How to start a company in Dubai

A step-by-step guide to company formation in Dubai, UAE

If you are planning to start your company in UAE or Dubai, then make sure you first plan where you want to set up your company. This decision-making process can be very crucial for the future of the company. To decide on what type of the area to choose, how to get a trade license for your business & register your company, then here is the step-by-step process included to start your company in UAE.

10 Steps for registering your company in Dubai, UAE

  1. Choose the activity for your business
  2. Select the area
  3. Decide on Company structure
  4. Choose a name for your business activity
  5. Apply for a trade license
  6. Register your company in the selected area
  7. Collect your trade license
  8. Apply for Residency Visa
  9. Apply for National ID & Medical ID
  10. Start your business operations

1. Choose the activity for your business:

If you are planning to start a business in UAE, then you need to first know what activities are allowed in the country. You need to select only those activities that are actually feasible and approved by the UAE government. If you want to check if your business activity is approved by the UAE Government, you can take a look at the article Approved Business Activities in UAE.

2. Select the area for your company formation:

UAE Government has divided its market into three Judistrictions for easy trade and operation. These are termed as zones – Freezone, Mainland & Onshore. Each zone or jurisdiction has its own rules & regulations. Each zone has its own advantages and disadvantages. To more about each Zone, you can click on the below zones to learn more.

3. Decide on the company structure:

The company structure is more like a legal form on how you want the share your profits & losses along with allocating assets and other resources involved in your company. Without deciding on the legal structure of the company, no entrepreneur can actually register their company. UAE government allows business owners to register their company in below mentioned Legal structures.

  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Soleprenuship
  • Civil company
  • Local Company Branch
  • GCC company Branch
  • Foreign Company branch
  • Freezone company branch
  • Holding Company

4. Choose a name for your business activity:

Once you have decided on the above steps, now it’s time to name your company. If you are planning to set up your branch, then the same name can be registered. But if you are starting out everything new, then you need to get your company name approved by The Department of Economic Development (DED). This is one of the crucial steps in registering your business because without this approval companies cannot acquire a Trade license for your business. There are a few restrictions and measures to be taken while choosing your company. Check here if you already have a name for your business activity.

5. Apply for a Trade license:

You are now all set to apply for a trade license in the UAE for the chosen zone. UAE offers 4 different types of Trade licenses depending on the type of activity.

6. Register your company:

This is the documentation stage of your business where it passes through different levels. Your documents will be sent to the higher authorities in the government to get them approved. The documents required depend on the type of business activity you choose to operate

7. Collect your Trade license:

You need a trade license to apply for the Residency Visa & Emirates ID. These allow you to peacefully start your business operations without any kind of trouble from the local authorities.

8. Apply for Residency Visa:

The business that is operating in UAE can obtain their Residency visas by submitting their trade visa and other business-related documents.

9. Apply for Emirates ID & Medical ID:

Every individual residing in UAE must obtain an Emirate ID. Emirates ID is the UAE Government-issued identity card for the UAE’s citizens and residents. It is mandatory for all UAE citizens and residents to apply for an Emirates ID.

10. Start your Business operations in UAE:

Now you are all set to start your business operations in the UAE. Now you no need to worry about anything related to company formation. You have all the required documents to lease property for your business or office setup or hire individuals for your business.

If you are not sure how to handle all these documentation and restrictions and need future guidance, we are here to help you. We have already helped several entrepreneurs to start their businesses in UAE along with guaranteed corporate bank account assistance. Book your free consultation call today with our expert.

Call or WhatsApp us at +971508045640 or you can write us your queries anytime at

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