Dubai City Information Site

Cost of Setting Up A Business in Dubai




Sunil here to talk about the cost of setting up a business in Dubai

I am assuming you have some interest of starting a company in Dubai?

Otherwise why would you be reading this?

Companies in Dubai have paid their fair share to establish get going.

The abundance in the Dubai employment market has made it easier than ever to start a business today and run at full speed tomorrow.

I was also interested in setting up a business in Dubai not long ago. So this discussion is based on my personal research and experience from the time I was serious about the idea.


If you want to start your company in Dubai you will have to go through the Dubai Department of Economic Development or the “DED” as most refer to it.

This agency was formed to stimulate economic activity that would grow the emirate of Dubai.

Most cities, states, provinces have an agency of similar stature that reviews business applications, approves them and grants them licenses to operate.




Your cost of setting up a business in Dubai will include the following costs:

  • License involved with the type of business activity you engage in (service vs. manufacturing vs. intellectual capital)
  • Business and liability insurance (still a relatively weak infrastructure compared to the USA)
  • Professional fees (legal and accounting)
  • The cost of a local partner (this varies from Dhs. 20k to 2M a year depending on how greedy they are)
You can always approach the banks in Dubai for start-up capital. However, be prepared to sign for the loan with a personal guarantee. Unless you have an existing business and can show a strong performance trend over the last few years, banks in Dubai will be very reluctant to lend to you, if they lend at all that is. After all, everyone wants to protect their behind.

Many entrepreneurs start their companies in one of Dubai’s many free zones such as the Jebel Ali free zone Dubai to avoid paying a local partner. These free zones were established by the Dubai Government to encourage business formation and foreign investment. These zones are treated as stand alone entities and they can be your “silent partner” in business.

If you want to get an idea of what it would cost you to start a company in Dubai, visit the DED website

http://www.dubaided.gov.ae/

and select the “English” option on the upper left hand side of your screen. This is only if the site reads in Arabic. Once you are in the English mode, navigate to the eservices menu where you can do the cost simulation. If you cannot find it simply take the following link and paste it to your browser’s URL address bar.

http://www.dubaided.gov.ae/eservices/Pages/Anon/Simulate.aspx?cpid=3000

As much as I am an entrepreneur at heart that loves to take charge and execute things first hand, setting up a business in Dubai is something that I DO NOT RECOMMEND you do alone. There are too many cracks to slip through and they can prove very costly for you both in the short and long term.

You must understand the legal infrastructure and the rules of business in Dubai in general. Starting your company in Dubai all by yourself can also end up costing you way more than what it should.

If you are serious about doing business in Dubai, I strongly recommend you consider the team at Global Office FZ led by Christine Orth.

As of 2009 Christine has over 6 years with her team and is my single trusted point of contact with everything that has to do with doing business in Dubai. You can read more about their credibility and qualifications here.

This is a very serious move and you want to make sure you go about it the right way. Having the right business mentor to guide you will make all the difference as you get started and continue to need guidance along the way.

I wish you very well and I am certainly eager to hear about your experiences. Do come back and give us an update. We would love to feature your success story in our Dubai personal stories section.


2010 UPDATE New – Virtual Office company set up with full business license and 3-year residence visa now available in Dubai. Costs start at AED 18,000 p.a. You as an Investor are entitled to get 5 visa for you and staff and can sponsor your family and a maid.

The set up is approved by Abu Dhabi High Court and is being licensed through a Northern Emirates Free Zone that is legally entitled to provide Free Zone business licenses in Dubai.

Their business center is conveniently located in Dubai Marina with loads of restaurants, hotels and ample free parking in walking distance . For more information, please contact our business partner Christine.


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