade Name application form to Department of Economic Development (DED). A fees needs to be paid depending upon the name chosen, the validity of this Trade Name is for 60 days and can be renewed once. It must be renewed within one-week of expiring. (This process can be done on DED official website and is usually done simultaneously with the Trade License application)
Yes, the availability of the name can be check on the official site of DED. Search on or any DED branches, such as Tasheel etc. to check whether trade name you desire exists. For anywhere else in UAE, the Economic Department of the particular Emirates will guide you on the same or just call Shuraa and our Business Setup Consultants can find it for you.
Yes, unless the Trade Name is not registered with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, it can be used in Dubai.
a. Usage of the word Dubai is not allowed
b. Contradictory the Arabic and Islamic traditions is not allowed
c. Words referred as God or Islam are not allowed
d. Trade Name should be translated into Arabic
e. Should describe the business activity.
There is a possibility that the DED may reject the name, if the Trade Name do not adhere to the guidelines mentioned by the department.
Trade Name needs to be registered with the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai. Once the Trade Name application is submitted, the DED needs to approve the name, only after which the name can be used.
You do need to register your company’s Trade Name in order to provide an identity, a record your business as well as to file lawsuits on behalf of your business (under circumstances). Registering your Trade Name beforehand, also protect the name from being used by other.
A Trade Name in UAE can be reserved for a nominal price. Business entities reserve available trade names, to ensure they retain their preferred Trade Name before someone else uses it.
A Trade Name is the name of the enterprise or the company by which the establishment is known in a particular trade or profession. A Trade Name is generally considered the name a business uses for registration, advertising and sales purposes.
Shuraa Business Setup Service Providers can do it all for you! You can consult us to make the right decision with regards to the legal structure, occupational jurisdictions and other business setup related constraints. Moreover, Shuraa business consultants work towards obtaining your trade license as well as finding an ideal local partner / local agent for you. Whether it is renting an office space or getting your certifications and approvals to process your license quickly, Shuraa business experts are here for you. To know more call us!
For any type of business, you need a no-objection letter from Ministry of Labour, no-objection letter from the immigration department as well as residence cancellation proof for non-Gulf individuals. In some cases, you need a dissolution of partnership contract from the notary public and minutes of annual general meeting to liquidate the company. You will also be required to appoint a liquidator and announce the liquidation of the company in a newspaper, in some cases. To learn more about company liquidation / license cancellation, click here -
Under a single license, maximum ten activities can be included. But, all the activities need to be homogenous, based on its activity group outlined as per DED standards.
Please refer to the Section Office on Rent – Question 8
No, all trade licenses require a UAE national to be a partner in the business or a local service agent.
An agent's responsibilities and commitments are limited – they only help with obtaining and renewing of a license, necessary work permits issued by the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, and other government authorities. The local sponsor has the liberty to contribute, however, he is eligible to participate depending on the agreement.
A local partner is mainly required under a commercial license. He is responsible for the company, invests a share a capital and signs the memorandum of association. On the other hand, a local agent is required for a professional license he signs the local service agent agreement for a sum. The local agent has no kind direct involvement, neither any financial liabilities.
Professional Licenses – be it a sole establishments or civil company, an organisation owned by foreign investors requires a UAE national to be appointed as a local services agent. This rule is excluded for activities under Engineering Consultancy, Legal Consultancy and Bank representation office.
Yes, a Commercial Trade License needs to be established under a partnership. It is essential that the business partner is a UAE national, with a holding of 51% of shares in the company. Nevertheless, with change in time and mutual understanding there are several considerate agreements and secured contracts made among partners these days. Due to which, the foreign owner has equal control over the business, while the local sponsor receives an annual sponsorship fees for his services.
The governmental agency – the Department of Economic Development (DED), Dubai is responsible for issuing – Commercial License / Professional License / Industrials License for business entities in Dubai. In case, you would like to establish a company and acquire a trade license in any other Emirates, the economic department of the respective place, will do the needful. Whereas, if the business location is in freezone Trakhees is responsible to issue the trade license.
While applying for a license the nature of the business activity plays an important role. The business activity defines which license needs to be undertaken, below are the three main categories of licenses that are issued: 1. Commercial License – Issued to a business that may engage in trading activity and/or general trading. 2. Industrial License – Issued to a business that may engage in manufacturing, production and/or industrial activities. 3. Professional License – Issued to service providers, professionals- such as medical practitioners, teachers, artisans, craftsmen and so on. For more information, please click here -
No, the procedures are similar, the online process is same as traditional way of applying for a trade license. However, the transactions are made directly through online means.
