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How to Start an Interior Design Company in Dubai?

Starting an interior design company in Dubai, UAE is an all-time lucrative investment. Interior design is an emerging field in the real estate and construction sector. There are enormous opportunities in Dubai for an interior design company.

The Developers as well as individual homeowners and businesses in the region are always on the lookout for an expert Interior design company to transform their commercial and residential spaces into something new and unique.

So, starting an interior design company in Dubai is an ideal option for the entrepreneur who is an expert in this field or who has a liking for interior design. There are many options available for setting up an interior design company in Dubai

Process of Starting an Interior Design Company in UAE

To start an interior design company in the UAE the entrepreneur must obtain an interior design company license from any of the two business jurisdictions in UAE. It is the Free Trade Zone and the Mainland.  

Depending on the business requirement, the scope of business, and visa quota requirements, the investor can select the business jurisdictions.

Interior design firms have a varying scope of work and market reach. Some companies in Dubai are to handle international projects and often the staff will be traveling across the world to deliver their services. For such entrepreneurs, having a Free Zone Company is the ideal choice.

Interior design company in Dubai

On the contrary, for interior design companies that want to expand to the local UAE construction sector, it is best to set up in the Mainland. It is the respective Department of Economic Development of each Emirate that will issue the Interior Design Company License.

Here are the basic steps for starting an Interior Design Company in the UAE. After deciding on the business jurisdiction, proceed with the company setup process.

1. Apply for initial approval

Submit all the relevant documents that will be reviewed by the concerned authorities for approval.

The initial approval requires the following documents:

  • Detailed Business plan
  • Trade license copy, incorporation certificate copy
  • Application for Interior Design Company license
  • Original No Objection Certificate for the company
  • Passport copies of directors, shareholders, and managers

2. Registering the Company

The documents will be checked, and a Customer Confirmation Letter will be issued that pertains to the respective office space for the Interior Design Company in Dubai.

To register the Interior Design company in Dubai requires the following documents:

  • Registration Form, Board Resolution
  • Application form for company registration
  • Post-dated checks
  • Notarize the copy of the certificate of incorporation
  • Attested and notarized Memorandum of Association (MOA)
  • The signing of the lease, personnel sponsorship, and license collection.
  • Finally, Collection of customer confirmation letter and payment of the fee.

Advantages of Setting up an Interior Design Company in Dubai

Dubai is the perfect choice for setting up an interior design company due to its many business benefits for entrepreneurs. The City offers the best addressable market for an Interior Design Company.

Many mega residential and commercial projects in Dubai require extensive support from interior design companies. Hence, the demand for interior design companies in Dubai is skyrocketing.

The following are the advantages of an Interior Design Company that has its base in Dubai, UAE:

  • Increased Demand for Commercial and Residential Buildings
  • Wide scope for design works due to multicultural audience base
  • Ease availability of interior suppliers and contractors
  • Work-friendly Infrastructure and availability of interior designers to recruit
  • Availability of Freelance Licensing for Designers
  • Easy setting up of office space and professional license from Free Zones or Mainland
  • Lower Taxes for Business Operations

1. Ideal Free Zone for Setting up an Interior Design Company in Dubai

In Dubai, the D3 Free Zone is the ideal free zone for setting up an interior design company as Free Zone is exclusively for promoting interior design companies. It is home to many of the renowned players in the market,

The D3 Free Zone consists of the perfect ecosystem to grow your business through networking and mutual agreements. The Dubai Creative Cluster Authority (DCCA) provides licenses for interior design consultancy. With the license, the investor is allowed to conduct interior architecture and designing, space planning, and concept designing.

Dubai Creative Cluster Authority (DCCA) – The Licensing Authority for Interior Design company License.

The Dubai Creative Cluster Authority (DCCA) also offers freelance permits for interior designers specializing in designing interiors and furnishings. The Freelance Permit in Interior Design is ideal for entrepreneurs who want to start small and test the market before they expand to a full-fledged company.

The scope of interior designing companies in Free Zones and the mainland is limited to providing design plans, consulting ideas, and concept designing. They are not allowed to be involved in any construction or installation works.

interior design company in UAE

For the actual installation, construction, or any renovations they must engage a building contractor to carry out the construction works. Any imports of furniture or other design products as part of the project scope have to be sourced separately through different companies (Import Companies with Customs Registration and import Code).

For the interior design company to import furniture or any designer lighting, or structures from abroad, the company must apply for a trade license as well as get an import code from Dubai Customs. Also, For the companies registered in the Free Zones, certain Free Zones require special permits for operations.

Permissible Activities for an Interior Design Company in Dubai

Permissible activities shall be limited to only:

  • Space Planning
  • Concept Designing
  • Interior Architecture and Designing

The following are the Non-Permissible activities under Interior Design Company in the D3 Free Zone.

  • Sponsored staff are not allowed to work outside of the Dubai Creative Clusters
  • No Implementation of the plans/drawings (that is out of the scope of the design consultancy license)
  • Displaying products of suppliers/vendors on the premises
  • Exterior/interior architectural drawings of the building for construction purposes
  • Supply of furniture and fixtures

The  Interior Design Company in UAE can be set up in any of the following legal forms of business:

2. Starting an Interior Design Company in the Mainland Dubai

Anyone who has previous experience in the field and has a related degree can start an interior design company on the mainland of Dubai. They can apply for a professional license from the Department of Economic Development (DED) and start operations in Dubai.

interior design company in dubai

Applying for an interior license from the mainland of Dubai will leave more room for the expansion of your company. You will be eligible to hire more staff without expanding your office spaces (no restrictions on visa quota). Also, you can apply for government project contracts if you have a mainland license.

Following are the procedures for opening an Interior Design Company in Dubai

  • Choose the right business activity
  • Apply for a professional license at the DED
  • Approval from the Dubai Municipality
  • Trade name reservation
  • Choosing the office space
  • Acquire the tenancy contract
  • Submit company information
  • Collect business license

Growing Demand for Interior Design Companies in Dubai

The interior design industry is highly competitive. With the Dubai Expo 2020, and future expansion projects in line in the UAE, it is expected to drive demand for the interior design sector further.

The luxury lifestyle and infrastructure facilities of Dubai attract global investors. Interior designing is an integral part of Dubai’s construction industry. There is an ample requirement for interior design companies to service the demands of the construction sector. Interior design plays a very crucial role in the overall look and feel of a building.

Be it hotels, office spaces, apartments, retail shops, or business centres, there is a growing requirement for interior design to enhance the aesthetics of the building interiors.

Going by the business opportunity for interior design, Dubai offers a host of entrepreneur-friendly company formation packages and infrastructure support for interior design companies to establish their business and operate in the UAE.

To know more about Starting an Interior Design Company in UAE, talk to our legal & and business experts right away!

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