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How to open a startup in Dubai?

Dubai is a city that is perfect for opening a startup. Dubai has the best business infrastructure and ecosystem that supports business growth. The strategic location, addressable market, multi-national population, top-class business infrastructure, etc., complement the opening of a startup in Dubai.

There are a lot of opportunities to be tapped by opening a startup here in Dubai. The diverse multi-national population forms the perfect audience pool to test out any startup product ideas. Also, there are various business benefits for investors in opening a startup in Dubai.

Why choose Dubai for opening a Startup Company?

The investors choose Dubai for opening a start-up company as the city offers a host of business support infrastructure. Also, Dubai provides the right base to scale their startup company. There are enormous networking opportunities for startups in Dubai.

Dubai conducts numerous events, expos, and exhibitions regularly. The startups operating in Dubai can become part of the shows to demonstrate their products and services to the attendees. Every year a large crowd appears for the Events as participants from around the world.

So for startups operating in Dubai, it is an opportunity to gain new contracts and collaborate with other companies. Also, Dubai provides startups with the right platform to grow and expand their business seamlessly.

  • Government support towards entrepreneurship and Startup culture
  • World-class infrastructure facilities and Free Zones
  • Ease of business setup and quick company formation
  • Geographic advantage as Dubai connects the East and the West.
  • Gain easy access to the international markets

Additionally, there are certain focus areas while setting up a startup in Dubai. Reducing the overall business setup cost is an important aspect for startup companies. Furthermore, the company registration process in Dubai is relatively easy for startups making it a favorite choice for entrepreneurs venturing into the Dubai business landscape . 

Opening a Startup in Dubai – 5 Step Guide to Follow 

Opening a Startup in Dubai would require a lot of investor funding. As there will be a capital requirement for Product Development, Testing, and Software Development, etc..  The Free Zones and Ministry of Economy in Dubai offer Funding and Business Incubator support to startups for scaling up their businesses seamlessly in the region and beyond.

Here are some of the aspects to consider for assuring the success of a startup business in Dubai.

1. Assess all the Options in Detail

Dubai has a lot to offer for startups and entrepreneurs looking for setting up their company. There are 45+ Free Zones in the UAE that offer various business setup packages. Starting from Freelance Permits to fully-furnished Executive Office Packages, they have it all.

Then there is the Dubai Mainland License for Startups from the Dubai Economy & Tourism Department. It offers virtual licenses at a lower cost for a wide variety of business activities.

startup in uae

So, based on the business requirement, the investor can make a choice after assessing all the available options for opening a startup in Dubai.

You may also be interested to know more about “Benefits of Registering a Mainland Company in Dubai“.

2. Find an Experienced Consultant

For foreign investors and startups venturing into the UAE market, it is best to proceed with a seasoned Business Consultant. The company formation process in Dubai requires a few pieces of paperwork, documentation, and approvals.

An expert Business Consultant will handle all of these tasks on behalf of the investor and ensure a hassle-free startup company setup in Dubai. Hence, to save time, money, and effort it is best to take the assistance of an expert business consultant and have a comfortable business setup in the UAE.

3. Choose Business License Rationally

Choosing a Business License is one of the most important steps in the opening process of your startup in Dubai. Based on business activity, you must choose the right business license.

The companies operating specific business activities must have a valid business license. For example, a heavy equipment trading business in UAE must have a trading license with activity specified as heavy equipment trading. A general trading license would not suffice for such special activities.

4. Investor Visa and Employee Visa Quota

The investor must have a clear understanding of the Investor Visa quota available for their startup company in Dubai, or else proceed to upgrade before hiring new employees. Also, they must be well aware of the additional documents required for processing Visas, Visa Fees, etc.

The Free Zones have Business Setup Packages based on the Visa Quotas.  The Visa costs vary across the free zones and in the mainland. Free Zones have fixed Visa Quotas for their companies.  

6. Forming an LLC business in Dubai

Another interesting option for Business Setup for Startup is by forming an LLC company in Dubai. If the investors are looking for a more in-depth entry into the local UAE market, forming an LLC Company is a good option.

Setting up an LLC Company will give more flexibility to the investors to choose their office location, add staff, and, manage the business.

LLC Company Setup in Dubai is a prospective option for opening a Startup due to:

  • Ability to participate in government project tenders, and,
  • Expand business activities through a wide range of activities (listed with the Department of Economic Development – DED)

So in a nutshell, selecting a business jurisdiction that helps in achieving sustainability, convenience, and costs is the key to the success of setting up a startup in Dubai. Dubai has a lot to offer the investors, it is a matter of making the right choice to achieve business excellence.

