Expert Guide 2023

Set up a company in Dubai

Everything you need to know about starting a business in Dubai in 2023 - by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs

Dubai is one of the world's major economic powers and offers entrepreneurs a wide range of opportunities to start a new business or expand. The city has a modern infrastructure, well-educated professionals and a government that supports entrepreneurs to run their businesses successfully. So anyone starting a company in Dubai has many opportunities ahead of them.

For many people considering a company headquarters in Dubai, questions arise regarding the Tax exemptionThe first step is to find out more about the challenges of setting up a business, living conditions in Dubai and other topics.

We at "Dubai-Auswandern" have taken a close look at the advantages, challenges and steps of setting up a company in Dubai and give you a detailed overview here.

Dubai Skyline in the Evening
Burj Khalifa Dubai

These are the advantages of setting up a company in Dubai

The global business centre Dubai offers many different advantages for entrepreneurs. Probably the most well-known advantage is the low tax burden. Because in the metropolis there is no business tax, no corporate income tax and no income tax. Only a small VAT of 5% is payable. This allows entrepreneurs to maximise their profits and also reinvest more in their business.

Another great advantage of setting up a company in Dubai is access to a huge network of business people and entrepreneurs. This is because the city is a major trading hub and a popular destination for international companies. Due to the large network, entrepreneurs in Dubai have greater access to potential investors and business partners than in other cities around the world.

In addition, the modern infrastructure in Dubai is another plus compared to other economic centres. The city has an excellent road network, a well-developed public transport network and a modern telecommunications infrastructure.

Besides the most important airport in the entire Middle East, the seaport Jabal Ali is also located in Dubai. Likewise, the free trade zones are an important point that can be attractive for entrepreneurs. This makes it easier for companies to conduct their business and allows them to trade quickly and efficiently.

Another plus point is the availability of skilled labour. Dubai has well-trained and motivated professionals, which helps companies set up their businesses in Dubai with ease.

Finally, it is important to know that the government in Dubai is also a positive point for entrepreneurs. It also helps you to start and run a business. This is done through government programmes and other resources.

The 3 types of businesses you can start in Dubai

There are 3 different types of companies that can be registered in Dubai. These include Freezone companies, Mainland companies and Offshore companies.

Freezone Company

A Freezone company is a type of establishment that can be registered in more than 40 different zones in Dubai. There, companies are regulated by the authorities of the respective zones, receive various tax benefits and can conduct business internationally & locally. Some of the most popular Freezone areas in Dubai are the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) and the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA).
More information about the Freezone company:

Mainland Company

A Mainland company is a type of establishment that is particularly suitable for entrepreneurs who want to use the company primarily to serve customers in Dubai. Mainland companies usually have higher tax rates than Freezone companies, but they also have access to a larger market and customer base. Shareholders can be individuals or foreign companies and an authorised local director or officer is required. Overall, this type of company can be compared to a German GmbH.

More information about the Mainland company:

Offshore Company

Offshore companies are companies that are registered in Dubai but do business outside Dubai. Thus, one can benefit from tax advantages even though the company shares are 100% foreign owned and one is not present locally. There are two emirates that are particularly suitable for incorporation, namely Ras al Khaimah (RAK) and the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA). Neither income tax nor corporate tax is levied there.
Overall, it is advisable to work with an agency when setting up a company in order to immediately select the appropriate legal form and avoid problems that may arise later.

Start a business in Dubai in 6 easy steps

If you want to set up a company in Dubai, there are some steps you should follow. These include choosing the legal form, choosing the business, obtaining permits, choosing the company name, registering the company, obtaining licences and other optional steps.

1. choose legal form

Before you start the process of setting up a company, you need to decide on a legal form. As mentioned earlier, there are different types of companies that can be registered in Dubai, such as Freezone companies, Mainland companies and Offshore companies. Each of these types of companies has its own advantages and disadvantages that you should consider before choosing one. The Dubai emigration experts will be happy to advise you on the selection and all other processes.

2. selecting a business activity and obtaining approval from the competent authorities

Once you have chosen a legal form, you also need to choose the business activity you want to carry out. Dubai has a variety of industries in which businesses can operate successfully, such as retail, finance, tourism, real estate and IT.

3. obtain a permit

Once you have selected the type of company and industry sector, you will need to obtain a permit from the relevant authorities in Dubai. This process may take some time and it may be necessary to submit certain documents to obtain the permit.

