How to Start a Business in Dubai (2023)

How to Start a Business in Dubai (2023)


Ambia Hoque


More than 70,000 business licenses were issued in Dubai in 2021 alone, so you’ll want to do everything in your power to get your own business running if you’re determined to start one. Otherwise, you might be washed out by the competition.

But if you’re wondering how to start a business in Dubai, you might be wondering where you should start. What should you know about tax policies or business documents?

What should you name your business, and where should your company be located in Dubai? Keep reading and find the answers to all your questions below.

Choose the Right Business Niche

You can’t start a business without knowing what industry you want your business to fill. There are many industries to consider, and some are more specific or smaller than others. For example, the fashion industry is prevalent all over the world.

However, because it is so popular, it also has a lot of competition. So, while running a fashion business once you start might be easy, it can be hard to create a fashion business at first because of all the competitors. There are, of course, more niche industries such as industrial companies or certain mechanical companies.

They tend to be less known to the public and overall less popular. Even so, these businesses can still be very successful due to the way they target a much smaller and more specific audience. You will also need to consider what you want from your business when creating it.

The last thing you want to do is start a business you’re not passionate about. While the goal of many companies is to make a lot of money, it shouldn’t be your only goal. If it is, you will quickly lose your passion for the business because you are not concerned with the company itself and its accomplishments.

On the other hand, you will find that you will be far more successful if you have a passion for the business you are growing. Such a passion will always motivate you to find new ways to grow and expand your business, and it will be more of a pleasure than a chore. Therefore, you will want to choose an industry for your business that you are interested in.

Different Industries

It is, in fact, the very first thing you should do before thinking about company names, locations, bank accounts, or anything else. Also, keep in mind that some areas in Dubai are very particular about specific company industries and niches.

Some places in Dubai will only allow specific industries to open. Therefore, research the areas in and around Dubai to ensure they are open to whatever industries you might be interested in starting. Once you decide on a particular sector, you will want to start thinking about how you can narrow down on that industry.

Suppose that you want to open a company in the fashion industry. There are a million ways you can narrow down this industry.

Popular Industries

For example, do you want to focus on men’s fashion or women’s fashion? Do you plan on selling only shoes or belts or something else?

You can narrow down any industry by asking similar questions. However, it is best to be as specific as possible before starting a business.

That way, later on, you won’t be guessing what your business should sell or what services it should provide. The whole process will be much easier if you plan most of everything before opening your business.

Choosing the Perfect Company Name

Choosing a name for your company is one of the more creative and fun parts of opening a business. However, choosing a name for your brand requires more attention and care than you might think. Keep in mind that once you decide on a name, people will come to associate your brand with that name.

For that reason, if your company name is hard to remember, too long, or too dull, you might have difficulty staying in business. At the same time, you need to keep in mind that some areas of Dubai are stringent when it comes to names for businesses. Unfortunately, you can’t name your business whatever you feel like.

While you can still be quite creative with the name choices, you will be limited depending on what location in Dubai you plan to open your business. Some areas are much more rigid, and some business names are even illegal. So, what kind of names should you stay away from, you might ask?

Naming a Business After a Person

First, you should know that you are not allowed to name your business after Allah or anything to do with most religious figures or connotations. You are also unable to name your business after certain political groups or associations. But what if you want to call the company after a person?

Unfortunately, this is also limited in Dubai. While you can name your business after a person, there are only a few specific ways in which you are allowed to do this. In particular, you need to call the company after a person who works at the company or after the company owner.

Legal Business Names

You also can’t be very creative with a person’s name as a company’s name. This means that you can’t use any abbreviations for the name or shorten it in any way. Instead, you need to use the complete name of the person you plan on naming the business after.

You will have more freedom if you don’t want to use a real person’s name for your business’s name. Keep in mind that you will want to choose a catchy business name. Shorter names are usually better than long names because they are easier to remember.

