In 2023, UAE has successfully rebounded its economy and has seen an upward recovery in tourism and commercial activities. With entrepreneurs seeking to partake in the fastest growing economy, it makes sense that the capital city of UAE would be their first choice to start a business in. As a result, in Abu Dhabi, business owners find unparalleled ease of access to an open and dynamic economy.
Abu Dhabi is the largest emirate in the UAE and contributes to two-thirds of its economy. This makes it an ideal global destination for entrepreneurs and investors to set up their companies. With business-friendly policies, and favourable amendments such as 100% ownership, Abu Dhabi is paving the way to commercial success stories in the UAE.
To know how to start a business in Abu Dhabi, continue reading.
Opening a business in Abu Dhabi
UAE, and subsequently, Abu Dhabi act as a central nerve to the global commercial market. Popular as an economic hub, it has become one of the fastest growing business and industrial centers in the world. It is easy to start your business in Abu Dhabi due to the numerous investor-oriented policies created by the UAE government. The steps of starting a business in Abu Dhabi has been explained below.
1. Identifying the preferred type of business activity
It is essential to recognise the type of business/commercial activity you want to invest in. Once the nature of industry is chosen, the legal requirements and licensing fees are adapted accordingly. Companies in the UAE are formed under six types of licenses: industrial, tourism, professional, commercial, agricultural, and occupational.
To start a business in Abu Dhabi, location also plays an integral role. Based on the nature of your commercial practise, one can open their company in Abu Dhabi Mainland or Free Zone.
2. Determining ownership structure
In the UAE, business entities are formed with under several types of ownership. There are numerous legal forms of business in Abu Dhabi which the corporate management can finalize upon. The ownership structure can belong to the following categories:
- General Partnership
- Limited partnership
- Limited liability company (LLC)
- Public joint-stock company (PJSC)
- Private joint-stock company (PrJSC)
- Civil company
- Local company branch
- GCC company branch
- Foreign company branch
- Free zone company branch
- Sole establishment
- Holding companies
3. Trade Name Registration
After the above activities are processed, the next step is to register the trade name for your organisation. This is essential because once the trade name has been registered with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), no other company in the country will be eligible to use that particular name. Given below are the criteria for trade name approval:
- The proposed name cannot violate public order or public morals.
- The name cannot contain names or logos of any governing authority, religion, or external body.
- Any unique name must be followed by the acronym (legal form of the company) i.e. LLC, PJSC, etc.
- The name must be compatible with the proposed business activity.
- The name must be unique and should not be registered in the past with another business.
The cost of the trade name can vary based on the business type. The payment for the same must be paid in a period of 30 days, during which a payment voucher or a transaction number is issued to the entity. Trademark registration in the UAE is managed by the Ministry of Economy.
4. Obtaining initial approval
Abu Dhabi companies require certain permits and approvals before starting a business apart from their license. After obtaining them, entrepreneurs need to get the approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs. It is always recommended that corporations utilise the services of company formation experts such as Shuraa Business Setup to ensure that all legal and administrative processes are conducted effectively.
After all the fees are paid and all legal requirements are fulfilled, the business license is issued. All commercial operations are good to begin with the business license in hand.
Setup your business in Abu Dhabi, hassle-free and easily
Starting a small business in Abu Dhabi is simple and effortless process. For expats wanting to establish their commercial presence in the UAE, Abu Dhabi is the number one choice. Investors can also boost their business setup process by handing over the legalities of it to Shuraa Business Setup.
With a team of dedicated experts, Shuraa will setup your business for you. General and niche services such as government approvals, registrations, licensing, and more are taken care of by us. To speak to our corporate legal advisors for free, simply give us a call +971 44081900 or send a WhatsApp message on +971 507775554. For email assistance, you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.