4. choose a company name

Once you have received approval, you can choose the company name. It is important that the name is unique and not used by another company in Dubai. It is also important that the name can be written in Arabic and English.

5. register the company and obtain the licence

Once the company name has been decided, the company can be registered. This process may take some time and it may be necessary to submit certain documents to complete the registration.

6. rent & furnish physical office

Once your company is registered, you will need to rent office space where you register your business address. There are many different types of office space in Dubai, such as private offices, coworking spaces and serviced offices.

If you don't want to invest that much time & want to avoid mistakes, Dubai emigration experts can handle the entire process for you in record time (2 days for a Mainland company & 4 days for a Freezone company). Discover all the benefits of Dubai-auswandern, the official partner of all top Freezones in the U.A.E. Profit among other things from specialised tax advisors from the DACH region, a legal department directly from the U.A.E. and a Guarantee for opening a corporate & private account.

You should observe these legal and official requirements

There are a variety of legal and regulatory requirements that must be met when setting up a company in Dubai. It is useful to distinguish between general requirements and requirements that arise when setting up a company with employees.
Basic requirementsFreezone CompanyMainland Company
Physical establishmentMandatoryMandatory
Minimum capital contributionMandatoryMandatory
Articles of associationMandatoryMandatory
Local contact person for company formationNoYes
VisaFreezone CompanyMainland Company
Visa needed?NoYes
Visa possible through the company?YesYes
Documents requiredFreezone CompanyMainland Company
Business planYesYes
Coloured passport copies of the shareholders and managing directorsYesYes
Memorandum of UnderstandingYesYes
2 years of audited financial reports for companies or letters of recommendation from the bankYesYes
Proof of address, for example by means of a consumption billYesYes

Those who wish to employ staff must also do the following:

  • Obtaining necessary visas and work permits for employees

  • Registration with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE)

  • Register with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and take out health insurance.

  • Obtain approval from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and other utilities.

It is important to familiarise yourself with the legal and regulatory requirements before setting up a company in Dubai to ensure that you meet all the requirements and avoid potential risks. The experts at Dubai Emigrate can help you avoid these risks. This is especially recommended if your company formation is a bit more complex and you want to hire employees.

These are your financing options in Dubai

These are your financing options in Dubai

There are many financing options for entrepreneurs who want to set up a business in Dubai. These include loans, grants and angel investors. There are also many funding programmes and resources provided by the government and private organisations to help entrepreneurs start and expand their businesses. Of these, here are 3 important funding programmes:

  1. Dubai Future Accelerators. The organisation promotes partnerships between start-ups and private sector companies.

  2. Dubai SME 100which, among other things, supports start-ups in obtaining the necessary permits.

  3. The Dubai Chamber of Commerce (Dubai Chamber) has set up a branch for start-ups, the Dubai Start-up Hub. It aims to provide guidance and promote public-private partnerships (PPPs). Since its establishment in 2016, it has supported more than 8,000 start-ups.

It is important to look for funding opportunities early on to ensure that you have enough capital to start and run the business successfully.

Overall, Dubai offers above-average opportunities when it comes to financing a business.

Dubai Skyline in the Fog
Dubai Frame

Challenges that can arise when setting up a company in Dubai

As with any business start-up, there are challenges to consider when setting up a company in Dubai. One of the biggest challenges is not setting up the company itself, but choosing the right company structure.

This begins with the choice of the right legal form, which must fit your own project. It continues with the determination of the company's activities, which should be implemented directly and correctly, as otherwise one can run into problems afterwards. This could concern, for example, the opening of the bank account.

In the case of setting up a Freezone company, the most suitable Freezone must finally be selected from 40 different ones. Not every Freezone is suitable for every business purpose and not all Freezoness offer the same advantages. We at Dubai-Auswandern recommend choosing only one of the 27 regulated Freezoness in Dubai. While these come at a slightly higher cost, they offer a much faster service compared to other Freezoness and there are fewer difficulties with subsequent processes, such as opening a bank account. For these reasons, our experts will only advise you on Freezones in Dubai if a Freezone company is the right choice for you.

Besides choosing the right company structure, cultural differences can also be a challenge, especially when doing business in Dubai as a foreigner. It is important to understand the culture and business practices of the country and adapt to the norms in order to be successful.

Bureaucracy can also be a challenge, especially when complying with legal and regulatory requirements. It is important to familiarise yourself with the country's laws and regulations and ensure that you meet all requirements to avoid potential risks.

