How to start Business in Dubai for Foreigners or Non - Resident

17Aug, 23

How to start Business in Dubai for Foreigners or Non - Resident

Setting up a Business in Dubai for Foreigners.

Dubai is a hub for business and entrepreneurship. Its geographic location has facilitated easy connections, business networking and access to trade. In the modern age, Dubai has become one of the world's top destinations for company formation. The city offers many corporate advantages.

Setting up a business in Dubai can bring immense rewards and profits if you approach it with caution, organization, and foresight. In this article, we will furnish you with comprehensive information on how to establish a Dubai-based enterprise for those from abroad.

Is It Easy to Start a Business in Dubai as a Foreigner?

The answer is YES. However, conditions may depend on your business model, citizenship status, and country of tax domicile.

Why should one Start a Business in Dubai as a Foreigner?
Dubai is an ideal starting point for foreign entrepreneurs. The city provides a business-friendly atmosphere.

Here are some key benefits of starting a business in Dubai as a foreigner:

Geographical location
Dubai, being geographically situated for convenient connections to budding markets in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, has come to be recognized as a meeting point where Eastern and Western cultures mingle.

World-Class Infrastructure
Dubai's infrastructure includes modern transportation systems, advanced communication networks, and many more. It has a modern and efficient infrastructure, making it suitable for businesses to operate.

Minimal Regulations
Dubai has a streamlined regulatory system that makes it easy for businesses to get up and run quickly.

Multicultural Community
DUBAI'S diverse population provides valuable networking opportunities for entrepreneurs. The mixed economy generates many positive opportunities for a business to grow.

Stable Economy
Dubai has a stable and growing economy with a strong focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. Dubai also has a skilled and educated workforce that can work in various sectors. Low Taxes
Dubai offers a tax-friendly environment with no income tax and minimal corporate tax for most businesses.

Government Incentives
The Dubai government is committed to supporting entrepreneurs and has implemented several initiatives to promote foreign business.

Where to form a Company in Dubai?
There are three jurisdictions to set up a business in Dubai; they are

Mainland companies have the right to operate anywhere in the UAE and do business with local and international companies. They are subject to local regulations and can benefit from the UAE's strategic location, infrastructure, and business-friendly environment.

Freezone companies are located in specific geographic areas and are designed to attract foreign investors. These companies are subject to specific regulations and are generally prohibited from doing business with local companies.

Offshore Company
Dubai is well-known for its business environment and tax incentives, which have attracted many offshore companies to Dubai. Offshore companies are usually established in free zones and special economic zones that provide various incentives to foreign investors and businesses.

Difference between MAINLAND & FREEZONE
Follow the below infographics to know the difference between mainland & freezone.


Procedures for Establishing a Business in Dubai Mainland as a Foreigner To establish a business in Dubai, follow the below-mentioned procedure:-

Choose a Business Activity The first step is to decide on the type of business you want to start and the activity you will be engaged in.

Choose a Business Structure

Next, you must choose a business structure, such as a Sole Proprietorship, Partnership or Limited Liability Company [LLP].

Choose a Company Name

You'll need to select a name for your business that meets the naming requirements set forth by the DED(Department of Economic Development)

Obtain Initial Approval

You will receive initial approval from Dubai Economic Department for your business activity and company name

Obtain business licence

You will need to obtain a business licence from the Dubai Economic Department, depending on the type of business activity and company structure.

Here are some types of business licence offered by Dubai for businesses

  • Commercial Licence: for companies engaged in trading activities such as import and export, general trading, and logistics.
  • Professional Licence: for companies engaged in professional services such as consulting, accounting, and legal services.
  • Industrial Licence: for companies engaged in manufacturing and industrial activities.

Obtain Visas

You must obtain a visa for yourself and any employees you plan to hire.

Register for tax

You will need to register yourself with the tax authority of Dubai, that is, FTA (Federal Tax Authority)

Obtain Necessary Permits

Depending on the nature of your business, you may also require additional licenses and permits from other government departments.

Open a Corporate Bank Account

In order to do business in Dubai, you need to open a company bank account.


Dubai stands out as one of the cities worldwide when launching a business from abroad. There are reasons why Dubai is an excellent choice for commencing a business venture ranging from its advantageous low tax system, diverse economy and modern infrastructure. The city boasts business prospects serving as a launchpad for companies seeking to establish or expand their operations. However, navigating the process of starting a business in Dubai can pose challenges and consume time; therefore, it is highly advisable to seek expert guidance and assistance.

At DHANGUARD, we specialise in aiding entrepreneurs like you in realizing their aspirations by facilitating the setup of your dream business in Dubai while expertly handling all administrative formalities. We invite you to contact our consulting team for guidance on how we can assist you with your journey.