Business Support Infrastructure in Dubai

The Startup growth in Dubai is supported by Government and semi-government institutions to a large extent. Also, many incubators and Free Zones provide the required infrastructure support for Startups.

To name a few Free Zones that support the Startup growth in the region are the Dubai Silicon Oasis – IFZA, Dubai Media City Free Zone, DMCC, etc.

startup in dubai

The Free Zones in UAE offers special licenses for freelancers, flexi-desk, and shared workspaces for entrepreneurs with a business license to support their entrepreneur efforts and gain results.

Also, incubators like Turn8, ImpactHub, AstroLabs, etc., support in providing the right platform for entrepreneurs with interesting business ideas to create, work, and test their product ideas.

6 reasons for Dubai being one of the world’s best places for Starting a Business

1. Technology Support

UAE is a young country with attractive financing options, a large network of banks, and ultra-modern infrastructure. Dubai has planned a massive tech transformation and continues its journey of building a smart and futuristic city.

To promote innovation and development, UAE has invested in research institutions and technical centers.

The Dubai Science Park, Dubai Academic City, Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, etc., are a few to name. UAE is aiming to provide complete technology support and build infrastructure that stimulates the Startup ecosystem and draws more entrepreneurs into the region.

2. Government Support

The Government of UAE is very supportive of Startups, entrepreneurs, and innovation. There is a wide range of incentives offered by the government to new businesses set up in Dubai.

The Freezone Authorities, the Department of Economic Development (DED), and the Government of UAE are implementing Startup packages to stimulate the growth of Startups.

Read more about Freezones in UAE

3. Access to the International Markets

UAE is the perfect location for any business. Due to the virtue of the geographic location UAE act as a link between the east and the west. UAE is well connected to the Airports and Seaports of the world.

The logistics support and operational infrastructure in the UAE make it stand out as a perfect location for Startups to try, test and execute their products.

Also, UAE is home to a diverse expat population, and there is no other country with a representative population of the world, unlike the UAE. Hence, Dubai is the perfect place to open your startup and test your product ideas.

The global connectivity, business infrastructure, secure banking system, political stability, etc., are making UAE the perfect choice of investors.

4. Living Standards

Dubai has already grown into a prominent business hub. Over the decades Dubai has become one of the best cities to live in with all top-class services and amenities for the public. 

UAE is an extremely safe place to reside, and the living standards in the UAE are much higher than in many countries in the world. There are numerous cost-effective residence options available in UAE. The Dubai Government’s initiatives are constantly focused on making Dubai the happiest place on earth.

5. Tax Benefits

UAE has very few tax norms, it just being two years since VAT has been introduced in the Dubai market. There is no income tax on individuals.

However, there is a corporate tax for oil companies and foreign banks. Also, for specific goods that are harmful to human health or the environment, there is an excise tax levied.

For businesses, the Freezones in UAE has a 100% tax-free environment, with only 5% VAT to be levied when doing business with the Mainland and the rest of the GCC Countries.

Also, Freezones allow 100% profit and capital repatriation and a 0% customs duty if operating from the designated Freezone and not on the Mainland.

Read more about VAT in UAE

6. Investor Friendly Location

As per the Dubai Statistics Centre, 50% of all companies registered in Dubai are early-stage Startups.

Dubai offers cost-effective Startup packages, world-class infrastructure, lifestyle, the ability to easily setup business models, access to well-qualified mentors, workshops, events, and a supportive investment community.

There are numerous support services Dubai offers for investors to promote entrepreneurship. Accelerators and Incubation facilities such as the Dubai Silicon Oasis, Dubai Science park, 5Dubai, etc., contribute to the Startup growth. in the region.

New Business Opportunities for Startups

With the Free Zones offering low-cost business packages targeting new entrepreneurs, freelancers, and start-ups; UAE has evolved into a start-hub of the middle east.

The Flexi-Desk and Shared Office Spaces offered by the numerous Free Zones in UAE are powering the growth of the startup culture. These affordable business setup packages are the perfect start for a new business to venture into the UAE at minimal company setup costs.

Additionally, the digitally connected world has given rise to a set of new business opportunities that leverage digital connectivity and reach customers online. Ranging from online tuition to Yoga-classes, to virtual assistance services, there is a whole lot of new business opportunities out there that startups and new entrepreneurs are exploring currently.

To know more about opening a startup company in Dubai and starting a business in Dubai, connect with our experts today!

Contact: Aurion Business Consultants

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