The legal authorities and the judicial bodies have formulated a list of requirements that need to be adhered to obtaining a trade license in Dubai. The list is as follows: a. Determine the category/categories of business - commercial, industrial and/or professional b. Determine the type of business activity/activities that will be practiced c. Determine all the related business activities that can be included within each business license - maximum ten activities depending on the type of license d. Determine the legal undertakings and the number & nationalities of the business owners e. Determine the requirements and conditions under a required license f. Determine the business' trade name g. Submit the application to the Department for an initial approval h. Register a trade name after obtaining an initial approval i. Rent / Lease a business premises j. Prepare all required documents – memorandum of association, certification from the authorities, approvals of other relevant authorities, governmental permissions as essential conditional to your business type k. Submit final application with the fees to the Department For more information, please click here -
To renew your trade license, you need to provide a valid office EJARI registration certificate and a lease contract issued and registered from the Real Estate Regulatory Agency. For a commercial license, a DED registered certification along with approvals from authorities such a National Media Company NMC, Ministry of Economy, etc. may be required.
There are three types of Trade Licenses; Commercial License –issued to a company engaged in any kind of trading activity, Industrial License –issued to a company engaged any king of manufacturing or industrial activity and Professional License – issued to service providers, artisans, professionals and craftsmen. To learn more about types of trade licenses in Dubai and UAE, click here
The Department of Economic Development is the concerned governmental authority responsible for all the business level activities in a mainland business setup in Dubai. Every freezone or offshore jurisdiction, have their own dedicated authority monitoring, managing and developing these jurisdictions.
The cost of setting up a Business in Dubai or any other part of UAE, completely depends on the business activity, the area of operation, the jurisdictional authority as well as the entities transacting. To get a better idea about the costs involved for business setup click here: for more information, talk to our representatives.
Please refer to the Section Office on Rent – Question 1
Activities such as consultancy, education, health, social work, social and personal services, fall under this category.
Activities such as manufacturing, mining, quarrying, electricity, gas, and water, fall under this category.
Activities that require capital, such as wholesale and retail trade, construction, transportation, communication, real estate, and leasing, come under commercial activities.
There are various categories of business Setup in UAE – every category has a set of terms and conditions applied with regards to the capital of investment, incorporation procedures, number of shareholders and more. The seven categories are as follows; General Partnership Company, Partnership-en-commendams, Public Shareholding Company, Private Shareholding Company, Joint venture Company, Limited liability Company (LLC) and Share Partnership Company. For more information, please click here
Company formation in mainland Dubai could take a while if you do not have all the necessary paperwork and documentation approved by different government agencies. With the right consultants to help you, like Shuraa Business Setup, you can establish your business in UAE in just three days. Business License and registration can be done within three weeks of time, yet again, if the business activity requires certification or attestation for any other judicial body – it can stretch the time. Company formation in UAE free zones can take anywhere between 3-10 days, whereas an offshore company formation can be established within 48 hours if you have the right resources at hand. For more information, please click here -
Apart from questioning yourself – what business to start? And how to start a business? You also need to consider the types of company structure before starting a business in Dubai. The region offers several structures suitable to a varied category of entrepreneurs. The primarily considered structures are as follows: • Freezone Company / Free Zone Enterprises • Mainland Business / Onshore structures • Professional Services • Branch Office / Representative office • Offshore Company
In UAE, you can set up a mainland business, or a business in a free zone or an offshore jurisdiction. For a business setup in UAE mainland, you require a local sponsor, who will own a part of your business. In a free zone company set up - you do not need a local sponsor, but can operate only within a limited geographical region. While, an offshore business in UAE, will allow you to safeguard your wealth and assets, but you cannot trade in UAE and will only get a certificate of incorporation and not a trade license. To learn more on what kind of business to setup in UAE, click here
The United Arab Emirates is located centrally between Europe, Africa and Asia, making it as a prime business destination for a variety of sectors. UAE's highly structured environment adheres to global practices and motivate entrepreneurs to invest in good business ideas. Moreover, operations eliminate taxes as well as offer complete capital repatriation with no currency restrictions. This type of financial freedom is rare in highly developed business environment, therefore entrepreneurs from around the world find abundant opportunities and potential in the UAE market. To learn more about business setup in UAE, click here