In order to avoid serious mistakes, you should work with an agency like "Dubai-Auswandern". This will save you a lot of time and energy and you won't take any risks when setting up your company. Above all, Dubai-Auswandern takes care of the bureaucratic work and guides you through the entire incorporation process.

Summary: Set up a company in Dubai

Dubai has developed into an important business location and is therefore very attractive for entrepreneurs. Here is an overview of all the advantages of setting up a company in Dubai:

  • Low tax burden

  • Large network of successful business people

  • modern infrastructure

  • 27 Free trade zones that boost your business

  • many skilled workers

  • supporting government

There are different types of companies that can be registered in Dubai such as Freezone companies, Mainland companies, Offshore companies. You should follow the steps below when incorporating:

  1. Selection of the legal form

  2. Selecting a business activity and obtaining approval from the competent authorities

  3. Selecting a company name and obtaining approval

  4. Registering the company and obtaining a licence

  5. Establishing a physical office and obtaining the necessary permits

All in all, it is clear that Dubai is one of the most attractive cities in the world for entrepreneurs and freelancers. Even the few initial hurdles in setting up a business should not deter you. By working with an agency, these can be effortlessly cleared away so that nothing stands in the way of a successful business start.

This is not only the opinion of our Dubai emigration experts, but also...

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Authorities we cooperate with

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You want to set up a company in Dubai, emigrate and save taxes legally?

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If you also want to benefit from a quick & easy company formation in Dubai, book a free initial consultation with a Dubai emigration expert now.
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What customers say about us

22 ratings at
Luan Ferrer
Luan Ferrer
14 June, 2023
Very Professional Company. The Company helped us from the first day on until the end. All the problems we had they solved for us in a really fast time period. The best about the company is that you meet personally with the owners and they answer you all question in an easy and professional way. It gives you a feeling of security! I just can reccomend the service you get. No doubt one of the best companies in Dubai!
Leonie Prösch
Leonie Prösch
29 May, 2023
I emigrated to Dubai a few weeks ago and used the services of Dubai-auswandern. I am surprised how fast and uncomplicated the local authorities work here, something you can only dream of in Germany. Nina & Tony advised and prepared me extremely well and set up my company quickly and cost-effectively! I am happy to have you by my side and would be happy to recommend your service to others.
AMG Freak 1507
AMG Freak 1507
4 May, 2023
Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart. I can really recommend Dubai emigration to everyone. Great team, always ready to help with everything, even when it came to other questions, Nina, Thony and Marivic were always there for me🙏 Thank you.
Soul Vista Photography
Soul Vista Photography
3 May, 2023
There it is! My new start - in Dubai! And without you, I would probably still be in Germany and wouldn't know how and where to start. You were recommended to me, dear DUBAI AUSWANDERN team, by friends who were and are also enthusiastic about 100%. Everything went smoothly, right from our first phone call. I felt taken care of and understood right away. I also had a lot of questions, but they answered them professionally and took care of every little thing. So much work was taken off my hands so that I could concentrate on my emigration in Germany. When I arrived in Dubai, a lot of things were already taken care of in advance, so that the rest on site went very quickly (medical check, registration of my company, fingerprints, bank). I could and can ask questions at any time if something is bothering me or I am not getting anywhere. I am very happy to recommend DUBAI EXHIBIT from the bottom of my heart. There are real people with hearts behind this company :) You are wonderful. Steffi
Nazar Güngör
Nazar Güngör
28 March, 2023
Tony and Nina are a great team. Everything worked really well and smoothly. Appointments were made as agreed without long waits. For us, it was the best decision to go this route with them. We are glad to have met them. Very authentic and nice people and a great team. 🥰 Thank you, dear ones
VIP Network Marketing Shop
VIP Network Marketing Shop
28 March, 2023
Trustworthy and strong in performance. Everything as previously discussed. Fast, reliable and excellent communication with everyone in the team. You will not be disappointed here. Price-performance is right 👍
Poonam Gupta
Poonam Gupta
28 March, 2023
Great Service!!
Gian Luca Villace Ciavola
Gian Luca Villace Ciavola
12 March, 2023
Super recommendable partner, there was no challenge that could not be solved. I would always emigrate with you again
Anke Storm
Anke Storm
5 March, 2023
This is not the first time we have emigrated, but never with such support! The team is always available, absolutely competent, fast and very amiable. If you want to arrive in Dubai quickly and safely, this is absolutely the right place.

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