Setting Up A Company in Dubai : Ultimate Guide 2024

Setting up a Company in Dubai

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Dubai, a city in the United Arab Emirates, is a great place for setting up a company. It is popular with people who want to start businesses because it has modern buildings, a good location, and the government is friendly to investors. The businessmen are now making their way to Dubai to setting up a company in Dubai.

Deciding to open a Dubai company is a big step. It involves a lot of planning and thinking about things like money and what kind of business you want to start. Dubai is a good choice for your business because it is a rich city and friendly to new businesses from other countries. Dubai is also a good place for businesses because it doesn’t have high taxes, and it is easy to do business there.

This guide will help you understand how to start a company in Dubai. It will show you the different areas in Dubai where you can set up your business and explain why each area is good.

Opening a company in Dubai – How to Choose the Right Jurisdiction?

Jurisdiction plays an important role in defining your business. The right jurisdiction will boost your business. This is one of the most challenging phases as well. Dubai offers 3 jurisdictions, Mainland, Free Zone, and Offshore. RFZ is always ready to help you, to make you understand the difference between these so that you have a smooth process to set up your company in Dubai.

1. Free Zone

A Free Zone is a special area in Dubai where businesses have to pay little taxes compared to other countries. This is done to attract more businesses and help the economy grow.

  • Free Zones focus on specific types of businesses or activities.
  • Dubai has more than 30 of these Free Zones in Dubai, each with its kind of business focus. This makes it easier for investors to start a company in a Dubai-Free Zone.
  • In a Free Zone, business owners can enjoy tax benefits and can also make and sell their products easily.
  • One big benefit is that they can own all of their business (100% ownership). They also get to enjoy benefits like paying less taxes and being able to send all their profits back to their home country.
  • There are no restrictions on using different currencies in UAE-Free Zones.
  • Businesses in a Free Zone can work with other companies in the same Free Zone or countries outside the UAE.

2. Mainland

A mainland company is a type of company set up in Dubai that is officially registered with the government. These companies are often involved in commercial, professional, or individual businesses and need to get a Mainland License from the Department of Economic Development (DED). The DED is in charge of giving out trade licenses for these companies. The following are the things about starting a mainland company in Dubai:

  • These companies don’t have limits on the kinds of business they can do.
  • Mainland companies in Dubai or the UAE can easily do business with other local companies. This makes them a very good choice for investors.
  • These businesses can also open up branches in other parts of Dubai and the UAE.
  • There is no set limit on how many work visas you can get with a mainland license. But, the number of visas depends on how big your office is.
  • Once you get the approval from the right government departments, your mainland company in Dubai is all set up and ready to go.

3. Offshore

An offshore company is a business that is set up outside of the owner’s home country. This type of company doesn’t do business or make money in the country where it was created. Because of this, offshore companies usually don’t have to pay much tax. The exact tax rate depends on the rules of the place where the company is set up.

  • Many experienced businessmen decide to start an offshore company. In Dubai, JAFZA (Jebel Ali Free Zone) is a well-liked spot for setting up these kinds of businesses. It is attractive because it offers benefits like low taxes and a global business status.
  • Business owners who want to keep their assets safe or save on taxes often go for offshore locations like this.

Benefits of setting up a company in Dubai

Here are some advantages of establishing a company in Dubai:

1. Great Location and Easy to Travel

When you set up a company in Dubai, you are in a spot that is easy to connect with many countries. This is great for businesses that want to reach customers in different parts of the world. Dubai has big airports and ports, which helps a lot if your business involves moving goods around.
If you need to travel for business, Dubai is perfect. It has flights to almost everywhere, making it easy to meet people and do business in other countries. This is really important as it enhances good business relationships.

2. Business-Friendly and Simple to Start

Dubai makes starting a business simple. The government supports businesses, and there are not too many complicated rules. This is especially good for new businesses or those that are growing.
Dubai has special areas called Free Zones where you can fully own your business and enjoy most of the profit. These zones are great because they have everything certain types of businesses need, and you can work closely with other businesses like yours.

3. Good Tax Rules and Benefits for Businesses

One of the best things about setting up a business in Dubai is that you save a lot on taxes. The corporate tax is 9% and only companies have to pay it, and that too has exemptions. Whereas, VAT is only 5% and has to be paid by the consumers. This makes Dubai a really attractive place for businesses.
Dubai wants foreign businesses to come. They offer help with understanding and following the rules, and they have tax breaks to make it more attractive for these businesses.

4. Advanced Technology and Great Facilities

Dubai is very up-to-date with technology, which is great for businesses that work online or use a lot of tech. This means businesses can do things more efficiently and keep up with the latest trends.
Dubai has everything a business needs, good transport, communication, and offices. This is always getting better, which keeps Dubai a top place for businesses.

5. Diverse Culture and Nice Lifestyle

Dubai is a place with people from all over the world. This is great for business because you can meet lots of different people and find new customers. It is also a really interesting place to live.
Another factor is that living in Dubai is safe. This is good for businesses because people are attracted to places that have security including good quality services and products. It is also the best place for skilled people to work for the business.

Process for starting a business in Dubai

Dubai Mainland Company

Setting up a company in the mainland of Dubai offers access to the local UAE market and beyond. It is great for businesses that want to be part of Dubai’s dynamic economy.

