Can foreigners start a business in Dubai?

The UAE’s reputation as a thriving trade and logistics hub has reached every corner of the world. So, it’s understandable that – can a foreigner start a business in Dubai? – is such a commonly searched question.

When you’re ready to make your license application, it’s a good idea to engage with a local company setup agent. Here at Worldwide Formations, we can assist with every step of the company formation processes, managing your application on your behalf.

First, we’ll help you outline your business activities. It’s important that you list every activity that applies to your business when making your application. Failure to do so can lead to fines or even license revocation. With over 2,000 permitted activities, we’re sure to match you with one that fits the bill.

At this stage, we can also help you choose and register your company name. As well as choosing a name that’s catchy and captures the essence of your business, you’ll also need to stick to the UAE’s clearly defined naming conventions.

In short, UAE company names must not contain any blasphemous or offensive language, any references to well-known institutions or any abbreviations of your name – though your full name is acceptable.

Your name should also have a legal entity attached to it, such as FZE or LLC. It must also relate to your business activity, not resemble the name of any other company and be available to register.

Now we come to the most critical step – applying for your business license.

If you’re setting up in the mainland, we’ll make your application to the Dubai Department of Economic Development. If you’ve chosen a free zone setup, we’ll liaise with the managing authority of your chosen free zone.

Finally, you’ll need a residency visa and corporate bank account to work in the UAE.

The visa process involves four stages, including a medical fitness test and biometric capturing. In all, it usually takes less than a week. As the holder of a UAE business license, you can also sponsor others such as children, a spouse, or domestic staff for their visas too, providing you meet the eligibility criteria.

When it comes to banking, there are many local and international names operating in the UAE. That said, it’s not always easy for foreign nationals to access banking services. That’s why, once again, it is highly advisable to work with a local expert such as Worldwide Formations. We can assess your needs and eligibility before putting you in touch with the financial institution that’s right for you.

Start Your UAE Business With Worldwide Formations

When setting up as a foreigner in Dubai, getting the right guidance beforehand is key. That’s why it’s always advisable to undertake the above steps with the assistance of a registered company formations agent to eliminate any potential hassles that might arise.

With more than 15 years of experience in company incorporation, Worldwide Formations can help you get your business up and running within a matter of weeks. We’ll manage the entire process on your behalf and correspond with all relevant authorities for you. All you need to do is wait for the green light to start doing business.