Your company name should also be easy to spell. It will be hard for people to find your company when typing into Google or another search engine if they can’t figure out how to spell the company’s name. For that reason, you should avoid names that are too exotic or foreign, as well as names that contain very long words.

You should also pick a name that piques the interest of your potential customers. For example, some company names are bland and don’t say much about the company itself. But if your company’s name is more creative or descriptive, more people will be interested in the company and what it offers.

Choose the Perfect Location for Your Business

If you plan on starting an online business somewhere in Dubai, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about where your business is located. After all, all the critical factors of your business will be online, along with any services or goods that your business has to offer. But if you plan to open a physical business in Dubai, you will have to do more research.

There are several places where you can start a business in Dubai; some are more desirable than others. You will need to debate between different free zone options and so on. The location of your business is crucial because it will determine how many people see or walk past your store daily.

If you are located out in the middle of nowhere, people, of course, will not be able to stumble across your company. This may not be a big deal if you don’t plan to open a retail company. For example, if you plan on opening an industrial company, you might not need to be around large groups of people at all.

Instead, a more secluded area might be better for your business. On the other hand, if you plan on opening a business that requires people to come in and buy things, you will want to place your company in an area that receives a lot of traffic regularly. Otherwise, your business will quickly be starved out of that area.

Location Is Key

Suppose you want to open up your company in one of the many free zones Dubai offers. There are several benefits of doing this.

First, most free zones do not require businesses to pay corporate taxes.

You also get to benefit from tax exemptions for both imports and exports. This, of course, can save you a lot of money, especially in the long run. If you think your company will be a bit financially unstable when starting out, it may be a good idea to seek out the many tax benefits in one of Dubai’s free zones.

Free Zones and the Mainland

Of course, you can also decide to open up your business on the mainland. However, you will not get to experience the same tax benefits as you would when starting a business in a free zone. The main advantage of having a mainland company is that you can trade with other markets, such as international markets, without paying any extra fees as you would with a company based in a free zone.

Unfortunately, with some mainland companies, you may need to share half of your company with a business partner. However, this is usually only true for companies that provide professional services. Since opening a company in a free zone or on the mainland has pros and cons, you will want to balance each choice carefully before making your final choice.

Company Licenses and Bank Accounts

You will need to have a license for your business before you can open it to the public.

You can only apply for a company license after you submit some paperwork to the government to state that you would like to open a business. If you are approved for this request, you can then move on to obtain a license.

To do this, you will only need basic identification materials such as your passport, copies of your passport, the appropriate paperwork for the application, and so on. Usually, getting a company license is a relatively simple process. However, some free zones may try to make it a bit more complicated.

The Applications

For example, some free zones around Dubai may want a complete business plan to go along with the rest of the application materials. As long as you have your business plan figured out, the process still shouldn’t be a problem. Besides the company license, you will also want to get a corporate bank account.

The last thing you want to do is use your personal bank account for your business. This complicates things and makes it very difficult to keep track of your personal and corporate finances. Fortunately, Dubai has many banks available to help you sort this out.

Again, you will need typical application and identification materials. Make sure you choose a good bank to help you with this, as creating a corporate bank account can be a significant undertaking, especially if you select an unhelpful or unprofessional bank.

After you have your license and corporate bank account, the rest will be smooth sailing. With these essential documents and applications, you’ll be able to open the doors to your business in no time.

How to Start a Business in Dubai

Learning how to start a business in Dubai doesn’t have to be difficult, but there are a few essential things you will need to consider for the process to go smoothly. For example, you need to consider the name of your company, the industry, where the company will be located, and you will need to get a company license and bank account.

All of this can be strenuous on your own if you’ve never done it before. That’s why it’s a good idea to seek out people who can help. To learn more, don’t hesitate to contact us here.

Reach for your dreams.
Create your legacy.




Quarter Deck
QE2, Mina Rashid
P.O. Box 554789
Dubai, UAE

Copyright © 2024 Duqe. All rights reserved. | Website by Wild Creative