  • Select Company Structure: The first step is to choose the company structure. You can choose from a Limited Liability Company (LLC), Sole Proprietorship (SP), or a Branch of a Foreign Company. RFZ will help you choose it as it depends on how you want to run your business.
  • Choose a Company Name: Pick a name for your company, but make sure it follows Dubai naming rules.
  • Prepare Application: Memorandum of Association (MOA) and Articles of Association (AOA) are two important documents that need to be filled. RFZ makes sure that the documents are filled properly and error-free.
  • Select your Office Space: Find a good location in Dubai for your office.
  • Get License Approvals: You will need to get the right licenses. These depend on your business type.
  • Complete Final Formalities: The last step is to get the company stamp, arrange work visas for staff, set up a bank account, get a labor card, and more.

RFZ can help with each of the above steps and will get through the process of starting a business in Dubai smoothly.

Dubai Free Zone Company

Setting up in a Dubai Free Zone is a smart choice for businesses looking for 100% ownership and tax benefits. It is ideal for international activities. The process is not so different from the Mainland company setup.

  • Choose your business activity: First, you need to decide what kind of business you want to run.
  • Find a suitable Free Zone location: Pick a Free Zone that fits your business needs.
  • Choose a suitable business name: Select a name that matches your company’s identity.
  • Arrange the documents and apply for the license: Get all your paperwork in order and apply for your business license
  • Open a corporate bank account for your business: Set up a bank account for your company’s financial transactions.

Dubai Offshore Company

An offshore company in Dubai is good for managing global business activities and offers privacy and tax benefits.

  • Choose your company name: Pick a name that suits your offshore business.
  • Pick your business activity and Shareholding percentage: Decide what your business will do and how the shares will be divided.
  • Fill out the Dubai company registration application form: Complete the necessary form to register your company.
  • Submit the required documents to the authorities: Give all the needed documents to the Dubai authorities.
  • Open your Offshore bank account: Set up a bank account for your business’s money matters.

The process of company registration in any of the jurisdictions more or less are similar but differs when it comes to the authority. RFZ can help you get your company set up in Dubai without you getting stressed.

Documents Required for a Business Setup in Dubai:

Following are the basic documents required to set up a business in Dubai.

For Mainland

The documents required for mainland company formation in Dubai are mentioned below:

  • Owner passport and a white background picture
  • Name reservation and initial approval certificates
  • External department’s approval if required
  • EJARI registration certificate

For Free Zone

The documents required for Free Zone company formation in Dubai are mentioned below:

  • Owner passport and a white background picture
  • Name reservation and initial approval certificates

For Offshore

The documents required for offshore company formation in Dubai are appended below:

  • Copy of Passport
  • Passport-sized Photographs

Cost of setting up a company in Dubai

The cost of setting up a company in Dubai varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The cost of obtaining a license, and registration of the company is different for Mainland, Free Zone, and Offshore. The cost of setting up the company in the Mainland starts from AED 15,000 and Free Zone from AED 13,000. To get the complete cost quotation, you can contact RFZ anytime.


1. How to set up a company in Dubai?

To set up a company in Dubai, first decide if you want to start it in the mainland, free zone, or as an offshore company. Then, choose a business type, pick a company name following Dubai rules, and prepare the required documents. After that, apply for a trade license, choose an office space, and complete other formalities. To know more about setting up a company in Dubai, feel free to ask RFZ.

2. Can I open a company in Dubai without living there?

Yes, you can open a company in Dubai even if you don’t live there. Many business owners do this. You might need to visit occasionally to set things up or hire RFZ to help you.

3. How much does it cost to set up a company in Dubai?

The cost to set up a company in Dubai varies. It depends on the type of business, location, size of the office, and other factors. Generally, it could range from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars. It is best to ask RFZ and get a detailed quote based on your specific business plan.

4. Can an individual open a company in Dubai?

Yes, an individual can open a company in Dubai. You can start a sole proprietorship or any other type of business depending on your plan and investment.

5. How long does it take to start a new business in Dubai?

Starting a new business in Dubai can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. The time varies based on your business type.

6. Why hire an RFZ consultant to set up a company in Dubai?

Hiring an RFZ consultant can be very helpful. They know about all the rules and processes in Dubai. They can guide you through the paperwork, help you make the best choices for your business, and make the setup process quicker and smoother.


Setting up a company in Dubai can be a great opportunity. It offers many benefits like low taxes, especially in free zones, and allows full foreign ownership. The process can be pretty straightforward, whether you are an individual or a larger investor. However, the cost and time it takes can vary depending on your business type and where you set it up. Getting help from a business consultant can make things easier. They can guide you through the rules and paperwork. Overall, Dubai provides a welcoming environment for new businesses with its good economy and supportive policies.

Set Up Your Company with RFZ

If you are planning to set up a company in Dubai and are confused about the jurisdiction, RFZ is the company that can assist you in choosing the right jurisdiction.

At RFZ, we offer personalized help to people according to their requirements. We can assist with everything from creating a company to managing finances and ensuring you follow the rules. Our experienced team. We will give you trustworthy advice at every step of your business journey in the UAE.

Are you ready to make your business dreams a reality? Partner with RFZ, and let us do it together.

For a free consultation, contact us at +971 4 589 0815. You can also send us a WhatsApp message at +971 4 589 0815 or email your questions to We are here to assist you!

Umber Awan
Umber Awan

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